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Xaviera Hollander (born 15 June 1943) is a former Dutch call girl, madam, and author. She came to be best known for her best-selling memoir The Happy Hooker: My Own Story.

Xaviera Hollander
Photograph of Xaviera Hollander
Hollander by Alan Mercer (2008)
Xaviera de Vries

(1943-06-15) 15 June 1943 (age 75)
Known forThe Happy Hooker: My Own Story
Spouse(s)Frank Applebaum (m. ?)
Philip de Haan (m. 2007)


Early lifeEdit

Hollander was born Xaviera "Vera" de Vries in Surabaya, Japanese-occupied Dutch East Indies, which later became part of present-day Indonesia, to a Dutch Jewish physician father and a mother of French and German descent.[1] She spent the first years of her life in a Japanese internment camp.[2]

In her early 20s, she left Amsterdam for Johannesburg, where her stepsister lived. There she met and became engaged to John Weber, an American economist. When the engagement was broken off, she left South Africa for New York City.[3]


In 1968 she resigned from her job as secretary of the Dutch consulate in Manhattan to become a call girl,[1] where she made $1,000 a night. A year later she opened her own brothel, the Vertical Whorehouse, and soon became New York City's leading madam. In 1971 she was arrested for prostitution by New York Police and forced to leave the United States.[4][5]


In 1971 Hollander published a memoir, The Happy Hooker: My Own Story. Robin Moore, who took Hollander's dictations of the book's contents, came up with the title, while Yvonne Dunleavy either transcribed the book[3] or ghostwrote it.[6] Hollander later wrote a number of other books and produced plays in Amsterdam. Her book Child No More is the story of losing her mother. For 35 years she wrote an advice column for Penthouse magazine entitled Call Me Madam.[7]

Other venturesEdit

Appearing on TV programme After Dark in 1989

In the early 1970s she recorded a primarily spoken-word album titled Xaviera! for the Canadian GRT Records label (GRT 9230-1033), on which she discussed her philosophy regarding sex and prostitution, sang a cover version of the Beatles' song "Michelle", and recorded several simulated sexual encounters, including an example of phone sex, a threesome and a celebrity encounter with guest "vocal" by Ronnie Hawkins. Xaviera's Game, an erotic board game, was released in 1974 by Reiss Games, Inc. In 1975 she starred in the semi-autobiographical film My Pleasure is My Business. Beginning in 2005 she operated Xaviera's Happy House, a bed and breakfast within her Amsterdam home.[8]


Hollander's books became the inspiration for a series of movies, starting with 1975's The Happy Hooker, which starred Lynn Redgrave.[9] The film was followed by two sequels: 1977's The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington[10] and 1980's The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood.[11] In the sequels Hollander's role was played by two other actresses, Joey Heatherton and Martine Beswick respectively.

A musical about her life was written and composed by Richard Hansom and Warren Wills.[12] Also, Robert Dunlap released a documentary called Xaviera Hollander: Portrait of a Sexual Revolutionary.[13]

Personal lifeEdit

For several years in the 1970s, Hollander lived in Toronto, where she married Frank Applebaum, a Canadian antique dealer, and was a regular fixture in the downtown core. Hollander claimed to have "turned gay" around 1997, establishing a long-term relationship with a Dutch poet called Dia.[2] In January 2007 she married a Dutch man, Philip de Haan, in Amsterdam.[14]


Hollander has been depicted in film five times:

Hollander appears in at least two films:

  • My Pleasure Is My Business, released in 1975 and directed by Al Waxman, as Gabrielle
  • Xaviera Hollander, the Happy Hooker: Portrait of a Sexual Revolutionary, a documentary released in 2008 and directed, jointly produced, photographed and edited by Robert Dunlap, and she made additional writing contributions to the script



  • Robin Moore; Yvonne Dunleavy; Xaviera de Vries Hollander (1971). The Happy Hooker: My Own Story. Sphere Books. ISBN 978-0-900735-13-4.

Moore took Hollander's dictation, and Dunleavy transcribed the results.

  • Letters to the Happy Hooker. New York: Warner Paperback Library. 1973. ISBN 978-0-446-78277-7.
  • Xaviera!: Her Continuing Adventures. New York: Warner Paperback Library. 1973.
  • Xaviera Goes Wild. New York: Warner Paperback Library. 1974.
  • Xaviera on the Best Part of a Man. New York: New American Library. 1975.
  • Marilyn Chambers (1976). Xaviera Meets Marilyn Chambers. New York: Warner Paperback Library.
  • Xaviera's Supersex: Her Personal Techniques for Total Lovemaking. New York: New American Library. 1976.
  • Xaviera's Fantastic Sex. New York: New American Library. 1978. ISBN 978-0-451-15104-9.
  • Xaviera's Magic Mushrooms. Sevenoaks, Kent: New English Library. 1981. ISBN 978-0-450-05064-0.
  • The Inner Circle. London: Granada. 1983.
  • Fiesta of the Flesh. London: Panther. 1984. ISBN 978-0-586-06195-4.
  • The Best of Xaviera. Sydney: Horwitz Grahame. 1985. ISBN 978-0-7255-1841-7.
  • Knights in the Garden of Spain. London: Grafton. 1988. ISBN 978-0-586-07432-9.
  • Child No More: A Memoir. New York: ReganBooks. 2002. ISBN 978-0-06-001417-9.
  • The Happy Hooker's Guide to Mind-Blowing Sex: 69 Orgasmic Ways to Pleasure a Woman. New York: Skyhorse Pub. 2008. ISBN 978-1-60239-240-3.


  • Hollander, Xaviera (1983). Lucinda, My Lovely. Henley-on-Thames. ISBN 978-0-85628-118-1.
  • Hollander, Xaviera (1984). Lucinda: Hot Nights on Xanthos. Henley-on-Thames. ISBN 978-0-85628-129-7. (Originally published 1983)
  • Erotic Enterprises Inc. Henley-on-Thames: Ellis. 1985. ISBN 978-0-85628-142-6.
  • Co-written with John Drummond: Happily Hooked. Panther. 1985. ISBN 0-586-06399-4.
  • The Erotic Adventures of Sandra. 1986.
  • The Kiss of the Serpent. Grafton. 1987. ISBN 978-0-586-07040-6.
  • Hollander, Xaviera (1987). Yours Fatally!: Book One of the Golden Phallus of Osiris Trilogy. London. ISBN 978-0-586-07039-0.
  • Co-written with John Drummond: Let's Get Moving. Grafton. 1988. ISBN 0-586-07431-7.
  • Prisoner of the Firebird. Grafton. 1988. ISBN 978-0-586-07041-3.
  • Lucinda and Other Lovelies. Ellis. 1990. ISBN 978-0-85628-198-3. Collects Lucinda, My Lovely; Lucinda: Hot Nights on Xanthos; and Erotic Enterprises Inc.


  1. ^ a b Ross, Deborah (8 December 2012). "Xaviera Hollander: Is the Happy Hooker still happy after all these years?". The Independent. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b Che, Cathay (20 August 2002). "The Happy Hooker gets the girl". The Advocate: 80–3.
  3. ^ a b Hollander, Xaviera (1971). The Happy Hooker: My Own Story. Sphere Books. ISBN 978-0-06-001416-2.
  4. ^ "5 Police Corruption Scandals that Rocked New York City". New York Post. 28 December 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Notorious New York City brothels: 'Manhattan Madam' Kristin Davis supplied hookers for clients including Eliot Spitzer". NY Daily News. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  6. ^ John Cassidy, "The hell-raiser", Sydney Morning Herald, 9 December 2000, Good Weekend, p. 80
  7. ^ "Xaviera Hollander: Is the Happy Hooker still happy after all these years?". 8 December 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Xaviera Hollanders "Happy House Bed&Breakfast"". Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  9. ^ Staff. "The Happy Hooker (1975) 96 min - Biography, Comedy - 14 January 1976 (France)". Amazon. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  10. ^ Staff. "The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington (1977) 89 min - Comedy - 15 July 1977 (USA)". Amazon. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  11. ^ Staff. "The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood (1980) 88 min - Comedy - 4 June 1980 (USA)". Amazon. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  12. ^ "Happy Hooker Musical". Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Documentary,The Happy Hooker: Portrait of a Sexual Revolutionary". Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  14. ^ Faber, Judy (2 January 2007). "Happy Hooker Gets Hitched". Retrieved 10 December 2018.

External linksEdit