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Porn Actors Who Went Mainstream

Many famous stars have dabbled in porn.

jim-morrisby jim-morris

The adult film industry has grown from being America’s dirty secret into a billion dollar industry. No longer the option of last resort, many performers seek it out as a career choice. To put it simply: porn pays. As Ron Jeremy said, “An average actor makes $30,000 a year … an actress can make between $300,000 and $400,000, if they’re a contract player.” (stumpedmagazine.com) It could be argued that porn is a platform, akin to YouTube, that gives performers the opportunity to jump from the niche of the nude arts to the cultural mainstream. Here are ten former porn stars who made that transition, and some of the names may surprise you.

Sylvester Stallone
Fair enough, he was never a porn “star,” but he did appear in “The Party at Kitty and Stud’s,” a 1970s adult film where he landed the role of Stud. It was later retitled “The Italian Stallion” after Stallone hit it big in Hollywood. While other stars would follow suit (read: Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian), Sylvester was one of the first to go from porn-obscurity into the mainstream.

Sasha Grey

Sasha Grey took the porn world by storm a few years ago with her capacity to be capacious. Her first scene was an orgy with Rocco Siffredi for “The Fashionistas 2.” She left porn for greener pastures, including appearing in Steven Soderbergh’s “The Girlfriend Experience,” a supporting role in “Entourage” and a few independent films. She is also a member of the band aTelecine, and is writing an erotic novel. Like her sexual escapades, what can’t this woman do?

Spalding Gray

Spalding Gray, actor, writer and king of monologues such as “Impossible Vacation” and “Swimming to Cambodia,” starred in a couple of porn films in his youth. In 1976, he appeared in “The Farmer’s Daughters” and later “Maraschino Cherry” (sfweekly.com). Sadly, he committed suicide in 2004.

Katie Morgan

Katie got her start in porn in order to pay off her bail after being arrested in 2000 for transporting 100 pounds of marijuana from Mexico into the U.S. She segued into the mainstream with a role in Kevin Smith’s “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” where she played a bubbly stripper. She also landed a part on “Entourage.” She has officially retired from adult films, but you can still see her naked quite often on several HBO reruns.

Anna Ilona Staller

Anna Ilona Staller, or as she is better known by her stage name, Cicciolina, is an Italian porn star and, amazingly, an elected politician. She appeared in her first hardcore film in 1983. It’s difficult to say if she went “legit,” as she continued to make adult films while a member of the Italian parliament. Add to her resume that she has recorded several songs and appeared in the film “Replikator,” and she is one of the more interesting porn actresses around. She has said, “My breasts have never done anyone any harm, while bin Laden’s war has caused thousands of victims.”

Jackie Chan

Yeah, that Jackie Chan. The “Rush Hour” action star got his start in a Hong Kong adult film called “All in the Family.” Said Chan, “I had to do anything I could to make a living 31 years ago, but I don’t think it’s a big deal; even Marlon Brando used to be exposed in his movies” (cracked.com).

Traci Lords

No list would be complete without Traci Lords. She is notorious for appearing underage in adult films and magazines, and is the reason porn films now have the ubiquitous “Title 18, Section 2257, no performer under the age of 18 …” at the beginning of every production. After studying acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, Traci found upward mobility in Hollywood with the help of director John Waters, and has since appeared in movies like “Cry-Baby,” “Serial Mom,” “Blade,” “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” and many more. Add to the list her solo album in 1995 and her autobiography in 2003, and Traci is the very definition of a “crossover” star.

Sibel Kekilli

Maybe you haven’t heard of her. That’s because she’s a German film actress who won the German version of Best Actress for her performances in “Head-On” and “When We Leave.” She has also appeared on “Game of Thrones” here in the U.S. But a German tabloid revealed that she used to be a porn actress who used the alias “Dilara” in her films. Sibel’s parents were unaware of their daughter’s past and have since broken off contact with her.

Jenna Jameson

Dubbed “The Queen of Porn,” Jenna Jameson became the first porn brand, and made herself rich in the process. Her name has become a beacon for girls the world over who now strive to break into the industry. She crossed over into the mainstream with a role in Howard Stern’s “Private Parts,” and voice-over roles on “Family Guy” and in “Grand Theft Auto.” She also created a horror comic book and wrote a best-selling autobiography. She said, “I’ve always embraced my hardcore roots, but becoming a household name was an important thing to me.”

Ron Jeremy

“The Hedgehog” has done a variety of mainstream projects, including “The Rules of Attraction,” “Reindeer Games,” “Crank: High Voltage,” “Killing Zoe” and many music videos. Outside of movies, he’s involved in a line of rum called Ron de Jeremy, and in 2008 he wrote a memoir, “Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz.”