Everyone has a dream, right? For some it’s to be a movie star, maybe a rock star for others. What about an adult entertainment star? It’s no longer as taboo as it once was, and for some, can become a lucrative business.
You would think in a $15 billion industry, the talent would be making it hand over fist, but only a few get rich shooting adult movies. I know - dreams shattered, right? Regardless, some have found a way through representation and picking the right studios. Also, for most, longevity seems to matter. You’re not going to get rich off one movie (sorry Tommy Lee).
There aren't a lot of rules in order to make this list except you need to be rich and also an actual adult movie star (sorry Kim Kardashian and Tommy Lee). A couple of just misses include Jayden James and Evan Seinfeld, who typically goes by the screen name Syder Jonez. Seinfeld is a big dude with intimidating tattoos all over his body. (Yes, he gets a lot of “blue collar” and prison guard roles.)
We’ve got men, women, hall of famers and a few household names on this list. Yes, Ron Jeremy is here. On principal alone I could never leave any adult movie star nicknamed “Hedgehog” off this list. Here are your 10 richest adult, or as they used to say in the sixties, "blue movie" entertainers:
10 Jenna Haze - $6 Million
This former adult movie star now directs and models. During her time in the industry, Jenna Haze was the winner of many awards including the AVN's "Best New Starlet" in 2003 and "Female Performer of the Year" in 2009. Few have won both awards; it’s the equivalent of winning Rookie of the Year and the MVP, really difficult. She also received accolades for her work in Big Bottom Sadie, what many would refer to as the pinnacle of her career on screen. Most of her career she worked with only women; however, she started working with men in 2006 and won awards for Jenna Haze Darkside. In 2012, she retired and was inducted into both the AVN and HRCO Halls of Fame.
9 Lexington Steele - $6.2 Million
Lexington Steele is the well known director and owner of Mercenary Motion Pictures and Black Viking Pictures. Steele is the first adult movie actor to win the AVN “Male Performer of the Year” three times. (Is that known in the biz as a trifecta?) He started off as a stock broker and was discovered at late night Wall Street orgy type party. This is a true story. See, life is like the movies, for some people anyway. The name Lexington is in reference to the street in midtown Manhattan, this is where Steele got off the subway to meet a client and knew he wanted to be an adult movie star full time. This was 1998 and the rest is history.
8 Katie Morgan - $6.4 Million
People get into “the biz” for a number of reasons, for Katie Morgan it was to pay off her bail and plea bargain after getting busted with 100 pounds of pot she was moving from Mexico into the United States. (Pretty certain no one else is like, “Oh, me too!”) Morgan debuted in Ed Powers’ Dirty Debutantes 197 and kept going for seven years before retiring in 2008. In 2015, she unretired and started shooting again, starring in HBO’s Real Sex Xtra and the HBO documentary Katie Morgan: A Porn Star Revealed. She has also done radio hosting a show called Having Sex With Katie Morgan, appeared in the HBO show Entourage and was a panelist for That Sex Show, a reality show on the Logo television channel.
7 Bree Olson - $7 Million
Bree Olson is a hard worker; from 2006 to 2011 she appeared in over 280 adult movies. Fun fact – her last name was taken as a spoof from the Olsen twins. Why did she spell her last name differently? That’s still a mystery. Olson has appeared on covers of Penthouse, Hustler and Playboy. She also appeared on one episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. In 2011 she announced her retirement from the adult movie business, but would come to pop culture fame as one of Charlie Sheen’s “goddesses.” She has been open about her experience in the adult movie world and posted an open letter via Twitter as a warning to others to stay away from the adult film industry.
6 Traci Lords - $7.2 Million
Traci Lords was most famous for being underage. She lied to get her first gig as a nude model at the age of 15 and from 1984 to 1986 appeared in Penthouse and many adult videos. When it was found she was underage it was a scandal that rocked the whole industry. Eventually Lords went legit and got into acting, starring in movies Not of This Earth and Cry-Baby. She also appeared in several television shows including MacGyver, Married With Children, Melrose Place and Will & Grace. In addition to her on-screen career, Lords recorded several albums, resulting in a semi-successful music career.
5 Ron Jeremy - $7.5 Million
Easily one of the most recognizable and famous actors on this list, Ron Jeremy was named the #1 AVN “50 Top Adult Stars of All Time.” Jeremy actually started off as a teacher and then went to New York City to become an actor. After starving doing Off-Broadway he got his big break when his girlfriend at the time sent a nude picture of him to Playgirl. Shortly after he started his career and would make more than 2000 films (a Guinness Book world record). Jeremy has also appeared in non-adult big screen movies such as 9 ½ Weeks, The Chase and Detroit Rock City. He has worked as a consultant on movie sets and was a special guest on the television show Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations where the subject was of course, “food p*rn.”
4 Maria Takagi - $8 Million
I guess you could say Maria Takagi eased into the adult movie business, starting off with a starring role in an erotic fantasy titled Mermaid Girl. In 2002, she debuted in the adult movie Super-Star. Takagi quickly became known as an adult star who could act better than most in her space. She was huge in Japan and won every imaginable award there. Given her natural acting ability and fame, she was paid more than everyone else. Here last film was aptly titled Fin…Maria Takagi. She retired after only 15 movies and went on to star in romantic horror comedies and become a regular on the Japanese TV talk show circuit.
3 Jesse Jane - $8 Million
Since her start in 2002, Jesse Jane has continued to build her adult movie career. Despite being an active entertainer, she has already been inducted into both the AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame. She also has been named the Australian Penthouse Pet of the Month. Recently she has signed a two-year deal with Jules Jordan Video. In addition to film she has her own line of sex toys and is the star of an erotic film series titled “Pirates.” Where she may be most known is her co-host gig for Playboy’s Night Calls where she worked with Kristen Price. She is also a sex columnist and is called on to host many adult movie award shows. Recently she changed her name to just Jesse due to a legal dispute with a past employer.
2 Jenna Jameson - $10 Million
Known at the world’s most famous adult entertainer, Jenna Jameson has worked hard to build her empire. In 1993, after working as a stripper she got her start in the adult movie industry and by 1996 was already winning awards. Jameson would go on to win 35 adult-movie awards. She is a member of both the XRCO and AVN Halls of Fame and has founded her own company named ClubJenna. Her company has expanded to include other performers and websites. In addition to her films, Jameson hosted Jenna’s American Sex Star reality show, where contestants competed to get a contract with ClubJenna.
1 Tera Patrick - $15 Million
Tera Patrick is a former Penthouse Pet of the Year that has been inducted into the NightMoves, AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame. One of the original “Vivid” girls (signed on with Vivid Entertainment), she has appeared in both Penthouse and Playboy. She retired in 2008, but continues to operate her website and production company. She has also hosted Playboy TV School of Sex and was the host of the 25th AVN awards. She is married to Evan Seinfeld (aka Spider Jonez) and has appeared in films with him. She also has launched herbal products; a clothing line named Mistress Couture and (along with her husband) launched an agency to assist girls and guys who are looking to enter the adult movie industry.