Linda Wong was born as Linda Carol Ching in Hawaii, but her family soon moved to Mill Valley, and then San Bruno, in San Francisco. She had an uneventful childhood, but she was a popular teenager, and in 1969 was voted Homecoming Queen at Kennedy High School. Linda eventually began working a fashion model, before becoming a bookkeeper and legal secretary in the San Francisco office of attorney Melvin Belli. Linda admits that she “led a pretty straight life, brought up here in San Francisco, and had a closed mind to this kind of [adult] movie.”
Linda became involved in the adult industry when she was 24, partly as a result of her boyfriend’s encouragement, who, she later recalled, “really got off on it.” According to Linda though, “I also wanted to experience different things, test myself.” Her first hardcore porn film was 'Black Silk Stockings' (1975). This was followed over the years with such classics as 'Easy Alice' (1976), 'Baby Face' (1977) and 'China De Sade' (1979). Linda was the first oriental superstar of porn, and soon found herself co-starring with such names as Annette Haven, Leslie Bovee and Candida Royalle. Her performances in front of the camera were always enthusiastic, and she seemed to have no qualms about facial cum-shots or anal sex.
She would later admit that becoming a porn star had caused problems in her private life: “A few old friends won’t have anything to do with me anymore.” An acquaintance of hers recalled that in 1976 "she was bright, articulate, and full of life; in fact she seemed too well-adjusted to be in the adult industry". Despite her success as a porn star though, she never felt completely comfortable with her chosen occupation. "I was never viewed as a human being. The greatest compliment that anyone has given me is that 'Linda, you're a nice person.' Most people, right off the bat, assume that I am a piece of meat, a porno star, a floozy."
Linda's discomfort with porn meant that after 1979 her appearances became few and far between. In a 1977 interview she claimed: “If I get a chance, I’d like to have a career in straight films.” This transition never happened, and she officially retired from porn in 1981. Over the next few years, however, she made an almost annual come back to adult films. Her final come back was in 1985 when she starred in 'The Erotic World Of Linda Wong'. By then, however, she was heavily into drugs. A friend of hers recalled how "I ran into her at a party in 1985, and she was in pretty bad shape, having mixed alcohol with Quaaludes."
Director David Jennings recalled working with her on ‘Rebecca’s’ (1984), describing her as having “a pharmacologist’s cornucopia of uppers and downers. Linda had been in the bathroom at the location two hours before someone finally forced open the door to find her unconscious in the tub, water rising to a level that could have drowned her. In the white geisha make-up, she looked and acted like death.” Eric Edwards, who worked with her in the film would later say, “It was the most challenging sex scene I’ve ever had to do. It was as close to necrophilia as I ever want to get.”
During this period Linda was involved in an abusive relationship with Ed de Priest with whom she ran a video company. According to Richard Olson, with whom Linda was married between 1985-1987, "Ed was a violent individual and Linda had been beaten up bad for many years. I am not an abuser and never have been, and in all honesty, I think that Linda missed that in our relationship. I would never get physical with her. She swung at me many times."
By now Linda was also heavily involved in heroin, and Richard soon became an addict as well. During the summer of 1987 he moved to Northern California hoping that a change of location would help him get off drugs. In the meantime Linda had also managed to get herself off heroin and was planning to make another come-back in the porn industry. Before filming started though, she was arrested for trying to buy codeine with a prescription that she had written herself. "She spent two months in jail. They dug into her record and found an old possession of narcotics charge and they were going to keep her in for a year or so… I wired her attorney some money and got her out on a bond." Once out, Linda moved to Northern California to live with Richard.
Three weeks later he got off work and returned to his hotel, only for the manager to tell him "that my wife had been found passed out on the floor and that she was in hospital. She was conscious and claimed she was fine when I picked her up [from the hospital]. I had to leave and run some errands. She was fine when I left and when I came back she was still fine and wanted to go out for dinner. So we went to a restaurant in Petaluma. She went off to the bathroom and that was the last I saw her alive. Somebody came running out of the bathroom saying that a woman was on the floor. I just knew it was her."
Richard believes her death was not intentional, but rather an accident resulting from mixing alcohol and drugs. "She wasn't using heroin. She was popping pills, Xanax and Chlorylhydrate, what used to be called mickey. Like a Quaalude… She used to eat them by the hand full. She took more drugs than any girl I've been with."
Linda Wong died on 7 December 1987. Along with Arcadia Lake, who also died of a drug overdose three years later, she is one of the main, and only drug casualties of the early porn superstars. Linda was a beautiful woman who knew how to bring passion into a sex scene. Unfortunately, despite her talent as a porn star, she never truly felt comfortable in front of the camera. This, coupled with her abusive relationship with Ed de Priest, and her notoriously unstable character led to her eventual downfall and death.
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