All About Gloria Leonard: Center For Sex & Culture Honors Late Erotic Star

Feb 28, 2014
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All About Gloria Leonard: Center For Sex & Culture Honors Late Erotic Star

On February 3, Gloria Leonard passed away at the age 73. Once a trader on Wall Street, she entered the erotic film industry in 1976. At the time she was well into her thirties, yet she enjoyed a lengthy career as a performer, and as the publisher of High Society Magazine.

A regular guest on TV chat shows, she was a fierce advocate for the adult industry through her work with the Free Speech Coalition, and was a pioneer in the phone sex business.

On February 27, The Center For Sex and Culture held a memorial tribute to Ms. Leonard.

“We acknowledge the lives and work of people who are not often acknowledged by the larger culture,” said Carol Queen, co-founder of the Center.

City resident Annie Sprinkle took to the podium. The former adult star and sex educator fought back tears as she recalled her thirty year friendship with Leonard. “We thought she was still healthy, this was so sudden,” Sprinkle said. She spoke of Club 90, a support group for women in porn that was formed in New York decades ago. “There are still a few of us porn dinosaurs roaming the earth.”

Emotionally shaken by the loss of her friend, Sprinkle was clearly having trouble speaking. She thanked the Center for hosting the tribute to Leonard. “This is our community home,” she said. “I want my memorial service to be here.”

Dr. Sharon Mitchell, porn star turned industry medical advocate, presented a slide show of highlights from Leonard’s life. Photos revealed a beautiful, strong and sophisticated woman who brought a touch of Park Avenue class to adult cinema.

“Back when porn was shot on film you had to walk into a movie theater to see them,” Mitchell recalled.

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Read more at SF Weekly…

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