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20 Celebrities Who Started Off as Adult Film Stars

Sylvester Stallone

Before the fame of the Rocky franchise, Sylvester Stallone was a young actor down on his luck. Facing homelessness, Stallone starred in the 1970s adult film The Party at Kitty and Stud’s. This movie was later renamed Italian Stallion, to piggyback off the notoriety of Stallone’s role as boxer Rocky Balboa. 

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Arnold Schwarzenegger

There’s no Arnold Schwarzenegger sex tape floating around on the internet, and for that, we should all be grateful. However, before this body builder-turned-actor-turned-politician hit the big times, he did take some risque shots for a pornographic magazine. 

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Matt Leblanc

Matt Leblanc may forever be known as Joey from Friends, but his beginnings as an actor were a bit more sultry. Leblanc was featured in The Red Shoe Diaries, an early-'90s premium cable show that straddled the line between drama and porn. 

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David Duchovny

You might know him as Fox Mulder from the X-Files, but before he was chasing aliens David Duchovny dipped his toes into the waters of adult entertainment. He starred in the early-90s Showtime series,The Red Shoe Diaries. While it was technically billed as “erotic drama” it was little more than softcore porn. 

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Sasha Grey

Sasha Grey was a big figure in the adult film industry of the early 2000s, and she used that fame to break into mainstream acting as well. Her credits include both television (Entourage) and movies (The Girlfriend Experience). 

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Spalding Gray

Spalding Gray’s acting credits paint a picture of an accomplished actor. He’s done movies. He’s done TV. And, strangely, he’s done porn. Before his career really began to take off in the '80s, he starred in a number of adult films in the late '70s. 

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Riley Steele

Riley Steele is another adult film star to make the jump to mainstream movies, but only barely. While she is probably most well known for her work in the porn-themed Pirates of the Caribbean spoofs, she also had a role in Piranha 3D, which we guess is technically a legit acting credit? But honestly, porn is more reputable than that terrible series of movies. 

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Ron Jeremy

In terms of porn stars, not many names are as recognizable as Ron Jeremy. And it’s this fame that has allowed him to break into the world of mainstream movies. Granted, he’s playing a fictionalized version of himself most of the time, but you can still catch him in films like Ghostbusters and Boondock Saints

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Francois Sagat

French actor Francois Sagat is no stranger to the world of porn--he’s starred and directed in numerous adult films. However, he’s no stranger to the world of mainstream movies either, with roles in films like Saw IV and Man at Bath

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Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan is most well known for his iconic Kung Fu movies, but even this martial arts master found himself on tough times early in his career. In the '70s, Chan starred in a Chinese comedy porn called All in the Family. Sounds like a weird combo, but you know you want to see it. 

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Cameron Diaz

Love her or hate her, Cameron Diaz has been a Hollywood mainstay for years at this point. But before her fame, Diaz starred in an adult film. The world will probably never see it, though--she bought the rights to it with her earnings from the 1994 film The Mask

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Kim Kardashian

Of everyone on this list, no one should be more grateful to the world of porn than Kim Kardashian. It’s literally the only reason she is famous. After her sex tape with then-boyfriend Ray J “leaked”, her hit reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, followed shortly behind. 

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Marilyn Monroe

Marily Monroe never bore it all for a movie, but during a period when she was on the decline, she did appear in nude photos for a magazine. 

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Kevin Costner

Though billed as an “independent film”, the 1986 film Sizzle Beach, U.S.A. was little more than softcore porn--starring Kevin Costner. That’s right, before his hit films, like Dances with Wolves and Field of Dreams, Costner got his start with a skin flick. 

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Robert Kerman

Robert Kerman is no stranger to fans of horror movies--he’s had roles in classics such as Cannibal Holocaust. But he also had a prolific adult film career that’s equally iconic, and his credits include the infamous adult film Debbie Does Dallas

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Sibel Kekilli

During the early seasons of Game of Thrones, Sibel Kekilli made a name for herself as Shae. But before this rise to stardom, she starred in several adult films in her home country of Germany. Her past came to light in 2004 when she starred in the film Head-On

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Traci Lords

Traci Lords has starred in numerous cult classics, like Serial Mom and Blade, but she’s probably most infamous for appearing in Penthouse magazine when she was only 16. After that, she went on to star in numerous adult films. 

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Simon Rex

Simon Rex has done a little of everything--he’s an actor, he was an MTV VJ in the '90s, and he did adult movies early in his career. Before his rise to stardom, Rex appeared in several solo scenes. 

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Adam West

Adam West was Batman for an entire generation of kids in the '60s, but in the '80s he had roles in a number of softcore films. That being said, his roles were all non-sexual, but it’s still bizarre to think of the Caped Crusader showing up at any point during a porn. 

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Shu Qi

Shu Qi made her big screen debut as Lai Kwai in the 2002 film The Transporter. But before her big break, she was no stranger to the world of adult entertainment. She has appeared in Chinese editions of both Penthouse and Playboy

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