12 Adult Entertainment Stars Who Went Mainstream

Have you seen Orgazmo yet? No, well, we'll run through the plot, such as it is. Young Mormon boy knocks on a door intending to spread the word, and finds himself on the set of an adult entertainment film. One thing leads to the next and low and behold, he is starring in the movie about a super hero of dubious skills. He, of course, keeps it from his Mormon friends, until the movie becomes such a big hit, he is outed. The 1998 spoof send up of the adult entertainment business used a few adult entertainment stars in mainstream roles, as well as actors such as South Park's Trey Parker to tell the tale.

In real life, the career path of (female) adult entertainment stars is pretty predictable. Be young and gorgeous (and well endowed), run out of money, start stripping, stumble onto or get recruited to do adult entertainment movies, and hang out on drafty sets where men get paid to have sex with you. Then, if you get really lucky (or unlucky depending on how you look at it), you go mainstream and make films where you don't have sex (on camera).

There's mainstream and there's mainstream. Say you are adult star Alexis Texas, and you go from adult films to making Bloodlust Zombies, a film about a Zombie epidemic in a Kansas (yes, Kansas) strip club. Technically, you have gone mainstream. But end up playing Shae in Game of Thrones and you are "big time" mainstream. That's just what Sibel Kekilli did. And then there's hunk adult actor James Deen, who starred alongside Lindsay Lohan in The Canyon. Here are 12 adult entertainment stars who went mainstream.

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12 Nina Hartley

Raised in Berkley, California, by parents who were Buddhist communists (it is California), Nina Hartley did the usual, penniless college student to stripper to adult entertainment thing in the 1980's. It has been said that her greatest asset is behind her. Get it? The woman who played Hillary Clinton in Who's Nailin' Paylin? went mainstream with an appearance on Oprah. She also played William H. Macy's unfaithful wife in 1997's Boogie Nights. And believe it or not, she plays a college dean in 2014's Dude Bro Party Massacre III. Dubbed a comedy, it begs one question: Why are there 3 of them? She has also branched out into giving sex advice. Check out her sex advice DVD's on Amazon. One Amazon reviewer said she was looking "matronly". Ouch.

11 Ron "Hedgehog" Jeremy

The man is an unlikely legend. Now portly and mustached, Hedgehog was launched in a big way by a 1978 Playgirl picture of him and his equally legendary and reliable equipment. He holds the Guinness record for the most appearances in adult entertainment films (around 2000). Gigs with his clothes on? The former high school teacher had a cameo role in Ghostbusters, has appeared on ESPN, and was in VH1's The Surreal Life. In 2015, see him in the schlock-horror film, Lady Psycho Killer. According to his bio, The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz, he's never done drugs or smoked, barely drinks, and has a masters degree in Special Education. Why Hedgehog? Reportedly, it's got to do with bristly body hair. We're sorry we asked.

10 James Deen

9 Stormy Daniels


You are a card-carrying Republican from Dallas, and in 2009, you considered running for a Senate seat. Who are you? Here's a hint. In February of 2007, you were Penthouse Playmate of the Month. Meet Stormy Daniels. Stormy doesn't just act in adult films. She directs and writes them. Writes? She was in Knocked Up (as a lap dancer) and The 40 Year Old Virgin. She's done a bit of television, including FX Network's Dirt and Starz's Party Down. Usually she plays a fictionalized version of herself, or some such. In "real" life, she is the proud mother of a three year old daughter and an avid watcher of Sesame Street. Well, a little Big Bird every morning makes a nice change from Tommy Pistol.

8 Sasha Grey


7 Jenna Jameson


When she was a little girl growing up in Las Vegas, she wanted to be a ballerina. But she ended up as an underaged stripper (complete with a fake I.D.) when she was all of 17. Next came exposure (literally) in Penthouse. Her biography was on The New York Times’ Bestsellers List for 6 weeks. We bet the book signings were packed out. And we don’t quit know how to categorize her appearance in Howard Stern’s movie Private Parts, or her creation of a horror comic book, but we can probably call voicing a character for Family Guy, mainstream. She’s probably glad she gave up ballet for the bright lights of moviedom. Reportedly, the stripper/Penthouse model/adult star has amassed a net worth of $10 million. Then there's her line of sex toys . . .

6 Traci Lords


Reportedly, Lords was modeling nude at 15, and started in the adult entertainment business a year later. She also made films for iconic directors, Roger Corman and John Waters. When the FBI discovered that a string of her films had been made before she was 18, they were deemed illegal and pulled from the shelves. In fact, she only made one “legal” adult movie and that was when she turned 18. She went on to study with famous acting coach Lee Strasberg and to make a string of television appearances in shows such as Melrose Place, Roseanne and Will and Grace. Unlike some ex adult entertainment stars, she refuses to do nude shots in mainstream films.

5 Annette Haven


Annette Haven just turned 60. Born into a conservative Mormon family in Las Vegas, Nevada, she married at 17, was divorced by 19, then moved to San Francisco and took up exotic dancing before moving into adult films. No word on her family’s reaction to that career move. She was a busy girl, making over 100 adult films. She had a mainstream role in Blake Edward’s 1979 film, 10. She was considered for the Melanie Griffith role in Body Double, Brian De Palma’s 1984 film about a peeping tom who obsesses over a beautiful young girl (trust us, it ends badly). But she did act as a consultant to the director, presumably for Melanie Griffith’s steamy clothes shedding scenes. De Palma was impressed by the 20 year old Haven, saying she could certainly act. Oh, he also noticed her “terrific” body. Hard to miss that.

4 Mary Carey


Can’t get more mainstream than running for Governor of California. Right. Now, guess who came in 10th in the 2003 California Gubernatorial Race? It was Mary Carey, whose previous claims to fame had been being a straight-A high school student and starring in a string of adult entertainment movies. Her political platform included demands for taxation of breast implants (including presumably her 36 DDD’s) and making lap dances a legitimate business expense. Another frustrated ballerina, she gave up her dancing shoes when she developed extremely womanly curves that were not at all ballerina like. You may have already guessed, but the run for Governor was a publicity stunt. It worked, big time.

3 Katie Morgan


In 2008, when funny-man Seth Rogen and funny Elizabeth Banks starred in the spoofy film, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Katie Morgan was cast as Stacy, a kind of ditsy sex-kitten. Come to think of it, she didn't have to act very much. She’s also acted in the movie Life Happens, with Kate Bosworth. She’s a one of a kind adult actress, certainly more on the goofy and ditsy side, rather than on the sultry or sexy side. Oh, she’s also a sexpert for HBO. Sexpert?

2 Sibel Kekilli

This German adult entertainment star is the real mainstream deal. She’s played Shae in the popular television series, Game of Thrones. When she was making adult films, she kept an extremely low profile, until 2004, when she was outed by a German publication. Apparently, her parents were not best pleased. She has also won European Film Awards for her performances in movies such as Die Fremde. And she’s currently a regular on a German television crime show. Presumably, her parents are much happier now.

1 Ginger Lynn


This 50-something was big in the 1980’s adult entertainment scene. Some say that Ginger Lynn was the queen of 80's adult entertainment films. Reportedly, she dated the likes of Billy Idol, George Clooney and good old Charlie Sheen. She claims Charlie is a nice guy and Clooney is an "11" in the sack. Thanks for that. Mainstream, she was in Young Guns II and made regular television appearances in shows like NYPD Blue. She also makes schlock-horror films like 2015’s The House of Many Sorrows. She’s a B-Movie kind of girl, having around 20 pretty bad films to her credit.

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