Before they were ‘porn famous’: A collection of struggling actors’ headshots

May 12, 2015
Adult Business News
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Porn was a different beast in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Often times, actors, looking for their “big break,” would do adult films under assumed names to make rent while struggling to land legit roles. In the history of porn, only a small minority of stars, such as Jenna Jameson, Traci Lords and Ginger Lynn, were actually able to make the transition from “blue movies” to the “silver screen.”

headshotsgeorginaspelvin

Shelley Graham, better known as Georgina Spelvin, star of The Devil In Miss Jones

The Rialto Report is an online historical archive of information related to “the golden age of porn” (mostly ‘70s and ‘80s) in New York. It’s an excellent, exhaustive source of interviews and articles related to the subject. If the topic holds any interest for you at all, you’ll want to check them out by following the previous link.

Prior to the shot-on-video, amateur quickies of today, it could be argued that porno flicks in the ‘70s—especially in New York—made some attempt at “real movie” production value. Indeed, many of the actors in these films were poor souls who had come to the Big Apple seeking fame, but were struggling in bit parts for little-to-no money. As Deep Throat star, Harry Reems, told Rialto Report:

In the beginning, I could get $150 for a few hours in a sex film – compared to next to nothing for appearing for weeks in an off-off-Broadway play. These X-rated films helped prolong my existence as a struggling actor, and therefore increased the chances that I’d eventually get a big break.

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