5 Best 70′s Porn Stars

The 1970's witnessed the golden age of pornography, and the 5 best 70's porn stars have had a lasting influence, not just on porn, but on the culture at large. Favorable court judgments and the changing social mores of the 70's allowed porn to go “mainstream” for the first time, playing to regular audiences instead of  (or in addition to) the “raincoat crowd.”

  1. Marilyn Chambers. Struggling model Chambers became a porn pioneer when she starred in 1972’s “Behind the Green Door,” the first widely released hardcore film. When she revealed she was also the girl on the “Ivory Snow” soapbox, it caused a nationwide scandal. Chambers played off this notoriety into a film career that alternated between porn and mainstream films. A 1999 compilation ranked her the top adult star of all time. Sadly, she passed away in 2009.
  2. Annie Sprinkle. Like Chambers, Sprinkle refused to apologize for having sex on film, she made more than three dozen adult movies in the 70's, before becoming a performance artist and educator with a strong, positive emphasis on sex. Sprinkle has written books, filmed documentaries, earned her Ph.D., and continued to make and release increasingly esoteric sex films. She straddles the gulf between porno chic and mainstream culture, making sure everyone gets a good clear view of her naughty bits while she does it.

  3. Bambi Woods. 1978’s “Debbie Does Dallas,” unremarkable but for its alliterative title and starring a cast of unknowns, somehow became porn’s touchstone film, the one everyone knew about, the punchline to every saucy sitcom joke. “Bambi Woods,” in the title role, thus became the iconic porn star of all time, a role she honored by disappearing completely. Much speculation surrounds the identity and fate of the mystery star, who only has two sex scenes in the film, but there have been no confirmed sightings since “DDD2” in 1981.

  4. Candida Royalle. Many porn stars of the 70's disappeared, but like Sprinkle, Candida Royalle carried on, transforming herself into a sex-positive, self-actualized filmmaker. Dissatisfied with the male-centered aesthetic of porn, she began directing sex films geared to women’s tastes, following up with a full line of films and sex aids as a producer and businesswoman. Still active in the adult field, she has become a pioneer of porn as an art form.

  5. John Holmes. The legendary Elvis of porn surely deserves a place on the list of the 5 best 70's porn stars. His titanic, eh, talent secured him a place in the culture paralleling that of his occasional co-star, Marilyn Chambers, wide notoriety, but a career that peaked in porn. His tragic later days reflected the flash and decay of West-coast America as the 70's faded out into the Reagan 80's. His life inspired “Boogie Nights” and other films, books, and articles, all using his case to speculate on the uncertain new role porn plays in modern society. 

 

 

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