The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp – The (Short) Movie

The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp – The (Short) Movie

In our recent four-part podcast series The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp, we followed Ashley West’s search for the enigmatic Deep Throat actor with the mysterious past, his discovery of her successful career on stage and in movies as Helen Wood, and what happened after Dolly left the film industry for good.

As a coda, we’re pleased to present a teaser film of Dolly’s story, showing extracts of her from the Ed Sullivan show, as well as rare photographs and interview extracts.


The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp


  • Posted On: 17th October 2021
  • By: Ashley West
  • Under: Podcasts


  1. Jim stevens · October 17, 2021 Reply

    Impressive! Are you still working on a documentary of the 70s porn industry?

    Whatever anyone’s opinion of Helen/Dolly may be she was by far the best thing about Deep Throat. Even in that environment, she had a way with a line and a spark about her.

  2. Paul Dee · October 17, 2021 Reply

    Sensational – and amazing to see these images after having been an avid follower of the mini-series.

    May there be many more Rialto films in the future!!!

  3. Kelvin Jones · October 17, 2021 Reply

    I love it, and does this mean that you filmed all of the interviews that featured in the podcast series?
    Amazing to see this.

  4. Ira · October 17, 2021 Reply


  5. David W · October 17, 2021 Reply

    Wow! She sure was comfortable in front of the camera.

    While I understand it was a very repressive time, the boyfriend comes off badly by portraying himself as some kind of victim. She had an amazing life and he is hurt because he didn’t like all her choices? Unfortunate.

    I love the podcast by the way. If you make a documentary, I’m sure it will be amazing as well.

    • Bondurant · October 17, 2021 Reply

      I don’t think he portrays himself as a victim. He is being honest about his emotions and it’s quite clear it impacted him deeply. He is not a product of the 21st century. I would wager his response was the same as most men of his era would have reacted.

    • April Hall · October 18, 2021 Reply

      Thank you David!

  6. Jeff Robertson · October 17, 2021 Reply

    Awesome Article and Short Video Keep Up Good Work

  7. Bob · October 17, 2021 Reply

    The best line ever spoken in porn!

  8. Mike · October 17, 2021 Reply

    For me the podcast is the artistic backbone of these reports and I wait for them because with a double whammy of dyslexia and ADHD reading takes an effort. This piece on Helen Wood is the best definitely a masterpiece. I hope you continue with adding video to future reports. You done very well taking something no one wants to admit and actually make it interesting. Again, congrats on, your masterpiece.

    This took me sometime to write.

  9. Andrew · October 17, 2021 Reply

    There has to be an award…somewhere, that should be given to the Rialto Report for putting together this series. To say this production is excellent is an understatement.

  10. Andrew · October 18, 2021 Reply

    Hi got another question here, what about the red head nurse?
    Oh and thanks for what you do, I only have interest in the classic stuff like cry for Cindy and so on.

    Cheers Andrew

  11. J. Edgar Gonzalez · October 18, 2021 Reply

    Thank you for giving Helen Wood the tribute she has long deserved. Your Podcasts gave us a greater understanding into this mysterious triple-threat artist. You even managed to make us feel empathy for Helen’s partner, who held her as she died. It is too bad most of the Hollywood stars that Helen worked with in the 1950s and 1960s have passed away. It would have been great to hear what Debbie Reynolds, Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Fosse, Ed Sullivan, etc etc. thought of her. I wonder if Chita Rivera and William Friedkin still remember her? Despite all of the new information, Helen Wood still remains mysterious. Why couldn’t she find employment as a dance, voice, violin or acting coach after her performance career came to an end — or was it all or nothing for her? And if an older and equally talented actress such as Georgina Spelvin could carve a career in 1970s adult film, why didn’t Helen – or was it shame and/or fear of Deep Throat-style federal prosecution? Either way, the world was a much better place because Helen Wood was in it. May she rest in peace.

  12. Art Williams · October 18, 2021 Reply

    Thank you Ashley for the tremendous work you’ve put into this piece. It was quite gripping, sad. Every week I come to TheRR and, whether it’s new posts or items I find browsing through the archives, I am never disappointed.

  13. Russ · October 19, 2021 Reply

    After listening to the four Dolly Sharp podcasts (several times!) I can’t get the ‘theme song’ at the start of the podcasts (and last 35 seconds of the vid) out of my head. It doesn’t appear to be in the movie ‘Deep Throat’…I listened to the soundtrack album and it isn’t there either. What is the song and who is the artist?

    This is the most AWESOME website!! Congrats on the BEST podcasts on the web!

  14. NSS · October 19, 2021 Reply

    I’ve been a huge fan of this site and the podcasts for over a year. As a recording engineer, I do have some software that could be used to help clean up and correct some of the noise on old recordings and interviews and I would love to volunteer my services to help preserve the legacy of these amazing people. Please advise, thank you.

  15. Heather Drain · October 24, 2021 Reply

    Once again, the Rialto has left me breathless! This whole series is incredible. Continually riveting, beautifully researched, and all the while remaining objective. There are points where I feared for Helen while listening to her partner’s intensely psychotic reactions about her past life. Yet, you guys were able to do the thing that so many can’t or just flat out refuse to do and that is portraying humanity. In a world where most see the world in only black and white, the Rialto shows us all the colors and gradients in between. Keep up the consistently great work!


  16. Bug Morris · December 1, 2021 Reply

    Helen’s story is so complex and spottily documented, but Rialto Report did the work and turned out a gripping piece of storytelling. One of the oddest twists of her life is that she ended up with the man in the video, who was by his own account obsessed and violent. To be honest, I get angry watching him speak, but in the end he is the one who preserved the memory of her multifaceted life.

    Excellent work.

  17. Rockit · January 12, 2022 Reply

    There is a lot of great stuff here. Brings back a lot of memories of the old Times Square. Al Goldstein wouldn’t recognize the place today!

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