Candida Royalle

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Candida Royalle
Candida Royalle at the 2013 CineKink awards
Royalle at the 2013 CineKink awards
Candice Marion Vadala

(1950-10-15)October 15, 1950
New York City, New York U.S.
DiedSeptember 7, 2015(2015-09-07) (aged 64)
Other namesCandace Chambers, Candice Ball, Candice Chambers, Candida Royalle
Height5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)

Candida Royalle (born Candice Marion Vadala; October 15, 1950 – September 7, 2015) was an American producer and director of couples-oriented pornography, pornographic actress, sex educator, and sex-positive feminist. She was a member of the XRCO and the AVN Halls of Fame.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Royalle was born Candice Marion Vadala in New York City on October 15, 1950.[3] Initially trained in music, dance and art in New York City, she studied at the High School of Art and Design, Parsons School of Design and the City University of New York.[4]


After graduating from Parsons School of Design, she began performing with the avant-garde theater group The Cockettes and in 1975 played Divine's daughter in the play The Heartbreak of Psoriasis.[5][6][7]

In 1975, she began her career as a pornographic performer,[8] appearing in about 25 movies before retiring in 1980 with Blue Magic, which she also wrote.[9]

In 1984, Royalle founded Femme Productions, with the goal of making erotica based on female desire, as well as pornographic films aimed at helping couple therapy. Her productions are aimed more to women and couples than to the standard pornographic audience of men, and have been praised by counselors and therapists for depicting healthy and realistic sexual activity.[10]

Royalle stated that she tried to avoid "misogynous predictability", and depiction of sex in "…as grotesque and graphic [a way] as possible." She also criticized the male-centredness of the typical pornographic film, in which scenes end when the male actor ejaculates. Royalle's films are not "goal oriented" towards a final "cum shot"; instead, her films depict sexual activity within the broader context of women's emotional and social lives.[11] In 1989, she signed the Post Porn Modernist Manifesto.[12]

Royalle wrote regular columns for adult magazines High Society and Cheri.[13] She was also a public speaker, giving lectures at Smithsonian Institution, the World Congress on Sexology, and numerous universities and professional conferences.[14]

In 2004, she authored the book How to Tell a Naked Man What to Do.[14]

A five-track EP titled Candida Cosmica, a collaboration between Royalle and Patrick Cowley from the mid-1970s, was released in October 2016 by Dark Entries Records.[15]


Royalle was a member of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists,[16] and a founding board member of Feminists for Free Expression.[17]

Personal life and death[edit]

In the 1980s, Royalle was married to producer Per Sjostedt.[18] In May 2006, she announced that she was engaged to be married.[19] She died in Mattituck, New York[14] on September 7, 2015, aged 64, from ovarian cancer.[4][20]

In media[edit]

In 2019, Candice, a documentary about Royalle's life and finding out what happened to her mother who left her as a child, was screened at various documentary film festivals.[21][22][23] It was directed by Sheona McDonald and distributed by Mbur Indie Film Distribution.[24]


  1. ^ "XRCO Hall of Fame". Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  2. ^ "AVN Hall of Fame". Adult Video News. Archived from the original on April 15, 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  3. ^ Robets, Sam (September 11, 2015). "Candida Royalle, Who Made Erotic Films for Women, Dies at 64". New York Times. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Vanmetre, Elizabeth (September 7, 2015). "Former porn star turned director Candida Royalle dies at age 64". New York Daily News. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  5. ^ Stanley, John (February 21, 1988). "Film Maker Gives Erotica A Woman's Point of View". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  6. ^ Alilunas, Peter (2016). Smutty Little Movies: The Creation and Regulation of Adult Video. Univ of California Press. p. 132. ISBN 9780520291706. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  7. ^ Eichelbaum, Stanley (June 20, 1975). "A musical comedy that's sheer agony". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  8. ^ "Candida Royalle iafd bio". Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  9. ^ "Candida Royalle". Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  10. ^ "Discourses of Desire: Liberals, Feminists, and the Politics of Pornography in the 1980s -- Cameron 2 (4): 784 -- American Literary History". Archived from the original on August 2, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2008.
  11. ^ illy Bragge, "Girls on top", The Age, June 16, 2004.
  12. ^ "15 Worst Pick Up Lines You've Ever Heard In Hindi - Enjoy The Rainny Romance". May 2019.
  13. ^ Lyon, Jason. "New York Stories: The Adult Industry's Past … and Present". Adult Video News. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  14. ^ a b c Kernes, Mark. "Famed Actress/Director Candida Royalle Passes". Adult Video News. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  15. ^ Lefebvre, Sam (August 5, 2016). "Waking the Spirit of a Disco Innovator". The New York Times. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  16. ^ Zeiss Stange, Mary; Oyster, Carol K.; Sloan, Jane E. (2013). The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World. SAGE Publications. p. 291. ISBN 9781452270685.
  17. ^ Denfeld, Rene (2009). The New Victorians. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 9780446565233.
  18. ^ Williams, Linda (1989). Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the "frenzy of the Visible". University of California Press. pp. 246–247. ISBN 0520066529. Retrieved February 28, 2016. Per Sjostedt candida.
  19. ^ Abby Ehmann (May 16, 2006). "Candida Royalle". Eros NY. Archived from the original on November 17, 2006. Retrieved May 26, 2007.
  20. ^ Celona, Larry (September 7, 2015). "Orphaned ex-porn star dies of cancer". New York Post. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  21. ^ Gee, Dana (April 26, 2019). "Godmother of feminist porn is focus of new doc Candice | Vancouver Sun". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  22. ^ Shepherd, Jeremy (May 3, 2019). "Doc examines life of adult film star turned feminist icon". North Shore News. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  23. ^ Lamble, David. "What's up, DocFest?". The Bay Area Reporter. The Bay Area Reporter. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  24. ^ "Mbur Indie Film Distribution". Retrieved November 18, 2020.

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