AVN’s Mark Kernes reports that legendary adult film performer Gloria Leonard is non responsive after suffering a stroke —
Friends and relatives of High Society publisher and former Free Speech Coalition (FSC) President Gloria Leonard are reporting that the retired adult actress has suffered a massive stroke and is being treated in the intensive care unit of the North Hawaii Community Hospital near her home.
Leonard, now 73, was born in The Bronx, NY in 1940, and attended DeWitt Clinton High School along with younger classmate, actor/comedian Robert Klein.
The 5’9″ doyenne of the adult film world began performing on camera in 1975, and her movies include classics from porn’s pre-video “Golden Age” such as Radley Metzger’s The Opening of Misty Beethoven, Water Power, and Joseph Sarno’s The Trouble With Young Stuff and All About Gloria Leonard.
Reportedly, in the early 1980s, Leonard almost clinched a deal for Norman Mailer to write a porn film. A veteran of 64 films, eight of which she directed, Leonard retired from performing sex on camera in 1984.
Leonard was married to the late adult producer/director Bobby Hollander from 1981 until their divorce in 1990.
Hired by publisher Carl Ruderman, Leonard helmed High Society magazine from 1977 to 1991. At the magazine, Leonard established the first phone-sex lines in 1983. The magazine fought a legal case over them in the Supreme Court, the outcome of which legalized the adult phone sex business.
At High Society, Leonard also created the genre of “Celebrity Skin” — and was threatened with lawsuits by celebrities such as Margot Kidder, Ann-Margret and Barbra Streisand after she published nude images of them.
Leonard had started out as a copywriter for Elektra Records when they were “just a little one-room office in Greenwhich Village” and also worked for various PR firms. She noted that at High Society she wrote the “lion’s share of the copy, including cover lines.”
Leonard served as the administrative director of the Adult Film Association from 1989 to 1992, until the AFA merged with the Free Speech Coalition. She moved to Hawaii in 1993, returned to Los Angeles in 1997 to work for Private Media Group, and was elected president of the Free Speech Coalition in 1998.
Mark Kernes adds:
Longtime friend Veronica Vera, who was a member with Leonard of early adult actress society Club 90, posted the following on Facebook: “Gloria Leonard needs our prayers. Just learned from her daughter Robin that Glo is in the hospital in Hawaii and has suffered a massive stroke. Robin on the way to Hawaii first available flight in the a.m. Best way to keep in touch is to FB friend Robin Leonardi (lives in Sarasota).”
Robin herself wrote, “It is with a heavy heart that I report that my mother Gale Leo [as Leonard is currently known] had a massive stroke. She is now in ICU at North Hawaii Community Hospital. Roger and I are on a plane first thing tomorrow. Please say a prayer and hold the image of Gale skipping in an open field, the sun shining, with butterflies aflutter and the wind caressing her smiling face.”
More details on Gloria leonard’s condition, and updates as they become available, will be published here and at AVN.com