Most of the time when we think of Hollywood film stars, we imagine that they probably got their start in the industry performing on the Broadway stage or appearing in commercials before landing the iconic roles they eventually became known for. It’s common knowledge that Tinseltown is a notoriously difficult environment for a newcomer to rise up in it’s ranks, and rarely do stars immediately find success as soon as they arrive in town.
Before many stars managed to find success in show business, they had to take on a few job that weren’t likely very close to their hearts. While that’s not particularly uncommon by any means, it’s always fairly intriguing when instead of working as a waitress or page for one of the major studios, future stars turn to stripping off their clothing and appearing in adult films to get their feet in the water so to speak of the industry.
In general, the word “porn star” has a pretty negative connotation. Making the leap from appearing in adult films to becoming a real actor isn’t an easy task. Even so, some film and television stars have been able to successfully make this difficult transition. Join us as we take a look at a few celebrities that first appeared in adult films before landing the breakout roles that turned them into bonafide stars. We’ll also cover a few celebs that eventually turned to porn after their mainstream acting careers became stagnated.
With his chiseled physique and intensely alluring sex appeal, it’s not hard to imagine the Italian Stallion appearing in an adult film. Long before he was Rocky Balboa, Stallone appeared in a hardcore porn click titled The Party At Kitty’s and Stud’s – and as crazy at it sounds, that appearance ended up scoring him a role as an extra in the 1969 Robert Redford film Downhill Racer. A year later, he landed his first starring role in the film Rebel. Stallone went on to become an international superstar upon the release of Rocky and it’s subsequent sequels. Stallone further established himself as Hollywood’s got-to action hero when he appeared in the successful Rambo franchise of films.
This actor developed his acting chops on the theater stage. He became rather popular in the San Francisco theater scene in the 70s and went on to perform with improv comedy troupes before scoring more significant roles in offerings such as Kentucky Fried Movie, MAS*H, and Happy Days.
In the 80s, after major roles stopped coming his way, he adopted the name Jack Baker and appeared in multiple adult films in which he made fun of racial stereotypes while performing his “duties”.
Kelly Jean Van Dyke
As the daughter of the late actor Jerry Van Dyke and niece of Dick Van Dyke, Kelly was best known for appearing in television programs such as My Mother the Car and Accidental Family. While she came from a family that is often considered to be television royalty, Kelly struggled to find acting roles that she felt best suited her abilitiies, and by the 1980s she hardly could even find guest spots. After realizing that her Hollywood days were behind her, Kelly appeared in several pornographic films under the name Nancee Kelly.
On November 17, 1991, Kelly Van Dyke committed suicide by hanging herself in her Los Angeles apartment. She was only 33 when she died.
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While he may not necessarily be considered a household name, Schwartz is someone you probably recognize if you’ve ever seen the holiday classic A Christmas Story.
He played flick, the kid who famously got his tongue frozen to a flagpole. While that role certainly left us with a memorable movie moment that we’ll never forget Schwartz struggled to find other roles in the industry after making his appearance in that one iconic film.
In the early 90s, he appeared in the adult film Scotty’s X-Rated Adventure.
The plot of that film involved Schwartz attempting to get a behind-the-scenes look at the film industry by “interacting” with a particularly voluptuous star of the biz.
Schwartz went on to appear in several other adult films throughout the 90s, but his Hollywood film career, unfortunately, fizzled out.
Best known for his supporting roles in movies such as Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, Born on the Fourth Of July, Black Hawk Down, Natural Born Killers, Saving Private Ryan and Pearl harbor – just to name a few – Sizemore appeared in the 2005 adult film The Tom Sizemore Sex Scandal distributed by Vivid Entertainment. The video was presented as a sex tape that featured Tom having sexual relations with numerous women.
In the video, Sizemore claimed that he had slept with Paris Hilton. The hotel heiress, however, would later deny this allegation claiming that it was merely a cheap ploy made by Sizemore in order to drive up video sales.
Since then, Sizemore has appeared in the 2006 film Zyzzyx Road and, more recently, in the 2017 remake of Twin Peaks.
As a teen, Sampson enjoyed moderate success appearing in mainstream acting roles. Most notably, she appeared alongside Fred Savage in the Wonder Years episode The Summer Song, in which she played Savage’s love interest. She has also appeared in films such as Pump up the Volume, Other Men’s Wives, and Gia.
In 1998, Sampson jumped ship leaving Hollywood behind when she appeared in several hardcore films under the aliases Nicolette and Zoe. After realizing that the hardcore scene wasn’t necessarily her cup of tea, she switched to performing in softcore films for a while.
In 2008, Sampson once again started appearing in hardcore adult films, this time under the name Holly Sampson.
This actress made a name for herself when she appeared in the Star Trek episode The Gamesters of Triskelion as the drill thrall Shahna.
She was born in LA but was raised in Salt Lake City. In 1967, she appeared in her first films under the name Angelique. These films included The Love Rebellion and The Touch of Her Flesh. Her breakout role, however, was in the Elvis Presley film Clambake.
After making her appearance on Star Trek in 1968, Pettyjohn made guest appearances on shows such as Mister Terrific, Batman, The Girl From UNCLE, and The Green Hornet.
In the 70s, Pettyjohn appeared in films such as Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon, The GI Executioner, Cruel World, and Biohazard.
In the 80s, under the aliases Heaven St. John, Angel St. John, and Angelique, she appeared in several hardcore adult films, including Body Talk, Titillation, and Stalag 69. She later appeared in cult classic feature films such as The Lost Empire and Repo Man.
Best known for his role as high school misfit-turned-vampire, Evil Ed, in the 1980s horror film Fright Night, Geoffreys also appeared in 80s films like Heaven Help Us, Fraternity Vacation, At Close Range, and 976-EVIL. In his day, he was one of the biggest teen stars in Hollywood.
During the 90s, however, Geoffrey’s fame had faded, and he found himself appearing in several gay pornographic films under the same Sam Ritter.
Geoffrey’s would later return to doing horror films in the 2000s. In 2007, he played Mr. Putski in the indie flick Sick Girl after nine years of not appearing in a mainstream Hollywood film. He went on to play the lead in the horror movie Don Not Disturb. More recently, he donned his Evil Ed costume once again to take part in the Mad Monster Party convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2015.
After playing Screech on Saved by the Bell, Diamond found himself typecast and struggled to find work. This is an all-too-common plight for former child stars, and many of them never find the success in the industry as an adult that they desperately desire.
While he did appear on reality and game shows such as The Weakest Link and Celebrity Boxing 2, Diamond’s television career was looking like it was pretty much dead in the water by the mid 2000s. And the few film roles that he managed to land after his turn as Screech on Saved by the Bell pretty much just poked fun at the fact that he was a former child star.
In 2005, Diamond directed and released his own sex tape titled Screeched – Save by the Smell. Initially, Diamond had claimed that the video had leaked after attending a gathering where he and group of friends exchanged similar tapes. Several years later, he admitted that not only did he release the video willingly, but also that he had used a stunt double with his likeness superimposed.
The Charlie’s Angels star appeared in softcore adult films before her acting career took off as it did. Once her Hollywood career began picking up steam after starring in films such as The Mask, Diaz desperately tried to cease the circulation of the films but the rights holders of the videos supposedly demanded that she shell out $3.5 million for them to bury them. The actress who has since retired from acting in Hollywood movies has never publicly spoken about the films.
That pretty much wraps up this video, but now it’s your turn to speak your mind. Can you think of any other Hollywood stars that either started out doing adult films or later ended up doing them once their film and television roles began to dry up? If so, share what you know in the comments section down below.
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