What Happened To “Fleshpot” Laura Cannon? My “2021 Sex Kitten Countdown” Has The Mystery Of Playboy’s First Porn Star!

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’ve highlighted some of Laura’s films in the past, but thanks to another terrific website and podcast, I have some new material to share, as well as additional credits!

Celebrating Playboy’s First Porn Star – Laura Cannon!

My “2021 Sex Kitten Countdown” has the story of a beautiful young Actress who made several acclaimed adult films – and was the first Adult Film Star to appear in Playboy magazine – but had a mysterious life and death as well…

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 as the 70’s began: 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.

That same year and in 1970, she appeared in a number of films, both with her own name, other credited names and uncredited roles as well,, like these:

Laura appeared in “Dark Dreams”, a moody sexual shocker about a young couple who inadvertently get mixed up with a coven of Satanic worshipers.

Laura played a character known as “The Whipped Cream Girl” – for obvious reasons!

Harry Reems of “Deep Throat” fame worked with her in this and other films, and here’s what he said about the Actress in his Autobiography:

“Laura was magnificent, impossible, and ridiculous. And I fell in love with her that week in Connecticut. (When they filmed Dark Dreams). How to describe Laura? Laura was actually a princess — a Jewish American Princess, commonly abbreviated as JAP. She had a glorious Greek-goddess body and a nose job she thought was the most perfect piece of surgery in the world. She only fell in love with men who told her she had an exquisite nose, possibly the most exquisite nose in the world.”

Adult Actress Tina Russell starred in this film – and she had a wild career as well:

She also had a troubled life and you can read all about it here:

Among the many films that Laura appeared in was “The Altar Of Lust”, credited as Betty Cook. A sexually confused young woman in a session with her psychiatrist relates her tale of coming to New York City from Sweden after being raped by her stepfather…

Playboy’s First Porn Star!

Among her other career highlights, Cannon was the first hardcore film Actress to appear in “Playboy” magazine. The story notes she had an upper-middle-class upbringing in Evanston Illinois before going into “New York stag films”…they list her age for this photo as 23 years old.

Laura also 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!

Laura also does a great job in a small role – working again with Harry Reems in the notorious XXX-rated shocker “Forced Entry”:

Once again, she had a XXX-rated scene with Reems, but other than that was terrific in the role as well.

And Then, She Disappeared…

After appearing in “Teenage Nurses” in 1974, Laura dropped completely out of sight…so what happened to her?

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 – using her real first name of Janet:

“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.”

A sad end to a fascinating career…she had so many fans, but seemed to want to forget this part of her life completely…

Bravo to The Rialto Report for their great reporting on the adult superstars of a bygone era…see their entire story here:

Another legendary adult film star was Jennifer Welles:

Jennifer Welles also had a great career, including the classic “Inside Jennifer Welles!” Click here to see her story:

Another Adult Star of the 70’s was Marilyn Chambers:

She was one of Adult Cinema’s Superstars, and had a long career as well…you can see her entire story by clicking here:

If you like this story, go to my website’s front page and sign on to follow me – there are NO ads at all, just lots of stories to come about the wild world of exploitation and cult films!

Click here and see the “follow” button on the upper right!

https://jrsploitation.com

Let me know if you’ve seen any of Laura’s films!



Categories: 70's Films, Artsploitation, Books / Media, Cult Classics, Exploitation Films, Extreme Cinema, Grindhouse, JRsploitation, Nudity, sex kittens, Sexploitation Films, Talent / Celebrites

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3 replies

  1. Sad to hear she died so young. Some of those film titles are priceless though!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A performer with real acting talent. Too bad we missed out on her story.

    Liked by 1 person

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