10 Gorgeous Adult Entertainers Then And Now

Those that follow my work know that I am a sports writer. But every once in a while the time comes to take a step back from the sporting world and write (and sometimes learn) about something completely different. So today we are going to take a look into the world of adult entertainment. It’s not that far from the sports realm as many athletes have been tied to adult stars over the years.

While conducting research for this article I learned that the world of adult entertainment has four Halls of Fame. In sports, each sport has a major Hall of Fame that every athlete tries to get into and there are several lesser ones that nobody really pays attention to; like on the State level and in a lot of cases on the college level. There is only one Hall of Fame that a pro athlete wants to get into. So why are there four of them in the adult entertainment industry?

I guess the big question is how does one actually qualify for Hall of Fame consideration? I can hear the announcer in my head now: “Today we have an intriguing matchup with Ginger Lynn and Ron Jeremy. Ginger has been on a hot streak lately and she has been knocking down everything that gets in front of her. She’s not afraid of anyone and she will take on all comers. There’s no challenge that she can’t handle and I’m sure today will be no different. She’s closing in on some elite company if she keeps this up. If she can get through four more guys we will have to start talking about Hall of Fame consideration for her. She is truly one of the best in the business.”

It’s just funny to think about. Are there requirements of how many times a certain thing must be done to qualify for this honored privilege? Later in their career do they sit back and reflect on the glory days when they were younger and in their prime?

But that’s enough of that. Today we will take a look at some of the most popular stars in adult entertainment, then and now.


20 Debi Diamond (then)

Via blogspot

Debi Diamond is a veteran of over 600 films and during her prime she was one of the top stars on camera. In fact she was so good at her craft that she is a member of two different Halls of Fame.

She got started in the business in 1983 with her first film and she went on to an award winning career. She won 13 different awards including Female Performer of the Year, and best Female Performer, both in 1994.

A few of her most popular movies were The Dinner Party, The Buttfeeslammers 4, Sex, Gang Bangs II, Depraved Fantasies, and The Chameleon.

1995 was a banner year for Diamond. She won AVN awards for the Best All-Girl Scene (film), Best All Girl Scene (video), Most Outrageous Scene and Best Group Scene. That year she also was awarded Female Fan Favorite (F.O.X.E.) and Best Girl-Girl Scene (XRCO).

In 1990 she won her first awards in the business from AVN. She took home the trophies for Best Couples Scene (video) and Best Group Scene (video). In 1994 she won the Best Female Performer (Body of Work) that was presented by XRCO and Female Performer of the Year that was presented by AVN.

19 Debi Diamond (now)

Via shutterstock

Debi was born on May 1st, 1965 in California and is now 50 years old. After taking twelve years to herself, she re-emerged on the scene in 2007. She used MySpace to start putting herself out in the public eye again. She made her return to the screen in 2008 and in 2010 she began her own company. “Debi Diamond Films” makes movies that are based on female domination.

In 2008 when she was making her return to the spotlight, Diamond was seen for the first time in public in a long time at the AEE Convention for PAW/Arrow. She met fans and talked with them, signed autographs and took plenty of pictures. It was obvious that her time away from the screen didn’t do anything to her popularity. Her fans remembered her and still love her. I guess it’s like a song in terms of memories. A song on a CD can last forever and people never forget. A performance that is on DVD is there forever as well and fans never forget.

During her time away from the business she got married, and then divorced, and had three kids. So she tried the normal life but apparently it wasn’t for her.

18 Christy Canyon (then)


Christy Canyon appeared in 119 films during her career. She “retired” from the business three different times but kept returning to the screen. During her final years she was exclusive with Vivid Entertainment.

Canyon was discovered while standing on a sidewalk in Hollywood, waiting for a ride. That story sounds so typical, doesn’t it? Maybe it sounds like the beginning of one of her movies? Anyway, a male adult entertainer approached her and told her that she would be a good model and gave her a business card for an agent. Canyon started by posing for some magazines and then moved over to the video making department and a star was born. In 1984 she made her first on screen appearance in Swedish Erotica 57 with Ron Jeremy. The two instantly became close friends. I’ll bet they did.

Canyon has won eight awards and is a member of three different Halls of Fame. She reached the peak of her career in 1991 and 1992 when she was awarded the Female Fan Favorite award. Some of her better known movies are Educating Mandy, Holly Does Hollywood and Passages 1-4. One of the times she came out of retirement she appeared in the originally named film Comeback, in 1995.

17 Christy Canyon (now)

Via shutterstock

Canyon is now 49 years old and stated in a 2005 interview that during her time with Vivid, condoms were used in all scenes that she participated in. Well isn’t that nice. During that time she used rubbers in every scene that she was in. That kind of leads to the question, if she said that, was she really saying that for the many years prior to that, she didn’t? Think of all of the performances she did prior to that and try to do the math. I say try because it’s virtually impossible to know the exact numbers. But apparently nobody seemed to care back then. That’s just how things were done in that time.

For many years Canyon has appeared on Sirius XM as a show host or co-host. She has been on shows such as Night Calls, Spice Sex Circus with Ginger Lynn, and The Christy Canyon Show among others.

Canyon wrote an autobiography in 2003 that is still in print and she has also made a few main stream television appearances including a feature on ABC News Nightline in 2010.

She has been married and divorced three times and she has two adopted children.

16 Racquel Darrian (then)


Racquel Darrian has appeared in over 100 movies and she won three awards during her career, including Best Actress for her work in the film Original Sin. She has also been elected into one Hall of Fame.

She got her start as an adult model and when she started doing movies she initially only worked with other women. But when the financial offers kept increasing for her to work with men, she finally gave in. Initially for a long time she would only work with Derrick Lane, who was her husband at the time. This eventually caused her popularity to suffer and after her divorce from Lane she started working with others and eventually became known as a Vivid Queen.

Take a look at her and you’ll easily see why the offers kept increasing. Who wouldn’t want to see this beauty in action? And the industry knew that she would be a popular choice among viewers. She is easily one of the sexiest adult entertainers to grace the camera.

Going under the name of Kelly Jackson, she was a Penthouse Pet of the Month in October of 1990, and in 1996 she appeared in Playboy for a photo shoot that was called Strippers.

15 Racquel Darrian (now)


Not a lot is known about the 47-year-old Darrian now. She keeps a pretty low profile but she does appear at conventions every once in awhile and does meet and greets with fans. And when she makes an appearance her fans come from near and far to meet her in person. That’s a no brainer. She is still as hot as ever and even if you haven’t seen her in action why wouldn’t you want your picture taken with a smoking hot beauty?

She has a huge website that has her entire catalog of work on it and it’s also linked to many other adult stars’ websites. If you are missing anything from your collection of her work it’s the perfect place to go. Anything you need or want is there.

There are conflicting reports on her overall net worth but nothing can seem to be confirmed. Some reports have her to be worth close to a billion dollars while some have her just living a normal life, getting by like everyone else. Her website looks like she keeps pretty busy but if she wants to keep a low profile now that’s good for her. That’s better than most on this list.

14 Asia Carrera (then)


Every once in a while in the adult entertainment industry a star comes around that is actually intelligent. You can see a good example of that in the empire that Jenna Jameson built. You don’t build something like she did by being an idiot. But let’s face it, when looking at adult entertainment stars most people aren’t looking at their brains. But Asia Carrera is one of the smartest to ever be in the business.

She appeared in over 400 movies but she actually went to Rutgers on a full academic scholarship. While there she majored in Business and Japanese but she didn’t stay long enough to graduate. She is also a member of Mensa and she has an IQ of 156. So she is hot, sexy and smart. That’s not a combination that you run into a lot in this business.

She appeared in movies from 1993 to 2003 and was the first ever Asian to win the AVN Female Performer of the Year Award. Overall she won five awards including induction to two different Halls of Fame.

In 2011 Carrera was ranked #5 in Complex Magazine’s listing of the Top 50 hottest Asian adult entertainers of all time.


13 Asia Carrera (now)


Carrera is now 42 years old and retired from the business. She was married to a director in the business for eight years and had another long term relationship before she married author and nutritionist Don Lemmon in late 2003. The couple had one child and when Carrera was pregnant with their second child, Lemmon was killed in a car accident. She was so distraught about how she would support the two kids that she took to the internet and started asking for donations from fans and friends. She later found out that there was a life insurance policy on Lemmon that she wasn’t aware of.

She has made a lot of curious moves in her life since Lemmon died and she puts a lot of it on the fact that she became an alcoholic after his death. Later on she had another baby boy and gave him up for adoption. Then she got a DUI with her daughter in the car.

Since then, a lot hasn't really been heard from her. Every once in a while she will be asked for input on a piece that has to do with the adult entertainment business but overall her life seems to have quieted down quite a bit. She has done some voice over work for several animated shows and movies, but other than that she seems to be enjoying a normal quiet life now.

12 Amber Lynn (then)


Amber Lynn appeared in over 400 movies and was the recipient of 6 awards during her career, including induction into two Halls of Fame.

Her young adult life was filled with turmoil as her sister died at a very young age and then her parents divorced after it was learned that her father was leading a double life. He had a family with another woman at the same time. When her mother had a nervous breakdown Lynn was placed in foster care where she was abused. At the age of seven she went back with her mother but shortly after that the pair were involved in a serious car accident that killed her mother. Lynn was ejected out of the car but survived.

During the early 80s she moved to Los Angeles and started working as a bikini model. Eventually she was discovered and then appeared in Club, High Society, Chic and Penthouse. She began a drug problem on her very first adult film when the director offered her some freebase cocaine to calm her nerves.

Lynn is known for being the first adult entertainer to take to strip clubs to make additional money, touring from club to club. At one point she was the highest paid entertainer on the strip club tour raking in over $32,000 per week.

In 1992 she also became the first adult entertainer to be accepted by a children’s organization for a public appearance. She hosted a benefit for The Youth AIDS Foundation of Los Angeles and it opened the door for other adult entertainers to be able to publicly help charities that they believed in.

11 Amber Lynn (now)

Via shutterstock

The 51-year-old Amber Lynn currently continues to work with a few different charities and she has appeared in a couple of mainstream movies and a TV show.

She had roles in 52 Pick Up and Evils of the Night and made an appearance on The Man Show.

She is still involved with the Youth AIDS Foundation of Los Angeles, Childhood Cancer Awareness, The Southern California Toy Run and Stephen Tyler of Aerosmith’s organization called Janie’s Fund.

Lynn suffered from drug abuse for nearly twenty years thanks to that first director. One time while discussing the problem she said "I started out drinking Ketel One (Dutch Jenever) and slicing off crystals of Peruvian rock. I wound up broken down drinking Kamchatka Vodka out of a half-pint stashed in the bottom of my purse, with my crack pipe stuffed in the lining of my jacket.” She has been clean and sober for almost 16 years now and often helps out as a personal recovery assistant.

She currently hosts a weekly talk show and does work as a webcam model for one of the biggest websites around. Lynn also works in real estate but since she is doing the webcam gig you would have to imagine that things aren’t going very well for her in the real estate business.

10 Briana Banks (then)


Briana Banks is a veteran of 298 adult films. During her career she has been nominated for countless awards, winning five. She was voted Best New Starlet and she is a member of one Hall of Fame. In 2001 she was nominated for the Orgasmic Oralist award but did not win. What does one have to do to qualify for this award and what exactly is the associated trophy like? I can only imagine.

Banks started her career as a model during her teen years and she was once on the cover of Teen Magazine. She started using the name Briana Banks in 1999 after the first of her two breast enhancement procedures.

During the summer of 2001 Banks was a Penthouse Pet of the Month in June and that led to her signing on with Vivid Entertainment later on in the year. She went on to become a Vivid Girl.

She was once featured in a 13 episode cable series called Vivid Valley that aired in Europe and then later in the United States. It was a reality show about the lives of adult entertainers and also featured Jenna Jameson, Tawny Roberts, Mercedes, and Savanna Samson among others.

9 Briana Banks (now)

Via shutterstock

Briana Banks is currently 37 years old and she was the first adult entertainer to have an action figure made after her. Several others have had them made as well but she was the groundbreaker in that department.

She started her own company in 2009 named Briana Banks Entertainment and this was used to make a new website and media platform for her to use. The official announcement was made at a lingerie party at the Playboy Mansion in May of that year.

But let’s return to the action figure. Are there any moving parts? She is wearing a skimpy leopard type outfit. Is it removable? What exactly is the purpose of an action figure of an adult entertainer? Maybe I don’t want to know. That’s just crazy. There are a lot of people that collect action figures of sports athletes and superheroes so I guess it goes with the territory. If you appear on a screen somewhere you’ll have an action figure made of you eventually. But hers wouldn’t be one that you would proudly display on your desk at work. Would it? For those that do, they are currently selling on eBay for anywhere from $20 to $60.

8 Nina Hartley (then)

Via shutterstock

Nina Hartley is one of the true icons in the adult business. She has appeared in over one thousand movies. That number tells you that she must be popular, as well as pretty good at her craft. She got her start in the business while she was a student at San Francisco State University where she graduated magna cum laude in 1985. Anyone see the irony there besides me? She actually became a registered nurse for a short time before moving over to the adult entertainment business for good.

During her sophomore year she began stripping and shortly afterward moved over to making movies. Her first film was made during her junior year and was called “Educating Nina.”

Her birth name is Marie Louise Hartman and she said that she chose the name of Nina during her stripping days because it was easy for the Japanese tourists to say.

Hartley was a long time advocate for the adult industry and every opportunity she got she would give reasons that the business should exist. She even appeared one time on The Oprah Winfrey Show in support of what she did. It didn’t go very well as the mostly female audience was pretty rough on her but she didn’t back down. She made it very clear that she was against anything illegal that went on during film shooting, like drugs.

During her career she won countless awards including Best Supporting Actress twice and Best Actress. In 1994 she was erected, umm, oops, elected into the Legends of Erotica Hall of Fame. Some of her better known movies include Amanda by Night II, Sensual Escape, Portrait of an Affair and Debbie Duz Dishes.

Hartley also appeared in mainstream films Boogie Nights and Bubbles Galore. Not to mention Tupac Shakur used her in his 1996 video for “How Do U Want It”. Now get your mind out of the gutter, he didn’t use her in that way. She was just in the video.

7 Nina Hartley (now)

Via shutterstock

Hartley is now 57 years old and she is still active in the business, although now her appearances have a more mature, grandma theme to them.

She has written several books and also has a series of instructional videos that go by the name “Nina Hartley’s Guide to…” The videos cover a wide range of subjects, all sexual related.

The adult film icon was involved in a three way relationship with a man and a woman for nearly twenty years and she ended up marrying the male. They were divorced in 2003 after 17 years of marriage.

During her career she won countless awards including Best Supporting Actress twice and Best Actress. In 1994 she was erected, umm, oops, elected into the Legends of Erotica Hall of Fame. Some of her better known movies include Amanda by Night II, Sensual Escape, Portrait of an Affair and Debbie Duz Dishes.

Her birth name is Marie Louise Hartman and she said that she chose the name of Nina during her stripping days because it was easy for the Japanese tourists to say.

Currently Hartley is married to Ira Levine who is a director in the business. Together they have made two films, with her playing the supporting role both times.

6 Ginger Lynn (then)


Ginger Lynn is one of the business’s all time favorite performers. She was in 319 movies and over the years she collected 14 awards including Starlet of the Year, Video Vixen, Female Performer of the Year, Best New Starlet, Best Actress and All-Time Fan Favorite. She has been inducted into four different Halls of Fame, the only performer on this list to accomplish that.

She is listed as the #7 overall greatest adult entertainer on AVN’s list of the top 50 of all time.

In 1983 she responded to an ad for a modeling agency and was immediately hired and did a photo shoot for Penthouse Magazine. That shoot led to her gathering attention from the adult video business.

She shot her first movie later that year called Surrender in Paradise.

A couple of years later Lynn was called on to testify for Traci Lords against adult entertainment producers but she refused. Very shortly after that the IRS came after her for a false tax return, an act she said that came because of her refusal to testify.

She decided to retire from the business and focus on acting in mainstream movies but returned just three years later. She made a lot of appearances on television and in movies but still came back to the business in 1999 and made three movies, Torn, White Lightning and New Wave Hookers 6.

Some of her better known adult films were Kinky Business, Electric Blue 28 and Slumber Party.

5 Ginger Lynn (now)

Via shutterstock

Lynn is now 53 years old and she had a well publicized relationship with actor Charlie Sheen for several years. She said that despite the reputation that Sheen has for beating up women, she never saw that side of him at any point.

A couple of years after her first film Lynn was called on to testify for Traci Lords against adult entertainment producers but she refused. Very shortly after that the IRS came after her for a false tax return, an act she said that came because of her refusal to testify.

When the IRS was finished with her she ended up serving a little over three months in a Federal prison. It was a rough road for her as she spent most of her adult industry earnings on legal fees.

Lynn was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2000 and underwent chemotherapy. At last report she is cancer free.

She has appeared in countless television shows and movies now and the list continues to grow. A few of her better known mainstream movies were American Pie Presents Band Camp and National Lampoon’s Van Wilder the Rise of Taj.

She appeared in the Metallica video for “Turn the Page” and also had roles on the old USA Network show Silk Stalkings, and NYPD Blue.

4 Jenna Jameson (then)

Via shutterstock

Jenna Jameson is one of the most popular adult entertainers of all time. She won over 40 awards and appeared in 187 total movies. Her awards include Starlet of the Year, Best Actress (four times), and she has been enshrined into 3 Halls of Fame.

She worked as a stripper before getting started in the movie making business in 1993. She was an instant hit and any movie she made didn’t stay on any store shelf for long.

She tried her hand at being a Las Vegas Showgirl like her mom did, but most shows wanted women that were at least 5 foot 8 so she was shunned more often than not. She got a job at Disneyland Resort but it only last a couple of months because there were issues with schedule and salary. In other words, she didn’t like working long hours at a regular job for crap pay.

Jameson started ClubJenna in 2000 and began taking control of her career as well as several other adult stars. They did videos and websites for the stars and in 2005 ClubJenna had revenues of around $30 million with profits of around $15 million.

The first ClubJenna movie Briana Loves Jenna was filmed for $280,000 and it grossed over $1 million in the first year after its release.

In the mid 90s Jameson was getting paid $6,000 per movie but by 2001 she was pulling in $60,000 for less than two days of shooting and $8,000 a night while dancing at strip joints. There are reports that on some nights she made up to $25,000 stripping.

In 2007 Jameson said that she was finished performing on camera but she was going to continue running the ClubJenna business. The company at the time was grossing around $30 million a year so it wasn’t a hard decision for her to make.

3 Jenna Jameson (now) 

Via shutterstock

Jameson is now 42 years old and she kept her word that she wouldn’t make movies anymore. However for the last few years she has been doing work as a webcam model.

In 2003 when Penthouse Magazine was in trouble she came very close to buying it before someone came in a bought it from under her.

Jameson’s company launched a gay website in 2005 called “Club Thrust” and in 2006 her company ran over 150 websites for adult entertainers.

Playboy bought ClubJenna in 2006 for an amount that was never made public but you can bet it was a very nice payday for Jameson. She stayed on to run it after the acquisition was completed.

She wrote an autobiography in 2003 and it topped the New York Times Best Seller list for six weeks.

In recent years Jameson crossed over and made several mainstream TV appearances including several in professional wrestling, as well as features on NBC, CNBC, Fox News and CNN. She has also done a lot of voice over work for animated shows as well as video games. One thing is certain about Jenna Jameson: she took what she had and built an empire out of it. Not too many people can say they have accomplished that. Everything she touches seems to turn to gold.

2 Traci Lords (then)


Traci Lords was the biggest scandal in the adult entertainment industry’s history. After lying about her age she appeared in many adult films between 1984 and 1986. During that time she was one of the most popular performers in the business.

Using a fake drivers license and birth certificate that said she was 22 years old, Lords, actually only 15 years old, started appearing in adult magazines like Juggs, Velvet, and Club. Some of her high school friends recognized her in the Velvet layout and she left school and never went back.

She appeared as the centerfold in the September, 1984 issue of Penthouse and that issue turned out to be the best selling issue in the history of the magazine.

Lords became so popular that she was dubbed the “Princess of Po**” and when she started earning over $1,000 a day she was the highest paid entertainer in the business.

But authorities found out that she was underage in May of 1986 and it turned out that she only did one movie where she was of actual legal age. All distributors across the board were ordered to remove her films and all material involving her or risk prosecution for child sex trafficking. The financial loss to the business was well into the millions of dollars.

Originally Lords said that she was drugged and forced to do scenes against her will. But many people came out against her and said they never saw her doing any kind of drugs and anything that she did was done with full awareness of what was happening.

To this day since everything has been removed and destroyed, it’s unknown the exact number of movies that she appeared in, but some reports say it was around 75.

1 Traci Lords (now)

Via shutterstock

Lords is now 47 years old (we think) and she has appeared in over 40 mainstream movies, as well as plenty of television appearances. She has won several awards including best actress, and best supporting actress three different times.

In 2003 she wrote an autobiography titled Traci Lords: Underneath It All and the book spent a lot of time on the New York Times Best Seller List. In the book she claims that she only made about $35,000 for all of the adult movies that she appeared in, including $5,000 for the Penthouse photo shoot.

She eventually changed her name legally from Nora Louise Kuzma to Traci Elizabeth Lords. She told Oprah Winfrey that "I chose to stop running from it. Instead, I won it, legally changing my name to Traci Elizabeth Lords. That's who I was, and that's who I was going to be. I found you can run, but you cannot hide."

Lords has also played around a little bit in the music business although her acting career is her main source of income. Recently it was announced that she will appear in a new upcoming series called Swedish Dicks. The series features Keanu Reeves and will air on the Swedish online streaming service called Viaplay.

Even though Lords has become known as a legit actress now, she will never escape being the cause of the biggest scandal in the history of the adult entertainment industry. She continues to move forward with her legit career, but Swedish Dicks? Seriously?


Give TheRichest a Thumbs up!

More in Entertainment