She came to New York in 1954, with stars in her eyes and dreams of becoming a ballet dancer. She didn't find fame in ballet, but she did make it to Broadway -- twice.
For about 15 years, Texas native Georgina Spelvin earned a modest living as a chorus girl, primarily in touring companies and summer stock. When stardom finally came, at age 36, it wasn't on the stage of her dreams.
Porn auteur Gerard Damiano conceived The Devil in Miss Jones in the aftermath of the unexpected success of his legendary film Deep Throat. With Miss Jones, he hoped to bridge the gap between porn and art films. The pron film told a dark tale of a frustrated, middle age virgin (Spelvin), who commits suicide on camera. Condemned for committing a mortal sin, she bargains for a temporary return to Earth so she can experience all of her sexual fantasies. The film's downbeat ending found Miss Jones back in Hell, on the verge of achieving a climax that would never "come." This was to be her eternity.
Spelvin accepted the role because she was broke. Too old to get work as a dancer, she needed rent money. Damiano had found himself a real actress who could convey actual emotions while fucking like the Energizer Bunny. The dark, Gothic, albeit explicit film became a sensation. Georgina Spelvin was a star at last.
In her memoir, The Devil Made Me Do It, a now 70-something Spelvin recounts her story. She includes her early days in the cast of Broadway's "The Pajama Game" the making of Miss Jones, and her ten year tenure in the adult film industry. With honesty and humor, she shares her highs and lows, including a serious bout with alcoholism and her post-porn relationship with her conservative but loving mom.
The author spares no one in her brutally honest tale, least of all herself.
"If you're looking for the ordeals of a victim, this ain't your book," Spelvin says. "I made choices. I could easily have made other choices."
The Devil Made Me Do It was a long time in the making, but Spelvin was determined to tell her own story herself.
"When Georgina Spelvin in The Devil in Miss Jones popped up on almost every billboard on Broadway, book deals came in from all sides," she recalls. "Every offer entailed hiring a professional writer to interview me and do the writing. Having held delusions of literary grandeur for as long as I can remember, I stubbornly insisted on writing it myself. It took me thirty years to get around it. I probably never would have if Mr. Welsh, my far better half, hadn't asked me every day if I'd started it yet."
Mr. Welsh would be John, the man Spelvin married in 2000 after a "whirlwind courtship" that began nearly two decades earlier. They now reside in a small, but lovely house at the bottom of the very hill which hosts the iconic Hollywood sign. The retirees are blissfully happy, often enjoying a cup of tea in their lush backyard garden that stands as Spelvin's pride and joy.
For a number of years, while she worked in the corporate world, she distanced herself from her X-rated past, but now she embraces it, and embraces the adoration which comes her way. She continues to receive fan mail four decades after the release of her iconic film. She'll grant an occasional interview as long as it's conducted in her beloved garden.
"I can't believe that I'm still getting orders for that thing, The Devil Made Me Do It," she said. "But I am. I get royalty checks from Lulu, the publisher, every three months or so. Whoda thunk it? Now it's available to the digital generation in all the new formats. I did a recorded narration of it that will be coming out in a few months. And the German couple who optioned it for a musical version will be here in a few weeks to record some more stuff for their anticipated opening in Berlin next year."
Georgina Spelvin has no regrets. "I have a roof over my head, more than enough to eat, the constitution of an iron bucket, wheels, and Mr. Welsh, the love of my life by my side."
She invites her fans to write to her, and will autograph your books. To inquire about pricing or to chat, email her at Georginasworld@gmail.com.