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Friday, April 27, 2012

A-Z Challenge 2012: X is for Xaviera Hollander!

What a treasure trove of incredible people and wonderful posts it has been, eh? Did I say treasure? Why, yes I did! And you know what always designates a treasure? Of course, X marks the spot! And in this spot...


X is for Xaviera Hollander!






Xaviera Hollander is the author of the 1971 memoir The Happy Hooker: My Own Story. In it she tells her tale of leaving her job as the secretary of the Dutch consulate in Manhattan  in 1968 - when she was in her mid-twenties - to become a $1000 a night call girl. A year later she opened her own brothel and soon became New York City's leading madam. In 1971, she was arrested for prostitution by the New York police department and was forced to leave the U.S. whereupon she wrote her memoir (with co-authors Robin Moore and Yvonne Dunleavy) and became a notorious celebrity of the time.

Four years later, she starred in a Canadian movie - My Pleasure is My Business, an R rated sex farce directed by Canadian character actor Al Waxman - perhaps best known as the boss on TV's Cagney and Lacey.








    After that, and separately from her Canadian cinematic adventures, Hollander's memoir was snapped up for filming in Hollywood. However, Ms. Hollander was not chosen to play herself. Instead, British actress and redhead Lynn Redgrave was cast as Xaviera. The film was, of course, The Happy Hooker, from 1975:


Lynn Redgrave as Xaviera Hollander


Hollander and Redgrave together on set.






The filmic legend of Xaviera Hollander didn't stop there. Oh no! It seems The Happy Hooker made some money - as it was a relatively clean dirty movie. So, in 1977, there was a sequel. Lynn Redgrave did not return, so blonde Joey Heatherton was brought in to play Ms. H as The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington.



Joey Heatherton as Xaviera Hollander

In case you didn't realize she had a face.



And then, after cable airings of the first two movies made some extra money, a third and final adventure for the notorious madam hit the theaters in 1980. This time brunette Martine Beswicke took over the role for The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood...

Martine Beswicke as Xaviera Hollander








After the three movies, Xaviera Hollander continued to be a well known adult entertainment celebrity, with a sexual advice column appearing in Penthouse magazine for years. The column was indeed written by her according to her documentary producer John Patrick Patti in the comments below.

More recently, quoting Mr. Patti: "Nowadays, she produces English speaking theatre out of her fabulous villa in Marbella Spain, and runs a successful B&B business out of her hometown residence in Amsterdam, Holland."


Here's the poster to that cool documentary - courtesy Mr. Patti:



These days, of course, she would have found herself in a reality TV show - but back in the 70's - it was movies that called her - and you can try to track down and check out her four movies - the Happy Hooker movies are conveniently collected in one DVD set, but you'll only find My Pleasure on VHS - if you dare! And you can keep an eye out for Xaviera Hollander The Happy Hooker: Portrait of a Sexual Revolutionary as it makes the rounds of film festivals!


My thanks to John Patrick Patti for getting in touch with me and helping me bring this spotlight more up to date!

Y not come back tomorrow for our penultimate post in this challenge, and until you do, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

16 comments:

  1. Craig, I had always heard of the "Happy Hooker" movies and had no idea there was such a detailed background behind them. Very informative and she is beautiful.
    The Geek Twins

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    1. You know - this post was sitting in my To Publish log for a year - because I was going to go with Xaviera for X in the 2011 A-Z - but chickened out because she's a little risque and all these new people were checking out my blog - but I ended up going with Xuxa - the sexiest children's show host ever - instead. I kept this post, though, and this year put the finishing touches on it and posted it proudly! I love movies like this! Thanks for the kind words!

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  2. Great write-up! I'm ashamed to admit that I've never heard of Ms. Hollander and the Happy Hooker movies. Lotta catching-up to do ;-)

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    1. I saw glimpses of all three when they played on the Showtime cable TV network way back when - but I just added the HH trilogy to the video vault - let's add them to the list of the film festival we'll watch when you make it over here!

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  3. i loved lynn and haven't thought about joey in years--xcellent post!

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    1. I have enjoyed watching both women - and let's don't forget Martine!

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  4. I write memoir (not one like this), but love how it became a successful movie franchise. I met a former call girl at a writer's conference last weekend. She's writing a book about her life. She was probably working in the business the same time this memoir was published.

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    1. I had an idea for an interview book called Outsiders - which would have been interviews with people most people don't interact with - a prostitute, a stripper, a crossdresser, etc. I think you might get some fascinating stuff from them - I like your comment a lot! Good luck with the memoir!

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  5. Craig,
    Great to see a tribute to Madam X on your blog! Xaviera Hollander's life without a doubt has the makings a reality TV show! Nowadays, she produces English speaking theatre out of her fabulous villa in Marbella Spain, and runs a successful B&B business out of her hometown residence in Amsterdam, Holland.
    Just to update you on her filmography, in 2008 I produced a documentary of her life story titled XAVIERA HOLLANDER, "THE HAPPY HOOKER"; PORTRAIT OF A SEXUAL REVOLUTIONARY. The film won several film festivals and gives an overview of Xaviera's early years in a Japanese concentration camp, through her rise to fame and fortunate, to what she is up to today. The most recent information on the film is available on the website: www.thehappyhookerdocumentary.com
    I'd be happy to email you the sexy movie poster to add to your wonderful tribute, since I can't post it here on your blog directly.
    By the way, Ms. Hollander was indeed the writer behind the sexual advice column "Call Me Madam" which ran in PENTHOUSE Magazine for 35 years.
    All the best!

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    1. John,
      Thanks so much for coming by and commenting - and thank you for the kind words! I also appreciate you letting me know Ms. H WAS the author of her Call Me Madam columns - and I have edited the post accordingly!

      I would love to add your documentary's poster to the post - please send it to Remo007@aol.com - and I will get it right in here! I'm also going to update the post with her recent doings by quoting your comment!

      Cheers!

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  6. Martine's Xaviera reminds me of Tim Curry as Frank N Furter. I remember watching those movies as the y were "forbidden" and I could never understand why. There was nothing really dirty about them. I'd seen and heard worse by the time I was 16.

    Xaviera certainly chose her life, lived it on her terms and opened a lot of eyes. A very intriguing woman.

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    1. I was wondering if anyone else would see that resemblance - as it occurred to me too - but I didn't want to mention it as most women would take offense to being compared visually to a man - no matter how attractive he might be! LOL!

      And you're exactly right - the movies are pretty innocuous fare - any teen from those years would have heard worse in school that day!

      She is an intriguing woman - and I'm glad I could shine the spotlight on her. Think she might make your A-Z 2013 if you spotlight interesting women? ;)

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  7. Probably one of the most "mind opening books" I read in my life - Course, I was 14 at the time, an active church goer and even an altar boy, so the shock was quite big. Got to understand why Christ was so fond of Mary Magdalene, and probably my way of justifying the repeated readings (at least of some pages...) Interesting post, never knew there had made movies too. Cheers!

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    1. Thanks for coming by and commenting - I have to admit I did NOT ever have the chance to read the book - but I might track it down one of these days! Feel free to come by any time - stay late, and comment as often as the mood strikes you! Thanks for following! Cheers back!

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