A teenage runaway to Los Angeles in 1975, Serena worked as a waittress until a porn make-up artist discovered her. A redhead with creamy pale skin, she appeared in over 100 productions including The Ecstasy Girls. One of her final performances came in the 1985 Howard Ziehm loop carrier Hot Cookies. Visitors to the back room of Nelson's Bookstore watch her bring erotic paintings to life.
Serena just seemed to show up in Hollywood, as a flower-child, in the mid-seventies. I first became aware of her when Playboy did a story on the growing adult film business in 1976. There was a gorgeous strawberry blond with an incredibly cute overbite and a body to die for.
It was lust at first sight. Serena was all over the pages of the L.A. tabloid sex papers, especially the old L.A. Star. Even then she had gained a reputation for being an "I'll do anything" kind of porno princess.
I must confess an early infatuation with this young lady, so perhaps my observations are somewhat biased. Serena was one of the first to do it all. I still have some loops from that period showing our girl banging her heart out in the back of a pickup truck, and remember seeing a nifty five man gang bang with plenty of facials before anyone else ever thought of doing it on film. Serena always maintained her girlish, sweet good looks and smiled as if she loved every minute of it. Anal, double penatration, you name it and she was your girl. I'll never forget the first time I saw her do an interracial thing with Johnny Keyes and John Holmes. This chick could f---. Of course there was the famous loop with Serena taking on two she-males with apparent delight. She always had a taste for the kinky side of the street. If you can find those old issues of the L.A. Star you'll see that Serena was the first golden shower queen as well, and don't be fooled by the faked gs shots that Fred Lincoln put together later on.
Serena was a long time roommate of Jamie Gillis and I've heard and read stories of their playful days in New York City where Serena would flash passersby from their apartment window. Jamie, as we all know, has always been one of the kinkiest guys in the jizz biz, so for Selena to hang in for so long with Jamie, we know she had to have her priorities straight. Ahhh, the joys of the pre-AIDS, sexual revolution good times.
I've traced Serena's
film career as far back as 1975 to a little piece
"Every Which Way She
Serena also had a moment in the sun in the major motion picture release of 1979, "10" starring Dudley Moore, Julie Andrews, and Bo Derrick. Only on camera for a second, but you can catch that overbite easily as Dudley peeps through his telescope at the orgy, of one of his neighbors, across the canyon in L.A.
Feb 19, 2006. 6:40 p.m. I jam a copy of The Consolation of Philosophy in the back of my bluejeans, swing my camera around my neck, and trudge through the cold to the entry of the Mayflower Club where I bask in the friendship of Bill Margold, Monstar, photographers JR, Dr X, Richie, and company.
I became aware of a woman standing over me. She was of awe-inspiring appearance, her eyes burning and keen beyond the usual power of men. Her name was Serena.
At the sight of her, the Muses of Poetry flee.
I ask Serena (ClassicPornSerena.com): "When was the last time you were at an industry event?"
Serena: "I don't know if they had events in my day."
She hasn't been back to an industry function since her retirement in 1982 (she began in Los Angeles in 1972).
Serena: "Bill has always been my best buddy. He's my big brother and you can't f--- your big brother."
They did one scene together. "We never really got off on each other. We've always gotten off on each other psychicly."
Luke: "Have you stayed in touch with him over the years?"
Serena: "I haven't until 1989 I called in the middle of the night, evidently, and talked to Viper. Viper and I started talking on the phone all the time and I got to know her before I got back with Bill. I just recently got back with Bill and now I'm here."
Serena hasn't stayed in touch with anyone from porn. "I lived with Jamie Gillis for a couple of years, until about 1980.
"Do you know how handsome you are? My God!"
Luke: "Thank you."
Serena: "It's nice being next to you."
I mention my memoir, Rebel Without A Shul.
Serena: "I'm a converted Jew. I converted to Judaism in 1996."
"My second husband is Jewish. I went along [after the marriage]."
Luke: "What kind of experience was it to convert to Judaism?"
Serena: "I've always been a little bit of everything. I was raised with so many different religions in my family. If you ever get a chance to pick up a book by Rabbi Rami Shapiro... He writes beautiful books. I'm a definite Reconstructionist. I'm beyond Reform. My politics are way over there too."
Luke: "How has it affected your life to become Jewish?"
Serena: "Really well. I'm very happy with it."
Luke: "Are you still married?"
Serena: "No. Unfortunately. I had to leave him. I did fall in love with somebody else. I still hold on to the Jewish faith. I was driving along the streets the other day with Bill. I don't know where I am. Everything's changed in Hollywood. He says, 'Where do you want to have lunch?' All of a sudden, I say, 'Canter's! I've got to eat at Canter's!' So we went to Canter's."
Serena says she observes the High Holidays. "Yom Kippur is distressing but I like all the meals."
Serena's first marriage ran between 1970-80 ("but I only lived with him for about four years, we were just lazy about getting the divorce"). She has a daughter who's almost 30 and lives in Las Vegas. The daughter was once a contestant in the Miss Florida. She has a daughter.
Luke: "Why did you get into the porn industry?"
Serena: "I wanted it because it was like... The hippies had started it. They were just ahead of me. I wanted to follow that enlightenment. I was a flower child. I really believed in it. I wanted to rebel against the establishment. I felt that doing something illegal was a good thing. I still do. That's kinda why I'm back because the government is so conservative right now. I feel like I have to make a stand."
Serena grew up in LA. "I moved to San Francisco because Berkeley was calling. It was my ideal. I went to New York and met Jamie Gillis and we lived in New York for a while."
Luke: "How has being in the industry affected your life?"
Serena: "It's always been a wonderful backdrop. I've never been ashamed of anything I've done. The only thing is is that I had my insides taken out. I had a hysterectomy. I'm pretty sure that that was the business that screwed me up. But aside from that... My daughter has her head screwed on straight. She has a beautiful daughter."
Luke: "How did your daughter deal with your being a porn star?"
Serena: "Well, her dad (Thomas) was too. I don't know if he had a stage name. He's in Honeypie. He was Johnny who comes marching home. I was the poor Southern belle with my black companion."
Luke: "Was she conceived on a porn shoot?"
Serena: "No, she was conceived on a floor in Toluca Lake. I remember exactly."
Luke: "How did your being a porn star affect your daughter?"
Serena: "She's always been a serious person, so I don't think it affected her much. She's always known exactly what she wanted and done exactly what she wanted. She had her own ideals."
Luke: "How did being a porn star affect your love life?"
Serena: "While it was going on, I was really interested in being a porn star because I didn't get any at home. I was always lonely at home but on the set I could f--- and I wasn't lonely. After I left the business, I was fine. I never took it mechanically. I was always into coming and having glorious orgasms."
Luke: "How did men react to your being a porn star?"
Serena: "My second husband [they were together 15-years, from 1984-1999] came after me because I was a porn star. I was dancing at the Mitchell Brothers' O'Farrell Theatre. He came to see a show. He was angling to get me. When I did get with him, he turned me against the industry. I fell for it because he was rich... He was very possessive. I lived that way for 15-years. Finally I had enough. I don't have my identity anymore. My identity was in my teens and early twenties."
Luke: "I don't understand. You didn't have your identity because you weren't a porn star anymore?"
Serena: "He had squashed me. He had changed my name. I just wasn't myself. He made me ashamed to be Serena. I could never introduce myself as Serena. It was like Patty Duke was Anna and they made her into Patty Duke. You can't do that with somebody."
Luke: "Hand in hand with love comes jealousy."
Serena: "Oh yes. Eight years later, he's still flipping out. I didn't mean to break his heart or ruin him or do anything. I've never felt guilty either. It just wasn't working for me.
"I have to go from one man to another. I learn a lot from each man that I'm with but I can't stay with someone for that long. One guy I'll stay with for four years, the next guy for five years, the next guy for 15-years, and they guy I'm with now, I've stayed with for seven years and we're still learning from each other. I'm perfectly happy. I'm a serial monogamist. I never cheat on anybody. I always learn from them. Eventually I just go on with my life. I'm hoping this is my last, but who knows?"
Luke: "How has being a porn star affected the way regular people interact with you?"
Serena: "I still get asked for autographs. People still recognize me because of my background."
Serena sees a hot waitress she met two days ago with Bill Margold. They hug.
Serena: "I've never ever had a [platonic] girlfriend except for Leah who was my best friend when I was four. I think it's because I was in the industry. I've had lesbian relationships. I'm bisexual. But I've never been able to hold a friendship with a woman. I've had friendships with men. Maybe I'm a man's woman."
Luke: "Maybe women feel threatened by you, that you might take their man."
Serena: "Maybe so. It's a shame."