The Murder of Kathy Harcourt: England’s First American Adult Film Star – Podcast 102

The Murder of Kathy Harcourt: England’s First American Adult Film Star – Podcast 102

Kathy Harcourt was an English XXX star in America in the early 1980s.

She appeared with Lisa DeLeeuw, Seka, Billy Dee, and Ron Jeremy in adult films and 8mm loops.

She featured in magazines, stripped at the Melody Burlesk, turned up at all the industry parties.

And then she was found dead in Manhattan’s East River amidst rumors of a mob hit.

Over the years, her life and death has been a mystery.

Until today.

After 40 years, the truth about Kathy Harcourt is finally revealed.


This podcast is 96 minutes long.


Kathy Harcourt

One of the great features of the golden age of adult film is the diversity of the performers. You had all shapes and sizes, ages and ethnicities. It seemed that everyone was welcome – as long as they were willing to have sex on film.

The only thing was that they were nearly all American citizens. Sure, you’d expect that – as the X-rated industry in its early days sourced its talent locally. But even so you never really saw anyone with a genuine foreign accent.

Which made an actress like Kathy Harcourt stand out. You see, Kathy was English, and spoke with an accent so English that it was almost comical to hear her talk on screen with performers like Billy Dee or Ron Jeremy.

Kathy was a beautiful, voluptuous actress who appeared in ten or so pornographic feature films around 1980, and a bunch of 8mm loops too. She featured in magazines, stripped in the best clubs, and for a short time turned up at all the industry events and parties. She seemed bubbly and happy and sweet, and everybody spoke highly of her.

And then she was found dead in mysterious circumstances.

Kathy HarcourtKathy in Bahrain before she came to America and entered the adult industry


Kathy HarcourtKathy gets her adult start modeling for men’s magazines


Kathy Harcourt


Ron JeremyKathy posing with her friend and short-time boyfriend Ron Jeremy


Marilyn GeeKathy with Marilyn Gee


Kathy is schooled by PT in Lips (1981)


Video X


Kathy Harcourt


Kathy HarcourtKathy unwinds at the infamous Bernards bar and restaurant in New York


Kathy HarcourtKathy goes blonde in Australia




  1. Nancy · October 18, 2020 Reply


    I’ve looked for details on Kathy for years and years. I’ve been mystified why I’ve never found anything on her. This is going to be a treat.


  2. Joe · October 18, 2020 Reply

    HOW DO YOU DO IT???!

    Every single Sunday you produce a new, histroy-creating, ground-breaking new research that sheds new light on this poorly understood area of entertainment.

    This is another home run.

  3. Corey · October 18, 2020 Reply

    Absolutely fascinating. Amazing how lurid rumors grow and become “facts”. I’m so pleased this woman has found love and peace. Extraordinary reporting and production.

  4. Dave Briggs · October 18, 2020 Reply

    Kathy comes across as hugely sympathetic, warm, and sweet. It is wonderful that she is alive and well, and I am so happy to hear her story.

    • Brandon · October 19, 2020 Reply

      Best podcast yet. I couldn’t wish Kathy more happiness. I always found her an alluring presence! I support sex workers!

  5. Mel H** · October 18, 2020 Reply

    I didn’t know who Kathy was before listening, but I can honestly say that I am a huge fan now.
    What a lovely person, and it was a pleasure to listening to her.

    I hope that her return trip to NYC comes off – and that she gets to return to her old stamping ground to re-visit old memories.

    Good luck Kathy!

  6. Robby · October 18, 2020 Reply


    That’s really all I got…….WOW!!!

    Unbelievable work yet again, guys.

  7. KEVIN ANDREW KUNREUTHER · October 18, 2020 Reply

    OMG! I knew HER in BAhrain, I was 17-18 myself, the disco was Cinq a Sept and there was a couple of others at the hotels. VEry crowded and everyone dressed very flash! I lived with my parents at the Bapco town of Awali. We’d take a taxi into Manama, or Isa Town or Al-Muharraq or Riffa, or take the bus to the beach at Zallaq or Sheik’s beach. It was very free, very loose, BUT, I never knew a thing about her later porn career, never ever seen her films. She was one of many British girls living in Bahrain. Some were living with their parents, who either worked with Caltex or Aramco, or one of the many construction outfits, lots of building going on all over the island. A few were Gulf Air Stewardesses, but no one was ever that young, usually older girls, twenty two to twenty six, some got jobs as hotel clerks at Hilton or some of the shops, but usually you had a Bahraini sponsor. And a few girls were hanging with these local guys with rich dads , there were a ton of princes, but it was very easy for any American or Brit to meet some of al-Khalifah family, even Sheik Isa.
    Wow, this is so mind blowing … I was very taken with her, we danced a few times, drank, but I got feeling she was kinda hands off, but this fellow John she was with was interested in me, I thought as a friend, but my mom warned me to not hang with him, she never explained why.
    I never saw her again after 1981, she one of many young ladies I was infatuated with at that age in Bahrain. My goodness, what an interesting life she’s had.

  8. Ray · October 18, 2020 Reply

    What a life! This should surely be a movie.

    Well done Kathy. I wish you all the happiness in the world!

  9. Kevin Wardle · October 18, 2020 Reply

    Beautiful life story, beautifully told.
    I confess to having a tear in my eye by the end.

    Kathy should be on the Graham Norton Show instead of the idiots he has as guests 😉

  10. Howie Gordon · October 18, 2020 Reply

    April! Nothing short of AMAZING.
    Quite a story. Well done!

    Howie Gordon, aka the ghost of Richard Pacheco

  11. Kyl Sabyr · October 18, 2020 Reply

    On Sundays, people look forward to getting the Sunday’s paper, Others tune in to the latest Rialto Report podcast Or a news article! That was a surprise!

  12. Jeffrey Zandrowicz · October 18, 2020 Reply

    Love this story, but i also love the background music leading up to the interview, especially “Strawberry Letter 23” great job all the way around

  13. JL Hayseed · October 18, 2020 Reply

    Wow! What an amazing story, April! I’m glad Kathy is alive and well. Thanks for letting us eavesdrop on your conversation.

  14. Ron S · October 18, 2020 Reply

    What– you can’t believe something just because it’s on the internet?

    Another mystery solved. Amazing work, April. Raymond Chandler would tip his fedora.

    I look forward to seeing ‘corrections’ at IMDB and elsewhere due to the to the tireless journalism of… the Rialto Report.

  15. Jim Stevens · October 18, 2020 Reply

    Halfway through (just starting the actual conversation with Kathy), but between the detective work and the amazing stroke of luck, just wow. Knew little of her other than her name but checking out “Centerfold Fever” and “The Seductress” on Pornhub’s streaming channel now.

    Now if only LisaDeLeeuw could be convinced…one can hope.

  16. Jeff · October 19, 2020 Reply

    That is a delightful interview. Kathy Harcourt is at heart an adventurer, and her time in the United States working in the adult business was just one of many life adventures. It was fun hearing her uncover the details of her experiences in real time. The sentiment she expressed of wishing more had come out of those times is one that struck a nerve with me. Good memories are wonderful to have but do not necessarily help one get through the changing demands of life.

    When listening to you say that no interviews are put out without the permission of he interviewee, I wondered if it was common for people to have second thoughts after doing an interview. I know something like that happened with the Pat Barrington article.

    Thank you for another great podcast.

  17. Isaac · October 19, 2020 Reply

    What a twist , what a life , what a woman !

    Rialto knocks it out of the park AGAIN , excellent podcast . April and Kathy , your laughter is infectious , cheered me up a bit , thank you !

  18. Frank F · October 19, 2020 Reply

    “Bloody Lovely” podcast! Thank you April Hall for your wonderful talk with Kathy Harcourt. This podcast came with a real twist. I first became aware of the Kathy Harcourt suicide/murder rumor when Jerry Butler referenced it in the commentary for the DVD of “Little Darlin’s” (1981), which co-starred Kathy. I watched that DVD 8 years ago, made many internet searches on this rumor, no luck. Listened to this podcast, expecting the full story of Kathy Harcourt’s death, and BAM! – here’s Billy Dee meeting a 50 something Kathy in England! Like a certain Bruce Willis movie from the nineties, I didn’t see that twist coming. Great to hear that Kathy is alive and well, and happy in her life. Thinking of “Little Darlin’s” again, saddened that Jerry Butler and R Bolla are no longer with us. Their commentary track on “Little Darlin’s” is hilarious and insightful.

  19. Bernhard Roos · October 19, 2020 Reply

    The Rialto is my favorite podcast of all time – and this episode is my favorite one.

    Kathy is a delight and I was entranced from start to finish. Wonderful conversation.

  20. Frank F. · October 19, 2020 Reply

    Another gem. The storytelling in particular and the writing is wonderful.

    And Kathy! Thank for agreeing to do this interview! You are the best!

  21. Jeff Robertson · October 19, 2020 Reply

    This is pre Danni Ashe and Dian Parkinson became queen of pinup model it was Kathy Harcourt from early 1980s pin-up magazine publisher keep up the good work April and Ashley I’m look for enjoy the podcast

  22. hollyfan · October 19, 2020 Reply

    What a great job putting this podcast together! Thanks!

    I wish you could do one on Holly McCall.

  23. Johnny Jones · October 19, 2020 Reply

    I heard it said here before – but to repeat it: the stories uncovered by Rialto Report are better than the golden age films. You don’t have to have any interest in XXX to find the beauty and humanity contained here.

    Kathy is a wonderful person – and you can feel her story emerge here in real time.

  24. ANONYMOUS · October 19, 2020 Reply

    I agree: make a film from this story!

  25. Lyle · October 19, 2020 Reply

    “Kathy Harcourt died tragically in 1984 in New York.
    I know: I read it on the internet.”

    The best start to a podcast, ever!

  26. Richard · October 19, 2020 Reply

    Who would ever believe that Billy and Kathy would cross paths again, 40 years later, all the while, believing that Kathy was gone? The odds of that are staggering! Another great story and warm ending from Rialto’s amazing staff. Congratulations guys…another home run!

  27. Mike Adamson · October 19, 2020 Reply

    What a great story! Big thanks to Billy Dee!

  28. Jason Wentworth · October 19, 2020 Reply

    Kathy is a star. Pure and simple. She may not have made many films but her charm and character warm the heart and will stay with me a lot longer than the films…

    Thank you Kathy.

  29. ken · October 19, 2020 Reply

    Listened to it three times already, and I enjoy it more every time.

    “Sex doesn’t last for ever. But films do.”
    – Kathy Harcourt

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