Linda Susan Boreman (January 10, 1949 – April 22, 2002), more commonly referred to by her previous stage name Linda Lovelace, was an American pornographic actress famous for her performance in the 1972 hardcore porn film Deep Throat.
Although the film was an enormous success at the time, it was later alleged that Boreman’s abusive husband, Chuck Traynor, had threatened and coerced her into performance. Boreman described what went on behind the scenes in her autobiography Ordeal. She later became a Christian and a spokeswoman for the anti-pornography movement.
In 1972, Boreman starred in Deep Throat, in which she famously performed deep-throating. The film achieved surprising and unprecedented popularity among mainstream audiences and even a review in The New York Times. It played several times daily for over ten years at theaters in the Pussycat Theater chain, where Boreman did promotions, including leaving her hand and footprints in the concrete sidewalk outside the Hollywood Pussycat. The movie later became one of the first, and highest-grossing, X-rated videotape releases.
With the publication of Ordeal in 1980, Boreman joined the anti-pornography movement. At a press conference announcing Ordeal, she leveled many of the above-noted accusations against Traynor in public for the first time. She was joined by supporters Andrea Dworkin, Catharine MacKinnon, Gloria Steinem, and members of Women Against Pornography. Boreman spoke out against pornography, stating that she had been abused and coerced. She spoke before feminist groups, at colleges, and at government hearings on pornography.
In 1986, Boreman published Out of Bondage, a memoir focusing on her life after 1974. She testified before the 1986 Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography, also called the “Meese Commission,” in New York City, stating, “When you see the movie Deep Throat, you are watching me being raped. It is a crime that movie is still showing; there was a gun to my head the entire time.” Following Boreman’s testimony for the Meese Commission, she gave lectures on college campuses, decrying what she described as callous and exploitative practices in the pornography industry.
In The Other Hollywood, Boreman said she felt “used” by the anti-pornography movement. “Between Andrea Dworkin and Kitty MacKinnon, they’ve written so many books, and they mention my name and all that, but financially they’ve never helped me out. When I showed up with them for speaking engagements, I’d always get five hundred dollars or so. But I know they made a few bucks off me, just like everybody else.” Thus Tom Leonard, writing for the London Daily Mail on March 26, 2012, alleged that both the porn industry and her “feminist saviors” had abused her.
- The computer processing coordination system Linda, was named after Linda Lovelace. This name choice was inspired by the programming language Ada, which was named after computer pioneer Ada Lovelace.
- Boreman’s participation in Deep Throat was among the topics explored in the 2005 documentary Inside Deep Throat.
- Indie pop singer/songwriter Marc with a C released a 2008 album titled Linda Lovelace for President, which contained a song of the same name.
- In 2008, Lovelace: A Rock Musical, based on two of Boreman’s four autobiographies, debuted at the Hayworth Theater in Los Angeles. The score and libretto were written by Anna Waronker of the 1990s rock group that dog. and Charlotte Caffey of the ’80s group the Go-Gos.
- Lovelace is one of the main characters of the 2010 stage play “The Deep Throat Sex Scandal” by David Bertolino. The play follows the life and early career of Harry Reems as he enters the pornography industry, eventually filming Deep Throat and its resultant infamy and obscenity trial in Memphis, Tennessee, and Lovelace is a central figure. In July 2013, an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to make a film version of the play raised over $25,000.
- As of 2011, two biographical films on Boreman were scheduled to begin production. One, titled Lovelace, went into general release on August 9, 2013, with Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman directing, Amanda Seyfried as Lovelace, and Peter Sarsgaard as Chuck Traynor. Lovelace received a limited release in 2013, but ultimately, despite drawing many positive reviews, it was a box-office failure. The other, entitled Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story, starring Malin Åkerman, was to be directed by Matthew Wilder and produced by Chris Hanley and was scheduled to begin filming in early 2011. Due to a lack of financing it never went into production.
- Tina Yothers, who was a child actress on Family Ties, was cast as Lovelace in Lovelace: The Musical.