Leslie Bovee was born in Bend, Oregan, and began the 1970's working as a TWA stewardess. She soon quit her job with the airline to work as a go-go dancer and stripper because the pay was much better. In 1975 she moved on to porn films. By her own admission Leslie was an exhibitionist and did not find this transition hard. "Carl [her boyfriend] and I are into three-ways, two girls and a guy. We have a very open relationship."
Her big break came in 1976 when she starred alongside John Holmes in 'Eruption' (1976). Shot in Hawaii this was a porn re-make of the Barbara Stanwyk melodrama, 'Double Indemnity'. Leslie stole the film, and the opening sex scene on the beach between her and Holmes is one of the most erotic ever filmed. It's success soon led to further roles in movies such as 'Easy Alice' (1976) and Alex De Renzy's 'Femmes De Sade' (1976). In the latter she can be seen dripping in oil having sex with three men in what many consider the highlight of the movie. Legendary porn stud John Leslie later recalled: "In that scene she had me so worked up I jerked off in my car on the way home."
In a 1977 Playboy interview she said: "I don't intend to have a small career. I aspire to become a real actress and sex star". Her classic looks and insatiable appetite for sex ensured her status as one of the top porn stars of the late 1970's, ranking her alongside Annette Haven, Candida Royalle, Linda Wong and Samantha Fox. According to Bill Margold she was also "the best cock-sucker in the business."
Like Annette Haven, Leslie also had an idealistic side to her. "Carl and I would go to a porno house to turn on and walk away feeling insulted. They owe the audience more. A new way to see sex. Some enlightenment, instead of all the gratuitous bondage and discipline. I've turned down more than one film that I felt was based on the humiliation of women."
By 1978 Leslie had split with long-term boyfriend Carl and met New York bathing suite buyer Stuart Allen. "We went on one date and then she moved in with me," he later recalled. "She came for an evening and stayed two years." Allen soon quit his job to produce and market porn. Leslie continued to make classics such as 'Misbehavin' (1978) and the amazing 'Take Off' (1978).
In 1979 she joined Annette Haven, Wade Nichols and Eric Edwards in 'Love You' (1979), one of the most obscure yet interesting adult films made during the late 1970's. It was in fact the porn debut of mainstream director John Derek, husband of Bo Derek. Unlike most porn films the sex was not overly explicit - although nothing was hidden. John Derek shuttled his cast between Los Angeles, San Francisco and Hawaii in order to get the feel he was looking for, and the results are lush and beautiful. 'Love You' is not a typical porn film, and involves extensive dialogue as two couples come to terms with the notion of swapping partners. Although Bo Derek did not appear in the film she produced it and was constantly on the set with the four porn stars as her husband's consultant.
By the early 1980's Leslie had quit porn. "I had just broken up with the man who had helped me start in the business. I hadn't been enjoying the work as much as I used to - stardom can be very demanding - I did a lot of personal appearances, TV, and radio; then I got arrested and put in jail while doing a strip show tour. I started to feel cheap and and dirty and the feeling really got to me. Even today I don't tell a lot of people about my career. Don't get me wrong, the main reason I got into the business was that I was bored... bored with the straight life. This was a back door into acting, and an easy climb to stardom. I did it for the notoriety, some hot times and good money. I regret very much that I never got to be in a high quality film like 'Roommates' (1981), because one of my goals in the business was to be a pioneer."
She eventually established herself in San Francisco where she said she pursued "a sexually, politically and socially free lifestyle." Since then she has been inducted into both the XRCO and AVN Performers' Halls of Fame. According to her former boyfriend Stuart Allen: "When last heard of, in 1990, she wrote me to tell me she had just had a baby boy. I wrote back and that was it. If I had to guess, I'd say happy, healthy and living life in Long Island." Leslie Bovee remains one of the most famous and hottest porn stars of the Golden Age, and a woman that always enjoyed herself on camera.
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