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Much has been written about the film Deep Throat since it premiered in New York in June 1972.
You may even know the story by now… how the film was the biggest hit of the ‘porno chic’ phenomenon, how it turned actors like Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems into overnight stars, and how it all broke box office records.
What’s also true is that the lives of those involved were never the same.
– Linda Lovelace became America’s first porn star celebrity before turning into porn’s first victim, adopted by feminism as proof of porn’s damaging effect on women.
– Harry Reems’ dreams of a mainstream acting career died overnight, and to make matters worse he was then put on trial in Memphis with assorted mobsters, accused of conspiracy to transport obscene material across state lines.
– Gerry Damiano, the film’s director spent the rest of his career making pornography while looking over his shoulder fearing the return of the connected men that had threatened his life.
The whole film and its cultural impact has been explored, argued and scrutinized. Surely there’s nothing left to see here, no stone unturned, right?
Actually, yes there is.
In fact, I think that the most interesting ‘Deep Throat’ story is a different one. Forget Lovelace and Reems, the trials and the mob, and the cultural analysis paralysis by anemic academics.
I wanted to know about the mysterious actress Dolly Sharp who portrayed Linda’s friend ‘Helen’ in the film. She was an older woman, who looked like she’d stepped off the set of a sitcom like ‘I Love Lucy’. There was something unusual about her. She just didn’t seem to fit in. Who was she? Where did she come from?
I knew that she’d made a handful of other adult films in a short period of time in the early 1970s, but she never gave an interview, and I found no biographical information about her. Almost everyone else from Deep Throat had been tracked down over the years, but Dolly… she just disappeared.
For ten years, I searched for answers about Dolly Sharp and her life. I spoke to anyone who knew her. From Gerry Damiano and Harry Reems who worked with Dolly on Deep Throat, to actors who appeared in other films with her like Fred Lincoln and Jamie Gillis, even one of the first porn agents, Tallie Cochrane.
And what I eventually found about her was surprising and remarkable. It’s another weird and wonderful story from the world of 1970s adult film.
This is the first part of our new mini-series, The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp – Part 1: Who Is Dolly Sharp?
This podcast is 34 minutes long.
Nice work! Looking forward to Part 2!
I’m totally addicted to these pod cast. Due to your hard work, I feel like I earned a degree in porn. I look forward to Porn 101 every evening.
Always loved her and wondered if we’d see her again or what happened? Thanks for this podcast series 🙂
Thanks for listening DG!
Dolly Sharp made appearance in the 1972 movie iconic x-rated film deep throat that was really cool podcast keep up the good work
Thanks as always Jeff!
Great work & tyvm!
Fascinating!! Thank you.
Thanks for listening Steve!
When I finally saw Deep Throat for the first time (don’t think it was ever screened in Canada), I was very surprised at Dolly’s DP scene, which I suspect really pushed the boundaries for 1972. I wonder if any of Deep Throat’s legal problems arose from that scene, more than for Ms Lovelace’s performance? I’m also curious if the DP scene was ever cut from some showings in the US. Anyone know?
When I first saw Dolly Sharp in Deep Throat as a young guy, I didn’t really think much of her. At the time I thought Marilyn Chambers, Carol Connors and a few years later Seka were much prettier than Dolly. But as I got older and paid more attention to just looks, I found Dolly very sexy. I really liked her lean athletic dancers body. I also felt the same way about Georgina Spelvin, I don’t think Georgina would place in a beauty contest next to other stars from that era but I thought Georgina was much sexier than almost all of them, including Seka. Never felt any heat from Seka but Georgina you could see it in her scenes.
I guess today that is why Milf porn is so popular, many of the top stars in this genre are in their mid to late 40’s, but they have fitness bodies from spending a lot of time in the gym and are in a lot of cases much sexier and sophisticated than the girls in their 20’s.
Another woman from the mid 80’s who reminded me of Dolly Sharp was Chelsea Blake, like Dolly Chelsea came from a dancing back ground and had a lean, toned athletic body, and beauty wise Chelsea had no where near the looks of the top stars from that year, Ginger Lynn, Amber Lynn, Crystal Breeze and the stunning Angel who looked like a supermodel. But Chelsea had such a natural raw sexuality that you couldn’t keep your eyes off of her in her scenes. Even when she did a scene with Amber Lynn, Chelsea was just as hot.
Mind posting a playlist of this episode‘s music tracks? It‘d be much appreciated.
I always liked Dolly Sharp in Lady Zazu’s Daughter (aka Millie’s Homecoming). In a weird way it felt like a semi-improved adult film. You can totally tell in first scene with Tina Russell that Dolly knew her lines and actions but improved some stuff in there, her former stage presence she used to her advantage.
Loved part 2, can’t wait for part two.
Thank you DubipR!
Joe Marzano (of Venus in Furs 1967 fame) always claimed that he had shot a porn film with Dolly Sharp. The consensus is that it wasn’t finished, I just remember him telling me he ran out of film before the cum shot. I’m writing a huge piece for my blog spot on Joe Marzano, of course I’ll include the Dolly info there…..
Well now…talk about a cliffhanger. Is it next Sunday yet?
Wow…what a start, to a very intriguing story! Can’t wait to hear more from this Dolly fanatic, and I bet it was shocking for him to see Dolly in Deep Throat.
Rialto…where is Angel West? Can you find her? My all time favorite…
The best podcast half hour I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to.
We so appreciate it Harry!
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful indeeed!
I love the story-telling, the interviews, the music, Ashley West’s voice and the crazy anecdotes.
Thanks so much JJ!
Bring on Episode 2…. And Episode 3 too hopefully!
Thank you Paul!
This is all well and good, but I dare anyone to sit through ‘Linda Lovelace For President’ (1975). Madness!
And the relevance of that film to this podcast is….?!
Was Dolly Sharp in ‘Linda Lovelace for President’?
Okay, I was grasping for straws (though there’s the obvious ‘Throat’ connection).
Everyone should experience the scene featuring Chuck McCann & Joyce Gibson in a hot tub, though.
Can’t wait for Part 2.!!!!!!
Hello please get fast with the second part of Dolly Sharp , I Will be waiting for that, so Have You información about Carol Connor ? She was the nurse on Deep Throat movie.
Listening to her boyfriend tell his story during the last ten minutes was absolutely heartbreaking. You could hear in his voice how totally shattered he was. Another fascinating report and I can’t wait to listen to part two.
Thank you Jemal!
Absolutely fascinating. Thank you for this series.
Just came back to the site and loving the podcasts! Thanks for all of your hard work and for searching out Dolly Sharp! She is one very talented lady. Funny and seems to have fun. So graceful.
Hi April and Ashley!
First of all I want to congratulate and thank you for the excellent work you do. I take this opportunity to ask which song starts the episode The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp, Part 1: Who Is Dolly Sharp? – Podcast 109.
Thank you very much Luís Virgílio Caldas (Joaninhas Raras).
Sad reality of Helen Wood’s career. It’s ironic that she got her Hollywood break in a comedy dance movie called “Give a Girl a Break”. As a dancer and one of the three main characters, Helen was competing with new starlet Debbie Reynolds and well-known dancer Marg Champion, but Helen was the better dancer. If you can imagine Cyd Charrise with shorter legs, that was Helen. Somebody should have put her together in a movie with Donald O’Conner. After the huge success of Singing in the Rain, everyone thought Give a Girl a Break would be another hit, but it tanked because there was no well-known leading man, leaving the film to faulter, and as the saying goes in Hollywood you’re only as good as your last movie. Celebrities can survive a few hardships, but lesser known talent can’t. It’s a crying shame. She had such beauty, was a great actress, and was an awesome dancer.
I should check out “Give a Girl a Break”
Thank you for bringing this to light.
Is there a chance you’re going to post a playlist of this episode‘s music? I’ve found playlists for other episodes on spotify, but not this one.
I’m especially interested in the funky instrumental that starts at 03:16 after the clip from the movie “Mind if I smoke… While you’re eating?”
It sounds so familiar, but I just can’t place it.