The 1970s have been considered the birth of the pornstar since, well, the birth of porn. They’re typically thought of with huge bushes and bad camera work, but if you pay attention, you can see the transition of porn through the era. From Ginger Lynn to Jenna Jameson, everyone has that one pornstar that they remember being their introduction to porn.
These days, cam girls make the transition to porn look easy. However, in the 1970s and 1980s, you actually had to audition for porn. Most of the actresses made their way in through bikini modeling and stripping, and a few of the more famous actresses are still household names today.
A handful of the vintage pornstars did make the transition into mainstream acting and were successful in it. The large majority of vintage pornstars, though, simply worked in porn until they were too old to be filmed having sex any longer.
In this article, we’ll cover the most famous of the female vintage pornstars, their background, and where they are today, if it’s known. If you have a favorite vintage pornstar, she’s probably on this list, and well-known with those who owned the VHS collection of her work. Although Jenna Jameson is the biggest household name, and biggest bank account, to come from the vintage pornstar era, the other ladies on this list have a strong fan base as well.
As a matter of fact, most of the ladies listed here still have fan sites that showcase their work, and offer their films in digitized format for sale. This ensures that you won’t have to dig that old VCR out of the attic in order to enjoy the work of your favorite vintage pornstar. Don’t forget to write them a thank you email when you’re through downloading.
Hottest Vintage, Retro Female Pornstars
Hailing from England, Sara Young is the stereotypical 1980’s looking porn star. She had the big teased hair, and big fake breasts, that everyone thought of when they imagined 1980’s pornography. She’s been in scenes with everyone from Peter North to the ever present Ron Jeremy.
She got her start as a topless model, and was married to Hans Moser, the German porn producer that gave her a start in adult films. There is a Sara Young Collection of porn movies, mostly BBC, Milf, and Gangbang scenes that she was well known for doing. She worked in porn from 1986 to 1997, then retired.
Christy Canyon is one of the AVN’s Top 20 Porn Stars Of All Time. She’s from Pasadena, California, and broke into porn in 1984. Her Armenian and Italian heritage made her a sultry looking brunette phenomenon that is still an often searched name today. She has retired from porn several times, and made her way back several times. Starring with essentially every male porn star that has headlined in straight male porn scenes, we can’t even say for certain that Christy will remain retired this time around.
Often referred to as “Black Marilyn”, Vanessa DelRio is a New York City girl of black and Hispanic heritage and was considered the first of both to become a bona fide porn star in the industry. She started in 1975, then retired in 1986 amidst the AIDS scare that affected many male porn stars of the era. These days, Vanessa DelRio is more well-known for her cameo appearances in mainstream television, such as NYPD Blue, and has also been in a Junior Mafia song and video. She also released an autobiography.
Another English porn star, Kay Parker, started in porn late in her life. She met male porn star John Leslie, who got her a non-sex role in his film. She did her first real porn scene in 1977, and was cast in many MILF scenes over the years. She retired in the 1980s, and had many bit parts in television and mainstream films throughout the past couple of decades. She is now an official spiritual counselor, and operates a YouTube channel featuring her spiritual counseling sessions.
Jenna Jameson is the undisputed Queen Of Porn, and the wealthiest porn star to ever work in the adult film industry. She got her start in 1993, after a lucrative jump in the stripping game. Born in Las Vegas to a cop and a showgirl, Jenna came into porn doing only girl on girl scenes, and was paid a great deal to do her first male on female scene. She still has hand selected the scenes and actors she’s worked with.
For example, she’s never done interracial scenes. She had her own show on Playboy TV, and her website, ClubJenna, made her a multimillionaire. In addition, she was a regular on The Howard Stern show, becoming the first porn star to hold a regular radio position on a syndicated series. She was known as “Mandy” on the show. She retired from porn in 2008, and runs her website and counts her many millions for a living today.
#7 on the 50 Greatest Porn Stars Of All Time list, Ginger Lynn hails from Illinois way back in 1983. She started with nude pictorials in Penthouse and Club magazines. She did her first porn in 1983, and holds the title of the very first Vivid Video Girl.
She was Charlie Sheen’s girlfriend at the height of cocaine in Hollywood, and that lent her credibility to earn several small mainstream roles in television and movies. She officially retired from porn in 2010, and was in several of Rob Zombie’s films. She is also fairly well-known from her role in one of the American Pie movies.
Heralded as the very first Norwegian porn star, Tanya Hansen started as a swimsuit model when she was 18. She started doing hardcore porn scenes in 1997, and was quickly an international favorite. She can still be found in many internet search histories today. She has recently had all of her films digitized, and they’re available on her website so her fans can continue watching her work.
A Florida born stripper turned porn star, Aja made a big name for herself in a small amount of time. She did 80 porn films in just four years, from 1988 to 1992, but continued to be a crowd favorite despite the fact that she officially retired in 1992. She also is still regaled under a cloud of mystery, as she died in Mexico in 2006, under “mysterious circumstances”, and the cause of death is not known to the public even today.
A nude model in lesbian themed pictorials, Raquel Darrian easily then made the transition to girl on girl porn. She starred in porn films from 1989 to 1999, and while she was with over 100 female actresses, she only starred in scenes with 7 male porn stars.
A big reason is that she was married to a male porn star, and her first scenes with men she only starred in scenes with her husband, until she demanded to be in scenes with other men. She was reportedly fired from Vivid Video in 1999 for drug use, and for a while wrote a monthly sex column, “Ask Raquel” for Velvet Magazine.
A Las Vegas born Mormon, Annette Haven shook those religious roots quite easily back in 1973 when she made her break into porn films from stripping. She did over 100 porn films from 1973 to 1985. She was considered a feminist in porn in those days, as she refused to do any scenes depicting violence or with “money shots” (i.e. facials). She retired from porn in the late 1980s, never having compromised on those terms. She has had several bit roles in mainstream television and movies, and is happily married and living a normal life.
So, that is the brief vintage female porn star list, and a few of the top leading ladies from the 1970s, 1980s, and a brief stint in the 1990s. While it isn’t meant to be an inclusive list of all of the famous leading porn ladies from porn of yore, it is a glimpse into the lives of the women that starred opposite the best known male porn stars in the industry, even today.
Although the leading ladies seem to cycle out every five to seven years in porn, the leading males, such as Peter North, can and do often work in porn for decades. Is it because men are aging better than women? Or is there a shortage on new male faces with a huge cock in tow?
It seems like every day there is a new crop of big tits and bouncy asses, but they’re still getting laid by the guys that were doing Jenna Jameson in 1994. It certainly does leave one to wonder, when will the industry swap out male porn stars with the same frivolity that female porn stars have experienced? While these leading ladies certainly aren’t the last to be gangbanged, perhaps they’ll usher in a new era of men to do the gangbanging.