The Mysterious Story Of A Terrific Actress!
Laura Cannon was an Actress in the early 70’s who made a mark in a number of softcore, then hardcore feature films…and then just as suddenly disappeared…
I found a terrific story about Cannon’s mysterious life at “The Rialto Report”, a website that documents the adult film era in cinema, with great interviews and articles.
The Rialto Report shared this bio on Laura:
Laura was born Janet Lynn Channin on April 6, 1947 in Evanston, Illinois. She was of Jewish descent and first began acting in grade school theater productions. The younger sister of two older brothers, Laura and her family moved to La Jolla, California when she was a little girl. Following graduation from La Jolla High School in 1965, Cannon went to New York City to attend the NYU Tisch Graduate Acting School, which she eventually graduated from in 1971.
It’s important to point out that a seismic shift was underway in film: the launch of a ratings board had given filmmakers new freedoms to push boundaries – and the “softcore” exploitation films of the 60’s were becoming more explicit.
The Rialto Report biography continues:
Laura got work as an extra in assorted movies shot in New York City and began her career in the adult entertainment industry as a nude model for various men’s magazines. After making an important contact with actress turned agent Linda Boyce, Cannon started acting in soft-core sex movies for noted East Coast adult filmmaker Leonard Kirtman in the late 1960’s before graduating to more explicit hardcore fare in the early 1970’s.
Her first film was “The Bed Spread” in 1969.
Cannon also played an amorous art college student in Joseph W. Sarno’s “The Young, Erotic Fanny Hill” in 1971.
Among her other career highlights, Cannon was the first hardcore film Actress to appear in “Playboy” magazine.
She modeled for a number of men’s magazines, including the cover of Frolic in November 1972.
The Remastered “Fleshpot On 42nd Street!”
The film that shows just how good she could have been was released in 1973, “Fleshpot On 42nd Street.” Vinegar Syndrome just released a remastered version that is terrific for many reasons.
Laura plays Dusty Cole – who is wandering through life in New York’s seedy Times Square, and we see lots of vintage shots from that era…
After moving in with a cross-dressing “escort”, Laura ends up turning tricks to make ends meet…
You can find many fully nude shots of Cannon from this film, which has extensive nudity and sexual situations, including the once-lost hardcore scenes she shot with Actor Harry Reems, who also starred in “Deep Throat.”
This is an “adult” film that is unusual, funny at times, filled with memorable characters – and it was directed by Andy Milligan! More on this unique Director in a minute…
Cannon’s acting in this film is excellent, and the movie itself is surprisingly good, especially as Director Milligan is known more for his inept moviemaking – films like these:
I read a terrific biography of the Director, who did make some awful films, but he was fascinating for how he made his movies as well – read more about him by clicking here:
As for Cannon, she was mesmerizing on screen, and the only issue to me is whether these brief scenes of hardcore sex in the films would stigmatize her forever…
Cannon later co-starred with Reems again in the notoriously nasty porn roughie “Forced Entry” in 1973.
Once again, she had a XXX-rated scene with Reems, but other than that was terrific in the role as well.
Cannon ultimately had 29 credited film roles. Her last film was “Teenage Nurses” in 1974.
And Then, She Disappeared…
The Rialto Report printed a terrific oral history of Laura, with lots of great interviews with those who worked with her.
The Rialto Report finally managed to speak with Laura herself in 2009.
As they reported:
“When we contacted her, Janet expressed surprise that anyone would ever had heard of her, let alone remember her. She was guarded and at first said that she had only made “one or two films,” though she was intrigued to hear what had happened to her former acting friends.
She said that she had recently been having health issues, and would consider speaking in more detail once she felt stronger. She thanked us for our interest.
Shortly afterwards we learned that Janet passed away in La Jolla on June 17th, 2010. She was 63.”
The Rialto Report does a great job telling the stories of the films and the actors of this era…you can see their whole story about Laura, with lots of great interviews, by clicking on their link here…
If you want to see Laura at her best, check out the Vinegar Syndrome release of “Fleshpot On 42nd Street!”
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