It is with great sadness that I share news of the death of Jody Marie Hogsett Maxwell Mcginnis, who died on February 12th 2017 after a long battle with cancer. Her family chose to use all of her names in her obituary because she was many different things to many different people. To those who knew her best she was a caregiver, an avid bowler, and a rabid Kansas City Royals fan. To generations of children in Northern California, she was a school teacher. But most knew her as Jody Maxwell, the “singing stick licker” from Kansas City, porn star and legend of the “Golden Age of Erotica.”
My father, Gerard Damiano Sr., first met her in 1974 at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. He was speaking to a sell out crowd at a symposium on morality. She was an undergrad majoring in theater who had been tasked with interviewing him for the school paper. On the very night that they met she described her “singing and sucking” technique, to which he replied “I’ll put you in pictures and make you a star”. It sounded like the classic Hollywood pick-up line, but he made good on his promise. Upon her graduation he called her father (a criminal prosecutor) to get his blessing, then flew her and a chaperone to New York for a screen test. He was so inspired by her performance that he built an entire film around her. She would portray a women afflicted with multiple personality disorder, playing 3 distinctly different characters. Jody appeared in every single scene, her sexual energy matched by her acting ability.
“Portrait” was released in 1975 to critical acclaim and launched her short career in adult film. She returned to New York in 1979 to reunite with my father for a role in “The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue”. It was then that I first met her while painting sets and making props for the film. At 15 years old I developed my own crush on her. She went on to have a career in phone sex which is detailed in her book “My Private Calls”, and later moved out to the West Coast to begin a new life as a school teacher.
In the fall of 2015 after a long search, I was blessed to finally track her down near her home in Northern California. I interviewed her at length about her relationship with my father and learned the truth behind a story that I thought I knew.
Jody is survived by her husband of 33 years and was laid to rest yesterday in her beloved Kansas City, Missouri. In lieu of flowers her family has requested that donations be made to the American Cancer Society.