Kay Parker was born Kay Taylor, on 28 August 1944, in Birmingham, in the United Kingdom. During the mid-1970’s she was living in Southern California, attempting, and failing to break into mainstream acting. “I was with a little improvisational acting group in L.A., and one of the other actors was [porn actor] John Leslie. We struck up a friendship, and one day he called me and asked if I wanted an opportunity to get in front of a camera and do some work. When he told me it was for an adult film, my first reaction was ‘NO’, but obviously I changed my mind… The title was ‘V, The Hot One’, in 1977. I played a Madame. It was a non-sex role. My first sex role however, was a short time later in the movie ‘Sex World’.”
Kay was 33 at this point, at least ten years older than most of her contemporaries in the industry. According to fellow actor Bill Margold, “Kay had a cloistered sex life until this business exploded on her. She, like me, is going through an adolescent period at a late age and has discovered the wonders of sex as a toy.” Her mature sexuality and obvious enthusiasm in front of the camera made her an instant success with the audience. During her first on-screen sex scene with Joey Silvera in ‘Sex World’, Kay became so carried away that she chipped a tooth, something she only realised when filming ended.
Her professionalism meant that Kay was also a success with directors and producers. Jim Holliday would later say: “Kay is slick, sophisticated... Kay is our jewel… Kay is perfect in front of the television camera. Any hostile minister, anti-porn guy is going to melt. How could Jerry Falwell scream venom at Kay Parker when she’s sitting there saying, ‘My sex life was enriched by porn’? One person in the cast [of ‘Stairway To Paradise’ (1990)] that I insisted on… was Kay Parker. Even the sales people don’t realise what an impact [in a non-sex role] Kay Parker is going to have.”
In his analysis of the adult industry ‘Porn And Coming Attractions’, Dr Robert Stoller remarked: “She is slim, graceful, intense, wary-covered-by-willingness-to-inform, dressed tastefully in casual Southern California style… English accent. Holding herself poised, with all movements self-contained. Controlling the conversation with the skill of an old hand at interviewing. She knows the value of being private.”
Over the next couple of years Kay appeared in a string of quality releases, but her crowning moment came in 1980 with the release of Kirdy Steven’s ‘Taboo’. In this classic story of incest, Kay plays Mike Ranger’s mother, who eventually has sex with her own son. She is perfectly cast as the reserved older woman that succumbs to her own desires and sexual frustrations. Kay, who has never hidden her desire for younger men, would later admit that there was definite mutual attraction between herself and Ranger, and that their sex scenes would often continue once the cameras had stopped. The film is well made with high production values, and is today regarded as one of the best adult movies ever made. Its success inevitably meant that sequels were to follow, and Kay reprised her role in ‘Taboo 2’ (1983) and ‘Taboo 3’ (1984).
Porn actor Jerry Butler later recalled working with her in ‘Taboo 3’. “Kay actually played my mother in ‘Taboo 3’, and I was expected to have sex with her! Part of me was able to respect her – she is very generous, articulate and polite – but I suppose I also resented the fact that a woman about my mother’s age was doing porno… I only worked with Kay that one time in ‘Taboo 3’. Despite my misgivings, we had a hot scene. I wound up tossing this replica of my mother all over the bed.”
Apart from her role in the ‘Taboo’ films, she was also cast as ‘the older woman’ in other classics of the time, such as: ‘Downstairs Upstairs’ (1980), ‘Vista Valley PTA’ (1981), ‘Memphis Cathouse Blues’ (1982) and ‘Private Teacher’ (1983). According to Kay, “During that time period there was more of an effort to give the films a degree of production value.” In 1983 she received the Adult Film Association Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in ‘Sweet Young Foxes’ (1983). By the mid-1980’s, however, the advent of video meant that standards within the industry were falling. Although she continued to appear in the odd film, mediocre affairs like ‘Too Hot To Touch’ (1984) did little to add to her reputation. In late 1984 she retired from porn.
“Several factors contributed to my decision. The main reason was AIDS. Lesser factors were that I was quickly approaching 40, and the quality of the productions were dropping due to the introduction of video tape.” “I only took acting jobs… Then things started to change. That’s why I dropped out of the business. I’m not able to perform sex the way it’s done now.” “When I quit I went to work for Caballero, which was then one of the biggest distribution/manufacturers of adult films and videos. I was the PR director, so that helped me with the transition. I made one more film after I ‘retired.’ The title was ‘Careful, He May Be Watching’ (1986). I really enjoyed working on that film. It was a nice way to make my final exit.”
Following her departure from porn, Kay Parker began working as a Holistic Counsellor. “Holistic means to make whole, through the mind-body-spirit and I add to that soul connection. What does that mean you ask? Well, to make that connection one has to look at the ways they render themselves ‘un-whole’, less than totally empowered. I want to help people be all they can be. Many people are living lives that are designed from beliefs, whether family, cultural, religious, that is so far removed from their true desires that it truly amazes me. The basis of my counselling is about responsibility. I don't work with people who are intent on blaming others or presenting their victim-hood.”
In 2000 she published a book entitled ‘Taboo: Sacred, Don’t Touch’, in which she discussed her career in adult movies and her experiences with the Metaphysical. She also began a series of university lecture tours on topics such as, ‘Integration of Sexuality and Spirituality’, ‘The Art of Being a Healer’, ‘Living in the New Paradigm’, ‘Porno, Passion and Purpose’ and ‘Understanding Shame – The Worst Virus of All’.
Kay Parker defined the archetype of the seductive older woman. Whether seducing of being seduced she brought a passion and sexuality to the screen that many of her younger peers were simply incapable of. Although other adult actresses, such as Juliet Anderson, Georgina Spelvin and Honey Wilder were also known for their explosive mature on-screen sex scenes, none could match Kay Parker’s class and European sophistication. Despite only starring in about 50 films during her eight-year career as an adult actress, she remains one of the quintessential stars of porn’s Golden Age.
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