The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Community News Network

November 13, 2012

Sex surrogate's life becomes a movie

SALEM, Mass. — Like a lot of little girls who went to Catholic schools in the 1950s, Cheryl Cohen Greene had fleeting thoughts of becoming a nun.

“I loved the habit,” she said with a laugh.

That possible career path will surprise anyone who sees “The Sessions,” a recently released movie based on a true story about a paralyzed man in an iron lung who wants to lose his virginity and hires a sex surrogate.

Helen Hunt plays the sex surrogate — Cheryl Cohen Greene.

“I thought she did a beautiful job,” said Cohen Greene, 68, the former Cheryl Theriault of Salem.

Cohen Greene, who returns to Salem regularly, was raised in a French Catholic family.

Her life has been a whirlwind since the movie debuted earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won two awards. It went into limited release last month and is currently playing in movie theaters. There is Oscar buzz around both Hunt and actor John Hawkes, who plays Mark O’Brien, the writer and poet who contracted polio as a child and spent much of his life in an iron lung.

O’Brien, who died in 1999, wrote an article about his experience with Cohen Greene. “On Seeing a Sex Surrogate” appeared in The Sun, a literary magazine, in 1990. He also was the subject of a documentary, “Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien,” which won an Academy Award in 1997.

Since “The Sessions” made its film festival debut earlier this year, Cohen Greene has been to a movie premiere in Los Angeles, taken part in a question-and-answer session with film critic Jeffrey Lyons, spoken at Yale University, had a sit-down with Playboy magazine, and dined with celebrities in New York City.

“Dr. Ruth (Westheimer) and I had our picture taken together,” she said.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo