Fred Lincoln Memorial Draws Big Industry Turnout

Jared Rutter

LOS ANGELES — A “celebration” of the life of director F. J. Lincoln, who died last month at age 76, on Sunday drew about 100 adult industry names to the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City, the time-honored location of porn biz memorials.

The director, billed under his full name, Fred Lincoln Piantadosi, was celebrated as “filmmaker, actor, legend, storyteller, friend and father.” Friends and associates eulogized the man whose porn career began in the 1970s, before the stage was taken by his widow and longtime production partner Patti Rhodes and their daughter Angelica Piantadosi.

The three Lincoln attributes most often mentioned were his long hair, his rough, raspy voice and his frequent laughter. “His laugh could melt an iceberg,” said William Margold, kicking off the program, which was emceed by Evil Angel GM Christian Mann, a close Lincoln friend.

Tori Welles spoke warmly of Lincoln’s support throughout her acting career and said, “I bet a hundred bucks I wasn’t going to cry.” (She won but just barely.) Also contributing were director Cass Paley, acting legend Eric Edwards, producer Howie Klein and — a surprise guest — former Vivid Girl Hyapatia Lee. Lincoln’s son Charles Lupula spoke via Skype, and Vanessa De Rio paid tribute in a letter.

A slide show created by actress Alexandra Silk (who with husband Luc Wylder organized the memorial) tracked Lincoln from childhood through career highlights and into old age, with special emphasis on his relationship with his daughter.

Rhodes gave an emotional remembrance of the 28 years the shared together. At first, she said, “We were pretty much inseparable. Life with Freddie was pretty wonderful.” Later, their marriage broke up but not their partnership. “We were separated about as long as we were married, but we never divorced, and we raised Angelica together. I was glad I could be with him at the end.”           

Angelica remembered Lincoln as “more than just my father — he was a best friend. He guided me through life even in the darkest times. He molded me into a strong, independent woman.”

As moving as the tributes were, they were overshadowed by Lincoln himself, captured on video near the end of his life by Cass Paley. It showed the director doing one of the things he did best, telling stories — pungent, funny stories about porn shoots and live sex shows in ‘70s New York. (“We got high together, we had sex together.”) He also spoke of his pride in his chosen medium, asserting that porn’s opponents “hate us because we have taught people how to enjoy themselves.”

He continued on a personal note, describing himself as “ex-Marine, ex-gangster, and now an old man with a heart condition. The birth of my daughter was a gift from the gods for me being a decent man.” And with a filmmaker’s professional pride: “393 movies and never one over budget.”  

Among the guests were Lincoln contemporaries like Herschel Savage and Veronica Hart and quite a few porn stars of both genders who flourished in the ‘80s and ‘90s (some still active), plus studio heads, fellow directors and adult media.