Desireé Cousteau (born Deborah Clearbranch in 1956 in Savannah, Georgia, USA) was a porn star of the 1970s and 1980s. She is best known for her roles in the 1978 film Pretty Peaches and 1979's Inside Desireé Cousteau.
Cousteau started out in the early 70's as a mainstream actress, landing a small part in the 1974 "girls-in-prison" B-movie Caged Heat. Her mainstream career never quite took off, though, and soon she found herself drawn into the burgeoning world of sex films. She worked steadily in adult movies from the mid-1970s through the late 1980s.
She received the Adult Film Association of America "Best Actress" award in 1978 for her performance in the movie Pretty Peaches, a film director Alex de Renzy considered to be one of his best. Cousteau played "Peaches", described as "a daffy carefree female who cheerfully plunges through life without any worries". In the film, she has a car accident after attending her father's wedding and is rendered unconscious. Two guys find her and take advantage of her; then offer to help her when it becomes apparent that she has amnesia. Peaches resolves to keep smiling through all the silly schemes and circumstances the guys come up with.
In addition to "Peaches", many of the characters Cousteau portrayed were somewhat ditzy, leading some viewers to assume that the actress herself was similarly dim-witted.
In Inside Desireé Cousteau, a (somewhat) semi-autobiographical film, she plays a reporter trying to dissuade the men who are interested in her her charms rather than her place in the workforce. She obtains the scoop of a lifetime from a presidential candidate, then tries a stint as a door-to-door saleswoman, where she has some unusual encounters. Trying to avoid more of the same, she finds a job on a luxury yacht, but gets involved with two porn stars. She finally accepts the fact that sex is the outcome of any job she tries; she sets her sights on a career as a porn star and "lives happily ever after".
Although little is known about Cousteau's life after she retired from the adult film business, three wildly varying rumors persist. The first claims that she got married and settled down into an anonymous family life. The second, and more widespread rumor reported in several adult film magazines, states that she was institutionalized in the mid-80's after a mental breakdown. The final rumor, that she became an accredited psychologist in her home state of Georgia, is favored by those who knew her. All are partially true; she was married briefly, sought care for emotional and substance abuse, and became a successful child psychologist, which she continues to practice.