SIS! BOOM! BARE!
At the very top of a curving street deep in the San Fernando Valley is the address I had been texted the evening before. I know this is the place because of the trucks parked outside and the assorted props scattered along the ground. With four bedrooms and five baths, the house seems palatial - I looked it up later and found that it was 4,588 square feet and had been assessed 3 years ago at $1,229,600. I walk up to the door and consider pressing the bell, but think the better of it, given what could well be going on inside. So I stand outside and wait for someone, anyone, to come out. The sun beats down. The only sign of life are some birds chirping in the trees. Close to a half hour passes when the door opens.
Out steps a woman in a T-shirt and cutoffs. When I explain to her whom I have come to see, she asks me to follow her. Close on her heels, I walk through the door and give the place the once-over. Lights and cameras are arranged close to a long sofa. As we pass through a narrow hallway, the woman calls out, "Is Beverly around?" As we proceed, I see there are two styles of attire on display: Picked-up-off-the-floor shabby - that would be the crew; and off-the-rack Frederick's of Hollywood - that would be the talent. But when Beverly Lynne emerges from one of the bedrooms, where she has been chatting with some members of the crew, she looks like an average, well-to-do suburban housewife. In a casual top, slacks and high heels, she is dressed for the role of "Patricia," a character Lynne describes as "extremely uptight and snotty Beverly Hills housewife."
Upon leading me outside again, where we stood under a deep-blue sky, the slender blonde explained the "plot" of the film: "The synopsis is this: A magician inherits this home from his aunt. He moves in and we knock on his door. My husband and I, that is. My husband is an oil tycoon, and we have a friend who is a big movie producer. So, what happens is the magician has this medallion, which he uses to hypnotize people. So when I come over to investigate, he says, 'Whenever somebody says, "Wait! Wait! Wait!" you are going to have an incredible urge to be with them.' By the end, the movie producer is hypnotizing and confesses that he is a big fink who has embezzled money. And my husband admits we have gone broke and that he has just declared bankruptcy. I start beating on him when the magician flashes the medallion again. Everybody then becomes frozen and the movie ends."
Chances are you have seen some version of this story before. The picture is called "Busty Housewives of Beverly Hills" and is one of two that Lynne is scheduled to shoot over 4 days in October. The other is called "Teenie Weenie Bikini Squad," which Lynne said is "kind of like a sexy 'Charlie's Angels' " but only if the Angels slipped out of their clothes every few pages of the script. In her 10 years or so of working in the soft-core erotic-film industry and occasionally the horror genre, Lynne has appeared in dozens of pictures, including (in no particular order): "Super Ninja Bikini Babes," "Bewitched Housewives," "Bikini Chain Gang," "Bikini a Go-Go," "Genie in a String Bikini," "Lessons in Love," "Young and Tempting" and "Tomb of the Werewolf." Over the years, she has appeared with such frequency on HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, TMC and Playboy that she bills herself "The Queen of the Late Nite."
But perhaps you are thinking: Yeah. But where else have I seen her? Well, if you are an Eagles fan and allowed your binoculars to wander to the sideline 13 years ago at Veterans Stadium, you probably remember seeing her strut up and down the sideline as a cheerleader. She broke in the same year as Donovan McNabb but stayed only 2 years, at which point the ambitious young woman from Pennridge High School in Perkasie was selected for the cover of the Eagles 1999-2000 cheerleader swimsuit calendar and then scooted to Hollywood. You knew her as Beverly Lynne Hubscher back then - the daughter of an auctioneer who specialized in rare coins and who one day hoped she would take over the business from him. But Beverly Lynne understood that she could not be content doing that, or by staying in Pennsylvania, or in letting any obstacle stand between her and how she always saw herself: as the center of attention.
She was in her car when she heard an announcement on the radio that the Eagles were holding cheerleader tryouts. Immediately, the then-24-year old Beverly Lynne Hubscher told herself she was going to attend. That evening, she jotted down on an index card the words: I WILL MAKE THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES CHEERLEADER SQUAD. Even as a young girl, she always set down her goals on index cards, certain that if she told herself something enough, it would eventually happen. Over and over again, she would review them before bed, and this is what she did as the idea of becoming a member of the Eagles cheerleading squad formed and grew in her imagination. She told herself that she would tell no one what she planned do. She would just go.
"I was just the type who believed in that type of stuff," says Lynne, who had flown into Los Angeles the previous day from her home in Las Vegas. "All of us have a certain destination in life. Once you realize what your destination is going to be, you have to let your subconscious work on it. So I was just being positive and staying focused. I would think: This is what I want. And it would happen."
Kids in the Catholic grade school she attended used to call her "Lurch," the Frankenstein-like butler in the old TV series "The Addams Family." Lynne remembers: "I was very tall and I had hair on my arms. It was blond, but they made fun of me." The elder of two daughters born to Chris and Sue Hubscher, Beverly showed an aptitude for the performing arts at a young age. She caught the cheerleading bug at age 4 and continued through high school, where she says she had "acquaintances but few friends." She looked upon herself as "a kind of outsider," someone who had a clear picture from an early age that she would end up in Hollywood. With the encouragement of her parents, she took dancing and singing lessons, and participated in beauty pageants. Through her teenage years, she accompanied her father to some of the estate sales he held. Aware that he wanted her to follow him into the business, Beverly told him, "I love you, Dad. But sorry." Says her mother: "Occasionally, she would kid me and say, 'I'm going to become a stripper.' And I'd say, 'Don't you dare!' So I guess there were hints along the way."
Voted "most photogenic" her senior year at Pennridge, Lynne took a job as a waitress at the City View Diner in Allentown. She worked the overnight shift, which enabled her to travel to New York during the day to pursue modeling assignments. She landed a variety of jobs, even did some occasional work as an extra. While she had a desire to somehow get into acting, she was not inclined to pursue theater or soap-opera opportunities, two typical entry points for aspiring actors and actresses. Of her days running up and down the highway to New York, Lynne says she worked with photographers, which included doing some gallery art nudes. "I have always been comfortable being naked," she says. "I don't know. I'm an exhibitionist, maybe." She had just posed for some Playboy lingerie spreads two years before she learned that the Eagles where holding cheerleading tryouts. Says Lynne: "I thought if I could get on with them, it could be a stepping-stone."
She remembers there were "1,200 girls who showed up for the tryout." Perhaps it seemed that way to her, but according to Marylou Tammaro, then the director of the squad, "it would have been more like 500." Tryouts were held over several weeks, during which, Tammaro says, the candidates were assessed not just for their dancing skills but "their ability to represent the Eagles." Tammaro says that while Lynne may have looked upon it as "a stepping-stone," many of the women who go out for the team have careers or are in school and look upon it as an extracurricular activity. With only 36 spots available, Tammaro says that the cuts become increasingly hard as the candidates approach final auditions. She says that Lynne was "personable, well-spoken and made a very nice impression. I knew she would represent the Eagles well."
I ask Tammaro whether she was aware what Lynne had gone on to do. She replies, "I just knew she had wanted to become an actress. Did she do that?"
Ecstatic when she learned that she had been selected to the squad, Lynne found that being an Eagles cheerleader was "one of the greatest experiences of my life." With long practice sessions, games and public appearances, the work was hard, but gratifying. She did not become especially close to any of her teammates, if only because she knew that she would be moving on at some point, that her destiny would be in Los Angeles and not Pennsylvania. But it was not long before she had settled in with the Eagles when the photographs that she shot for Playboy 2 years earlier appeared on newsstands. Lynne says, "The Eagles confronted me about it. I had to prove I shot it before I was in the NFL."
Unaware that the pictorial had been shot - Lynne had warned her mother but not her father - Chris Hubscher happened to pick up the Playboy Book of Lingerie as he was buying a lottery ticket, and opened to the display of his daughter. Although thrilled that Beverly had become an Eagles cheerleader, he was less than thrilled by pictures in Playboy. Lynne says he exclaimed, "Beverly Lynne! What in the hell were you thinking?" To which Lynne replied sweetly: "I love you, Daddy." Somewhat more accepting of it was her mother, Sue, if only because "Beverly was an adult and was going to do it whether we approved or not." But Sue arrived at that conclusion only after the pictures had gotten the tacit endorsement of her own mother, who had been "a very strict Catholic but asked, 'Can I see them?' " Sue says now, "The pictures were tastefully done."
Lynne expected to spend "3 or 4 years" with the Eagles, or until she could utilize it to stand out in L.A., where, she says, "There are a million girls who look like me." But she ended up spending only 2 years with the Eagles. She caught the big break she was hoping for in 1999, when owner Jeffrey Lurie and his wife, Christina, selected her for the cover of the Eagles calendar. Having a credential like that would set her apart, enabling her to land interviews with agents and casting directors in Hollywood. Beverly Lynne Hubscher packed her bags and became just Beverly Lynne.
The oddest thing I discovered about Beverly Lynne is this: Germs horrify her. You would think that given this, the last profession she would pursue is one in which she comes in such proximity to other people in intimate settings. Her fears become especially acute when she is working with someone new. Lynne says, "I try not to show it, but I freak out inside." At home in Las Vegas with her husband, Glen Meadows, one of her former co-stars, and their daughter, Brianna, 6, she is able to keep her phobia under control by wiping down countertops with cleaning liquid. Her mother says that the problem has gotten worse through the years, that when she was a young girl Lynne would play with mudpies in the backyard.
Meadows chuckles when I asked him for his perspective. "She is kind of an anomaly," he says. "She has an aversion to germs, but she also has an aversion to doing laundry. You should see the clutter. I think what happened is that she got sick from some food once."
Lynne laughs. "So bizarre!" she says. "I think it got worse when I moved to the city. I hand-sanitize and stuff like that. Whenever I am in a public restroom, I use a paper towel to open the door."
Even with a copy of that Eagles calendar on her arm, Hollywood was a hard case to crack. Jobs that actually paid were scarce, but Lynne observed a guiding principle: She would not work for free. In looking back at it now, she characterizes the world she encountered in L.A. then as a "tough, tough industry that can chew you alive if you let it." Says Meadows, who came to L.A. from Joliet, Ill., during the same period: "Three-thousand people come to L.A. every day to work in films, and 3,000 people leave every day with their hopes shattered." Lynne faced wave upon wave of rejection, of being told she was wrong for the part. "Either I was too tall, or had the wrong color eyes or was not thin enough," she says. In the years that followed, it was common to see her colleagues yield to industry pressures and have plastic surgery, chiefly breast augmentation. Lynne considered it, but decided, "I would look stupid if I got them done. I would look out of proportion."
But opportunities opened up for her. Early on, she appeared in some episodes of "MADtv" (as - what else? - a cheerleader and a game-show model) and landed some roles in horror films such as "The Zombie Chronicles," "Holy Terror" and "Terror Tunes." But Lynne did not want to be "a starving actress" - which is to say "wait tables," as she did in Allentown until her big break came along - so she veered away from "the mainstream" and she accepted an offer to do erotic soft-core for Playboy TV. Her parents were less than enamored by this career move, yet supported her. In her initial role on "Personals II: CasualSex.com" - she played "Jessie," a reporter whose assignment was to answer the question: Can you really find love online? Lynne says that even through it was a closed set, she was "scared s-------." Lynne says, "I remember thinking, 'Oh, my, God! I am going to do what?' So, yeah, I was very nervous. Here I am in a room full of people - nude - and everyone is looking at me." Meadows says that is not exactly true, that the "20 or so people on the set are actually more concerned with doing their own jobs, so they are not even looking at you."
Although the genres are often perceived by the public as indistinguishable, erotic soft-core and hard-core are essentially opposite sides of the same street. Lynne explains the difference in a YouTube video, if only because she is asked the question again and again by fans: "Are you really doing it?" The answer is no: What you are seeing is an illusion. To prevent any inadvertent "contact," the women wear a "patch" and the men wear a "sock" over their private areas. Perhaps it should also be pointed that unlike hard-core, the pictures that Lynne has appeared in have story lines (of a sort). Meadows says, "Usually, they involve cops and strippers and are called 'Dangerous ... Whatever.' Get a Thesaurus and just add something second."
Lynne and Meadows became acquainted on a modeling assignment when they arrived in L.A. Both were dating other people, but found it odd that they were always running into each other. Meadows performed with Lynne in "Personals II" in 2001, and they were on the same plane to Florida in May of the following year to shoot "Hotel Erotica." When they found themselves cast in "Undercover Sex" that December, Meadows asked her, "Beverly Lynne, where have you been all my life?" Lynne replied, "Waiting for you." Married in 2006, they settled in Las Vegas, which both agreed would be a better place to bring up their daughter than L.A. I asked Lynne whether she was concerned that her livelihood would pose a problem for Brianna. Lynne says, "Las Vegas is a place where the woman down the street could have been a stripper." Says Meadows, who has left the erotic-film industry and now runs a sports book at one of the casinos: "[Brianna] asked me the other day, 'Dad, are we famous?' I asked her why she asked. And she said, 'You and mom are in movies.' So it is something we are going to have to deal with at some point."
Since Lynne entered the business 10 years ago, sweeping changes have come to the adult-film industry. According to Robert Lombard, a casting director who has hired Lynne and says he has "always liked her," the amount of the content that has been produced in the last 5 years is "off by 60 to 70 percent." With a seemingly inexhaustible supply of hard-core porn available on the Internet, there are increasingly fewer spots for someone such as Lynne, whom he suspects has suffered from the same decline in income he has in the soft-core industry. By appearing with the same cast members in more or less the same story lines - Lynne has more than 200 film and TV credits - Lombard says she had become "overexposed." He can well imagine a cable executive saying, "Jesus, do we really need another picture with Evan Stone, Beverly Lynne and Nicole Sheridan?" Moreover, there is this: In an industry that thrives on new faces, Lynne is at a point in her career at which even Meadows concedes: "There is an expiration date on Beverly Lynne."
The crew of "Busty Housewives of Beverly Hills" has broken for lunch. A long table has been set up in the back yard of the house, which on this clear October day offers a view of the L.A. skyline. Lynne sits down at the end of the table and begins picking at a plate of tofu as we talk. The day has been a long one, beginning with a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call at her Burbank hotel, followed by hair and makeup and then a scene her father will have to fast-forward through. Another scene is scheduled for the afternoon.
"At the end of the day, this is just a business, just like any business; it pays the bills," says Lynne. "I have created this sexy minx side of me that is 'Beverly.' But like any other occupation, you can be busy and then have your dry spells. People have the idea that we do this because we are sex addicts, but nothing could be further from the truth. We are not here to get our rocks off."
Close to an hour passes as we sit there under the deep-blue sky. To augment her income, she has developed a website, BeverlyLynne.com, which has an "edgier" element that allows her "to keep up with the Joneses." She has had overtures to do hard-core, but Lynne says the idea of having "real sex with strangers" does not appeal to her. "No way," she says. Meadows adds: "Beverly would not be able to do that work. You know, kiss your husband goodbye, do what you have to do and come back home. I think it takes a detached person to do that." Lynne says she hopes to get back into the horror genre and would love to direct at some point. Lombard always wondered why Lynne did not pursue a more mainstream career path - he says "it is still possible for her" - but Lynne understands there is a stigma attached to the work she has done.
Lynne takes a sip of water from a bottle. "I find it offensive that people think, 'Oh, she is known for taking her clothes off, so she is not someone you can cast in a substantial role.' So they have a preconceived idea about you, that you are a 'bad actor' or 'stupid.' They think of you as a bimbo."
The Queen of the Late Nite continues to pick at her food. The sun has caused her eyeliner to run. "Oh, wow, I am melting!" she says. She has to go; she says she has to get some powder on her face. As she stands to leave, a voice shouts from somewhere else in the house: "OK, everybody! Back to work!"