May 06, 2002 12:00 PM

When they took her off life support on April 22 in the Denver Health Medical Center, Linda Boreman was surrounded by family. “We were all there,” says ex-husband Larry Marchiano, “to wait until she passed on and then comfort each other.”

“We know her as Mom,” he says, “we know her as Gramma, and I know her as Lin.” The public, however, knew Bore-man as Linda Lovelace, star of Deep Throat. The breakout 1972 X-rated movie grossed a reported $600 million, luring the Burberry set into theaters usually frequented by the cheap raincoat crowd. Boreman, 53 when she died of internal injuries from an April 3 car wreck, spent her life trying to live it down.

In Ordeal, her 1980 autobiography, Boreman, who grew up in Yonkers, N.Y., the youngest daughter of John, a New York City traffic cop, and homemaker Dorothy, detailed years of brutality and sexual degradation at the hands of first husband Chuck Traynor, whom she had wed in 1971. Traynor, she claimed, forced her to make Deep Throat. He was paid $1,200; she never saw a dime. “I was a robot who did what I had to do to survive,” she told PEOPLE in 1987.

An antiporn crusader since the early ’80s, Boreman, who moved to Colorado with construction worker Marchiano, 54, in 1990 (they divorced amicably in 1996), had lived on Long Island for 15 years, raising their children, Lindsay, 21, a temp in Denver, and Dominic, 25, a I mechanic, while battling health problems including liver disease. “She got hit by a million things,” says Mike McGrady, coauthor of Ordeal and Out of Bondage, its 1986 sequel, “but she always came back. She was very strong-willed.”

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