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On this episode of The Rialto Report, we find out what happened to Helga Sven, star of 1980s adult films and magazine layouts, and also speak to a fan of hers who tracked her down and has his own unique story to tell.
Tales of mid-1980s video porn, the Vegas mob, Stalin’s Red Army, John Holmes, child abduction, Frank Sinatra, arson, attempted murder, and Candy Samples – all on this episode of The Rialto Report.
This episode running time is 78 minutes.
When older actresses started to appear in adult films in the 1980s, I always wondered: How does someone who has never appeared in front of a movie camera suddenly become a pornographic film star at a relatively late age?
I figured they were probably restless housewives looking for glamor and excitement, one last fling before the retirement community beckoned.
Or maybe they were prostitutes, looking to raise their value in the growing market for X-rated videos.
It had to one of the two, right? Boredom or business.
One actress who stood out was Helga Sven. She was a formidable looking blonde with an accent that was as heavy as her chest. She looked like a 50 year old Zsa Zsa Gabor and for a short time in the mid 1980s, she was all over the sex magazines of the era.
She was prolific in films too starring in 30 or so, such as Beyond Taboo (1984) as the incestuous mother, Thrill Street Blues (1985) where she plays a madame, and Anthony Spinelli’s Spectators (1984).
She appeared with industry veterans like John Holmes and Candy Samples, as well as the new breed of video stars like Traci Lords and Tom Byron.
Sometimes she showed up as Helga. Other times it was Ursula. Or Polly. Or Sabrina. In truth even people in the industry knew nothing about her.
She was well-liked however. Jerry Butler described her as a ‘real woman’ in his biography ‘Raw Talent’, saying that there were a lot of girls in this business, but very few women.
And then just as quickly as she appeared, in 1986 she disappeared again.
So where had she come from, and where had she gone?
As it turned out, I wasn’t the only one who was wondering. A small but determined cult of Helga started to grow, sharing information about her and trying to work out who she was.
One fan in particular was keen to track her down. His name is Klaus, and this is his story too. He’s been a fan of Helga’s since the first time he set eyes on her in a magazine in a German porn shop in 1984.
And when I say a fan, I mean he’s a fan.
Helga Sven photographs:
Wow – what a story… who knew all this?!
Thanks to Helga, Klaus and Roy for sharing these details – and to the Rialto Report for the masterful story-telling as usual.
Perfect tale about an exceptional woman that indeed took me by surprise. Glad I could be helpful in your weaving this episode through the many twists and turns and varied paths that came to be Helga Sven. Good job, Ashley. Thank you for including me.
Another fascinating, lovely figure from an equally fascinating era, another riveting podcast! Thank you for such wonderful shows. I wish every podcast were at least two hours long. And the pics and info on the website is all-around stunning. All thumbs uP!
Another excellent podcast! I appreciate all the background material that your podcasts provide on adult film personalities and the films produced during the Golden Age. Re Helga’s interview, fascinating details on her rather eventful life. However, her account of her grown children finding out about her porn star past, and how it affected their relationship with Helga, was heartbreaking. It takes me back to the R.Bolla podcast, and how the decision to enter the adult film world can cost a person dearly, in their personal life or professional life (or both). Despite this, Helga appears to be happy in her life, and I wish her well.
Keep up the excellent work!
A wonderful podcast!! I’ve been wondering for the longest time where she had been. Thank you so much for bringing her back in this interview!!
Truly “The Master Pieces Theatre” of XXX…THE RIALTO REPORT bares the fascinating soul of our lusty/legendary personalities in the most perceptively painful ways imaginable. But listening to them are pure poetry. I had the great pleasure of working with HELGA in 1984’s “Blue Ice” in a mini-orgy…and I use the memory fondly (and fondling) when necessary.
Blue Ice is one of my favorites and that is an incredibly hot scene
The Rialto Report and Ashley – these five words really stand for serious, considerate, profound great and wonderful journalism. Very rare today, indeed! In one word our Ashley is: Congenial! Ashley does solid investigation. What he reports to us is authentic. The truth. Thank you, Ashley, for telling a little bit about Helga and my great love story with her, which is in so many ways unique and incredible. Thanks also to Roy Karch, who always was so nice, wonderful, polite, helpful and understanding with me! And thanks also to that great Bill Margold, with whom I also had some e-mail-exchange back in 2008 and who was also very much helpful to find “my Helga” at last. (Of course, helas, he will not remember that most unimportant, unknown Klaus, playing never a part in that wonderful “Golden Age of Porn” in the 80s.) Anyway: Thank you very much all my dear friends for helping me to find Helga finally, the love of my life. But I bow especially before Ashley and the Rialto Report for bringing back on the scene that great and wonderful and unique Helga Sven! The sum of all women!
Do you still hear from Helga and do you still have her photos and Porn Magazines.
would love to know if she doing well,
Helga did a great layout with Gina Valentino, Gina was dressed as a nurse, Helga was almost old enough to be her grandmother but you could feel the passion they had
Whoa! Great interview.
Like Klaus, I’m also a great fan of Helga, such a wonderfull story, what a lovely lady, love and kisses from Holland,.
This is epic!!!! What story!!! What a Woman!!!! Klaus, I hope one day you two can meet!
she is beautiful, i love her!
I first saw Helga in a De renzy film. What an exciting woman.
Klaus, you friggin rock dude!
Isn’t there something odd that Klaus won’t get on a plane or send her a plane ticket? They won’t be on earth forever.
Thank you for the great interview with Helga. I started watching porn when I was 17 and love to hear how life turned out for the porn stars of 1960 & 1970’s
What a life Helga had . I wish they would make a movie about her life. The problem is women today are too thin to play her
What a beauty and great actress.Remarkable story regarding Klaus not only finding her after all these years but forming a once in a lifetime bond.
we need updates about Klaus and Helga.
I second that!!! YES, we DO!! What has happened so far and where she is now in life. Come on’ guys, jump to it.
Wow, wow, wow!
The single greatest podcast I have ever heard in my life.
Thank you very much for this most amazing listen.
Absolutely, I agree 100%! I want to know if there was a happily ever after for Helga and Klaus!
yes it was wonderful too hear The wonderful Helga she Is One Amazing women I wish I could have met her myself I Have watched all her movies she One hot mama she makes me so wet & horny! I would love too know where & what she Is up to know these days I wish I could speak to her over cell phone or in person be my wish come true Helga You so loved by so many fans you are my Favorited Ex Porn Star you are A porn Queen.
I used to model & strip & would have loved to become A porn Queen just like Helga was
I hope she Is doing well & hope her children will forgive her One day because of her porn life she had very sad too hear about Helga life. I will always love her forever
I wonder If I will meet her one day I guess I will have to wait & see
All The best Helga
Fascinating story! Count me as a fan of Helga’s for many years!
We need an update on this wonderful story!
Great listening even for a non fan
Helga seems to have packed in 10 different lives in 1. What a beautiful and strong lady.
I’ve only known of Rialto Report for a couple of years, and am still hearing the oldest podcasts for the first time – like this one. And what an amazing one it is! As others here have urged, I’d love to hear an update.
To me, the most tragic thing is that Helga’s children won’t speak to her even now, just because of something that happened for a few months so very long ago. I can understand their initial shock, dismay, and anger – but a lifetime grudge makes no sense to me at all. Time should’ve healed the wounds by now, surely.
To anybody who’s ever looked at a porn video or magazine: those performers you’re enjoying are all *somebody’s* child, or sister, or parent, or spouse. Why is it OK to enjoy watching them, but suddenly so unforgiveable if it turns out they are from your own family instead of from some other family? To me, this seems like hypocrisy in the extreme.