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... The AVN editorial staff decided to really go out on a limb and select the 50 Top Porn Stars of All Time.
In compiling our list, we took into account a number of criteria - popularity, ability, impact, mainstream acceptance, longevity and last but not least, good old fashioned looks. After much collective back and forth, we determined that the 50 performers we settled on all have one or more of those qualities. Other than saying it was done democratically, we'll spare you the arcane details as to how we came up with the final order.
We concede right at the top that such lists are highly subjective. Undoubtedly, you'll agree with some of our choices, and just as undoubtedly, you'll disagree with others. That's why we have a monthly letters to the editor page. But please don't take this thing too seriously. It is, after all, designed primarily to entertain, educate, provoke discussion and perhaps most importantly - since many titles are included in our stars' bios - to help retailers fill in some gaps in their inventories. Now read on and let the great debate begin.

Adult Video News, January 2002

Page 1 of 5
 1. Ron Jeremy
Ron Jeremy's Filmography

Ron Jeremy is the most recognizable porn ambassador to the world.
From his first impression in 1978 when a girlfriend of his sent his nude photo to Playgirl magazine for its "Boy Next Door" feature to his current status as a Metro contract player, Jeremy has been in the public eye as an adult performer for over 20 years. He brings a professional actor's energy and vitality to everything he does, from hosting a nude beauty pageant to performing a small part in a music video to doing a sex scene with a girl who wasn't even born when he got into the adult business.
Virtually everywhere he goes, he is recognized.
"It's like going someplace with Jesus," one porn writer said after taking a late-night excursion with him to a restaurant. "Everybody wanted to shake his hand, and the crowd parted before him as he walked through them."
Aside from his lengthy porn career, performing in over 1,600 productions and directing more than 100, Ron has also worked in mainstream, acting in small parts in dozens of studio and independent films and music videos. He was also a consultant on the mainstream films Boogie Nights and 9 1/2 Weeks.
Most recently, the AVN Hall of Famer's life has been examined in the documentary film, Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy, which opened in art theaters in November

Ron Jeremy's FilmographyFilms Directed by Ron Jeremy

 2. Jenna Jameson
Jenna Jameson's Filmography

Jenna is hands down the most popular porn queen of all time, and small wonder. With her killer kisser and bodacious bod, the breathtaking blue-eyed blonde is the ultimate XXX wet dream.
But she's way more than just that. A cultural phenomenon whose celebrity extends well beyond Silicone Valley (thanks in part to her E! Channel appearances and a scene in Howard Stern's Private Parts), the former Wicked/current Vivid contract girl is arguably the key ambassador in the mainstreaming of adult. Hell, even people who don't watch porn know who she is.
Her first Vivid release, Briana Loves Jenna, is an early odds-on favorite to be the year's best selling/renting tape. And such critically acclaimed Wicked productions as Dream Quest, Flashpoint and Conquest remain popular, as does her website www.clubjenna.com. Very few stars - adult or otherwise - are identifiable merely by their first name. Jenna - AVN's 1995 Best New Starlet - is one

Jenna Jameson's Filmography

 3. John Holmes
John Holmes's Filmography

John Holmes was (and still is) the king of porn. The crown was heavy on his head and his fame didn't shelter him from the self-destructive tendencies that ultimately were his downfall. His 13 1/2-inch cock is one of porn's landmarks, a physical monument that Holmes wielded with pride as he blazed a trail that every other man who fucks on camera follows.
He was the first male porn superstar and he remains the most famous male porn performer ever. He played porn's first continuing character, Johnny Wadd - a hardboiled, hardcore detective who scored with every chick who crossed his path, and he made hundreds of other films. Holmes was a gangly, skinny man who came across as non-threatening with a crooked, warm smile, and audiences just couldn't get enough of his work. He wasn't a pretty guy and that bonded him with viewers who wanted to fuck in their fantasies through his big cock. It is hardly a surprise that the mainstream's most successful movie about adult, Paul Thomas Anderson's 1997 Boogie Nights, was loosely based on Holmes.
Holmes was a chronic liar, but one who used his real name in his movies, as he was proud of them. Big cocks come and go, but 13 years after his death from AIDS, Holmes' continues to tower above all the rest.

John Holmes's Filmography

 4. Tracy Lords
Tracy Lords

An industry pariah, Traci Lords almost brought it down single-handedly in the mid-1980s when it came to light that she had performed in dozens of titles while underage.
All of Lords' underage work was immediately pulled from the market and destroyed, costing the industry millions of dollars. As a result, more stringent proof-of-age requirements were instituted industry-wide and remain in effect to this day. A single title she made after hitting her 18th birthday - Traci, I Love You - is her sole adult tape one can view legally.
After being shown the adult door, Lords used her notoriety to launch a successful mainstream acting career, garnering roles in, among other films, John Waters' Cry Baby, the Wesley Snipes vampire thriller Blade, and the Sci-Fi Channel series First Wave. Her most famous role, however, that of 1980s underage porn queen, is mentioned nowhere on her official Website biography

 5. Linda Lovelace
Linda Lovelace's Filmography

Thirty years after Deep Throat made her the first female porn star, Linda Lovelace remains among the most well known names in adult film history. Her starring role in the Gerard Damiano classic made her an instant celebrity; she was the world's first porn star and an emblem of '70s porno chic. Almost overnight, she went from the shady, illegal world of early New York underground loops to appearing on talk shows and making the scene at the Playboy Mansion; as documented in Eric Danville's recent book The Complete Linda Lovelace, she became a part of the American pop culture lexicon.
During her porn heyday, Lovelace soaked up the limelight as a self-proclaimed nympho, but her 1979 book Ordeal presented a radically different version of events. Stating that she was the victim of coercion and abuse at the hands of manager Chuck Traynor, Lovelace emerged as one of porn's most outspoken opponents. She testified against the industry and followed Ordeal with another memoir, Out of Bondage.
Though Lovelace remains firm in her anti-porn stance, she did pose for a layout in the January 2001 issue of Leg Show... go figure

Linda Lovelace's Filmography

 6. Marilyn Chambers
Marilyn Chambers's Filmography

One of the main figureheads of the '70s Golden Age, Marilyn Chambers made her first impression in the Mitchell Brothers' classic 1972 film Behind The Green Door, following that dialogue-less performance with an impressive acting performance in The Resurrection of Eve the next year. These porn performances contrasted with the pert-young-mother image she projected on the box of Ivory Snow that she had posed for as a model a while before, leading an embarrassed Procter & Gamble to redesign the box with an illustration.
In the afterglow of porno chic she appeared in such mainstream B-movies as Rabid, directed by David Cronenberg, and The Angel of H.E.A.T., but she kept working in adult as well, and surprised many people by signing a VCA contract in 1998, making Still Insatiable, Dark Chambers and Edge Play with fellow Golden Age performer, now director, Veronica Hart

Marilyn Chambers's Filmography

 7. Ginger Lynn
Ginger Lynn's Filmography

For many who fondly remember the "golden age" of adult video in the early 1980s, one star stands out above all: Ginger Lynn. An excellent actress, Lynn made just 75 features, several as the first Vivid Girl, working for the company she helped found. Lynn was the quintessential "girl next door;" a beauty whose sexuality smoldered just below the surface until it exploded on-screen with such famous partners as John Holmes, Jerry Butler, Jamie Gillis and John Leslie, for directors like Bruce Seven, Henri Pachard, Alex deRenzy and Greg Dark, and most recently, Veronica Hart.
"I never thought of myself as a star in general," Ginger said in a 1999 interview. "So to say I'm a living legend - I think of myself as Ginger Lynn Allen from Rockford, Illinois; I made some movies, had a great time, and so, the whole star status, the whole 'legend' thing is kind of a surprise to me."
In 1986, Ginger moved on to Hollywood, where she had starring roles in the Vice Academy series, in Bound & Gagged: A Love Story, and had lesser parts in a variety of TV shows and movies. But without mega-star status, mainstream work was always hit-and-miss, so in 1999, she decided to return to the industry that still idolized her.
"Just because I fuck on film doesn't mean I can't act," she said in response to charges that she couldn't make the grade in Hollywood. "But let's be realistic here: If Hollywood would have given me Meg Ryan roles, I wouldn't be doing porno again."

Ginger Lynn's Filmography

 8. Vanessa Del Rio
Vanessa Del Rio's Filmography

Back in the day, the first - and still the best known - Latina porn queen, voluptuous Vanessa del Rio, set the standard for female on-camera nastiness.
Few performers to this day can capture the raw animal heat that wafted off the super-sultry half Puerto Rican/half Cuban bombshell. Maybe because this was one smut slut who actually loved her work.
Asked on her Website - http://www.vanessadelrio.com/ - if she enjoyed doing porn, she answered, "Are you serious? Didn't I look like I was enjoying it, huh? What a dumb question! Twelve years of sucking cock and stretching my mouth til my features were distorted and my eyes rolled back in my head and you ask me if I enjoyed it?"
Even though del Rio retired in the mid-1980s due to her fear of contracting AIDS, she remains immensely popular - a tribute to her trailblazing impact. Of her close to 200 titles, she names as her favorites her very first porno - 1974's China Doll - plus Filthy Rich, Dracula Exotic, the Dancers, Pink Ladies and Deep Inside Vanessa.
She also appeared in such classics as Babylon Pink, Her Name Was Lisa and Devil in Miss Jones 3. Del Rio was - and remains - the embodiment of lust

Vanessa Del Rio's Filmography

 9. Nina Hartley
Nina Hartley's Filmography

Nina Hartley, besides possessing what is widely reputed to be the "best ass in porn," is also one of the industry's brightest stars.
A nurse by training and porn aficionado by inclination - Nina was greatly turned on by her first viewing, in a Berkeley theater, of Autobiography of a Flea - Hartley was recruited to on-camera sexwork in 1983 by Juliet "Aunt Peg" Anderson for Anderson's directorial debut, Educating Nina.
Since then, in addition to appearing in over 500 XXX features and winning five AVN Awards, Nina has pursued a successful dancing career; directed the popular Nina Hartley's Guide series for Adam & Eve Productions; co-created (with Sharon Mitchell) an orientation tape that's a must-see for incoming porn actresses; been an invited guest at numerous sexuality symposia and on various radio and TV talk shows; and even snagged a key role in the John Holmes-inspired mainstream film, Boogie Nights. If that ain't impact, we don't know what is

Nina Hartley's Filmography

 10. Rocco Siffredi
Rocco Siffredi's Filmography

Call him what you will - the Italian Stallion, the 13-inch Corporation or just plain Rocco - but Siffredi is arguably the most popular male performer of all time.
Active since 1987 and showing no signs of slowing down, Siffredi has set new standards for male sexual intensity and pornographic depravity. And the scary thing is, some 14 years after entering the biz, he just keeps getting better (check out his terrifically wanton Animal Trainer line for Evil Angel, for instance).
One of the few - if not the only - male stars who gets billing above the female talent, Siffredi is to adult sales/rentals what Tom Hanks is to Hollywood's box office - a sure thing. AVN's Male Performer of the Year in 1992 and 1995, and nominated for that honor again this year, Siffredi will be inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame this month

Rocco Siffredi's FilmographyFilms Directed by Rocco Siffredi


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