Cris Cassidy: How a Surfing, Lesbian Hippie became Queen of XXX Loops

Cris Cassidy: How a Surfing, Lesbian Hippie became Queen of XXX Loops

Cris Cassidy had many names, from Buffy Stevens, Montana, Suzanne Meyers, and Suzette Holland, but she had one permanent claim to fame: she was one of the iconic West Coast adult film performers of the 1970s.

She appeared in many of the biggest films of the era, such as Candy Stripers (1978), SexWorld (1978), The China Cat (1978), and Talk Dirty to Me (1980) as well as tens of loops. She was beautiful, could act like a Hollywood actress, and smoldered with sexual intensity.

For years, The Rialto Report looked for her, keen to learn about her life in front of and behind the camera, and to find out what happened to her after she retired. It was a journey that took us around the world, to the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Australia, and eventually, happily, to an interview with the lady herself.

This is our conversation with Cris Cassidy.

Cris Cassidy


1.  Cris Cassidy – Beginnings

There are various dates quoted for your birth year, though I think you were born in 1947. Is that correct?

Right. I’m about to turn 77.

Are you from California originally?

Yes, I am. Fourth generation. I was raised in Southern California and always loved it, so I just hung around.

What’s the ethnicity of your family? You were so blonde and looked Scandinavian in the movies.

My family is of Northern German heritage. Northern European tribes.

What was your upbringing like?

Definitely middle class. Good parents. A happy childhood. My father was a school teacher and a principal at a high school.

Did you go to the same school where he was the principal?

No, they had rules against that in California. Thank goodness!

What were you like as a young girl?

I was pretty good at school. I got good grades and never got into trouble. I always liked performing so I was in the theater group, did lots of musicals, and quite a bit singing. I was very active too – I loved sports, horseback riding, swimming, hiking.

Above all, I loved surfing. I started surfing in Santa Monica and became a real surfer girl for years. That changed my life. I just fell in love with the whole lifestyle – being at one with the ocean, nature, and the waves. I’d escape to the beach whenever I could and stay there for weeks on end. There were communities of surfers camping out, living freely, happily, not bothering anyone. It was the era of free love… and it was all beautiful. There were no constraints… and it wasn’t like being homeless. We just lived together on the beach together, you know?

Cris Cassidy

You embodied the spirit of the time.

Exactly. I was a drop-out, radical, hippie, pacifist, carefree lover of life (laughs). I did what you were meant to do if you grew up back then: I dropped acid, loved poetry, and hitchhiked up and down the coast basking in the joy of being young (laughs).

Did you work?

Rarely… I didn’t like authority much, I guess. I dropped out of school – which didn’t please my father, but we managed to stay on good terms. Somehow, I made ends meet. I was never hungry or needing a safe place to live. I lived like that for many years.

Cris Cassidy

Was this all in California?

At first, but then in the 1970s, in my mid-20s, I went to live in Hawaii. I was devoted to surfing, and heard that the waves there were the best in the world and I wanted to experience them.

And were they?

Well, they were savage and wild and beautiful, and that was perfect for me. I lived on a beach for a year or two sleeping in a hammock and surfing every day.

Did you travel with other people?

Sure. I always had lovers who I’d travel with and flit between. It was all relaxed and easy – a bit like, “Who am I sleeping with tonight?” (laughs).

Cris Cassidy

Were you attracted to men and women equally?

Initially I suppose I was, but the older and more experienced I became… I realized that women were doing something for me that men weren’t. I didn’t consider myself a lesbian at that stage – or anything with a label. I just gravitated towards other women for sex. It was no big revelation, just a slow evolution, I guess. And then one day, I realized, “Hey, I guess I’m queer.” (laughs)


2.  First Adult Films

How did you end up back in California?

I missed my friends and family and so I went back to see them, and ended up living in San Francisco. I had no plan from one day to another. I was just guided by what felt right each day.

The earliest film I could find that you were in was about 1975. Do you remember how you got your first job?

An actor friend asked me if I would do a sex scene with another woman and I said, “Well, I don’t think I can do that, I don’t know…”

What were your reservations?

Well, I was no prude. I’d had hundreds of lovers… but this felt like it could be a little more damaging, you know?

How do you mean?

I don’t think I knew. Perhaps damaging to my parents, or my future, or even to me psychically in some kind of weird way. But my friend said that I wouldn’t have any dialogue to do in the film, just a sex scene with a woman, I could earn $200 for half a day, and there were no rules. When she said, “No rules”… well, I liked that! So I said, “Okay”

What do you remember about the first time?

It’s all so long ago, and it’s so hazy in my memory. I think it may have been a dream sequence. It felt strangely natural, and I liked it. It felt liberating, like an extension of my uninhibited self. I remember the director liked me and he wrote additional scenes with me and one of the male actors. That worked out fine.

Cris Cassidy

Did you make a conscious decision to do more films after that?

Nothing was a conscious decision in those days! I was just like a happy piece of driftwood, and I went whichever way the tide took me. As much as that first film was fun, I didn’t think about doing any more, I just went on with my life.

I don’t think I did any other films for another year or two, and I didn’t even think about them.

Do you remember your next film?

Yes, that would be SexWorld (1978). I’m pretty sure that was the next film. I don’t remember many of the film titles but this one stands out. I can’t even remember how I got the part, but I remembered hearing that this big shot director (Anthony Spinelli) was in town assembling a large cast for a film that was going to be the biggest and best sex movie ever.

That was the word on the street?

Absolutely. I didn’t know what that meant because I didn’t go to see movies at all. But it sounded fun so I went along and told the director that I’d already done one film. He seemed to like me, and cast me in a sex scene with Annette Haven. What a dream that was!

Cris CassidyAnnette Haven (with portrait of Cris Cassidy) in ‘SexWorld’

Annette HavenCris Cassidy and Annette Haven in ‘SexWorld’

You didn’t know who she was presumably?

No, not at all. No idea. But she was one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen, so I had no problem accepting the role (laughs).

What was Annette like to work with?

Annette was very professional. And so serious. Which was the opposite of me at that stage (laughs). I viewed this as a sexual adventure, and I think that Annette saw this as her career – and one that she wanted to be the very best at. She was smart and a little distant, but the scene that we did was a great experience. She was immaculate and perfect like indoor porcelain, and I was just an outdoor surfer girl (laughs).

She had a girlfriend named Bonnie Holiday, and that impressed me too. They were lovers, but worked in this new industry. Bonnie was a very dark lady, beautiful as well. They made a great couple.

Bonnie HolidayCris Cassidy with Bonnie Holiday

What do remember about the other people you met during ‘SexWorld’?

The main thing I came away with was that this was a real industry! I mean, I’d never paid any attention to it in any meaningful way, and I suddenly realized that there were people who made their living doing this. Actors, cameramen, lighting guys, scriptwriters, you name it.

I liked that. I could see the attraction: it wasn’t a nine-to-five job, you didn’t have a boss, you got to have sex, and then you took home more money than working as a waitress. It was a revelation.

Do you remember the director of ‘SexWorld’, Anthony Spinelli?

Vaguely. I don’t remember the crew of any of these films very well. For this one I turned up, he told me how he wanted the sex scene with Annette to unfold, and then let us do it.

I do remember he came up to me afterwards and said that he wanted to get me back for his next film – and give me a starring role: was I interested? I said, “Sure, why not?”

Cris CassidyCris Cassidy in ‘Expectations’ (1977)

That would be Expectations (1977)?

Who knows? Possibly?! (laughs) I do remember that, unlike the previous films, the next film had a whole lot of dialogue that I had to learn. It took me by surprise again – I thought, this is just like the real movies! (laughs)

Cris CassidyCris Cassidy with Jack Wright in ‘Expectations’ (1977)

How did you react to that?

I didn’t mind. I viewed it as a performance. I did my best to make it easy for my leading man. I could see it was more difficult for the men – they can’t fake it – and so I wanted to make it as pleasurable an experience for him too.

A few months later, I was walking down the street and I passed a movie theater which had big posters outside – and I was on the poster. A giant picture of me! It wasn’t a photograph, rather it was like a painting of me. I nearly died laughing.



3.  A Career in XXX

After these first films, it seemed that you were being cast in almost every film from 1978 to 1980.

I think I eased myself in by doing small roles at first. An extra body in an orgy, a small speaking role, things like that. I made friends with people and I realized that the same people were turning up to make the same films every time, so that made it even easier!

Do you remember other early films?

I got a lead role with John Holmes in a Charlie’s Angels rip-off. That was a fun movie. It was about the search for a beautiful jade figurine in it. It was interesting.

That sounds like The China Cat (1978). What was John like?

He was great. Very professional, very clean. I liked John a lot. He didn’t flaunt his 12-inch penis around to me. He was one of my favorite people that I liked performing with.

China CatCris Cassidy (center right) in ‘The China Cat’

It somehow feels strange to me that a woman who considers herself a lesbian would particularly enjoy working with John Holmes.

Well, John was very sensitive and gentle, always concerned with his partner’s pleasure. We once did a scene in a greenhouse with sprinklers and water and it was so much fun. It was always very hot with him.

As for working with men, well, I got used to it. I was getting paid a lot of money, so I bit the bullet and got on with it. And, you know, I had some of my hottest scenes with men. I could get myself to a place where the man was turning me on… without having to fake it or whatever. I would find common ground, find the thread, find the erotic. I would enter the character fully.

John HolmesCris Cassidy with John Holmes in ‘The China Cat’ (1978)

That sounds like a sort of method actor technique.

Yeah, it was… It’s about remembering. Remembering what a sensation was on another occasion when it was real.

Another big role you had was in Candy Stripers (1978).

Was that the one which we shot in a hospital?

Yes. It also starred Joey Silvera and Paul Thomas.

I remember running around in a nurse’s uniform for hours, and that Joey and Paul were funny and entertaining, but the rest is awash. I had a lot of sex back then…

Paul ThomasCris Cassidy with Paul Thomas

You were credited with the name ‘Montana’ in ‘Candy Stripers’, and you used a variety of different names in the early films before you seemed to settle on ‘Cris Cassidy’. Where did that come from?

The name I always wanted to use was ‘Montana’ or ‘Montana Stevens.’ I liked that a lot. It sounded like a Western pioneer, a strong woman. But ‘Cris Cassidy’ was given to me by one of the directors, and unfortunately it stuck. [laughter]. He said that ‘Cris Cassidy’ was catchy. Maybe because it was alliterative.

I did a lot of magazine spreads and every one of those gave me a different name, usually European sounding.

Cris Cassidy

Cris Cassidy

Cris Cassidy

Did your family find out about the movies?

I kind of kept it from them until later, later, later.

Were they okay when they found out?

Well, my mom was understanding because she was always very accepting of me. My dad was a little more serious. I wanted to protect him because he was in the education industry, and so I didn’t want to compromise that at all.

Cris Cassidy

You had breast implants for most of your career. Was that a result of working in the adult film business?

No. I had the surgery before I made many films. Maybe I had it done before I made any. It was just something I wanted to do to be less self-conscious in a bikini on a surf board. I’m sure it helped when I started doing films as well! (laughs) And later, I had my nipples pierced too, which I’d never seen anyone else in films do.

You also wore a thin gold necklace around your waist in many films. That seemed to have been a trademark of yours.

Oh, you remember that? That’s so sweet. I wore that all the time – when I was surfing, in bed, or on film. It was such a thin, fine chain you could hardly see it, but I liked that it made me feel feminine.

Cris CassidyCris Cassidy, with waist chain, in Sadie (1980)

Were these films your main source of income in the late 1970s? Were you ever a waitress or an office worker because you weren’t earning enough from the movies?

No, I’ve never liked working for other people. I would make enough from the films and then rush off to live in a hippy commune by the ocean where I could surf all day. I’d come back into Frisco to catch-up with friends from time to time, and I’d make another film or two before disappearing again.

So you didn’t hang around with the other adult film actors?

No, not really. I was quick to get out of town. But I did take my lover on set once, and she then made some films. That was Miki Star. We were together for many years.

What was it like having your girlfriend in the film business at the same time as you?

It was easy. We did a lot of movies and scenes together, and we lived together. Miki mostly just worked with me and she didn’t do many scenes with men – unlike me. We were very close. It was good to have someone who understood what you were doing. Directors liked us to work together because we were blonde and dark haired, and of course, our scenes looked more real… because they were.

I introduced other friends to films too. Most of them just made one film, they liked it, but then they did something completely different.

Cris CassidyCris Cassidy and Miki Star

Cris CassidyCris Cassidy and Miki Star in ‘Stormy’ (1980)

Miki StarCris Cassidy and Miki Star in ‘Sweet Sister’ (1978)


4.  Fame and Loops

At the same time that you were appearing in these feature length films, you appeared in many loops. It’s hard to think of many female performers who made many more loops than you. In fact, I first came across you through the Swedish Erotica loops. What do you remember about them?

It seemed like San Francisco was the capital of the world when it came to these short 8mm films in the late 1970s, so it wasn’t difficult to find a lot of work for the different loop-makers around town. I mean… a lot fo work! I’d get calls every day, it seemed, and I worked for lots of them. I remember the guy who was in charge of Swedish Erotica (Bob Vosse) saying I was Queen of the Loops.

Cris CassidyCris Cassidy with Miki Star in a Swedish Erotica loop

A loop is very different from a full-length film: loops just last a matter of minutes, they often had no sound, whereas features last over an hour, had scripts, soundtracks, and so on. What was the difference between the two types of work for you? Did you prefer one or the other?

Totally different. I always liked real scripts and real storylines, but I also loved making a 20-minute loop. With loops… the pay was high, they didn’t take long, there wasn’t a lot of standing in line, and they were so spontaneous… which was sexier. So I liked them a lot. Basically, I like doing it all. I like doing it all! [laughter]

Why were the loops sexier to make?

You often wouldn’t know who you were working with until you got on the set, you just got told the scenario – which often involved dress-up – and then the shooter would just tell you to do your thing. That was hot.

You made several loops with Desiree Cousteau. Do you remember her?

Yeah, vaguely I do. Strange girl, but sweet. Mentally, there was something that was not quite right. Like she had some damage in her history. I did a lot of loops with her. And with John (Holmes) too.

Desiree CousteauCris Cassidy with Desiree Cousteau

Did you ever go to any of the award ceremonies for the XXX industry?

I did. And I was accepted into the Hall of Fame as well. I believe the ceremony was at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. We felt like stars on those evenings and it was nice being acknowledged. But it was always embarrassing too.

Why was it embarrassing?

Well, because they played the clips on a big screen, and there I am… butt naked having sex with somebody, and hundreds of people in the same room are watching and looking at me. [laughter]

Cris Cassidy

Did you ever want to do any straight acting in mainstream films?

I always wanted to, but there was no crossover at the time. Those people didn’t want to touch me with a 10-foot pole. I did a walk-on role in ’10’ (1980) with Dudley Moore, Bo Derek, Julie Andrews… but that was it. It was a big shame.

When your movies were playing in the cinemas, did you ever go and see them?

Not often. I was IN the movies, and it wasn’t as fun to watch them (laughs).

Did you ever do any live entertainment like dancing or stripping in the San Francisco clubs?

Not in clubs. But I was hired to do bachelor parties and things like that. I made good money doing those.

What would they consist of?

Anything! For example, me and some girlfriends could be flown into the middle of the desert, or the redwoods, or to a country house, and then they’d pay us, say, $400 to make love to each other. And there were no other strings so it was easy and fun. Though I do remember one bachelor party where we serviced the groom and his friends…

Cris Cassidy

Did you have any say in who you worked with in the films… or did you work with anybody?

It was always a lot harder if you were just stuck with somebody you didn’t have chemistry with. But I always made it work. My philosophy was that if I didn’t like somebody enough to do it for free, I wasn’t going to get paid for it. So that’s what helped me… it helped keep me real.

Which people or moments stand out when you look back now?

John Leslie was always a gentleman. Joey Silvera, John Seeman, Sharon Kane were fun. And I especially liked working with Nina Hartley. She was a sweetheart.

I have many positive memories. I love that we filmed some good storylines in beautiful homes in Tiburon, or on a dock in a great yacht. I liked things like that… it was beautiful and artistic. For some reason, I remember a scene when I was naked on a horse in sunset. Oh my God, it was incredible. [laughter]

John SeemanCris Cassidy and John Seeman in ‘Female Athletes’ (1980)

Do you remember a Bob Chinn film called Sadie (1980), where you had the lead role?

It was one of my last films, I think, right? My heart wasn’t really in it, and I had started to check out. I don’t remember it was one of the better ones.

Cris Cassidy

Were you ever asked to do anything in a film that you didn’t want to do?

There’s always times in any job where you say, “Uh-uh, I’m not doing that. Nope.” But I was good at standing up for myself. You have to have self-integrity or otherwise you’re going to fail. Some people in the adult industry fell by the wayside because they weren’t just doing it from a pure place. They just wanted to make money. Those people didn’t last long. I wasn’t like that: I wanted the experience rather than the money. The successful people were like that.

But no, there was very little that people would require of me that I didn’t like because we all had a lot of respect for each other. I was always very amiable to what the director and the producer wanted. To be honest, I didn’t like anal sex that much, but… I’m a team player, so… [laughter]

I’m not a prima donna. People liked to work with me. (laughs)

Cris CassidyCris Cassidy with David Morris and Mike Horner

Did it ever seem strange to you that you were a lesbian working in a hetero industry that catered so much to straight men? Was that difficult to reconcile sometimes?

I was sometimes frustrated that the lesbian scenes felt so obligatory. It was like the producers were saying, “We need a lesbian scene, so let’s put these two straight women together and let them finger each other for a few minutes, and that will work.” It all felt so… fake.

But overall, I was on a mission: I liked working with people who had a direct link to the integrity and the social aspects of each film. They weren’t just sex films.

What do you mean by that?

Personally, I felt I was making a difference. I was really dedicated to the women I was portraying. I felt I was helping people navigate a world who didn’t have any connection in it. I was helping men learn how to make love to women. One of my main goals was… sex is important: we’ve got to get this right, you know?

One example of this was working with black men. There wasn’t much appetite from filmmakers to hire many black actors. I thought it was important to use these films to break down stereotypes, so I made sure I volunteered for scenes with African Americans when I had the chance. I noticed that the black men seemed to get more work in loops than in features. I never knew why that was. Why do you think?

Cris Cassidy

I think there is some truth in that. Early African American performers – like Billy Dee, Johnny Keyes, Jonathon Younger – certainly appeared in a lot of loops in the 1970s, but rarely had starring roles in features.

Maybe the audience for loops was different. Or may the producers didn’t want to take a risk on the black actors when they were investing more money because they were worried what the audience would think.

You seem particularly conscious of the other performers around you.

It was important for me to try to be a caring person. I wanted to make sure my partner was taken care of, that my character was taken care of, the audience was taken care of, everything.

To a lot of people, it was a difficult industry, but I wanted to make it a very pleasurable, comfortable workplace. I wanted to make everybody feel heard, and for there to be respect amongst the actors, and respect amongst the staff and crew.

For a time, you were one of the biggest stars of adult entertainment in the country. Did you feel like a star?

No, no. I was just doing my work, doing my job, trying to be a good influence. And I was having a good time.

Cris Cassidy with Richard Pacheco in ‘Sensual Encounters of Every Kind’ (1978)


5.  Retirement & Comeback

You left the XXX business in the early 1980s.

Yes, I ran away to Jamaica with my lover, Miki Stone.

How did you end up in Jamaica?

I was hired to watch over a resort on the coast of Negril. That’s when I really came out as a lesbian to everyone. We went to Jamaica and started a life there. It was great life for a few years.

Cris Cassidy and Miki Stone

So you stopped making movies overnight?

Yes, I just took the Jamaica job, we packed bags, and disappeared overnight. We didn’t even have time to say goodbye.

How successful was the resort?

It was hard work but it was a great life. Eventually Miki and I split up, and I returned to Northern California.

It was at that point that you made a comeback into the adult film business after several years away?

Yes, I formed a company called Tigress Productions with my new lover.

What did you want to achieve with Tigress?

Tigress Productions was formed to fill a gap that had existed for a long time. A lot of women were saying: who are these straight men producing lesbian erotica… with actresses pretending to be gay? It was so obvious that these women were faking it. So we thought there was a need for a different kind of adult film for women. I wanted to give gay people a voice.

Cris Cassidy

Where did you meet your new girlfriend? She wasn’t in the XXX industry?

No. I met her up in Garberville at a four-day women’s conference. She became my lover, and she directed and put all scripting together. She made up the name ‘Cristen Lee Rothman’, or something, and she used that. She wasn’t in the movies. She only directed them. I appeared in them, and did the sales and marketing for Tigress.

How many movies did you make for Tigress?

We made three: Where There’s Smoke (1986), Erotic in Nature (1988), and Hay Fever (1988).

I don’t recognize many of the performers. Who were the actresses you used?

All the women that I had met at that four-day party in Garberville, they were all in Hay Fever. The rest were all of our friends. A lover of mine, Carol, who I was in an open relationship with, she was in ‘Erotic in Nature’ with me, using the name ‘Kit Marseille’. She was very shy, but she was very real in her feelings and in her movements – and that’s what we were trying to accomplish.

We wanted to have people that were authentic. As a result, the movies are not fake. They’re not forced. They’re normal people doing normal things. I’d never seen anything like that before. I think that it was very pioneering because we could have chosen to make a film with a script, but instead these films were just regular people having a good time. Because of that, I think they’re more erotic.

Did you have to have any financing for those films, or did you do it all yourself?

We funded most of it ourselves. It was a wonderful endeavor.

Did they sell well?

They did. Because there was nothing else out there like it.

We had a premiere for ‘Erotic in Nature’ at the Roxy. It was pretty awesome because hundreds of people lined up around the block on premiere night. It was exciting to think we had created something that was new, that would make a difference, and that people were excited about.

And after those three films, what happened?

My lover and I broke up. I lost my home and my business all at once. It was a difficult time for me.

What did you end up doing?

I’ve always been an entrepreneur, and I wanted to move on. After having been in the adult film industry, I thought I’d help teach men how to make love to women and help women learn to love themselves, so I did some outcall work.

Was this all in San Francisco?

Yeah, Northern California.

Cris CassidyCris and her mother, late 1980s


6.  After XXX

Did you keep in touch with anybody from the film-making days?

I really didn’t because after that, I went and lived in Australia.

What took you to Australia?

I got into sales and marketing, and one of my best friends invited me out there. Then he got really sick, so I took over his work. I ended up doing it well, so I stayed there for a couple years. We ended up opening the waterbed industry in Australia and New Zealand. It was all very straight; very legitimate.

What can you tell me about your life today?

I met my wife, Poxy, just over 30 years ago. She’d been an ER doctor, and so was in a totally different realm to what I’d done, but she was so accepting of me and that was really wonderful.

We found a beautiful five-acre parcel of secluded land. I mean, I can’t see another house in any direction. I can paint my house whatever color I want, it was my dream.

I set up an animal sanctuary where I’m take in neglected, abused, and unwanted animals. We have parrots, roosters, ducks, peacocks, dogs, and cats. I can have as many animals as I want.

Cris CassidyCris Cassidy, 2020

That’s incredible. What a good cause.

It’s rewarding but difficult: it seems like all the non-profits are just concerned with children or domestic abuse and all that. There isn’t as much money for things like the arts or animal welfare, so funding it is always a struggle.

Are you still married to the same person?

My wife passed in 2016. She was the love of my life. I have a daughter who takes care of me. She’s 31. She’s just had a little baby boy.

So Montana Stevens is a grandmother. [laughter]

Yes. Cris Cassidy is a grandma. (laughs) I’m definitely still a free spirit though. [laughter]

Cris CassidyCris Cassidy, present day


  • Posted On: 19th May 2024
  • By: Ashley West
  • Under: Articles


  1. Carll · May 19, 2024 Reply

    Chris Cassidy…..??!?!?!?!!?!??!?!?!?! Oh My God… I’m losing my shit here. I LOVE Chris Cassidy. She was the most underrated of all 1970s performers, but rarely seems to get a mention nowadays. She was invariably the best part of a film, her acting was impeccable, and she was gorgeous. I cannot thank you enough for such a sympathetic and human interview with her. I will treasure this interview for a long time

  2. Graeme Samuel · May 19, 2024 Reply

    This was an unexpected joy. For you to have found a seminal persona and icon such as Cris – and coaxed such a sweet and friendly interview from her – is another of your crowning achievements, and you have many.

    I salute this incredible collection.

  3. Patti Lomax · May 19, 2024 Reply

    I know that it shouldn’t matter but when you listen to the words of someone you have admired for many decades (yes, I really am that old), and they are clearly a good-hearted, kind, gentle, considerate person – as Cris Cassidy certainly seems – then it warms my heart. What a genuinely impressive person.

  4. JJ Galvao · May 19, 2024 Reply

    Such a beautiful woman and a beautiful soul. It’s so good to know that some people really enjoyed making adult films, and they didn’t end up in a sad way, like some others.

  5. Jeff Robertson · May 19, 2024 Reply

    Awesome Article Keep Up Good Work

  6. Norman · May 19, 2024 Reply

    Fantastic to hear that a hippie got to live her damn life the way she wanted. Even better to read that a lesbian got to live her life in America with so little outside friction. I always rated “Cris Cassidy” highly…and also thought she was a lesbian and was happy to find out she not only was but (1) came out all the way and (2) started a lesbian-oriented film company…sorry that didn’t go like I would have wanted. But as usual, a great interview.

  7. james · May 19, 2024 Reply

    One of the first (if not the first??) full XXX I saw on VHS as a young man was “Talk Dirty to Me”. I thought the “Doctor” (Cris Cassidy) was hot as hell and really sizzled in her scene with John Leslie. Never forgot that scene (or the scene with Juliet Anderson). Good

  8. Sonny · May 19, 2024 Reply

    Sounds like she had quite the life and sexual appetite. I always enjoyed watching her perform. Reading this account of her life somehow makes it even more enjoyable to remember. Thanks again for entertaining me on a Sunday night.

  9. Chris · May 19, 2024 Reply

    Neat. I don’t know anything about her work. Fascinating that she liked having sex with John Holmes.

  10. JL3 · May 20, 2024 Reply

    This was a wonderful interview. Cris seems like a smart, strong woman, and I appreciate how many times in her life she went out and tried to live on her terms, in spite of all the usual obstacles. And everything she said about bad and fake a great deal of lesbian scenes is very true. She was a real forerunner to later movements.

  11. Uncle Stevie · May 20, 2024 Reply

    Thank you so much for that wonderful and entertaining interview with Cris Cassidy, who, in my opinion, was one of the most underrated and underappreciated starlets of the adult film’s golden age of the 1970s. I remember her in the numerous loops she did for the “Swedish Erotica” series.

    Speaking of loops, another unsung starlet from the 1970s is Eileen Welles, who is seen posing with Cris in that poster for “The China Cat”. Eileen was also in a number of “Swedish Erotica” loops, with Sharon Kane, John Holmes, Johnnie Keyes, Jonathan Younger, and others. How about an article on her in the near future?

    Anyway, a most appreciated interview with Cris! Excellent job!

  12. Damien Shalley · May 20, 2024 Reply

    Wonderful to see this interview with Cris. I just purchased a disc of Bob Chinn’s “Sadie” featuring her and was amazed that it was based on a short story by W. Somerset Maugham! Those were the glory days of adult cinema indeed and Chris was a glorious part of that era.

    • FallGuy467 · May 22, 2024 Reply

      The Rialto Report never disappoints!
      Cris Cassidy is one of my Unsung favorites from the Golden Age; so sexy and sensual without even trying! She,and another commenter mentioned her name before me, Eileen Welles could naturally bring so much femininity and heat to every film or loop they were in. Kudos to Cris for living life on her own terms and thanks for giving her and countless other performers a voice. P. S. – Now if you could find Eileen
      and Taija Ray…

  13. T · May 20, 2024 Reply

    Great work and great story!

  14. John · May 20, 2024 Reply

    She seems like a cool and kind person. I was surprised the film Sadie was a bad memory for her. I thought that it was a very well made movie and her performance was superb in it. Thank you so much for this great interview!

    • Damien · May 20, 2024 Reply

      I agree, I think “Sadie” attempts to deliver an engaging story and Chris looks beautiful. It is available on a double feature presentation with “The Seductress” starring Lisa de Leeuw and both films are pretty fun.

  15. Susie Bright · May 20, 2024 Reply

    Wow, how wonderful to see Chris again and hear about her life. We were so close in the 80s when we were both making the first lesbian movies. I am going to write you and ask you to put us in touch!

  16. ken · May 20, 2024 Reply

    I couldn’t love her more. Gracias -ken

  17. Rik K · May 21, 2024 Reply

    How very refreshing and inspiring to read of a “counterculture” boomer who never abandoned her ideals and sold out, as so many of her generation seemed to. Watching Cris perform on video was certainly a visceral treat, now reading this ultra-quality interview has made my heart swell with happiness. Thanks be to Cris Cassidy!

  18. Brendan · May 22, 2024 Reply

    Fantastic! Her scene in Garage Girls is the sexiest ever filmed IMHO. Anyway, can’t wait to hear about Leslie Bovee….

  19. Art Williams · May 26, 2024 Reply

    I love The Rialto Report. Your posts are always engaging. Thank you for doing the important work of documenting this period in history.

  20. J. Walter Puppybreath · May 27, 2024 Reply

    Another Sunday, another RR mind-melting post (in the best way)!

    “Nothing was a conscious decision in those days!” – if only…

  21. Brad F · June 9, 2024 Reply

    I’ve always been a fan of her impassioned performances. Call me naive, but I am surprised to learn that she performed so many engaging heterosexual roles as a lesbian. It speaks to her acting ability and her willingness to commit to a part. As in Wicked Sensations, where she portrays a buzzed ski bum who sees through Paul Thomas but is willingly seduced by him, or the “Talk Dirty to Me” scene where she initially spurns but then makes a move on John Leslie.

    So much porn skips any real premise, but (for me) that’s the actual switch, it’s what turns the viewer on. Then again, the idea of whipping out your dick in the waiting room to seduce the doctor is pretty silly.

    Anyway. What’s impressive about this interview is that all of your background research lets you guide her through her own film career. I am really pleased to learn that a woman I’ve been drawn to all of these years did not suffer a life of poverty or abuse. Thank you for tracking her down and interviewing her.

  22. Jack · June 9, 2024 Reply

    Thanks April for a great interview and thanks to Chris for sharing her story and her recollections. I was a great fan of Chris Cassidy and have always wondered what became of her. Its great to learn she has had a long and fulfilling life and is a happy grandma now. 🙂

    I’ll add that her greenhouse scene with Turk Lyon in Hot Rackets was one of my all time favorites, it seemed so spontaneous and fun. Her character, the maid (Sally), convinced Turk Lyon’s character (Carl) on a mission to pick up plants, that the only way to keep his chauffeur’s uniform dry before entering the greenhouse while the sprinklers were going full blast was to first shed his uniform altogether while outside. She then surprised him after he entered the greenhouse and of course the fun soon followed. Loved that scene!

    Thanks again for sharing this. Best wishes to Chris 🙂

  23. Graeme G · June 9, 2024 Reply

    Wow, what a treat! The Rialto Report never fails to deliver!

    I had long wondered whatever became of Cris Cassidy – she was one of my favourites from the Golden Age. Aside from being absolutely gorgeous, she was a natural actor, and always looked enthusiastic in her performances and seemed to be genuinely enjoying herself – which she clearly was! What a legend.

    Such a wonderful sympathetic interview, and it is great to find that Cris has made a good life for herself. Thanks so much for unearthing her story for us.

    I so much look forward to what gem you bring our way each week!
    Cheers, Graeme

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