Serena: Hippie, Kinky, Teenage Cruiser
Podcast 39

Serena: Hippie, Kinky, Teenage Cruiser <br />Podcast 39
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Serena was one of the most popular stars of 1970s adult film. She stood out from many other actresses. She was striking, aloof, distant, and cool and had a genuine star quality.

She was private and enigmatic too, and details of her life seemed to be mysterious and unknowable.

This is set to change however with the publication of her autobiography later this year, entitled ‘Bright Lights, Lonely Nights’ (Bear Manor Media).

On this episode of The Rialto Report, we are joined by one of the first directors Serena ever worked with – the rockabilly Rasputin, Johnny Legend, who remains her friend to this day, and who describes what it was like to make ‘Teenage Cruisers’ – one of the strangest films to come out of the golden age  with Serena.

And we speak to Serena herself, as she prepares to come back into the public spotlight and reveal all for the first time.

This episode running time is 109 minutes.

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It’s a complex and compelling story, detailing her life as a teenage runaway, single mother, underage performer in the adult industry, dancing at the Mitchell Brother’s O’Farrell Theater – whilst all the time struggling with undiagnosed mental illness.

Serena and JamieAnd then there was Serena’s relationship with Jamie Gillis. It was a striking affair between two of the biggest names in adult film. She was a Californian, hippy red-head. Jamie was a dark, intense New Yorker. She moved to New York to be with him – and their relationship was unusual. It played out in films and in their private lives; on screen Serena would often assume the passive role in explicit S&M scenarios that were notable for their extreme sexual content. Some doubted whether they were truly consensual, whether Serena was being coerced or manipulated.

When we spoke to Jamie in the last years of his life before he passed away in 2010, he was clearly still enamored with her.

Here’s how he wrote about meeting Serena:

“I first eyed Serena when she was posing for Sam Menning in his LA studio in 1973 or 74.   She was writhing around naked while Sam snapped away and I was immediately smitten. He told me she was living with some guy in a remote area of northern California. I gave him a “too bad” shrug and left but I never forgot her.

SerenaA few years later she showed up single in New York City as the featured dancer/stripper at the Show World Center on Eighth Avenue and 42nd St.The place was going strong as a multi-level Times Square sex emporium and as I lived in the area, it was my neighborhood ‘playground’. A couple of floors featured 25 cent peep show girls. What a great relief it was to be able to go look at a naked girl for almost nothing and either stay to masturbate to her or simply bask in the wonder of it all.

An upper floor was dedicated to live sex shows but Serena’s act was much more demure. She danced around the stage with very easy, fluid motions, waving her arms overhead as if she were a young sapling bending with the breeze. You weren’t so much aroused by her performance as moved by it. You just wanted to hold her and love her. Maybe I was just pleased that this angelic, blond vision with the great ass and snub nose had come to a place and time where she was within my reach.

All I had to do was go backstage to say hello and she was mine”.

In 2001, Serena was in a coma that resulted in her losing parts of her memory. She’s written her autobiography by piecing together her life with help from family, friends and fans. It has been a journey of discovery for her almost as much as it will be for the reader.

So who is Serena today, and how does she remember the years in the adult films? What does she make of her role as the one-time Queen of Kink? And what is the truth behind her relationship with Jamie Gillis?

 

Rare Serena photos:

Serena

 

Serena

 

Serena

 

SerenaSerena and Bill Margold

Serena and Jamie GillisSerena and Jamie Gillis

Serena and Johnny LegendSerena and Johnny Legend

Serena

Keep up with Serena:
ClassicPornSerena.com
Facebook.com/70sStarSerena

As you wait for her autobiography, read Serena’s latest writing:
‘The Act Itself’ magazine by Bear Manor Media

29 Comments

  1. Susaye · July 20, 2014 Reply

    Another. Classic. Interview.
    The best.

    The Rialto rocks.

  2. Dave Cummings · July 20, 2014 Reply

    At last!!!! This is the one I’ve been waiting for… I love all the episodes, but Serena is an all time fave. Looking forward to her book(s).

  3. Ozzy · July 20, 2014 Reply

    Serena was always one of the hottest, most enthusiastic performers of the golden age. Definitely one of my favorites of all time. Thanks for another great interview.

  4. William Margold · July 21, 2014 Reply

    I have been in love with being in love with Serena since we hugged way back in 1974. She is my spiritual sister. The Rialto Report graciously gave her a couch to repose upon for almost two hours, and she bared just enough of her soul to suggest that she is still in complete control of it…and her destiny. May she “live long and prosper.”

    • April Hall · July 21, 2014 Reply

      I love when Bill Margold shows his soft side! And I think Bill and Serena’s relationship is as romantic as Serena’s relationship with Jamie – maybe even more… Soul siblings forever.

      • Hank Rose · July 22, 2014 Reply

        Have you ever considered recording adult audio book voice overs? You have such a maternal voice that makes porn interviews sound earth motherly. Like Miss Royalle, I never had a mother, so the sound of such a voice is comforting.

  5. roy karch · July 21, 2014 Reply

    For me, this conversation with Serena is the most unexpected interview of the series thus far. I fondly remember Serena, in my project, ‘The Reincarnation of Serena’ saying off script but completely in character, “I’m the best slut in this county!” And she was! Bravo Serena. Here’s to you.
    And bravo to April Hall, phew are you good!

  6. Mark · July 21, 2014 Reply

    amazing interview. thanks for that. i’ve seen a few of her movies like ‘coed-fever’, ‘afternoon delights’ and insatiable.

  7. They would be Giant · July 21, 2014 Reply

    Unrivaled in quality, TRR once again excels, if not surpasses itself. I’ve been waiting 30 years for this kind of insight. The films are great, but these stories are even richer and more interesting.

    Recommended – especially for those who thought they had little interest in the golden age. This is the real Boogie Nights – as told to Raymond Carver.

    • April Hall · July 30, 2014 Reply

      “This is the real Boogie Nights – as told to Raymond Carver.” – can we trademark that? 🙂

  8. Oy Vey · July 22, 2014 Reply

    Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful! Another great interview! Thanks so much for The Rialto Report!

  9. Hank Rose · July 22, 2014 Reply

    Raunch royal kink couple Serena and Jamie were indeed the raincoaters’ porn star pair. In my erotic dictionary, I define orthodox as the ultimate hardcore definition of porn as opposed to conservative feminist or retro reform.

  10. shane hardy · July 22, 2014 Reply

    great interview. loved it. she is a great lady.

  11. Frank F · July 23, 2014 Reply

    Kudos to April Hall and Team Rialto for a wonderful interview with Serena. Another star from the Golden Age that I was not really aware of till this interview. I am definitely going to look at acquiring some of her films that were discussed during this interview. And, I look forward to her book coming out later this year.

  12. Cathy Gigante-Brown · July 24, 2014 Reply

    I found this podcast so moving that I had to take some time to “digest” it after I listened to it last night. I applaud Serena’s candor and bravery, and look forward to reading her biography. Like Jamie Gillis, I just want to give her a big hug!

    • April Hall · July 25, 2014 Reply

      I know Cathy – we are so grateful for Serena’s candor. It’s incredibly brave for someone to share themselves in this way. We feel this way about all the Rialto Report subjects. I can’t wait to read Serena’s book!

  13. K marshall · July 28, 2014 Reply

    Thank you April. Yet another mesmerizing installment
    of RR. Serena’s book will be
    A singularly sharp bas relief
    time capsule of that core
    porn era. Unrepentant hippie
    chick and unapologetic
    participant. Impossible to
    duplicate. Thanks again.

    • April Hall · July 29, 2014 Reply

      Thank you so much. Now we want to change the podcast title to Unrepentant Hippie Chick!

  14. Howie Gordon (Richard Pacheco) · July 29, 2014 Reply

    LOVED THIS! The depth added to this genre by The Rialto Reports is a magnificent gift to the sexual media of a
    bygone age. It humanizes, it legitimizes, and it immortalizes in ways so far beyond what the persnickety, guilt-battered mainstream ever could have even imagined. HOPE SUDS! Ashley and April are just giving away these boxes of HOPE SUDS! How I love to fill my bathtub, light a vanilla-almond scented candle, and just luxuriate in tales of the bold tumescence of the human race. xoxo – Pacheco

  15. raimundo · July 29, 2014 Reply

    Serena was very good on her films, so sexy and coquette, one of my favorites of the 70′, cheers

  16. John A. Mozzer a.k.a. Alan Adrian · July 29, 2014 Reply

    I used to visit Marc Stevens, hoping Serena would be there. Marc always had guests, but never Serena when I visited him.

  17. Serena · July 30, 2014 Reply

    You left me with a smile — thanks for the pleasant interview! I’ll be in NYC next spring with my book, “Bight Lights, Lonely Nights,” hope we can meet then!

  18. xavier · August 17, 2014 Reply

    The RIALTO REPORT: NOBODY DOES “IT” BETTER.

  19. Chuck B. · October 16, 2014 Reply

    An amazing interview with one of the sexiest actresses from the most eroctic period of adult film. The first scene I saw Serena in was the jacuzzi scene from Insatiable. I was instantly smitten by her cute little nose and short blond hair. She oozed sex appeal back then and presently as well.
    I am bipolar also, and her description of the extremes of emotions a bipolar person feels was as an accurate account as any I’ve heard before. Thanks Serena, and April, for an enlightening, and pleasurable insight into your life.

  20. mark · November 27, 2015 Reply

    serena…..by far my favorite porn actress ever…..you were/still are very sexy……loved the hairy arm pits!!!…..and still have some of your wrestling videos….vs uschi/candy samples/dutch po/lorna/hillie/and siv elkie……all very exciting…….who were your toughest to wrestle??? top five you had to go against??

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