Juliet Anderson, also known as Aunt Peg, was an American pornographic actress and adult movie producer, relationship counselor, and author.
Juliet entered the adult movie business relatively late in life at age 39, but quickly built a reputation as one of the premier performers of the golden age, appearing in over seventy films, often portraying giddy, insatiable women determined to enjoy life and sex to the maximum extent possible. In 1987, she started a new career as a relationship counselor and massage therapist, before returning to adult entertainment in the mid-1990s.
Juliet passed away on January 11, 2010 of a heart attack.
Twenty years ago, an English writer, Spencer Kansa, befriended Juliet, and visited her at her California home. This is a wide-ranging unpublished conversation between them, covering Juliet’s life before adult films, as well as her memories of making movies such as Pretty Peaches (1978), Talk Dirty To Me (1980), and Insatiable II (1984).
Spencer Kansa is the author of ‘Wormwood Star: The Magickal Life of Marjorie Cameron’, ‘Zoning’ and ‘Out There: The Transcendent Life and Art of Burt Shonberg.’ You can find out more about his work here.
Juliet Anderson – A Life
By anybody’s estimations, Juliet Anderson lived one helluva life. During her 71 years, she blazed across the sexual landscape like a force of nature, fueled by an incredible sense of adventure and an insatiable lust for life. A wild ride that came to an untimely end on January 11, 2010, when she was found dead by a visiting friend in her bed at her home in Berkeley, California, having suffered a heart attack.
A memorial service was held on January 26 at San Francisco’s Centre for Sex and Culture, to celebrate her well-lived, well-traveled life and, in the wake of her passing, her niece, Monica, offered this tribute: “My Aunt, as we all know, was like no one on this planet. She lived life on her terms and fought for her right to do whatever the hell she wanted. She was kind, passionate, a free spirit…my Aunt always inspired me to be true to myself. As a young woman she taught me life lessons I carry with me always: how to be a Wild Woman; how to apply make-up so I don’t look like a trollop; how not to use products on my face with mineral oil (oh the horror!); how it is humanly possible to love someone and not like them at the same time. While going through the papers on her desk, I came across something she had written on a purple (her favorite color!) lined index card:
“My theme for 2010 is to continue to do good in my life for myself and others, have fun, learn, be open to change and new experiences.
Be open to my wisdom within, never take anything for granted.
Take a great trip with someone.
Start my book.”
Born Judith Carr in 1938, Juliet grew up with her sister and parents in Burbank, California, “before the smog, NBC and shopping malls,” she reminisces. Her father, Fred Carr, was a renowned jazz trumpeter in the big band era of the 1930s and ‘40s, and the family traveled with him as he toured across America.
Juliet’s own early aspirations to be a singer, dancer, and Hollywood actress were thwarted by illness, latterly diagnosed as Crohn’s disease, a disorder that subjected her to bouts of manic-depression and chemical sensitivity which left her with a highly sensitive personality. Ironically, this illness would become the key that helped unlock the door to the X-rated profession that would make her famous.
After graduating from California State in Long Beach with a major in Art and a minor in English, she worked a series of unusual jobs including a stint as a secretary in Miami for artist/playboy/nudie film producer, Sepy Dobronyi. Leaving America in the early sixties, Juliet went globetrotting, teaching English in Europe, Mexico, and Japan where she immersed herself in the cultures and became fluent in the languages. Eventually, she settled in Finland where she worked for the Finnish Broadcasting Company as a radio programmer between 1971 and 1977.
Along the way, she enjoyed a string of relationships, including a ‘platonic’ love affair with classical guitar virtuoso John Zaradin, a non-platonic romance with the Greek politician Alexander Papadogonas, and a short-lived marriage to an American naval man. “My philosophy has always been there are people to be lovers with, even if it’s for one night or one week or a lifetime, and then there are those people you should be platonic with and you have a love but it’s of the heart.”
Often, after her radio work was done, she would visit a local hotel and proposition foreign businessmen in the nightclub bar: “I’ve always loved sex, and I’ve always been very straightforward about it.” Later she’d make an important connection between her lusty nature and her debilitating condition: “I did some research at a medical school library and found out that good sex doesn’t necessarily mean intercourse, but it means skin contact and orgasms, and that strengthens the immune system. Crohn’s Disease is an auto-immune deficiency, so sex has been like medicine for me. Sex has literally kept me alive. That, and watching what I eat. But I attribute it mostly to having good sex, and not being afraid to tell men what I like and how to do it. I’ve educated a lot of men all over the world!”
While driving to work one day she experienced what she describes as “An epiphany! A very loud, clear voice within me said, ‘It’s time for you to go home and start working on yourself’, and I knew I had to leave and return to the United States. But the radio stations in America were very different and, anyway, I really wanted to get into film.”
On her return to America in 1977, Juliet moved to San Francisco, where she hoped to resume her radio career and produce documentaries. Opportunities proved thin on the ground, but the burgeoning sex industry that had taken root in the city in the post-hippie haze offered a wealth of possibilities. Heeding a lover’s suggestion, Juliet decided to exploit her sexual allure and work as a dancer at The Screening Room, where porn flicks were projected and soft-core sex shows performed on the cabaret stage upstairs. The theatre’s owner, Alex de Renzy, was also producing his own smut, and that year, at the ripe age of 39, Juliet made her debut in his porn classic, Pretty Peaches (1978). She proved to be a natural. Sexually voracious, she shocked the director and others on the set when she refused to fake an orgasm and insisted on delivering the real thing.
With her platinum wedge, Scandinavian looks, sleek physique, and ever-present lingerie, Juliet personified the ultimate older woman fantasy figure, which she channeled through the guise of her self-created alter-ego, Aunt Peg. Steaming up the screen in the Swedish Erotica loops, Taboo (1980), and her personal favorite, Talk Dirty to Me (1980), Juliet became one of the first major sex goddesses from the ‘Golden Age’ of pornography.
As well as starring in many of the major skin flicks of that period, Juliet also realized her goal of creating some of her own. Simultaneously, she worked behind the camera as a director, production manager, scriptwriter, location finder, set designer, stills photographer, and casting consultant. She also set up her own fan club, mail order business, fantasy phone sex service, and casting agency. And, in the early eighties, she created a cast of sexy female characters that she took on the road for live sex comedy shows.
In 1984, she formed Afterglow Video Productions and turned svengali after discovering a young Nina Hartley, whom she directed in her first feature film, Educating Nina. Paying tribute to her former mentor, in the wake of her death, Hartley opined: “Juliet was the original cougar… before cougar was hot.”
But Juliet later charged that her directorial debut was purposely undermined by the major distributors in the porn industry, who were not ready for an actress to muscle in on their exclusive “men only” club and take a share of the profits. She further claimed that “so-called friends and colleagues” knowingly set her up with a shyster distributor, who stole the master tape of the film, along with all her money, leaving her an emotional and financial wreck.
Disillusioned, she quit the business, and between 1985 and 1990 moved to the Sierras where she managed a bed and breakfast, practiced the healing arts, and created ‘The Tender Loving Touch’, her unique brand of sexual massage and therapy. In 1990, she moved to Berkeley, where she ran a sensual massage (with benefits) practice from her residence, and lived a somewhat reclusive life due to her chemical sensitivity syndrome: “I tend to stay home because all of my senses are so acute. I’m affected by the air, sound, fragrances, so it’s hard to be out in public. I don’t party or do things like that; plus, most people drive me crazy.”
In spite of her recurring health problems, she remained a vivacious woman, armed with a warm intelligence, and an irrepressible hearty laugh. Looking back, she was proud of her position as a pioneer on the erotic frontier and welcomed the recognition that came with it. In 1994, Juliet was inducted into the Adult Video News Hall of Fame and the Erotic Legends Hall of Fame two years later. In 1999, she also made the X-Rated Critics Organisation Hall of Fame and, in 2001, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Free Speech Coalition and the Adult Entertainment Industry. Then, in 2007, Juliet received an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from San Francisco’s graduate Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. During those years, she contributed to the books ‘The New Sexual Healers: Women of Light’ and ‘The Red Thread of Passion: Spirituality and the Paradox of Sex.’ Such sexual healing philosophies underpinned her own X-rated comeback in 1999, Ageless Desire. A self-produced and directed erotic vehicle specifically geared towards the boomer generation.
Back in October 2002, I spoke with Juliet about her life both on and off camera.
Juliet Anderson – The Interview
You’ve just returned from the Medford Jazz Jubilee in Oregon with your sister; what does she think of your colorful career?
My sister’s four and a half years younger than I am and very, very different in temperament. A lot of it has to do with the life that she chose which was extremely conservative. She married at a young age, eighteen or nineteen, and her husband was conservative so she became the good wife. She loves me but we simply have never talked about my career because she’s embarrassed. I’m now accepted in their home but, for a long time, I wasn’t. Her husband said, ‘There’s no communication allowed with your sister’ – I was the fallen angel.
But the funny thing is I originally dated him and introduced him to her! This was way back before I got into the movies when I was in college, and I thought, ‘Well, I’m not gonna marry him but he’s a pretty neat guy.’ So I said to him: ‘Hey, when you’re in San Diego, that’s where my parents and sister live, and I bet you could use a good home-cooked meal.’ So he called and went over and they met, and my sister wanted to get the hell outta San Diego and college, so she jumped at the chance to marry the first person who offered her some glamour. And as soon as he got out of the military they moved to Costa Rica, where they lived for twenty-five years or more, which had its own type of glamorous life but very conservative. He finally worked his way up to being in charge of sales – for the western hemisphere – for Atlantic Richfield Oil.
To them, it was embarrassing to admit that not only did I love sex, but I was willing to share it with the world.
My sister and I, we’ve got jazz in our blood because that’s what we grew up with. I inherited my father’s perfect ear; in fact, I hear things that most people don’t [laughs]. It’s awfully painful because it’s so noisy nowadays. So many young people, especially, are deaf. I’m a good singer and I could’ve been a professional but, alas, real life intervened.
Your mother was an aspiring actress, wasn’t she?
Yes, well – she aspired when she was in high school and she could’ve definitely been an actress. She’s a very dynamic person and the closest she got was by marrying my father and being in the spotlight on the side as they traveled all around the country by train. My father was part of the 40-piece Pinky Tomlin band, and he also sat in with Tommy Dorsey and Stan Kenton. He finally became part of the Warner Brothers Studios orchestra for the musicals of that era. He eventually quit because he didn’t like being on the road. He turned down first trumpet with Benny Goodman so he could stay home with his wife and two daughters; he just loved us so much.
He was a good guy.
Oh, yeah. I had such a wonderful family. My sister and I have wonderful memories of being there… alive. I was the first baby of the Pinky Tomlin band, so I had all of these adopted aunts and uncles. I have memories of being on the train and going to New Orleans and Chicago; I grew up in that milieu. Plus, the wild side that accompanied being a musician, after the gig at night the parties would unwind back at the hotel room with some alcohol and hashish and God only knows what! My parents never adopted that lifestyle though. They really were very steady, good loving parents, and loved each other very much. They were sleeping together and having sex for sixty-four years! So, you see, I was meant to do something.
Had you actually seen much porn before you made any?
No. I didn’t even know it existed! Well, wait a minute, that’s not really true…
In Miami, in the early sixties, you’d worked as a secretary for a ‘nudie’ producer hadn’t you?
A nudie movie – shot at a nudist camp. He wasn’t in that business. His name was Sepy Dobronyi, a Hungarian count, artist, and playboy, who had married the Singer sewing machine heiress, so he had all this money and free time and he loved to have salons with well-known artists. He was quite a good artist himself and collected art and beautiful women. He had a studio that was just like a stage set out of Hollywood, away from his home and his wife and kids, and Playboy magazine shot centrefolds there. And he would interview women [laughs] for his own photo shoots, which meant he would disappear upstairs and have sex with them!
I was downstairs typing on an old fashioned typewriter and I was like ‘Well, they’re adults, they can do what they want to do.’ It didn’t faze me and he was very happy to have found someone like me. But I made it very clear at the beginning that the only way that I could be around him was if he didn’t put the make on me. I told him I was happily married and I wasn’t sexually interested in him, and he had a choice of lots of women and didn’t need me. So that’s why I worked for him, and it was a very fascinating period in my life.
I’ve had lots of unusual jobs. After I graduated college I never did any work that I didn’t love, believe in, and was very good at. I’ve lived in numerous professions and they’ve all been in the field of education and teaching, like teaching people about good, wonderful, playful sex [laughs]. Not exactly what my family expected but these professions have chosen me.
Before you made your first film, ‘Pretty Peaches’, you set out to make documentaries. What sort of documentaries were they going to be?
I didn’t know what documentaries I was going to make when I came back to this country, I just knew that I wanted to put onto film what I had done on radio.
It would’ve been about people, animals, whatever, anything and everything. I just knew that I was an excellent radio program producer in Finland. I loved other peoples’ stories. I’m fascinated by people and I’ve always been able to ferret out interesting facets of their lives that even they’ve forgotten. They get excited by remembering these things and it becomes a good story.
I had this facility that I put into good use when I worked for the Finnish Broadcasting Company. I loved going out and interviewing people, going to events, local little harvest and jazz festivals…ordinary people, famous people. I thought I would stay in Finland for the rest of my life, despite the cold, because I had found my niche, but I had an epiphany [laughs]. If I was a religious person I would say God spoke to me. But a very loud and clear voice within me said, as I was driving, ‘It’s time for you to go home and start working on yourself.’ And then I drove across a bridge, so you get the symbolism? But I didn’t understand it, and I pulled off the road because I was so shaken by it that I started crying. I knew I had to leave and return to the United States.
But the radio stations in America were very different and, anyway, I really wanted to get into film. I always had, since I was three years old. I got the bug then and one of the angriest times of my life was when I got an offer for a screen test from Republic Studios when I was maybe ten or twelve years old – my parents refused to let me take it because they did not want to subject their daughter to that horrendous life of Hollywood. They knew, first-hand, all of the dirty stuff that went on behind the scenes, especially with women, having to have sex with all the men in order to get a role. I was so angry – but they were right. I couldn’t have done that. I was quite ill as a child and I wouldn’t have been able to survive that. So I just had to wait a whole long time [laughs] — from 10 to 39!
So I chose San Francisco because it had a reputation for independent filmmaking and documentaries, and that’s what I wanted to do. I had never been to the Bay Area before. Of course, you don’t just flick through the yellow pages and look up documentary filmmaking, so I had to find a way to get behind the scenes and meet the right people. I had no idea how to do it. I had no friends, I was scared to death because I was in this big city in a country I didn’t even recognise anymore and a lot had changed. In Finland, the entire population was less than that of Chicago! So I suffered culture shock, and I was ill because of all the noise and pollution, and I had no idea how much more expensive this country was.
I’d lived in so many different countries and I’d adapted. That reminds me, I’m reading this marvelous book by Bill Bryson called I’m A Stranger Here Myself. After living twenty years in England he returns to the United States and it’s hysterical! I highly recommend it.
Do you want me to tell you how I got into the movies?
It was with Alex de Renzy, wasn’t it?
Yes, it’s actually a very interesting story because how does one do it? I had to meet somebody and I didn’t have any contacts in San Francisco. I was a stranger here myself, and still speaking somewhat British English [laughs]. All my credentials of living abroad and being in radio did not help me here at all. So I was taking odd jobs, canvassing, going from house to house, asking questions, being a waitress for a short time, knowing that I had to find a way to pay the rent because I quickly ran out of money.
The job I had at the time before I broke into the ‘Adult Entertainment Industry’ — it sounds so much more respectable, don’t you think?…
Yeah, like saying erotica instead of pornography.
[Laughs] Well, it includes dancers and strippers and Las Vegas shows and movies, more than just porno movies. I was selling, of all things, matchbook advertising – and I’m an avid non-smoker! But I really needed money, so I would go round the different establishments and restaurants to try and convince them to buy a certain number of matchbooks and they would have their logo and picture and name on the cover. And the artist who was designing these was a Finnish man [laughs] named Eriki who had moved to the United States – quite the coincidence.
I got a few orders and went over to his place to talk about the artwork. Here is this fairly attractive man – I mean he didn’t knock my socks off – but I need to add here that I’ve always been very straightforward about sex and I’ve always loved sex and had it on a regular basis. I’ve never hesitated in going up to a man, a stranger, I would observe him for a while from a distance to see that he wasn’t a jerk or wasn’t drinking too much and didn’t smoke. And I would just go up to him and proposition him and say: ‘I’m practicing to be a good lover. I’m horny. Would you like to come home and have sex with me?’
The lucky so and so!
[Laughs] Some of them, y’know, choked and ran away but most of them said, ‘Ah-hum… okay!’ So I did this a lot, especially in Finland, because I didn’t have a steady partner and sex has always been a very important part of my life. I subsequently discovered why. I did some research at a medical school library and found out that good sex doesn’t necessarily mean intercourse but it means skin contact and orgasms and that strengthens the immune system. I have Crohn’s Disease which is an auto-immune deficiency and I’m not even supposed to be alive – my parents were told I would be dead by twenty!
I would go to a hotel in Finland where foreign businessmen would stay; they had a bar and nightclub downstairs, and a girlfriend and I would go and sit at a distance and watch men going through their different slapping-each-other-on-the-back rituals and bragging. I would pay attention and zero in on somebody who was not acting like a complete fool and wasn’t drunk and I would walk up and proposition him. And I was used to doing that in every country except Greece.
In Greece I had a lover who was a very important man in the military and later in the government: Alexander Papadoganos, who became the head of his party. We had an incredible true love story. I met him the second day I arrived in Greece and that was it. He was it! And it wasn’t based on sex but a true deep love. In Greece, if you’re in a relationship with somebody, you have to be only with them otherwise you would be classified as a prostitute. It’s just the custom. So I was not allowed to even smile at a man, like a bank clerk or a waiter in a restaurant, unless Alexander was with me. So there I had a monogamous relationship with an absolutely wonderful man.
But it had to end because his love for his country was greater than his love for me, even though he loved me very much – and this will go in my autobiography. So I know I couldn’t stick around because he’d be obliged to marry a sixteen-year-old virgin and have children, which he ended up doing after I left.
The rest of the time, except in Japan when I was married to my one and only husband Bob, an American man in the U.S. Navy, I did not like monogamy.
Anyway I’m in San Francisco and little did I know [laughs] that it was the gay capital of the United States! I did not have a clue, and also I had never seen a pornographic film! I knew that there had always been men, from day one, with cameras who would make stag movies for bachelor parties, but I had no idea it was a big industry. So I took this artwork to Eriki and I was so horny because I couldn’t get laid no matter how hard I tried – all I would meet were gay men! So I propositioned Eriki and said: ‘Please do me a favor, I am so horny; this sounds weird, I’ve just gotta have some sex, it’s important medicine for me!’ So we had intercourse and oral and kissing and everything and it just blew him away because he had never been with any woman like me. So, he said, ‘We’re just gonna have to kinda calm down here.‘ And I said, ‘Oh, thank you so much.’ I had like six orgasms; I was multi-orgasmic back in those days, so I felt so good and my health improved.
So I’m schlepping these matchbooks around and I go over to Eriki’s another time and I just fell apart and started crying, saying: ‘I can’t do this anymore, I go to restaurants and the owners try to put the make on me and they’re these sleazy guys. I love sex but this is not for me.’ And Eriki just listened to me and said the famous words: ‘When are you gonna get smart, Judy, and start doing what you really do well?’
I said, ‘Whattaya mean? I can’t do radio here and I wanna make films.’
He said: ‘No, no, no. I’m talking about your natural talent — SEX!’
I almost slugged him! Because I thought it was an insult. But he said: ‘No, calm down, you’re in the city where they have sex shows, where you can dance up on stage and the guys don’t have to touch you and you’re in charge. You just emanate a natural, wonderful, healthy sexuality, along with a sense of humor, you’re beautiful. And by the way, I just happened to see this ad in the newspaper.’
And talk about things falling into place — there was this little classified ad saying, ‘Wanted: Attractive women over 18 for soft-core sex show. Short hours, good pay.’ And there was a phone number. So, he said, ‘What do you have to lose?’
I was scared to death but I called up and made an appointment and my heart was beating like crazy. I didn’t know what I was gonna find. The only sex movie that had been out was Deep Throat (1972), which I saw and hated, so I didn’t know what I was getting into.
I go into this little theatre in San Francisco called The Screening Room – which is now a gay theatre called The Century. It was a theatre where you saw 35mm films, and then upstairs was this small dark cabaret-type place with a raised platform stage and seats for maybe twenty men.
I went down in the basement and was interviewed by this eighteen-year-old girl who was really nice and friendly. She explained how they were always looking for people, and it’s really a lot of fun and the girls are really great, and the guys don’t touch you. You can go into the audience if you want and sit on their laps but you don’t have to. She described how the girls really like it and that most of them were students.
Then she said, ‘Lemme see your breasts?’ Well I never have worn a bra and I have these gorgeous breasts, y’know, they’re all-natural and have never sagged. So I just lifted up my sweater and she goes, ‘Oh, my God! They’re great! You’re hired!’ [Laughs] But she explained I’d have to meet the owner, Alex de Renzy – I didn’t know who he was – and that it would be a few days because he was in the middle of shooting a movie.
I heard the word movie and I thought: Oh, my God! Maybe this is how I can get behind the scenes and learn the movie-making business. I was not interested in being in front of the camera, I wanted to be behind; so, I said, ‘OK, I’ll wait.’
But she said: ‘Let me warn you – don’t tell him your age! You don’t look it, but you’re much too old to be in this business!’ [Laughs] That was when I was thirty-nine. So I expected a few days to pass, but that night Alex phones me and said, ‘Maria was very impressed with you. Can you come down tomorrow so I can meet with you?’
I was only living a few blocks away, so I went down and met him. He was very polite and had a wonderful reputation in this business. So I would never have gotten into X-rated films if it hadn’t been for the first meeting being with Alex. I was so impressed with what a gentleman he was. He did not put the make on me at all. He was bright, he was sweet. I thought, What a nice man. He didn’t even ask to look at my breasts! He trusted his assistant, he just looked at the schedule and asked when I could start work.
And then he was very smart and said: ‘Here’s the script of a movie I’m making and we haven’t cast the part of the maid yet. It calls for an Asian woman but it’s not really necessary; look through it and see if you might be interested.’
I had no idea this was a porno film; none at all! So I take this script thinking, ‘Oh, my God! This is a Hollywood movie’ [laughs]. While he makes a call, I flick through it and screeched, ‘Aggghhhh,’ and he covered up the mouthpiece of the phone and said, ‘What’s wrong?’
I said, ‘This is a sex movie!’
He said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘You’re making a sex film?’
He said, ‘Oh, yes, didn’t you know that?’ And I said, ‘No.’
And he said: ‘But I make very, very good ones. I only make one every five years, and I wait until I find the right people and the right story, then I’ll do it. Just look at the part. Now you’re not an Asian, obviously, but you can change it any way you want to suit your personality.’ Now imagine any filmmaker saying that nowadays. He then said: ‘Use a Finnish or Swedish accent because you’re blonde and see if that’s something you would have fun doing. Believe me, you’ll have fun. It’s at my home and my wife will be there. Nothing strange is gonna happen to you. I’ll send somebody to pick you up.’
So I looked at the part and thought: It sure as hell beats selling matchbook advertising [laughs]. And so I said, ‘I’m scared but, okay, I’ll do it.’
They asked if I had any sexy underwear and I said, ‘Oh, no, I just wear cotton panties!’ [Laughs] And Alex said, ‘Well, you’ll need some sexy lingerie and we’re gonna dress you up as the maid and take you out to the costume shop and get you these things.’ That’s what they did, and then they drove me to the set out in the suburbs where he and his wife lived, and we made Pretty Peaches (1978).
It’s a very good film and it’s held up as an example of what was possible during the golden era of porn. It was perfect casting because John Leslie and I hit it off real well.
You can tell.
The chemistry between us was fabulous. Not only that, but two very pivotal things in my life happened: The role called for me to get onto the bed and go to the woman lying there – who was meant to be John’s wife – she had her legs spread apart and I was to eat her pussy. Well, I had never eaten pussy before, and Alex said, ‘Well, you can do that can’t you?’
And I said, ‘Oh yeah, no problem.’ Oh, God! I had no idea what I was doing. I had never had my pussy eaten! For me, good sex was kissing and intercourse and oral sex. I mean, I love to suck cock! But I never found a man who would eat pussy. It just didn’t happen. Can you imagine that?
It was a different time, wasn’t it.
A completely different time. I mean, I love to suck cock. I practiced a lot, by the way. I’m one of the worlds best! I’ve had men who have told me over the years: ‘Your mouth is better than any pussy my dick has been in!’ (Uproarious laugh).
I think you helped elevate it to an art form!
It is an art form!
So, anyway, I had to muff dive – the lady’s name was Flower – and eat her pussy. Then John came in and took me from behind and I had some interaction with him. Then Alex said: “Cut! Okay, you’ve groped each other and you’ve kissed and sucked his cock, now it’s time for the orgasm. Y’know, just a fake orgasm. Just do a little ‘Uh-uh-uh.’ Make some noise and fake an orgasm.”
And I looked at Alex as I was sitting astride John, fucking him – I had just sat down on his cock, I think – and I said, “I beg your pardon?” And Alex said, “Yeah, the orgasm.”
I said, “You want me to FAKE an orgasm!? I don’t know how to fake an orgasm!” He said: “Oh, yeah, sure, whatever it takes, y’know. We gotta wrap this up, just go ahead and do whatever you gotta do.”
So I leaned down and whispered in John’s ear: “Just keep fucking me the way you are because you’re hitting my G-spot and I am going to explode very quickly.” He said, “OK.”
So there we are fucking and I’m making so much noise. That’s another thing – I always make noise. Then, sure enough, I popped like five or six real orgasms and I’ll never forget looking down at John and his eyes were bugged out! [Laughs] Because I’m contracting inside [laughs]. And then I collapsed on him and Alex said, “Cut!” and the entire crew were totally silent, you couldn’t hear anybody breathe, and finally I said, “See, I told ya.” It was really something. And I also ad-libbed a lot of the dialogue.
So Alex goes: ‘My God! Okay, well, let’s take a ten-minute break’ [laughs].
Before I left the house, Alex said to me: “If you stay in this business, Judy – in those days I was called Judy – you’re going to be very successful.” And I said, “Oh, really? Well, thanks anyway, but, nah, I don’t think that’s what I’m cut out to be.” He says, “Well, think about it ‘cause there’s absolutely nobody like you out there.”
So about twelve hours later the phone started ringing off the hook [laughs] from all the producers in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area. Everyone from the 16mm loops to the 35mm films; I was like hot property! So I got a lot of work right away and when this started to happen, I thought maybe that’s what the voice meant: “Go home, take care and learn about yourself.” And, I said, maybe that is what I’m supposed to do to learn about myself. It was just phenomenal.
I made very little money because they didn’t pay much – I made $200 making ‘Pretty Peaches’ and I was on the set about ten hours. Of course, it was common for the women to get paid more than the men. But $100 for being on a set making loops for fourteen hours, so I never made enough money from the films to support myself.
But my fame opened doors – and I created several different stage shows: not the bump-and-grind, throw-your-clothes-off kind of shows, but stage shows that I traveled all over the United States and Canada performing. I had a script and special music, and I did twenty minutes to a half-hour set of sexy vignettes. After they’d watched one of my movies, I would come out and do a series of characters.
There was Helen the Housewife, with the furry slippers and the laundry basket; Carol the Cook; Chris the Carpenter; Nurse Naughty, and my favorite, Elaine the Executive, where I would enter the back of the auditorium dressed in a comfortable grey business suit and very high heels, wearing glasses and carrying a briefcase just like a stockbroker. I’d walk down the aisle and stop and shake a few people’s hands, then I’d go up on stage and do this vignette. The phone would ring and I’d say, “Hello.” And a man’s voice would say, “Hi, sweetie, I just wanna check that we’re still on for tonight.” I’d say, “Oh, yes, I just got home. I’m really looking forward to our date. I’ll be ready in a half-hour.” And then I’d strip out of my conservative clothes and slowly put on a garter belt and black stockings and, y’know, a sexy dress. Then the doorbell would ring and I would leave, and the audience absolutely loved it, they were clapping hysterically.
They were all very clean shows: I never fucked myself or anyone, but I spread my pussy and I’d talk to the audience while I had my legs spread so they could see my pussy. Then I’d go to the wings and put on a little robe and walk out with a microphone and say: ‘Thank you very much. Welcome to the second half of the Juliet Anderson comedy show.” And they kinda looked at each other, and I said, ‘Now’s your chance to ask the questions that you want to know about the porno business [laughs].
I’d get women in the audience because I was intelligent and I put on a classy show. I said, ‘If you don’t ask me the questions then I’m just gonna tell you some things,’ and so it was a comedy. I’m just blessed with comedic ability – along with sex – and what better than to laugh about sex and have fun. So I would take another twenty minutes or more answering questions from the audience, and then I’d say, ‘OK, ready for the third part? Meet me in the lobby for the photos.’ And I’d go out in the lobby and there would be this long line of men wanting to have a Polaroid taken with me sitting on their lap. For that, I wore little black panties, black stockings and high heels, but I was topless. Then I would autograph the photo – in those days I charged them $5, nowadays women charge $50 – and that’s the way I supported myself. I still had the occasional movie and I was able to make enough money to live simply, but I often still had to do things like babysit and clean people’s houses.
‘Pretty Peaches’ also helped introduce Desiree Cousteau to the world, and you worked together a few times. The legend is that she ended up in a bad way in a psychiatric hospital. Is that true?
I heard that too. And that Desiree went back to the south where she came from. But Desiree was very young and very sensitive and this business can just eat you up. I mean, I would’ve crashed immediately [at that age]. God only knows what I would’ve done. I would’ve gotten very, very ill because it is a brutal business and you have to know how to take care of yourself and how to say, ‘NO!’ And how not to work with certain people and so forth. She didn’t know how to do that. I was older and I had this real-life experience. Basically, all of the people were in the films for a very short period of time and then left and that was part of their past and they don’t want anybody to know about it. So they take another name and move away and get married, whatever they do, and have completely different lives.
The only two people I know who are still around are John Leslie and Ron Jeremy, who is still making movies. I appeared in several films with John Leslie, notably Talk Dirty To Me, another number one classic – it was my finest scene. I created that entire scene myself. It was not in the script, I just did my own thing. But I don’t keep in touch with these people at all.
John lives out here near me, and the last I heard, he occasionally makes a movie, but I don’t follow the business at all now. I haven’t a clue what’s going on. As far as I’m concerned, from what I know about it, they put out junk. It’s formula and it’s junk. I was lucky to be in it when it was an art form, in the early 1980s, and I got out in time.
Where did you discover Nina Hartley? Was she dancing somewhere?
Yeah, she was supporting herself by doing sexy dancing at the Mitchell Brothers Theatre, but she was a full-time nursing student at San Francisco State. She was in a three-way marriage with another man and woman and they lived close to me.
One day, while I was shopping at the market this man approached me in the produce section, as we were both looking over cantaloupes. He said: ‘Excuse me, but you’re Juliet Anderson, aren’t you?’ And I’ve heard that so many times, and I thought, ugh, another fan. But I was very nice and I smiled and said, “Yes, I am.” His name was David and he was Nina’s husband. He explained that his wife was very beautiful and talented and wanted to get into the movies. He said that she was dancing part-time but didn’t know how to make the step, and when she heard that he had seen me several times in this market, she ordered and begged him to please tell me about her because she respected me, and knew that I would point her in the right direction.
I said, “Do you have any pictures of her? Send me three or four Polaroids,” and I gave him my address and promptly forgot all about it. A week later, I received some pictures in the mail and I took one look at them… and I was on the phone immediately because they were just amazing. I mean, this woman knew how to pose. Her body was naturally beautiful. I immediately set up an appointment to meet her at – of all places – the campus of San Francisco State in between her classes. That was the only chance we had to meet.
I agreed to take her under my wing and introduce her to the right people in the industry if she would be willing for me to be her unofficial manager. She didn’t have to pay me anything; she just had to let me set up the way to get her into the business and who to meet for a year, then she was on her own. And that’s what I did. I steered her clear of the unethical men. And I arranged her wardrobe, her hair, her make-up and her publicity pictures, and did all of the grooming necessary.
I wrote a press release about her and sent it out to several of the big players in Los Angeles. Then I set up appointments for her and wished her all of the best and that was it. I said, ‘I think you’re gonna be fabulous!’ And she turned out to be the biggest star! So I had a hand in introducing her into that field and pleasing a lot of people, and to her credit, she always acknowledged it.
She’s been very good for pornography hasn’t she? I mean setting up the ‘Pink Ladies’ and everything.
Yes, everything. I did see her films and I was really impressed [laughs]. And I was glad I had a part in it. It was so important to have her avoid some of the people who could have ruined her with the type of pictures they would have taken. Maybe the money would have been attractive, as a lure, but it wouldn’t have given her credibility. So she went in right at the top and was able to command good money and be in the best films by the best producers and directors.
You’re listed as working with some equally lusty ladies during your career, like Lee Carroll, Erica Boyer and Vanessa del Rio, who, like yourself, always seem to put in really good work and appear to really enjoy themselves.
But we weren’t in the same films together because they could only afford one star! I didn’t get to know them but I admired them very much because they had tenacity. Erica Boyer – I was instrumental in some way in getting her introduced to the right people.
I did meet them all. We respected each other and knew that we were strong women, but we only saw each other on occasions like an awards dinner night or something. We didn’t hang out. We all had our real lives. And then some of them were married, y’know, they had boyfriends and so on.
Kay Parker and I keep in touch about twice a year by e-mail and she’s such a lovely lady. She was quite a sensation in Taboo. She’s older and has her sanity, and has a different life doing some sort of counseling. She lives in L.A. and we keep saying we’re gonna meet each other someday, but who knows? I don’t go down there and she doesn’t come up here.
In the days when I was making the movies, they were shot in the San Francisco Bay Area. The police would leave us alone. You couldn’t shoot them in L.A. Now they’re made down in Chatsworth and it’s a whole different world; it might as well be Antarctica as far as I’m concerned. The only things I’ve heard about them are unpleasant and it just gives me the willies.
Some of my favorite scenes of yours are the ones with Serena and Seka. I always thought the reason those loops were called ‘Swedish Erotica’ was because you, Seka and Serena all looked like blonde Scandinavian beauties.
[Laughs] That’s right, that’s right. Oh, yes, I remember these people, but I really don’t have any idea of what happened to them. I was only in one maybe two films with Serena – I never got to know her very well. Supposedly, Seka is tending bar in Chicago and has gained a lot of weight, that’s all I know.
I never did girlfriend things with these women because we only met on the set and then we went our separate ways. Except when we would make 12 or 16mm loops, and we would all be in a big sound stage up here in San Francisco from early morning until night. They would have a whole bunch of us and we would do a couple of scenes. They never knew when we were gonna be needed, so we just used to hang around. A fourteen hours day’s work for $200 it was, like, ‘arrghh!’ [Laughs]
How did you get on with Annette Haven? Like yourself, she always came across as a worldly woman.
Annette was very, very good; very popular. But she’s extremely reclusive. I went up to her home and met her about two years ago. I was just delighted. She lives in a suburb and she’s a wife! [Laughs] She doesn’t want anybody to know about her past, so it’s interesting.
It’s because of what prudes Americans are – hypocritically – about sexuality. They read it, they watch it, they do it, but they’re embarrassed and they don’t want to own up to it. So it’s not the kind of thing that you just easily bring up. So a lot of people keep it part of their past. I don’t tell everyone now what I used to do – I pick and choose.
I guess it’s also a bit more difficult if you’re a mother now and you’ve got children.
Yes, or if you have a husband who has an important job and he’ll lose it if they find out his wife was a whore! Basically, we were called whores, nothing more than prostitutes. We certainly did make a lot of money for some of those people though. You know most of those producers ended up going to jail for income tax evasion.
Did you see that Marilyn Chambers made a comeback a couple of years ago?
Oh, that’s the one I wanted to tell you about.
The last movie I made was Insatiable 2 with Marilyn Chambers and it was one of the most disappointing experiences I ever had. It was my swansong [laughs]. I was ready to quit the business but I’d already agreed to do it and I honored my commitment. I thought what a nice final film, to be able to finally make a film with Marilyn Chambers.
I’d never met her and I was on the set first, in this beautiful mansion in San Francisco. So I’m really looking forward to it, and I was sitting getting my hair and make-up done and she comes in with an entourage of her lover, her own make-up artist, her own gopher assistant. She walks in like a queen [laughs], with this holier-than-thou look on her face. I said: ‘Oh, Marilyn, hi, I’m Juliet. I’m in the movie with you.’ She barely hesitated and just said: ‘Shut up, you bitch — I’m MARILYN! and walked out the room. Those were her first words! That was it! [Laughs] And I was just stunned, and the make-up artist, David, said to me: ‘Don’t pay any attention, she gets in these moods, that’s the way she is, she’s a real prima donna. She brings all her entourage with her because it makes her feel like she’s really important.’
I was close to tears, and David said, ‘Don’t cry, you’ll ruin all your make-up!’ [Laughs] I was devastated. And then to make matters worse, she had insisted that her current lover be the leading man. He’d never been in a film before – which was completely against the way things were done. A man may be a good lover but he has to able to get it up and keep it up – keep the wood, they call it – and come on command. This takes a particular skill for men to be able to do this. I mean they’re like machines! But she wouldn’t make the movie unless this man could star with her.
Then the director says to me: ‘While Marilyn is getting made up and ready, I want you to come in on the set and get on the bed and get acquainted with…’ whoever this man, her boyfriend was. I said: ‘Oh, my God! Really? I have to? Marilyn’s not gonna come in here and watch us, is she?’ And I explained what happened, and he said: ‘No, no, no. I’ll make sure Marilyn’s in the other room.’
This guy was really, really nervous, so I started joking with him and making him feel at ease and told the guys to turn the lights out. We just talked a little bit and I found out about what he did in life like a real person – and found that he was not Marilyn’s lackey. He felt really comfortable with me, and I was hugging and kissing him, saying, ‘You’re gonna be absolutely fine!’
So then we came to do the scene, and there were no rehearsals. They just blocked it and then you go ahead and shoot it – that’s the way it was done. The scene called for me to be with this man on the bed and for Marilyn to join us. So we started fooling around and she tried to get him hard – and she couldn’t do it! She was whispering in his ear, “C’mon, baby, ummm… ahhh”. The cameras were rolling and we only had a certain amount of time to do it, but he couldn’t get it up. So I went down and started sucking his cock and licking his balls and he got the biggest hard-on. Marilyn looked at me with daggers – she absolutely hated me! But, and I give her credit for this, she was a fine actress.
When I finally saw the film the tension doesn’t show. You’d never have guessed the animosity that she had towards me because of her insecurities. We did a good scene and that was that.
Of course, I must ask you about working with John Holmes.
Okay, that’s another good one.
I’ve heard so many stories about him over the years, about his part in that crime crew, the Wonderland Avenue Gang, who allegedly pulled hits around L.A.
I have no idea about that. I can only tell you about my experience. I discount a lot of those things, those rumors or whatever.
I personally don’t like large cocks because I’m small and have a very tight pussy, and a woman’s vagina is only six to six and a half inches long. Anything more than that is gonna hurt her. It’s gonna really hit her cervix – men with average-sized penises don’t realize [laughs] that’s the most enjoyable. It’s not the big ones. Men have to be very careful only to go in a short way if they have a large cock.
I was on a set with him, I think it was a loop, and he was acting like a real asshole. Oh, my God! He was just acting like ‘I’m John Holmes, the big stud!’ I thought I’m gonna have to work with this man… jeeze.’
So I took him aside and explained to him that he could not thrust hard, and he’d better pay attention to me or he’d live to regret it (laughs). And he looked at me and said something unprintable. That was it. The only interaction I had with him.
He started bad-mouthing me and acting like a jerk. We did the scene and I just looked him in the eye and he knew that he better not mess up! [Laughs] We managed to get through the scene – I saw it later.
By the way, we actors never got copies of the films in which we appeared. We had to go out and buy them retail!
Yes, I had a whole collection, not all of them, but most of my films. And I watched the scene with John Holmes, and it looked really good. Nevertheless I said, ‘Okay, that’s it, I’m never working with him again.’ Then, we were on the set of another movie, a year later – remember, I wasn’t in the business that long, just 1979 to 1983 – and I’d learned that he’d gotten clean and sobered up, and really fixed his life. I didn’t do anything other than just say hello to everybody and I said, “Hello, John,” and he followed me into a room, came up to me very politely and said, “May I speak with you a minute – privately?”
I said, “All right.” He said: “I want to apologize for my behavior the last time that we worked together, it was inexcusable. I was really an asshole and I really am sorry.”
I was dumbfounded! [Laughs] And I said, “Oh, my gosh! Well, we all have our bad days, and I hope that you’re happier with your life now because I know you couldn’t have been happy the way you were living given the things I was hearing about you.”
He said, “Oh, yeah, things are much better.”
I don’t know what happened to him after that, but to his credit, he owned up and said that to me. Isn’t that great?
Did you ever see the Hollywood movie, Boogie Nights (1997), about that era?
Yes, I did and it was fake! It didn’t capture the true essence of the business at all and I was disappointed. I didn’t figure it’d be good but it was extremely superficial. When I write my autobiography [laughs]… people are gonna know more about what went on behind the scenes. It was what was going on behind the scenes that was so interesting.
My wish came true because I learned the art of making films. I had no idea I would get into the X-rated film business but the reason I decided to make the second film after ‘Pretty Peaches’ was I thought: This is gonna give me access to people in the film business and I’m gonna be able to watch and learn some things.
And so I made it known right at the beginning that I was willing to work when I was not appearing in a film. They could hire me, even as a gofer, to do anything they wanted me to do so that I could be on set and watch what was going on. I learned a lot and that gave me the skills that I needed. Then I went ahead and made my own film, Educating Nina (1984).
That film broke me financially and emotionally because it was stolen from me after I put so much time and money into it. It cost $30,000 to make. All these investors I didn’t know put money into it because they believed in me and they knew I was honest. But I was purposely set up with a crooked distributor because in those days it was a big boys club of producers – only men – and they were too insecure to let a woman be a producer.
The shyster who ripped you off had the same surname as you. He wasn’t a relative or anything, was he?
No relative. He was called Larry Carr. I naively thought that I can trust him. All the producers were unethical. I should’ve gone to Alex de Renzy, but I asked my lawyer: ‘Who’s honest and will not take advantage of me? I have this really good video, and I’m introducing this marvelous woman, Nina Hartley, that I’ve shown the ropes, and this is her first film, and I wanna get it out there.’
I’d worked really hard and I really needed to get the money back. My mother and father had lent me a whole bunch of money. So these people set me up with Larry Carr… and he stole my video from me. I had to give him the master tape so that he could duplicate it – and he stole it and I couldn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t sue him or anything.
However, my experiences paved the way for Candida Royalle – which she acknowledges and is grateful for. She figured out a way to bypass the slimeballs [laughs]. She got her own Femme Productions company. She struggled for a while because of the politics involved, but she really thanked me and learned from me. I visited her frequently when I was in New York doing shows, and I stayed with her. I was just ahead of my time like I am in a lot of things. I paved the way for her and Ona Zee to move into producing and directing.
Candida was featured in a Linda Lovelace documentary that aired recently in the UK,which investigated Lovelace’s claims that she was coerced into porn by her boyfriend Chuck Traynor; and Candida pointed out that in Deep Throat (1972), Lovelace is plainly enjoying herself and that she wasn’t a good enough actress to fake it.
Yes, that’s right. It’s bullshit; it’s so bogus. The coercion could simply have been her boyfriend saying, ‘You better do that or you’re not getting any nookie,’ y’know, that kinda thing. But you were never forced to do anything. If you were, you’d just say, ‘Goodbye’ and they didn’t pay you. That’s one thing I have to say about when I was working as an actress: it was all up and above board. I worked with great people. It was just the producers in L.A. that were the unethical ones. The crew were moonlighting from television and regular movies, very talented and nice people. We were all real people and we would hang out and really get to know each other.
I never met Linda Lovelace but I know she was not coerced by anybody in the film business. She just used that as an excuse. She could’ve said, ‘No!’ You can always say ‘No!’ in this business.
I’ve always thought it’s a shame that the two most famous porn films, arguably of all-time, ‘Deep Throat’ and Debbie Does Dallas, are two of the worst, shoddiest examples of the genre.
I know. Nowadays ‘Taboo’ seems to be a film that everybody wants to have. I get a lot of e-mails about it – but it’s not available. Y’know, if we’d known we’d have bought up a bunch of these films. As I said, we had to buy them retail. They wouldn’t even give us a complimentary copy of our own film.
One titbit from the Lovelace documentary was that she was in a ménage à trois with Traynor and Sammy Davis Jr, and I wondered, you’ve obviously been hit on by many guys over the years – are there any famous liaisons you’d care to recall?
[Laughs] I had some famous liaisons but I don’t care to recall them! [Laughs]
Is that for the autobiography?
I don’t believe in name-dropping. I will only use names when I have people’s permission. Yes, there are Hollywood stars that put the make on me, but if they weren’t nice people I didn’t care what they did. I had to have some chemistry going with them. I didn’t care how famous they were.
There really is a downside to being famous. I didn’t like the limelight at all. I think everybody should have fifteen minutes of fame and then ‘Please, just leave me alone.’ So I was getting hit on by the wrong kind of people. I had a very bad experience with… nothing bad happened to me… I don’t mind telling you this person’s name because of how horrible he is… Bob Evans.
The film producer?
Yes. I didn’t know him very well but he wanted to interview me to do a docudrama with me. So he flies me down and puts me up at this fancy hotel and had his chauffeur pick me up and take me over to his mansion, where he was lounging by the side of the pool. He didn’t even get up when I came in! He just sat there and looked at me. He didn’t even say, ‘Please, take a seat’ or anything! He was so incredibly rude and I quickly realized that the only reason he had brought me there was to fuck me.
He’d called me at the hotel and said: “I’m sending my driver to come over and get you and bring you over to my place.” I said: “Well, why don’t you just come here and we can go downstairs and have some dinner or lunch,” or whatever it was. And he said: “No, no. I don’t do that. I want you to come to my place.”
He had a mansion, and he was basking in glory in this huge place and I immediately sensed by his body language and energy: this was someone I couldn’t trust. So I sat far away from him and he was so rude. All I remember was it was a horrible experience.
He said, “I flew you down here and you’re not gonna put out for me?”
I said: ‘Maybe you can get away with that with other actresses because they know they need to do that to get into Hollywood films, but you can’t do that with me! I just want you to know that I’ve covered my ass because I have left a message with a very good friend here in Los Angeles that if she doesn’t receive a telephone call from me by a certain hour the police are coming.”
I had outsmarted him and he just glared at me. He’d been outsmarted by a woman! I was scared and I just wanted to get the hell out of there, so I said, “This is simply a waste of my time.”
I asked if his driver would give me a lift back to my hotel and he said, “You make your own way back, bitch.”
So I said, “Okay, will you get me a cab?” And I asked him for $20 to get a cab. And he said, “I ain’t getting you a cab!” But he eventually called a cab but he wasn’t gonna pay for it, so I said, “Fine, I’ll pay for it myself.” Then he threatened not to pay the hotel bill.
I said: “You’d better or I’m going to give the details of this story to the national press!” So he paid the bill.
I know you’ve studied pornography in all of its art forms and wondered what were some of your favorites in film and literature? Did you like Henry Miller’s and Anais Nin’s books?
I read everything [laughs]. Henry Miller and Anais. I remember I was very affected by Miller – and Ayn Rand, for a different reason. It was because here was a woman writing about a powerful woman in business and it just gave me such great inspiration.
There’s been a resurgence of interest in her recently.
Another person whose writing I liked, and I knew him slightly, was Marco Vassi. He was an amazing writer who lived next door to Annie Sprinkle in New York and I have all his books.
Annie Sprinkle was obviously influenced by your stage performances for her own stage work.
Maybe so, I don’t know. We’ve always been friends and she was actually doing live performances before I was. But I’m sure we were both influenced by each other.
You didn’t work together did you?
No, she only made a few films a long time ago. Then she took that work and made shows out of it – and she’s still performing. She’s in Europe all the time, especially Germany. I met her in the early eighties when I was in New York making a film, I think it was A Girls Best Friend (1978). To supplement my income I interviewed her. I went to her flat, and my lover at the time was a photographer and I had her permission for him to come along and take some pictures.
It was the first time I had met her. The minute I walked into her flat on Lexington Avenue and looked around and saw teddy bears and dolls in black leather and harnesses holding whips [Laughs] I knew then that I really liked this woman [laughs]! She likes to shock people and shake people up and make them pay attention. Not just react to the first feeling or image, but look beyond that.
How did you get on with the big porn publishers like Hefner, Flynt and Guccione?
Poorly. All of them exhibited very similar behavior that many men in business express. The way they acted towards women like myself… they were afraid of us. They felt threatened because we didn’t fit into that classic mode of wanting something and begging for it, needing their help and all of that sort of thing. They acted aggressively to cover up their… I can’t think of the word.
Yeah, because they didn’t know how to act with women who were powerful and bright and had opinions of their own and that were not gonna be manipulated.
Did you ever do any layouts for Hustler or Playboy?
No. I was approached by all of them but I wouldn’t do a layout for those magazines. However, I was featured on the cover and inside spreads of numerous other sex magazines. But the really classy magazines of the pornographic genre, that were very explicit, I have many of these in my collection [laughs].
You must have fulfilled most of your sexual fantasies; are there any left you’d like to share? What was your hottest, wildest experience? I guess there are quite a few to choose from.
I truly have fulfilled all of my sexual fantasies and even some I didn’t realize I had! I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to do that. Oh, jeeze, you’d have to give me a couple of days to think about this [laughs]. I’d need to look through my memoirs. Your definition of hot and wild might be an orgy, which was not hot and wild, it was just something fun and funny and “Gee! Why not ‘cause we can?”
But the hot and wild would include extremely good chemistry between me and one or two other people. I think you, the public, probably saw some of my hottest sexual fantasies and desires enacted in the characters I portrayed because I was able to interject my own interpretation. That’s where I was very lucky, especially to be able to create my alter-ego, Aunt Peg.
I know you didn’t see any pornography before you got involved in it but, subsequently, did you ever go back and see any of the erotica from the forties and fifties, like Irving Klaw’s portraits of Bettie Page?
Yes, especially with things that are now on video and the restored classics.
There are some great Kodachrome burlesque films with Bettie Page and Tempest Storm.
Oh, I adore these women so much. I mean, we’re all sisters actually. It’s that lineage. I just forget names. But Bettie Page was amazing and there were others like Tempest Storm and even Marilyn Monroe. What a beautiful woman. She didn’t have to do anything and sexuality and love oozes out from her. But I recognized very early on how vulnerable she was, so I was shocked but not surprised about what happened to her.
Who would’ve been some of your matinee idols when you were a teenager at college in the late fifties? I’m guessing you were into Jimmy Dean?
Jimmy Dean. And Marlene Dietrich. I wasn’t exposed to foreign films until I became an adult because I lived in a small town in California. It was only when I got to college in 1959 that I might have seen a couple of things. I didn’t have access to Los Angeles, I was just in Burbank.
Am I right in thinking you were part of the Goddess movement at one time?
Oh, I might have taken a seminar, a class. I think I took a year-long course called ‘Understanding our sexuality and reawakening the Goddess within us.’ It was a group of about twenty women that met once a week for a year in the Bay Area here.
It was facilitated by two female sex therapists and it was just wonderful to get in touch with that forbidden kind of energy. Being a patriarchy, if it’s flashy and sleazy it’s OK [laughs] for women to be that way or very phony like fashion models. But to really own up and to honor our sexuality: that takes a lot of courage.
I take it you approve of Camille Paglia?
Oh, yes, I have her book right here, ‘Vamps and Tramps’. A brave and gutsy woman. It may not have been what I would’ve written or my style but any women who’s willing to put her views out there like that I can’t help but admire the hell out of her. She shows that a beautiful woman can also be bright, she doesn’t need a man to take care of her. That doesn’t mean she’s a man-hater, but she can express her opinions and make her own life.
So she’s a sister, not a role model, because I was way ahead of my time. She’s a contemporary.
I know you’re a jazz lover; what’s your favorite kind of jazz?
It’s big band jazz that I like and small bands if they play swing.
You must have liked Sinatra?
Loved Sinatra! Perry Como, Bing Crosby, all of those schmaltzy people.
I love Nat King Cole, too.
Oh, and Nat King Cole. Sarah Vaughan; I met a lot of these people.
You must have. Did you ever meet Sinatra?
Oh, that’s a fabulous story — do you wanna hear it?
You kiddin’ me? I love Sinatra.
Oh, well, you may not love him after I tell you what happened.
Oh, I know he could be a real bastard.
I was in Las Vegas, getting an award for best actress or something at the AFAA Awards (Adult Film Association of America). I went downstairs, out of the banquet hall, and a man walked up to me and introduced himself as one of Frank Sinatra’s bodyguards.
He said that Frank knew I was there and wanted me to join him for an intimate Italian dinner at a restaurant about fifty miles out in the desert – would I please come with him as Frank was waiting in the limousine out front. I looked at this man and said: “Do you think that I’m really that stupid and crazy that I would get in the same car with a notorious playboy?”
I knew that if I didn’t put out for him he would’ve just dumped me out in the desert and sped away. And I’ll never forget, the bodyguard looked at me incredulously and said: “Do you mean you’re turning down a date with the famous Sinatra?” And I said, ‘That’s right, bye,’ and turned around and walked off [laughs]. I’m lucky he didn’t send one of his hitmen to kill me! [Laughs]
Yeah, he hung around with some very heavy guys. While you were working in Miami in the early sixties, Sinatra would’ve been performing there at the Hotel Fontainebleau.
That’s right, and I never did go and see him, probably too expensive [laughs]. I certainly knew that famous people came to Miami but, to my recollection, I never did go and see them.
Do you have any anecdotes from your time working at The Screening Room?
I just transformed the stage show because that’s the way I am: I’m a director. I take something and look at what’s going on and I think, this could be a lot better. So instead of just four women up on this platform, shaking and moaning and groaning, I created skits. The men liked it a lot more. We’d have some dialogue and we’d play with each other – they didn’t do that before. And it was juicy and hot and fun and the gals loved it and so did I. And it was so funny ‘cause the girls were like 18-20 years old and here I am almost forty! [Laughs]
Is there anything you particularly like in contemporary culture?
Last night I went and saw ‘Mostly Martha’ – the German film – which was fabulous. I don’t mind reading subtitles. I don’t watch television unless it’s the occasional PBS or National Geographic program. I don’t watch violent films, but any good drama and romance or any good foreign film that has come to this area I will have seen it. I’m going to see ‘Chocolat’ and ‘8 Women.’
Isn’t it amazing to think that in a hundred, two hundred, five hundred years time people in the future are gonna be able to look back and watch footage of you balling and get off on it? That’s real immortality!
Yes, it is. It’s just mind-boggling! It’s amazing and it’s nothing that I sought. It wasn’t that I thought, ‘Oh,here’s a way to get famous’ because I had no desire for fame or notoriety. In fact, the downside of being a writer or actress is that you do get recognised and have a loss of privacy, so I didn’t do any of this on purpose.
But I became aware a number of years ago that I am a cult figure. I will go down in history and my name and image will still be there. It’s amazing.
Life really is unusual, really strange. It bears out my philosophy that you never know where life is gonna take you or what it’s gonna give you. So live each day with integrity and enthusiasm and abandon because it may be your last.
Awesome Article Tribute Juliet Anderson Keep Up Good Work Ashley
I am only half way through the interview and I love it. What a fascinating woman.
Aunt Peg broke my porn cherry. At around 1O years old, I found a VHS tape in my dad’s closet labeled “Aunt Peg Goes to Hollywood.” I popped it in and saw Aunt Peg and Little Oral Annie teaming up on a lucky actor named Jeff Conrad. I normally do not like women with short hair, but Aunt Peg was an exception. Not only did she look great, her enthusiasm was off the charts! She took charge, talked dirty and loved what she was doing! I saw her in several scenes after that and she never changed. Always into it and looked like she would do it for free.
I absolutely love how open a person she was.
‘I’m practicing to be a good lover. I’m horny. Would you like to come home and have sex with me?’
Yes, Aunt Peg I would. Lets practice
Quite a woman- smart, confident and a lot of fun. Her stage show, what with the characters, sounds like an X-rated Lily Tomlin thing. Great interview, thanks.
Thanks for that. She truly was a unique person in that era, not getting involved until age 39.
Goddess! Thank You for this.
Been waiting for this interview/conversation for years. I haven’t read Julia’s autobiography because I didn’t realize it existed. As always thank you for the deep dive.
Thank you Phil!
Excellent article – as always. I especially enjoy reading about the person’s pre-XXX careers. Speaking of which, at least one of her radio programs has been preserved:
Also, a small pic of her from her Finnish radio days is at this webpage:
Thanks for sharing ShakeSomeAction!
I can’t express how much I enjoy reading Rialtoreport. Thanks for all your diligent work and posts!
We really appreciate that Lee!
Loved the interview! Her back story & sensual intensity reminds me of Annette Haven, who also has cited similar health concerns (colitis, allergies, etc.)
I enjoyed reading this although I had heard much of this before from Juliet herself. Still there was quite a bit that was new to me. I just want to say that many of the photos used here came from my personal homage to her on my website: http://paulsfantasy.com/Pauls_fantasy_site/Juliet_memorial.html
I am curious about the shot of her in a hot tub with a man, Peter Bent, licking her butt. That is an outtake from THE FIRST TIME, her 1st mag. I gave all the outtakes to the publisher and don’t have access to them myself so how did this one get here?
Just a brief ‘hello Paul’, and a mention of how wonderful I found your photo set “Robin and Angela”, which featured Juliet. So beautifully photographed and deliciously erotic! I hope others here will visit your site; they’ll be glad they did.
ANOTHER HOME RUN, Rialto Report!
I just wish we could hear more from porn legends who are still with us. It’s truly saddening to experience the vitality you capture in your interviews only to find that they’ve passed.
Keep it UP – you guys are providing a genuine public service!
— Chris Flash
Great interview! RIP Aunt Peg! Taboo one of her best roles and films!! Juliet, Kay Parker and Honey Wilder sexiest cougars of the golden age!!
I think the cause of her death not heart attack, it was rectal cancer.
One of the great things about Juilet is that virtually every scene she ever had with John Leslie reached incredible levels and are as hot now as they were then -despite being from another era of porn. Seek them out!
Technically speaking, Crohn’s is auto-immune in nature, but to call it an auto-immune deficiency (ie, some immunocompromised state like HIV), is probably a stretch.
Also, the following article says it was a heart attack. Rectal cancer, Ed? Where is that supported?
Fagan, Kevin (31 January 2000). “Adult film star Juliet ‘Aunt Peg’ Anderson dies”. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
But hey, why make a fuss, interesting interview.
Despite being a very sexual and assertive woman, she never had a man go down on her until she was in a porn film at age 39??!!
How is this possible? Were men not doing this back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s?
In Jerry Butler’s book, he mentioned as a kid he walked in his parents bedroom and saw his Dad with his face buried between his mom’s legs. So obviously some guys were doing it back then.
Juliet was not shy. Im surprised she never grabbed one of her lovers by back the back the head and had them eat her out.
Another classic segment here on this site. Keep up the outstanding work!
Thanks so much Sonny!
Great to see Juliet get to talk in detail about her extraordinary life and career. She was a very vibrant person and performer and is still missed by many.
The story about Marilyn Chambers was unfortunate. Although Marilyn was not in a good place in her life at that point and had a bad drug addiction. Thankfully, she went to narcotics anonymous and got sober not long afterwards. She was normally a lovely person. The boyfriend of Marilyn’s mentioned by Juliet was Bobby D’Apice (screen name: Bobby Dee). He was also Marilyn’s “bodyguard” at the time an infamous figure in the Las Vegas area. Some of Marilyn’s friends say that Marilyn considered him the love of her life. He is still alive today.
What a shame that Juliet never wrote her memoirs; imagine how fascinating they’d be! Thankfully an acquaintance of hers, Marian Rhys, wrote an extensive bio of Juliet which was self-published in 2015. “Love and Lust, Laughter and Loss: The Life of Juliet ‘Aunt Peg’ Anderson”. It’s an excellent read, well researched and with plenty of photos provided by Juliet’s sister.
It’s important to add that this RR interview certainly provides a lot of precious material not found in the book, and for that I’m most grateful. Thank you RR and Spencer Kansa.
Well… finally RIALTO REPORT REPORT got around to honoring a true genuine porn legend in Judith Carr, that is JULIET “AUNT PEG” ANDERSON!
Commenter Paul Johnson is exactly right, most of the photos used in this article are from his collection as he personally shot them, he was a longtime friend whilst I only got to know her from her last few years.
I wrote her biography for CINEMA RETRO magazine in 2009 and contributed to the definitive book on her – Love and Lust Laughter and Loss by Marian Rhys published in 2015.
Earlier in 2002, SALON writer Charles Taylor honored Juliet with a very apt article “Critics sneer at XXX films. But careers like Juliet Anderson’s offer as much to admire as those of John Wayne or Audrey Hepburn.”
If for no other reason that she truly discovered and mentored NINA HARTLEY, should be reason enough to honor her here…
In 2009, I also produced and donated two tribute DVD’s titled “for JULIET ANDERSON SEX IS NO ACT”, and she sold them to her fans and clients as a means to sustain her humble existence.
I’m so glad that the distinguished RIALTO REPORT has saluted her here… thank you April on behalf of her legions of fans who still remember her. She was totally unique among the Golden Era performers, and like them she was paid only a pittance out of the millions she continues to make for the distributors!
Loved this interview. I always loved Aunt Peg because she seemed so authentic and intelligent, even on screen in sex scenes. Loved watching her talk as much as seeing her fuck. She had the best voice. And she could be pretty dirty too in scenes. Very hot lady. Thanks to Rialto for another gem. Now track down Brooke West.
I’ve read this several times. She had just the right mix of genuine sexuality and performance. She’s more private than her performances would lead you to believe. It’s very hard to pinpoint what it is about her other than everything about her. Another stellar post from RR. Thanks guys.