Linda Lovelace

Linda Lovelace

2/16/87 People magazine:


By Toby Kahn

Any day now the little black medical alarm Linda Lovelace Marchiano carries around in her purse will start beeping. If it doesn't, she will die. It's as simple as that.

Last November the 38-year-old star of Deep Throat, the most successful porn film ever made, was told she needed a liver transplant. She has been anxiously waiting for a liver to become available ever since. Once the beeper does go off, Linda and her husband, Larry, will have just four hours to get from their home in suburban Long Island to the Presbyterian-University Hospital in Pittsburgh where the 15-hour procedure will take place.

Marchiano's liver problem was discovered last September when she entered a New York hospital to have a double radical mastectomy. That operation, which has been postponed until after the transplant, was necessary because of silicone injections that her first husband, Chuck Traynor, insisted she have during the early '70s. ''There are all kinds of lumps on my breasts, but the doctors don't know for sure if they're cysts, silicone or cancer,'' says Linda. ''I spent quite a few months preparing myself for that operation. Then I got hit with this.'' Doctors have traced her liver malfunction to a blood transfusion she received after a 1970 automobile accident. Though it was undetected at the time, the donor apparently had a hepatitis virus.

Larry, a construction worker, and Linda live in a simple two-bedroom home in a lower-middle-class neighborhood. They have little money and try not to think much about the monumental medical bills they are facing. Linda's projected eight-week hospital stay will cost roughly $200,000. Afterward she'll be on an antirejection drug for the rest of her life -- which could cost as much as $2,500 a month. Medical insurance probably will cover about half of the total outlay.

Lovelace and Marchiano were married in 1976, yet Linda continued to be plagued by accountants, lawyers, creditors and prosecutors. The couple lived in a cold-water flat on Long Island and were often on welfare. Few were interested in her real story. Ordeal wasn't published until she passed a battery of lie detector tests.

In recent years Linda has traveled around the country, telling her story to college students, religious groups and community gatherings (her lecture fee averages $1,500). She has also testified before several commissions on the effects of pornography on women and children.



Over the past 20 years the film has generated $600 million, making it one of the most profitable movies of all time.

Of course, not everyone was a fan. Prosecutors in several states tried to ban the film on the grounds of obscenity. They failed in Massachusetts and Tennessee, but on March 1, 1973, New York criminal-court judge Joel Tyler called the movie "a nadir of decadence one throat that deserves to be cut," and fined the New Mature World Theater $3 million for showing it. "If I were to write that (decision) today, I would be deemed a fool," Judge Tyler, now 71, reconsidered on the eve of his retirement in 1991. "Movies and television have completely changed our outlook on the human form."

Well, not completely. Since the New Mature World Theater never appealed the ruling, Judge Tyler's decision has never been overturned. "Technically," says Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, who conducted the Tennessee appeal, "it's still illegal for a theater to show the X-rated Deep Throat in New York, even though you can rent it at pretty much any video store in Manhattan."

Reuters 3/31/96:

Howard Works on Lovelace Film

"Apollo 13's" team of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are preparing a picture about former adult film star Linda Lovelace. That's according to Variety's Army Archerd. Lovelace is best known for the porn flick "Deep Throat." Her film titles also include "Linda Lovelace Meets Miss Jones" and "Linda Lovelace for President." Grazer tells Archerd the project is being scripted by Ken Hixon and directed by Pat O'Connor.

[Howard later cancelled plans for the film.]

The Evil That Men Do

When I was 15, I wanted so much to be"one of the boys." Boys, I thought, did fun things; girls stayed home and made doilies. And I thought I was smart. It was while hanging around with the boys that I got my introduction to hard-core pornography. I remember, it was one of those high school party over at a classmate's house. At close to midnight, the boys started disappearing into the house den, leaving us girls to gossip in the living room. But being an honorary boy, I was soon let in on the "secret" and told that I can join the rest of them big boys if I wanted to. The big mystery turned out to be a porn movie called Deep Throat starring Linda Lovelace, who the boys told me was porn superstar of the moment.

I was out of that room in a flash. "This is sick," I remember telling one of the boys before walking out.

Fast forward to 1997. I just read Andrea Dworkin's Pornography: Men Possessing Women, and I'm still reeling from the experience. Someone asked me how it was. I don't know, I said. Well-argued treatises are not supposed to hit you in the gut, only in the head. It's not just Dworkin, but other feminist writers as well who are able to combine meticulous research, clear thinking and solid prose who can make your world seem like it's been turned upside down. In Pornography, Dworkin dove deep into this most terrible of crime against women, to surface with a lucid examination of the real source of pornography-the power system that creates and perpetuates the systematic rape of women, and the culture that makes people inured to this violation. I emerged from Pornography with a clearer understanding of a subject which, almost 20 years since Dworkin's book rolled out of the presses, continues to fire up and sometimes divide the women's movement.

Dworkin's Pornography was first published in 1979, the same year I saw that grimy betamax in a dark den. Linda Lovelace, a.k.a. Linda Marchiano, also figures in Dworkin's book. Marchiano and other women who survived pornography made me see where that retching, sickening feeling came from. "Every time someone watches that film, they are watching me being raped," Marchiano said. Another woman intoned, " They knew a child's face when they looked into it. It was clear that I was not acting of my free will. I was always covered with bruises...It was even clearer that I was sexually inexperienced. I literally didn' t know what to do. So they showed me pornography to teach me about sex and then they would ignore my tears as they positioned my body like the women in the pictures and used me."

I have long stopped wanting to be one of the boys. Boys don't always do fun things. As Dworkin made it plain in her book, boys also do evil, nasty things to girls.

Copyright 1997 Isis International

Villanueva, Pi, The Evil That Men Do., Women in Action, 01-02-1997, pp 52.



By Fawn Germer

(Rocky Mountain News 4/20/97)

She's a single mother of two who has been out of work for six months.

She knows Wordperfect, Excel and Lotus.

But what her resume does not say is that her name was once Linda Lovelace, and she was the star of Deep Throat, the most profitable pornographic film of all time.

Today she uses a different last name and lives in Colorado. She wants her identity kept secret. She knows her past won't help her land the kind of job she wants.

``I will always be branded with the name Linda Lovelace,'' she said.

At 48, she wears her years but is still thin and attractive. Her hair is dyed auburn, and it's still long.

She is broke. She and her family moved to Colorado in 1990 when her husband's drywall business collapsed in New York. The couple divorced in August after 22 years. She loved him for only two years. She stayed with him because - considering where she'd been - she'd found Nirvana.

A 1974 article in the London Express described a life very different from the one she lives in Colorado today:

``Miss Linda Lovelace, the famous American film star, is installed at the Ritz in London. What's that you say - never heard of her? Ah, well, let me try to explain. She has a house in Beverly Hills with neighbors like Lucille Ball and Sammy Davis from whom she can borrow a cup of sugar. She drives a Bentley and . . . ''

``Oh baloney,'' she said recently.

In 1975, she married the man who fathered her two children. She gave up the fast life to be a stay-at-home mom married to a drywall hanger in New York. Her son is now 20, her daughter is 16.

During the early years of the marriage, she tried to make it as an actress and entertainer. The reviews were awful, whether she was onstage in a play called Pajama Tops or in the movie, Linda Lovelace for President.

By the late 1970s, she broke her silence on Traynor. She wrote Ordeal ``to set the record straight.''

By the late '80s, Lovelace had taken her husband's last name, but was back in the headlines when doctors thought she needed a double mastectomy because her breasts had been damaged by silicone injections she received during the Traynor years. Tests showed there was actually a problem with her liver. She got a transplant that year.

In the early 1990s, the couple moved to Colorado. She stayed home with her children, taking them to Water World and Elitch Gardens and attending her son's football games.

For a time she worked at an Albertson's store, but varicose veins made it painful to stay on her feet for extended periods.

She started traveling the lecture circuit, crossing the country several times a year on a crusade against porn.

Four years ago, she got a job in purchasing and record-keeping for a computer company, which paid $9.45 an hour.

As her children grew older, she realized she wanted something different for herself.

Her relationship with her husband had been deteriorating for years. She said he was an emotionally abusive alcoholic, which he acknowledged in an interview. She had stayed with him for two decades because of her children.

``I prostituted myself so I could have my kids,'' she said. ``They were the most important thing to me. They were all I ever wanted.' '