Rhonda Jo Petty: Happiness is the Truth – Podcast 68

Rhonda Jo Petty: Happiness is the Truth – Podcast 68

Rhonda Jo Petty has long been a favorite at The Rialto Report. She started out on the West Coast in the late 1970s where film producers capitalized on her resemblance to Farrah Fawcett. One of her best-known roles was in Little Orphan Dusty (1978) with porn icon John Holmes. Then she moved to New York where she appeared in more films, while traveling the country enjoying great success as a feature dancer. In later years she became a cult figure with biker crowds.

However her successful film career masked a very different real life story – one that Rhonda has been understandably reluctant to talk about until recently.

Rhonda recently re-emerged as one of the special guests at the Golden Age of Adult Cinema event at the Cupcake Theater in Los Angeles. Furthermore she has also set up her own website for fans who wish to contact her.

We’re grateful to Rhonda for this candid and moving interview.

This podcast is 92 minutes long.


April Hall, who interviewed Rhonda Jo Petty for The Rialto Report, writes:

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to memories I can hardly remember what I had for lunch yesterday.

So I completely understand when I interview someone for The Rialto Report – and find that they’re a little hazy on the details of something that may have happened on the set of a film 40 years ago. I know how strange it must seem for decades to pass, and then, out of the blue, they get a call from someone they don’t know, asking questions about intimate events from their past.

So imagine how difficult must it be for someone who’s deliberately tried NOT to recall the events of their youth? Someone perhaps who was pretty traumatized by their life before they entered the adult film industry, and well, making sex films didn’t exactly help life get better.

That’s the case with the adult film actress, Rhonda Jo Petty.

I remember first seeing and hearing about Rhonda in films and magazines when she was still active in the 1980s, and thinking she had everything. She was the blonde California girl who looked like she grew up on a beach and perhaps lived in a West Coast hippy community. She looked young, fresh, and happy. She was even promoted as “the Farrah Fawcett look-alike.”

And as it turns out she WAS a California girl who WAS raised on the coast, though far from being a glamorous diva, Rhonda was a wild child tomboy: She rode horses and motorbikes, and even hung out at Charles Manson’s Spahn Ranch before the infamous murders.

Which brings me back to what she remembers about her life back then. And some of it isn’t pretty.

But here’s the difference with Rhonda: the history of the adult film has been peppered with people who blame the industry for all their problems. They lash out against it, and criticize it for not protecting them from themselves.

This is not the case with Rhonda. She didn’t have an easy time and has difficulty remembering some of it, but she’s clear-eyed when it comes to who she is, what happened, and why it happened. And mostly she’s brave to open up and talk about it to us.

One thing is sure though. She’s a survivor.

Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Little Orphan Dusty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty


Rhonda Jo Petty



  • Posted On: 16th April 2017
  • By: The Rialto Report
  • Under: Podcasts


  1. Alexander · April 16, 2017 Reply

    AT LAST!!!!!!!!!! This is gonna be epic!

  2. Valerio T. · April 16, 2017 Reply

    Thank you all very much the absolute wealth of amazing interviews you give to the wide world. This is an amazing site with amazing content.

  3. Jimmy Field · April 16, 2017 Reply

    I met RJP back in 1982 when she was dancing on the road. She was the sweetest and generous person. I am looking forward to listening to this and she fully deserves the ‘Rialto treatment’!

  4. Antonio Bruno · April 16, 2017 Reply


  5. FF · April 16, 2017 Reply

    The Rialto is like a Hall of Fame. When you feature someone it is like inducting them into the Pantheon of Greatness!!!!

  6. Marv Montag · April 16, 2017 Reply

    This is an excellent addition. We just need C.J. Laing, Desiree Cousteau, and Lisa DeLeeuw (not dead, as you tell us)…

    I know that those last two would be difficult…

    Keep up the stupendous work!

  7. Lisa · April 16, 2017 Reply

    We have been good friends since elementary school , thru junior high and even high school. Rhonda has always had a heart of gold and she is extremely devoted to her loved ones. I have amazing memories of us galloping our horses down the dirt roads in the SFV and the Chatsworth mountains where we grew up and riding dirt bikes in Gorman Desert with her dad and uncles. I even taxied her to gigs in the late 70’s and 80’s before she left to New York . I believe that the prayers of those who love her most are what sustained her and got her back home to us. Our friendship is still solid and we chat often. Love you “A”…

  8. P.I. · April 16, 2017 Reply

    I’m going to quote her… “Your mom might fall flat on her face, but she always gets up”, that sums it up perfectly.

    I will add another quote, from one of my favorite films… “The harder you’re hit, the harder you have to hit back” ( from 99 River Street ).

    Her story brings back a lot of memories of California for me. Such as the vans ( as she mentioned ), pickup trucks, Pic ‘n’ Save, A&W Drive-in, and roller derby. She also mentioned “Indian Hills”, I don’t remember that place, but I do remember a place called Indian Dunes.

    Anyway, she sounds like a caring and interesting person.

    Another great podcast…

  9. Charles · April 16, 2017 Reply

    Anyone know anything about Dorothy Lemay?

  10. Jim Stevens · April 16, 2017 Reply

    Between her chapter in Jill Nelson’s “Golden Goddesses” book and this interview, I have a whole new respect for a performer I honestly didn’t know much about beyond the name and whatever image was fashioned for her back then. I think the only movie I actually saw her in was “F.”

    She’s led a life that would have done in lesser mortals and I hope that Arizona dream comes true.

  11. Rhonda Petty · April 16, 2017 Reply

    Love You Lisa
    From #1A
    You’ll know what I’m talking about. To all my girls I grew up with. So Grateful for your support. In my walk on this planet??

  12. Annette Heinz · April 16, 2017 Reply

    Rhonda, what an amazing podcast. Do well on your website. ?

  13. William Bird · April 16, 2017 Reply

    Another masterful insight into the complex world of XXX.

    Never simplistic, always intelligent.

    Thank you RJP. Thank you Rialto.

  14. Bonbon · April 16, 2017 Reply

    Classy as always.

  15. G · April 17, 2017 Reply

    don’t forget to update Siobhan Hunter!

  16. planet_m · April 17, 2017 Reply

    Look forward to this podcast and thanks!!

    PS: I hope you all do a feature on the “Golden Age of Adult Cinema” event in Hollywood linked up above. I’d love to see pictures of the attendees and how they’re doing these days.

  17. Robert Helmer · April 17, 2017 Reply

    Another great interview thank you again

  18. Jason · April 17, 2017 Reply

    OMG April, Thank you so much for this interview. Somehow this is cathartic for me. This is an incredible exchange.

    You are amazing.


  19. Howie · April 17, 2017 Reply

    WOW . . . as in WORLD OF WONDER.

    I’m utterly amazed at the story Rhonda Jo.
    After all these years.
    Long to give you a really good hug.
    A really good hug.
    And wish you amazement and merriment . . .
    and buckets of love in the times yet to come.

    xoxo, Howie,
    aka the ghost of Richard Pacheco,
    the guy who sat next to you
    all those years ago on that couch in
    whose imagination . . .
    you absolutely set on fire!

  20. Howie · April 17, 2017 Reply


    Superb job, April!

    * * * * *

    5 stars

  21. Ron S · April 18, 2017 Reply

    Another great, sincere, caring interview. April and Ashley, you two are not only recording living history before it disappears forever but also, as Rhonda Jo alluded to at the end, almost a form of psychotherapy.

    And Howie, I’m patiently waiting for an in-depth article or podcast about CANDY and CANDY GOES TO HOLLYWOOD… done in the way that only The Rialto Report seems to be able to do.

    • Howie · April 20, 2017 Reply

      For you, Ron S., from my memoirs HINDSIGHT about CANDY GOES TO HOLLYWOOD:

      The only time I ever worked with a fluffer was in Candy Goes to Hollywood. The fluffer was supposed to get me hard off-camera and then I was to jump up, run on stage, and stick myself into Carol Connors, the star of the film. Carol was bending over from the waist and waiting for my doggy-style insertion. She may still be waiting.
      I had no problem with the fluffer. She repeatedly kept getting me erect. But every time I inserted myself into Carol, my penis wilted like overcooked asparagus. Perhaps we would have had a chance if Carol had
      merely turned her head and said “hello” to me. But it wasn’t to be.
      After numerous failures to stay hard in Carol, I got the hook. They took me out of the game. Future Hall-of-Famer Jon Martin was summoned to the set as a stunt cock for me. I had to surrender my costume and stand there in a robe while he stepped up to the plate. Harry Mohney was our director. He told me to watch how a real pro gets the job done.
      Five minutes later, Jon Martin was squirting his magic seed on Carol’s bottom. I felt about two inches tall.

  22. Jerry · April 19, 2017 Reply

    I have known Rhonda since the 80s and we have recently reconnected. I knew much of her story but this interview was so well done and inspiring. I always knew that she was a survivor and truly a wonderful person. I was part of her life during the Stoughton years with her Manager Gigi.

    Love you Hon!

  23. mark R · April 20, 2017 Reply

    Who does the first acoustic version of Help me Rhonda in the intro?

    Great job as always on the interview!

  24. ali barkar · April 22, 2017 Reply

    Truly Rhonda Jo Petty has beautiful movies I’m watching her nice movies thank you

  25. JL Hayseed · April 23, 2017 Reply

    I had my picture taken with Rhonda Jo during one of her tours. What a beautiful and tough lady. Not a happy story, but beautifully told.

  26. Charlie Imus · April 23, 2017 Reply

    Love everything about TRR

  27. C.R. · April 23, 2017 Reply

    Great interview! Rhonda Jo is an alltime favorite, had the pleasure of meeting her three times, she was always very nice. I’ve also gotten to meet her son Brock once. Just so sad what she had to go through as a kid. She’s a survivor. Be proud of your contributions as a performer, Rhonda Jo! Wish you and your family well!

  28. Paul · April 25, 2017 Reply

    Greetings April;

    Thank you for another wonderful interview. You have a profesional way of making a personal connection to reveal the real person behind the marquis name. Your preparation and caring approach make for the best interviews in any media outlet. Your interview with my favorite Candy Samples will always be the best but they are all extremely well done. Cheers to you and Ashley.

    (I did not realize that Rhonda was living 5 miles from my home in MA during her career. Best wishes to her!)

  29. Tom · April 26, 2017 Reply

    April, great as always, thank you.

    I would like to add to the wishlist…

    Connie Peterson AKA Candy Lane, Denise Sexton, Carole Savage, Catrina, Elaine Freeman, Connie Petersen, Connie Severs, Connie Peters, Connie Seevers, Connie Douglas, Sindee Moore, Connie Teterson

    Eileen Wells AKA Marilyn McKay, Eileen Mills, Ellen Enculeur, Eileen Wales, Ilene Wells, Eileen Weller, Eileen Welles, Constance Penny, Mary Ann Evans

    Crystal Dawn AKA Robyn, Crystal Down, Debbie Ross

    Cris Cassidy AKA Suzanne Meyers, Suzett Holland, Kris Kassidy, Connie Conasse, Montana Brent, Criss Cassidy, Montana, Montana Station, Monti Stevens, Buffy Stevens, Suzette Holland, Chris Cassidy

  30. Patrick · May 11, 2017 Reply

    A fantastic interview of RJP! We’ve been friends for about a year and she is so kind and nice. Her website is up and running and a bit more is added every week. http://www.RhondaJoPetty.xxx

  31. William W. · May 17, 2017 Reply

    Wow ! Rhonda Jo has always been one of my all-time favourites ! This has to be the best and most powerful interview I’ve ever listened to. What an amazing privelege to be able to learn about the real person behind the persona. Thank you, Rhonda Jo, for being so generous to all your fans, and allowing us to share your journey. And thank you April, for being the best, most compassionate, and most intelligent interviewer ever !

  32. Doug · June 22, 2017 Reply

    That was a great interview of Rhonda. She was/is a special of mine. She’s a total classic

  33. Doug · July 27, 2017 Reply

    Rhonda is an amazing lady. I really find her to be one of the most genuine ladies I have every known.

  34. Walla Walla Wombats · November 22, 2017 Reply

    I have a vintage High Society of her in that smoking hot white bathing suit but it didn’t give her name. Now I know.
    She is hotter than a tractor trailer full of cayenne peppers! How lucky lovers of erotic entertainment are that this sizzling sweltering sexy sweetheart showed her sultry self.

  35. Lit · November 23, 2017 Reply

    The sheer beauty of these podcasts is predicated on the transparency and honesty of both the interviewers and interviewees. It really is like looking into a person’s soul. From my point of view, they generate admiration and total respect.

  36. Lit · November 29, 2017 Reply

    Rhonda Jo Petty I salute your honesty, your beauty in both body and mind, your humour and cultural open-mindedness, and your love of family life.

    Best wishes,

    (London, England)

  37. Pantsman · January 11, 2018 Reply

    She was incredible in the bathroom scene from Tickled Pink. So aggressive and hot.

    Great interview that really captures her humanity and ultimate success at life.

  38. JW · February 2, 2021 Reply

    I have been a follower of TRR for some time and this interview by far has been the most organic and poignant podcast thus far. I’m left awe-struck and could’ve listened for several more hours. Great job!

  39. Peter · February 25, 2021 Reply

    My Forever Love !

  40. Eric · June 3, 2021 Reply

    I noticed RJP mentioned she was friends and roommates with Danielle Martin.

    How is Danielle Martin doing these days?

  41. Norman Gaines · February 28, 2022 Reply

    This one is right up there. Interviewing skills are not usually learned: they come with the person, so my congratulations to April Hall. Well done. My wish list though is a little different: you have already been asked about many of the subjects, but not the great Desiree West or Lili Marlene, not Joey Nascivera (Silvera), not Tom Byron, nor George Payne or Brittany Morgan. They would be my first tier.

    But there are the “mystery women”: people like Rachel Ashley; Lisa DeLeeuw, whom I have heard on and off faked her death in order to drop out of the adult industry; Nancy Suiter, another dropout legend; did she really marry some rich guy? Or was that just a story? Darby Lloyd Rains, whom I interviewed myself back in 1973 (I think). Cris Cassidy, one of the first women to break away from “straight” X films and start doing lesbian-only material. Susannah French (sic) the original one-hit-wonder of adult films, who ran John Leslie into the ground sexually, ran parallel with him as an actress and then disappeared. What about some of them?

  42. PETER MACCHIAROLI · September 10, 2022 Reply

    My Forever LOVE ! ! !

  43. ken · March 7, 2024 Reply

    That one really hit home for me . Thank you Rhonda

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