Gloria Leonard appeared in about 40 porn movies from 1976-84. For 14 years, she served as publisher of the High Society sex magazine.
Born Gale Klinetsky, August 28, 1940, The Bronx, New York, United States
Aliases C. Gale Leonard, Gail Leonard, Gayle Leonard
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 157 lb (71 kg)
Eye colour Brown
Hair colour Brown with gold highlights
Skin colour Tan
No. of adult films 36
Gloria Leonard was a true original not only in style but with her passion for perfection no bar was set to high for her to fulfil her ambitions. Gloria Leonard is destined for timeless recognition as porn performer legitimate actress, movie director, screenwriter, TV. host and publisher. Gloria Leonard’s supple body set the Adult genre world aflame. She exhibited a natural appetite for sex that is ably demonstrated in every one of her climactic hardcore scenes over the years
Gloria Leonard grew up in New York and before entering the adult industry worked for three years as a registered representative of the now-defunct Schweickart and Company on Wall street. She also worked for various public relations firms, starting out as a copywriter for Elektra Records when they were "just a little one-room office in Greenwhich Village. I worked for Johnny Carson's publicist. I have many years of experience as a writer."
She became a sought-after guest on countless talk shows - Oprah, Sally, Geraldo, Maury, Howard Stern - and is a charismatic personality with an aristocratic presence and a disarming intellect.
Gloria Leonard pioneered the phone sex industry and the genre of celebrity skin magazines - Margot Kidder, Ann-Margret and Barbara Streisand all tried to sue. She used to be married to pornographer Bobby Hollander. During the early 1980s, she had a one year affair with pornographer Ron Sullivan. She later directed several pornos including the Savannah vehicle Vow of Passion.
Gloria Leonard has also hosted her own television talk shows - The Leonard Report: For Adults Only and later, Gloria Leonard's Hot Shopper Hour, a humorously hedonistic tribute to home shopping which featured sexy merchandise, interesting guests and comic relief.
Between 1989-92, Gloria Leonard served as administrative director of the now defunct Adult Film Association. When it merged with the Free Speech Coalition, Gloria was discarded. Several video company owners thought that an ex-porn star could not have credibility with the public. Gloria Leonard and company also fought over the name for the industry's new trade group. She wanted "adult" in the name while many of the company owners preferred something more generic in the vain hope of attracting broader support. She said at the time: "Many of us are motivated by passion and principle rather than just profits."
In 1993, Gloria Leonard moved to Hawaii. She returned to Los Angeles to work for Private in October of 1997. "Sometimes you have to go away for a few years for people to appreciate you."
In early 1998, she was elected president of the Free Speech Coalition. She never turned down the chance to voice her convictions to the masses. She would not be censored or silenced in any matter concerning her liberties.
In 1976, the secretive publisher of High Society and other sex magazines approached her with a proposition. According to Gloria Leonard, Carl Ruderman wanted: "A twist on an old theme. He wanted a female publisher of a mens magazine. I was chosen because I had a strong background in PR and journalism. We porn folks also have other lives besides porn. I worked on Wall Street for many years. No one ever asks me my advice on the market. When the word 'porn' comes up, it's as though that's all you have ever done or will do - and I resent that. One of the reasons that I can successfully call myself a survivor is that I did not let the adult business be the be-all and end-all of my life. I still go to the theater, I still listen to jazz… I have friends who work outside the industry. It is part of my life, it is not all of my life. I'm sure that you [Luke F-rd] and others would like to think that. We are compelled to live a certain lifestyle 24 hours a day to fulfill a certain fantasy."
With Gloria Leonard at the helm, High Society became one of the best selling newsstand magazines in America.
Phone sex took off in 1983, with Gloria Leonard and High Society magazine leading the way. "We owned these 976 phone lines that were used until then for weather, sports, Dial a prayer. Dial a joke. We tried to figure out how to make some money off the lines. At first we simply used them to announce the contents of our coming issue. Then we wrote sexy scenarios - jerk-off routines - which the centerfolds recorded."
On special days, like Christmas or Valentine's Day, Gloria Leonard recorded her own masturbatory fantasies.
Gloria Leonard published High Society from 1977-91.
"I started supervising layouts, shoots, writing a lion's share of the copy, including cover lines. I went out on the road and visited many of our wholesalers. There were 400 - 500. They in turn distributed to the retail level. I met with everyone from the truck drivers to the company principals. I examined bulk records to see how many copies an agency was getting, how many magazines they were returning. I did four to seven media interviews a day at times, depending on what High Society wanted to promote. I started phone sex. We fought a case up to the Supreme Court on a freedom of speech issue. Our counsel of record was Harvard's Laurence Tribe. We won. Our first recording was my voice previewing the next issue. Then we wrote little scripts. Phone sex took on a life of its own, entering the world lexicon. The lines became toll numbers. They had to put in blocking devices at the Pentagon, ABC network, because people diddled their day away listening to these wicked women on the phone."
During the early 1980s, Gloria Leonard almost produced the first million dollar porno movie.
"It was during my tenure as Publisher of High Society Magazine. I had terrific relationships with many of the magazine wholesalers/distributors of the day - a group came to me wanting to fund the first million dollar porn movie. I actually tried talking them out of the idea, explaining that I could produce ten excellent money-makers for that much dough but they wanted to go ahead anyway. Attempting to anticipate what might be the one element which would bring theatre goers of all stripes to see such a movie, I hit on the idea of having a well-known author write the screenplay. Norman Mailer and I had appeared on a talk show together and developed a friendship - I invited him to lunch and explained the project I had in mind. I was even willing to buy rights to an already existing property he had written - about Marilyn Monroe. He was more than receptive to the idea and wanted to do something original. Although his price was high, it would have still left more than enough for a big budget feature! The problem at the time was that he was completing his tome, "Ancient Evenings" with a commitment for a Broadway play immediately thereafter. We would have to wait for close to a year but were thrilled at the prospect of having one of America's foremost literary figures create an adult movie. However, deals such as they tend to be, started to fray around the edges and regrettably, it never came to pass - for a variety of reasons. Interestingly, a few years later, as they were turning his book "Tough Guys Don't Dance" into a movie (which turned out to be a big bomb) he called me to read for one of the principal parts and though he thought I was terrific (and I was), the part went to Francis Fisher (Clint Eastwood's ex). Just as well - no one went to see it anyway!"
Soon after, Gloria Leonard moved from New York, it became logistically impractical for her to stay on as High Society publisher.
"Julia Parton was brought in after I left. That started the trend towards the publisher as figure head. I however was a working publisher.”
As the president of the Free Speech Coalition, Gloria Leonard hopes to "Engage more of the talent and those on the technical end instead of just the owners. I believe that ten $50 members are at least as important as one $500 member. The Free Speech Coalition has fought the good fight. Fought important legal cases. It's a great organization. Its heart is in the right place. It only wants to do good. And by doing good, you fight censorship, and you support those who are your industry. It's established PAW which seeks to meet the needs of the performers."
Gloria Leonard names PAW founder Bill Margold as one of her closest friends in porn along with the manager of a laser disc company, Mara Epstein.
"Some days you are not sure whether to bless him or curse him, but he is one of my favorite persons on earth…and we have never had a romance."
Gloria Leonard writes from Hawaii: “For your information I was screwed by Carl Ruderman. After I'd been there for twelve years as publisher, they conned me into changing my pay status from employee to consultant. Once I was terminated after fourteen years - having made them many millions of dollars - they did hire a younger female, which lasted about a year. On the grounds of ageism, I attempted to bring a lawsuit against them but their wily, wicked strategy paid off because as a consultant I was no longer considered an employee and therefore, had no legal ground to stand on! After fourteen years, no pension, no severance, nada. Ruderman got a great deal with me and his greed sadly, prevailed. There are many ways of getting fucked in porn and this is yet another example of trust turning to rust!”
Gloria Leonard continued to perform in hardcore porn movies throughout the 1980's, finally retiring from the screen in the early 1990's.
Gloria Leonard is currently single after three trips to the altar, and single-handedly raised a now-married daughter who owns a prestigious art gallery. She has traveled in many circles and counts among her many friends and acquaintances Ted Turner, Norman Mailer, Buck Henry, Robin Leach, Roseanne and Larry King.
Gloria Leonard will forever be a devoted feminist and First Amendment activist. She has lectured and debated extensively on the issues of censorship, pornography and the effect on the women's movement at dozens of colleges and university campuses. She has served as President of the Adult Film Association of America, the Administrative Director of the Adult Video Association and sat on the Board of Directors of the Free Speech Coalition.