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Portrait of Brenda Venus
November 10, 1957 
Biloxi, Mississippi, USA
|Occupation||Author, actress, filmmaker|
Venus is the author of "Secrets of Seduction for Men" and "Secrets of Seduction for Women" and a 2012 novella titled "Twelve Hours". Her books have been translated into 37 languages. Publishers William Morrow and E.F. Dutton sent her on a worldwide publicity tour - making various appearances on TV, radio and press interviews. For over six years, starting in 1998, Brenda wrote a popular column for Playboy Magazine called "Centerfolds on Sex."
Relationship with Henry Miller
After purchasing a book when she was a college student at an auction that contained an envelope with famed writer Henry Miller's address, Venus wrote to Miller and they became "pen pals". Eventually Miller became her mentor and Brenda his muse,. Miller wrote 1,500 letters that were collected into the book "Dear, Dear Brenda – The Love Letters of Henry Miller to Brenda Venus".
In his book Joey, Miller wrote of Venus: "To love at the end of one's life is something special. Few women can inspire that sort of love. To wake up with the words of love on one's lips--what bliss! Just to say "Brenda" puts me in ecstasy."
Miller's long-time friend and confidant, fellow novelist and poet Lawrence Durrell wrote in the introduction to Miller's book Dear, Dear Brenda that: "The role of Brenda Venus will keep its interest and importance also as a memorial of his last great attachment--an Ariel to his Prospero... She enabled him to dominate his infirmities and to experience all the Joys of Paradise."
According to writer Ed Millis, Venus was a source of inspiration to the aging and ailing Miller. Brenda was all of 20 years of age, Henry was 84. She was a beautiful Southern belle, "The Boticelli of Mississippi"—he called her. Henry, the renegade intellectual, the writer, had taken millions of us to the sexy Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn. Now he was sick and slowly recuperating. He needed a lift in spirits... Brenda the Muse breathed life into her mortal charge and gave him reason to live. He wrote her over 1,500 letters and gave her focus and fine tuning!"
Film and TV
Her movie appearances include:
- Night Fright (1967)
- An Eye for an Eye (1973)
- Foxy Brown (1974)
- The Eiger Sanction (1975)
- The Legend of Valentino (1975)
- Against a Crooked Sky (1975)
- Swashbuckler (1976)
- Joshua (1976)
- Deathsport (1978)
- FM (1978)
- 48 Hrs. (1982)
On her birthday, November 10,[when?] Russia's prime minister Vladimir Putin requested that she visit Moscow as his guest. The invitation was to attend the opening performance of "Venus", a play about her life. Members of the Bolshoi Ballet were cast along with Olympic Gold Medalist, Svetlana Khorkina, who played the title role.
Brenda has been the subject of numerous artists besides Henry Miller. These artists include, but are not limited to, painter Harold Frank, Ansel Adams protege Ken Marcus and the former boxer and Ed Paschke protege, Gary Dobry.
In the spring of 1997, Venus posed for a celebrity nude pictorial in Playboy Magazine.
She also appeared in Playboy in July 1986. According to the Playboy website:
- "One of the women with whom Miller had a romantic, yet platonic, relationship was Brenda Venus. Her friendship with Miller lasted four years, until his death in 1980. In 1986, some of the hundreds of letters Miller wrote to Venus were published in the book Dear, Dear Brenda. Following the book's release, Venus posed for the July 1986 issue of Playboy."
- King, Steve (7 June 2013). "Daybook: Nin, Miller, Venus". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- Corrigan, Patricia (1 February 1997). "Making Book on Lots of Flirtatious Maneuvers". St Louis Post-Dispatch – via Questia (subscription required). Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- Davidson, Cathy N. (1996-03-21). The Book of Love: Writers and Their Love Letters. Plume. p. 291. ISBN 978-0-452-27594-2. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- Whitman, Alden (1 January 1986). "Miller's letters show love of life". Chicago Sun-Times – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
- Tytell, John (5 May 1991). "Naughty Boy Of American Literature". Washington Post – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- Terex, Natasha (22 February 2002). "Russia's top gymnast turns to acting". The Russian Journal. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- Rich, Tim (17 July 2004). "OLYMPIC COUNTDOWN: Toxteth Teenager Takes Aim at Russian Queen". The Independent – via Questia (subscription required). Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "Prominent Russians: Svetlana Khorkina". TV-Novosti. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- Ken Marcus
- Bio, http://www.brendavenus.com
- Brenda Venus, http://www.nudography.com
- Brenda Venus, http://www.playboy.com
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