Hollywood Star's Secret Lesbian Affair Revealed in Memoir

 

Our next guest on The Noshing with Nina Show will be Alexis Hunter, author of Joi Lansing: A Body to Die For. Hunter was the partner of Hollywood sensation Joi Lansing, who was called the Marilyn Monroe of television. The lovers met on the set of the 1970 film Bigfoot, in which Lansing starred. Hunter had been hired to play one of the "Bigfoot monsters," while wearing a hairy outfit that covered her entire body. She was already a fan of Lansing's after having seen her on television in her hometown of Arkansas City, Kansas before she moved to Hollywood to pursue her own acting career. When Lansing invited her out for coffee, a full-blown romance soon followed.


Rachel and Joi Lansing
Lansing was married at the time to her third husband, but their relationship had been platonic for several years. Lansing had dated Frank Sinatra and other male celebrities while she was still legally married, while her husband Stan had become more of a father figure, according to Hunter. To avoid suspicion, Lansing suggested that she start introducing Alexis as her little sister, which meant that she would change her name to Rachel Lansing. In the book, she tells tales of hearing and meeting stars like Elvis Presley and James Brown in Las Vegas, where Lansing had been engaged to star in the play Come Blow Your Horn. They lived together in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, in the same house with "hubby" Stan.

Lansing had been receiving estrogen and silicone injections for many years to enhance her buxom figure. Doctors dismissed her abdominal pain repeatedly, and were more interested in trying to date her, according to Hunter. Eventually a cancerous tumor was removed from her ovary, but the cancer already had spread throughout her body. Joi passed away in Rachel's arms at 43 years old.

Hunter tells a delightful story of their deep, abiding love, in an age when Hollywood executives assumed they could have their way with aspiring actresses. Lansing's marriage kept some of the men at bay, and her husband's health insurance made it possible for her medical bills to be paid.

Joi Lansing: A Body to Die For is a story of true love and devotion. Be on the lookout for my interview with author Alexis Hunter on an upcoming Noshing with Nina Show.

Purchase Joi Lansing: A Body to Die For here.

Enjoy this clip of Lansing's appearance on The Beverly Hillbillies:



Photo courtesy of Kerry and Paul Loveland

Nina Kennedy is a concert pianist, orchestral conductor, and award-winning filmmaker. She holds a master’s degree from the Juilliard School. Her memoir, Practicing for Love, is a 2021 Lambda Literary Award Finalist. The sequel, Practice What You Preach, is available at infemnity.com/shop.


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