The Best 70s Porn: A Complete Guide

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Want to know how porn really got started?

The popular culture scene of the seventies may be best remembered for its anarchy; in fashion, music and films the sentiments were uniform in their condemnation of conservatism. Following on from the liberation of the 1960s, the seventies saw greater and broader diversity than ever before in many parts of society….including the porn industry. Known as the Golden Age of Porn, the period spanning 1969 to 1984 saw adult content change from softcore to hardcore and even reaching mainstream markets.

In this comprehensive guide to the Golden Age of Porn, we will cover some of the history of how the adult movie business evolved. From the 1960s age of stag reels and nudie cuties to the fully-fledged hardcore age of porn, we’ll give you the best films, the best male and female stars and some of the best directors.



What is 70s Porn?

Made during the period between 1970 and 1979, seventies porn is a distinct era of adult cinema, often referred to as The Golden Age of Porn. It follows a period of Classic Vintage Porn which is anything made in the 1960s and Antique Vintage Porn (Pre 1960s).

The Golden Age of Porn ran through to the early 1980s and precedes the Retro porn era of the 1980s and 1990s.

You can find a full guide to porn from these decades on our site:

best 70s porn

Image via IMDb.

The 1970s: A Golden Age of Porn?

Before 1969, porn movies were very much softcore in content yet, in a decade marked by a social revolution in sexuality, more liberated views were being reflected in the adult industry. More progressive pornography legislation and advances in filming technology during the sixties paved the way for an explosive era in explicit eroticism and extreme hardcore.

The nudie cuties and sexploitation films of the 1960s were nothing compared to what the 1970s brought to the table. During this ‘Golden Age’, blue movies became commercially successful and were reaching wider, more mainstream, audiences. Notorious porno films like The Devil in Miss Jones, Deep Throat and Blue Movie were all making headlines in the national press and even being discussed on popular TV shows.

This wave of popularity gave rise to the term ‘porno-chic’ which recognized the influence that the industry was having on popular culture. So popular in fact that many critics and observers were expressing concern that the porn industry could be a very real rival (and threat) to mainstream Hollywood.

Blue movies, once only found in back alley grindhouse theaters were being shown at major movie houses; not only that but many were huge box-office successes. Even films that had been made on a low-budget were seeing major profits.

At the same time, the public were more receptive to the idea of adult movies (perhaps as a result of the 1960s sexual revolution).

The combination of a rise in demand coupled with the lure of big financial returns saw more and more filmmakers producing porn during the 1970s.

However, this rise in openly available pornography was not without a backlash and blue movies being shown in cinemas was not something that many people wanted to see. With movies like Deep Throat, The Devil in Miss Jones and Behind The Green Door all seeing widespread mainstream commercial success, it was little wonder that the conservatives wanted to stymie the progress of the porn industry.

best 70s porn guide

The 70s produced plenty of porn classics including the 1972 Deep Throat. Image via Adult DVD Empire.

In a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court in 1973  (Miller vs California), obscenity laws were changed; the impact of which would be felt across the adult industry. Movies made prior to this ruling were deemed to be ‘obscene’ if they were “utterly without redeeming social value”. However, the court made an important distinction going forwards that made it far more difficult for adult movies to be distributed in mainstream theaters.

The redefinition meant that movies would (post-1973) be deemed ‘obscene’ if  they lacked ‘serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value’.

This led to movies after 1973 emulating more closely the traditional filmmaking conventions of mainstream Hollywood. The focus was very much on producing a legitimate ‘frame’ for sex with storylines, plot, character development and more complex scripts with plenty of dialogue. In this way, porn during the mid to late seventies took on a wholly new direction.

This Golden Age of Porn was very much defined by these new obscenity laws and created the classic genre of adult movies that not only depicted hardcore sex but also told a story. As the decade goes on you can see far more sophistication in the creative production of porn movies, much of which emulates the techniques being employed in Hollywood at the time; soft lighting, ambient music, elaborate costumes and sets are all due to the need to create adult movies that had artistic value.

guide to the best seventies porn

The Devil in Miss Jones (1973). Image via Adult DVD Empire.

By  the mid-1980s, the Golden Age of Porn was coming to an end as the advent of VHS brought new changes in the way films were being distributed. Instead of the need to appease local obscenity laws in order to gain mainstream cinema release, films were able to be released directly to video and straight into the homes of their audience. You can find out more about the evolution of porn in the 1980s in our full feature guide.

Top Porn Stars of the 70s

There are hundreds of names we could include in our top stars run down of the seventies and the decade saw the end of some careers for performers of those sexploitation movies of the 60s as well as launching the names of many screen legends. There are even some stars who are still working today who cut their teeth during the 1970s.

Best Female Porn Stars of the 70s

We’ve narrowed down our list to those stars who defined adult movies in this decade from the notorious names of Linda Lovelace and Marilyn Chambers to the likes of the unforgettable Bambi Woods and Chesty Morgan.

Inevitably, we can’t cover everyone on this list but if you think we’ve overlooked your favorite female porn star of the 1970s then drop us a comment below to tell us who should be on the list.

Ann Ali

An exotic looking beauty with big breasts, Ann Ali was a softcore porn star who worked during the late 1960s and into the mid 1970s. She mainly worked with directors who were producing nudie cuties (or stag reels). Many were pretty tame by modern standards but one stands out from the rest as a classic; a six-way lesbian romp that also featured fellow porn stars of the day Uschi Digart and Candy Samples.

She was also a regular pinup for magazines like Gent, Boobs, Busts and Bazooms and Gem.

Juliet Anderson

best 70s porn stars juliet anderson

Image via RedTube.

Real name Judith Karr, Juliet Anderson was active in the industry from 1978-1984 before retiring. She came back to the porn business in 1999 and again in 2007 taking up some more mature roles in her later films.

Also known as ‘Aunt Peg’ due to her casting in some films of the same title for Swedish Erotica, she won the Legend of Erotica Award in 2012 for her contribution to the porn industry. In total, Anderson is credited with over 160 films and DVD releases including That’s Porno (1979) and Tender Trap (1978). She was often the overlooked performer in the early part of her career playing second fiddle to the stars in films such as Pretty Peaches (1978) and Inside Desiree Cousteau (1979).

Also a member of the halls of fame at AVN and XRCO, Anderson was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in 2007.

An athletic blonde with a ‘giddy’ on screen persona, she was popular with her co-stars and fans alike which is evidenced by her extensive back-catalog and return to the industry. Her best work is actually in the 1980s when she really got into the swing of things but any fans of Aunt Peg will be sure to enjoy early examples of her on-screen action.

Claudine Beccarie

best 70s porn stars claudine beccarrie

Image via IMDb.

Sometimes referred to as the first French porn star, Claudine Beccarie starred in many hardcore films that were mainly released in Europe during the 1970s. She started out making loops in 1972 before going on to feature films; the most infamous of these was the 1975 documentary, Exhibition.

The documentary features interviews with Beccarie and several staged hardcore scenes. It went a long way to ‘normalizing’ the profession of porn star at the time and she came across on screen as a well-rounded human being with good morals. Interesting then that she should quit the porn industry in the 80s and go on to make Nazi exploitation movies…?!

Beccarie is credited with paving the way for fellow French porn stars Brigitte Lahaie and Marilyn Jess. Whilst the documentary is definitely worth watching, some of her best work can be seen in films such as:

  • Grand Ecstasy (1976)
  • Kinkorama (1976)
  • Inhibitions (1976)
  • Love Lust and Violence (1976)
  • Pornocrates (1975)
  • Prostitution clandestine (1975)

Rene Bond

best 70s porn stars rene bond

Rene Bond (R) in Five Loose Women (1974). Image via IMDb.

Starring in over 100 porn movies and hundreds of loops and reels, Rene Bond dominated the adult film scene of the 1970s. She started out in 1969 working with Harry Novak on some sexploitation movies before she embarked on her hardcore career.

Bond is an inductee in the AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame plus a winner of the Legends of Erotica Award 1997.

She was well known for her youthful looks and petite figure which gave her an alluring ‘girl-next-door’ appeal. Bond was also one of the first porn stars to get breast implants in the mid-seventies which boosted her chest to an impressive 38C.

She continued working through to the end of the decade and even ran her own mail-order business selling nude and topless photos of herself to her many adoring fans.

Her work is far-ranging and covers a lot of on-screen pairings with plenty of the names on this list. In our opinion, her best work can be seen on titles such as:

  • The Boob Tube Strikes Again! (1977)
  • Fantasm (1976)
  • Please Don’t Eat My Mother (1973)
  • Sex Asylum (1973)
  • Teenage Fantasies (1972)
  • Country Hooker (1972)
  • Below the Belt (1972)

Rebecca Brooke

best 70s porn stars rebecca brooke

Image via DVD Beaver.

Initially starting out in softcore films in 1973, Rebecca Brooke (also known as Mary Mendum and Veronica Parrish) only starred in a dozen or so movies during the 1970s. However, she gained some notoriety in her role as ‘Anne’ in the 1975 S&M film The Image (also re-released as The Punishment of Anne and The Mistress and The Slave). She also appeared (non-sex roles) in a couple of popular titles of the decade including Confessions of a Young American Housewife (1974), Misty (1975) and Bang Bang You Got It (1976).

She quit the business in 1977 but will always be remembered for being (as historian, Vern Bullough puts its) “one of the true beauties to grace the porn screen”.

Robin Byrd

Known for her cable TV series The Robin Byrd Show, the eponymous presenter started out in the porn industry in the late 1970s, appearing in the classic Debbie Does Dallas.

Though she only starred in a few dozen blue movies, her cable show catapulted her into the mainstream spotlight. With its signature blend of adult entertainment guests (porn stars, strippers, dominatrices, etc) and light-hearted humour, the show has earned a cult following which still has an active fan base via its official website.

Now in her 60s but still enjoying celebrity status, Byrd starred in a dozen or so porn movies of note during the late 1970s including:

  • Hot Honey (1977)
  • Bad Penny (1978)
  • Debbie Does Dallas 1 (1978)
  • Last Sex Act (1978)
  • Way Down Deep (1978)
  • Angie Undercover Cop (1979)
  • Her Name Was Lisa (1979)
  • Lenny’s Comeback (1979)
  • Nurses Are Coming (1979)
  • Pleasure Palace (1979)

Marilyn Chambers

best 70s porn stars marilyn chambers

Image via Adult DVD Empire.

Real name Marilyn Briggs, Chambers is an iconic seventies porn star who shot to fame in the classic movie Behind The Green Door (1972). She was once voted the 6th Top Porn Star of All Time by AVN and was also ranked in the Top 100 Sex Stars of the Century by Playboy.

Behind The Green Door was her debut role but she went on to star in more than 40 films during her career, eventually crossing over into mainstream acting. However, she made a comeback during the 80s and 90s, even releasing some new material in 2000.

Chambers had a ‘wholesome’ appeal that set her apart from contemporaries like Linda Lovelace and Georgina Spelvin. Her ‘all-American, girl-next door’ charm earned her a different breed of fans who were hungry for her work.

Though Behind The Green Door is a pivotal film from the decade, her best work is actually in the 1980 movie Insatiable. Other titles that showcase her talents from the 70s include Resurrection of Eve (1973) and Inside Marilyn Chambers (1975).

Beyond De Sade (1979) and Never A Tender Moment (1979) were also two great features she worked on with the Mitchell Brothers that explored the world of BDSM.

Carol Connors

best 70s porn stars carol connors

Images via XHamster.

Though it will always be Linda Lovelace who remains the star of Deep Throat (1972), Carol Connors also achieved fame from the same movie as a very capable co-star. She went on to perform in another two dozen movies during the 70s and early 80s including Wet and Wild (1976), Erotic Adventures of Candy (1978) and Candy Goes To Hollywood (1979). Connors also starred in the first ever porn Western, Sweet Savage (1979).

Connors was famously married to fellow porn star Jack Birch and they appeared together in Sweet Savage (1979), Cousin Betty (1972) and Daddys Rich (1972).

Despite only having one clip on XVideos, she has still notched up over 12 million views on the popular tube site.

Desireé Cousteau

best 70s porn stars desiree cousteau

Image via Adult DVD Empire.

Another inductee into the halls of fame at both AVN and XRCO as well as the Legends of Erotica, Desireé Cousteau was the stage name of Deborah Clearbranch.

She made some mainstream B movies during the early 1970s but her acting career never got off the ground and she, instead, turned to adult films. She is best known for her work in the 1978 film Pretty Peaches and her eponymous role in the 1979 movie Inside Desireé Cousteau. She was awarded the Best Actress title by the AFAA in 1978 for her part in Pretty Peaches.

Cousteau continued to work in the porn industry through the 1980s, eventually retiring in 1988. Despite the fact that she has not made any movies for thirty years she is still available to view on XVideos where she has notched up over 34 million views!

In all, this buxom brunette made more than 100 movies during her career working with performers including Aaron Stuart, Blair Harris, Herschel Savage, John Holmes and Joey Silvera.

As well as those titles listed above, it is worth checking out Getting Off (1979) and Ms. Magnificent (1979).

Sandy Dempsey

best 70s porn stars sandy dempsey

Little Miss Innocence (1978). Image via Amazon.

Inaugurated into the XRCO Hall of Fame in 1989 as a ‘Film Pioneer’, Sandy Dempsey made over 60 porno movies between 1968 and 1975. She worked with several of the big name seventies porn stars including George Peters, Jason Yukon and Rick Cassidy but starred most regularly alongside John Holmes.

A slim brown-haired star with an all-natural, perky 34C chest, she had a ‘girl next door’ vibe about her coupled with an on-screen exuberance that left audiences exhausted as well as excited.

Her best scenes are found in early titles such as Touch Me (1971) and Shot On Location (1972).

Annette Haven

best 70s porn stars annette haven

Annette Haven in China Girl (1974). Image via DVD Beaver.

Debuting in the adult film industry in Lady Freaks (1973), Annette Haven was a prolific star of the 1970s and 1980s porn scene. She continued working until the 1990s when she was picking up more mature roles and was recognized by casting directors as being a porn star who could actually act.

A member of the AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame and a Legend of Erotica Winner, Haven has over 180 credits to her name on the IAFD.

She won an AFAA award for Best Supporting Actress in 1977 for her role in Coming of Angels and an X-Caliber Award for Best Actress for her part in China Girl (1974).

Haven was raised in a Mormon family and she has claimed that she started out in porn as a way of demonstrating that sex could be pleasurable and not sinful.

There aren’t many 70s or 80s porn stars that she hasn’t worked with during her career but she did seem to be paired with John Leslie and Paul Thomas quite regularly.

In our opinion, her best roles were in the following films:

  • Maraschino Cherry (1978)
  • Spirit of Seventy Six (1976)
  • China Girl (1974)
  • Autobiography of a Flea (1976)
  • V the Hot One (1977)

Brigitte Lahaie

best 70s porn stars brigitte lahaie

Image via IMDb.

One of the first wave of French porn stars, Lahaie debuted in the adult film industry just a year after pornography was legalized. She was already working in mainstream erotic films after she was cast in the movie Africa Erotica in 1970.

An inductee of the XRCO Hall of Fame, Lahaie starred in around 100 films during the period 1976-1980 including Exces pornographiques (1977), Rabatteuse (1977) and Amour c’est son metier (1979). Her best work is on the movie Service With a Smile (1978) in which she performs DP and anal.

Lahaie went on after porn to have a pretty impressive crossover career in the movie business as well as publishing several books, releasing a single and she even hosts her own radio show for the French broadcast network Sud Radio. A daily slot, Lahaie offers callers her expert advice on sexual and relationship matters.

Though she is now 64 years old, she still ranks in the top 25 French porn stars on the popular tube site XVideos. With over 129 million views, she is reaching contemporary audiences more frequently than many much younger fellow adult stars.

She was an entrancing European beauty and her films are testament to her natural talent for porn. If you only see one of her films then make it Parties fines (1977).

C. J. Laing

best 70s porn stars c j laing

Barbara Broadcast (1977). Image via XHamster.

Described by AVN when she was inducted into their Hall of Fame as “one of the most exciting stars of the….Golden Age of porn”, C.J. Laing starred in more than 50 films during the period 1974 to 1979.

She has also been inducted into the XRCO Hall of Fame as a ‘film pioneer’ and has been described as “an energetic performer who turned in some of the strongest performances of her time”. She was certainly known for her excellent oral action and you can find some classic blowjob scenes on some of the sites listed below (see ‘Where To Find The Best 70s Porn’, below).

Laing is best known for her role in the New York classic Barbara Broadcast in which she supported Annette Haven in the lead role. She also appeared in:

  • Anyone But My Husband (1975)
  • Water Power (1976)
  • Dominatrix Without Mercy (1976)
  • Teenage Pajama Party (1977)
  • Maraschino Cherry (1978)

Gloria Leonard

Perhaps best known her 1980s role in the adult film series Taboo: American Style, Gloria Leonard is an award-winning porn star who started out in the seventies.

She was also hired to work as an editor for the popular porn magazine High Society in 1977 where she worked for 14 years as a figurehead of the publisher’s flagship title.

Originally appearing in adult movies in 1974, Leonard starred in over 40 titles until she retired from her on-screen work in 1984. However, she remained an advocate for the industry, serving as a board member for the Adult Film and Video Association and its successor the Free Speech Coalition. She was elected president of both organisations and regularly debated with representatives of the feminist group ‘Women Against Pornography’.

Leonard was also married to the legendary adult film producer/director, Bobby Hollander.

An inductee into the XRCO and AVN Halls of Fame and a Legends of Erotica winner, Gloria Leonard was an iconic star of the seventies porn scene and a long-standing supporter of the industry. She is best remember from the 1970s for her roles in:

  • Odyssey: The Ultimate Trip (1977)
  • Farmers Daughters (1975)
  • The Trouble With Young Stuff (1976)
  • All About Gloria Leonard (1978)
  • Maraschino Cherry (1978)
  • The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1975)

Darby Lloyd Rains

best 70s porn stars darby lloyd rains

Image via XHamster.

A prolific porn star from the 1970s, Darby Lloyd Rains has appeared in over 70 adult films. She co-starred with many of the big-name male porn stars of the day including Eric Edwards whom she paired with a dozen times as well as Harry Reems, Jamie Gillis, Marc Stevens and Jason Russell.

She is another of those porn stars that was not a ‘star’ in her own right and will probably not be remembered in the same way that Linda Lovelace, Annette Haven or Georgina Spelvin are. However, she was an energetic and talented adult performer who certainly deserves a mention here and more than made a splash in the classic Naked Came The Stranger (1975).

Lloyd Rains is a member of the XRCO Hall of Fame and is most noted for her performances in:

  • Altar of Lust (1971)
  • Lovelace Meets Miss Jones (1973)
  • Practice Makes Perfect (1976)
  • Abduction of an American Girl (1975)

Linda Lovelace

best 70s porn star linda lovelace

Images via Wikimedia/Amazon.

Though Linda Lovelace only starred in a handful of movies during the 1970s, there are few names more notoriously linked with the adult industry during this decade than hers.

Star of the 1972 film Deep Throat, Lovelace was soon a household name after the film achieved unprecedented popularity in mainstream movie theaters. It was one of the first titles to be released on home movie a decade later and was one of the highest grossing films ever.

Lovelace was married to the pornographer Chuck Traynor who she worked with from the late 1960s and who she later alleged had coerced her into the adult film business. She famously performed in the bestiality video Dogarama in 1969 and performed golden showers in Peeverted (1971).

After she filed for divorce to Traynor in 1974, Lovelace became a born again Christian and was vehemently outspoken with anti-porn movements. Her autobiography Ordeal (1980) goes into detail about her experiences during this period.

Sharon Mitchell

best 70s porn stars sharon mitchell

Image via IMDb.

Credited with over 730 (performer) and 29 (director) titles on the Internet Adult Film Database, Sharon Mitchell has been a prolific star of adult films from the mid-1970s through to the 1990s.

She has a masters and a doctorate from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and is now a celebrated sexologist and the founder of the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation.

Mitchell is a recognized stalwart of the industry and has earned plenty of awards including:

  • 2008 XBIZ – Lifetime Achievement for Industry Contribution
  • 2001 Hot d’Or d’honneur recipient
  • 1997 Legends of Erotica Winner
  • AVN Hall of Fame Inductee
  • XRCO Hall of Fame
  • 1982 CAFA – Best Supporting Actress for Blue Jeans
  • 1983 CAFA – Best Supporting Actress for Night Hunger
  • 1984 AVN & 1983 CAFA – Best Actress for Sexcapades
  • 1987 XRCO – Lascivious Lesbian Scene for Aerobics Girls Club

Her career started in 1975 when she debuted in the film Lisa Meets Mr. Big and spanned three decades as she put in performances with plenty of the big names of the day. However, Mitchell rarely starred in films but was known for being a great supporting actress. Her filmography includes:

  • Portraits of Pleasure (1975)
  • Odyssey (1977)
  • Barbara Broadcast (1977)
  • Teenage Pajama Party (1977)
  • Daughters of Discipline (1978)

Constance Money

best 70s porn stars constance money

Image via Amazon.

Famed for playing the role of ‘Misty’ in the 1976 classic The Opening of Misty Beethoven, Constance Money is an inductee of the AVN Hall of Fame and was recognized as a ‘Film Pioneer’ by the XRCO Hall of Fame in 2016.

Considered by many as the ‘crown jewel’ of the Golden Age of Porn, The Opening of Misty Beethoven (see ‘Top Porn Films of the 70s – 1976’, below) won several AFAA awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Screenplay. It was also the first film to be inducted into the XRCO Hall of Fame. However, Money did not earn any awards for her role despite, clearly, being the star.

Also known as Susan Jensen and Christina Hoover, Money is credited with 29 films on the IAFD; most of these are in the early 1980s but she did film seven titles in the 70s including Confessions of a Teenage Peanut Butter Freak (1975) in which she performed anal.

Chesty Morgan

best 70s porn stars chesty morgan

Image via IMDb.

Though her name is synonymous with porn, Chesty Morgan (a burlesque stripper in the 1970s) actually never stripped below the waist. She only performed in a couple of sexploitation films yet is remembered (incorrectly) as being a big star. We’ve only included her here because she is still remembered fondly from the era.

Most men will remember her for her mammoth mammaries that were 100% natural. Allegedly measuring 73”, Morgan’s breasts were inaugurated in the Guinness Movie Facts & Feats as the ‘Largest Breasts of a Movie Star’.

You wont see any hardcore porn in her couple of films but you must check out her enormous knockers in Deadly Weapons (1974) and Double Agent 73 (1974).

Fiona Richmond

best 70s porn stars fiona richmond

Image via XHamster.

Going by the name Amber Harrison, the British glamour model Fiona Richmond made her debut in 1971 in Not Tonight, Darling. It was a small role but she went on to star in several adult movies by the end of the seventies including Exposé (1976), Hardcore (1977) and Let’s Get Laid (1977). The two latter films were not hardcore but Exposé had graphic scenes of sex and violence. Known as a ‘video nasty’, the movie earned her some notoriety in the UK and she remains a sex symbol of this era.

Vanessa del Rio

best 70s porn stars vanessa del rio

Vanessa del Rio making appearances in 2007 and 1999. Images via Wikimedia/Wikipedia.

The first Hispanic porn star of the decade, Vanessa del Rio has a mixed heritage of Puerto Rican, Cuban and African. As well as bringing diversity to the screen with her ethnicity she was also known for having an enlarged clitoris as well as sporting impressive (and all-natural) 36E breasts.

One of the first porn stars to engage in extended anal scenes, she earned herself the nickname ‘Anal Queen’ of porn. Vanessa del Rio has been inducted into the Halls of Fame at XRCO and AVN.

Her career began in 1974 and spans the 70s, 80s and 90s after which she continued to make appearances at adult industry events. She retired briefly in 1986 partly due to the AIDS scare but returned to the porn career after a short hiatus.

Real name Ana Maria Sanchez, del Rio appeared in more than 100 adult movies and her best work is really from her performances during the 1980s. However, fans will certainly appreciate her evolution in the porn movie business by watching these great titles:

  • Appointment With Agony (1976)
  • Forbidden Ways (1976)
  • Midnight Desires (1976)
  • Cherry Hustlers (1977)
  • Tell Teach and Show (1977)

Clyda Rosen

best 70s porn stars clyda rosen

Image via Delta of Venus.

Born in Israel in 1949, Clyda Rosen moved to London and worked with the infamous British pin-up photographer, Harrison Marks.  When Marks started directing nudie films and porn movies he continued to work with some of his more liberal glamour models, including Rosen.

At 4’ 10”, this diminutive Jewish beauty was a popular centerfold in both European and American magazines including for Gent and Scoop.

Rosen made several stag reels in the 60s and then started filming more hardcore scenes in the 70s. She was initially known for her enormous breasts (36F) but she had these reduced in the late 70s owing to an ongoing back complaint. Around the same time she reinvented her look, cutting her hair short and going by the name Vietta Manning. This ‘Manning’ phase is where you can find most of her hardcore scenes from this decade.

She continued making porn through the 1980s and 1990s and notoriously appearing pregnant for a layout in Gent magazine in 1985.

Her later work obviously features her in more of a MILF role and she also dabbled with fetish and lesbian content. However, if you want to appreciate her impact on the UK porn scene of the seventies then check out some of the ‘shorts’ she filmed with Harrison Marks such as ‘Tea and Crumpet’ as well as the feature film Sex Maniacs (1977). Also of note is Women in Chains (1976) and Dolly Mixture (1973).

Candida Royalle

best 70s porn stars candida royalle

Image via Pinterest.

An inductee into both the AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame, Candida Royalle started performing in porn during the mid-seventies. She is credited with performing in more than 80 films during her acting career but she is perhaps best known now as a director and sex-positive feminist and activist.

A popular screen porn idol, she was featured in the 2012 book Golden Goddesses: 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Cinema. Along with fellow performers of the era Seka, Marilyn Chambers, Rhonda Jo Petty and Georgina Spelvin, Royalle was chosen as an icon who demonstrated the vulnerability and strength that this generation of female porn stars embodied.

In 1984, she moved away from her role in front of the camera, instead focusing on a career behind the lights. Founding the studio, Femme Productions, Royalle started creating couples-orientated erotica. Her films depicted a more naturalistic approach to sex on screen and weren’t all geared towards the male porn star releasing his cum shot. Instead, her work focuses on mutual satisfaction and sensuality. Her work has been widely praised by sex therapists and counselors.

Sadly, Royalle passed away in 2015 aged 64 years old but her legacy lives on with a recent documentary film about her life (Candice) released in 2019. The documentary covers her life in porn and her work in the public eye in which she was a celebrated sex educator.

You can find some free clips of some of Royalle’s 1970s performances through XVideos or you can find some of her feature films through one of the sites listed below (‘Where to Find The Best 70s Porn’). Her best work is in Easy Alice (1976), Jungle Blue (1977) and Thoroughly Amorous Amy (1978).

Seka

best 70s porn stars seka

Images via Amazon/Amazon.

The Platinum Princess of Porn is best known for her work in the 80s and 90s but she actually began her career in 1977. In fact, she made a few dozen adult movies at the end of the seventies which means we can lay claim to her here for the Golden Age of Porn.

An iconic character who made over 200 titles over the course of her twenty year career, she is instantly recognizable both for her cropped blond hair but also her stunning figure. She quickly rose to fame and became one of the most well known star of the 80s. You can find more information about Seka in our Guide to 1980s Porn.

Real name, Dorothiea Hundley, Seka ran several adult bookstores in the early 1970s before she moved to Las Vegas and started making adult films and stag loops. However, it was her appearances in films like Teenage Desires (1977) and Lust At First Bite (1978) which really shot her to fame, Our personal favorite from this decade is Blonde Fire (1979) in which she starred with John Holmes,

Georgina Spelvin

best 70s porn stars georgina spelvin

Image via XHamster.

Real name Shelley Bob Graham, star of The Devil In Miss Jones (1973) Georgina Spelvin appeared in over 70 films during a career which spanned from 1957 to 1982.

Her first films were mainly loops and reels with some sexploitation movies made in the 1960s but it was her appearance in the hardcore Gerard Damiano film (The Devil In Miss Jones) which shot her to fame. Notorious and in demand as she was following its release, Spelvin considers the film as her ‘birth’ into the industry but one which also marked a ‘descent…into the pits of sleaze’.

Her back catalog of films includes plenty of scenes of note and she participated in a wide range of acts on screen including interracial, DP, anal and cumswap as well as lesbian and solo work.

Spelvin has been inducted into the halls of fame at XRCO and AVN and has won several industry awards including a lifetime achievement award (XRCO) and AFAAs for Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress.

Along with The Devil In Miss Jones, her finest work is in the movies:

  • Ping Pong (1975)
  • Desires Within Young Girls (1977)
  • Take Off (1978)
  • Ecstasy Girls (1979)

Annie Sprinkle

Presenting as an archetypal femdom, Annie Sprinkle is a porn star turned sex educator, feminist stripper and film producer. Since actively working in the industry from 1973 she has had plenty of side careers, earning herself a Ph.D in 1992 and putting in the hours as a sexologist,  porn magazine editor and cable television host.

A former prostitute, she is an excellent advocate for the industry and has appeared in over 200 titles including both softcore and hardcore as well as mainstream and B movies.

She continues to promote her current activities and back catalog of works via her website and is known more now for her work as a performance artist and educator.

Jewish-America with a stunning, natural 36E chest and athletic body she is best remembered for her black leather outfits and powerful on-screen presence but some of her earlier work features a more ‘demure’ Sprinkles. If you are a fan of her work then it is well worth watching a chronicle of how she evolves as a performer over the 1970s. Certainly, much of her seminal work is from the 1980s so do check out:

  • Seduction (1974)
  • Kathy’s Graduation Present (1975)
  • Ecstasy in Blue (1976)
  • Pornocopia Sensual (1976)
  • Devil Inside Her (1977)

Cathy Stewart

best 70s porn stars cathy stewart

Image via IMDb.

A popular French porn star of the 1970s, Stewart was a regular star of hardcore movies coming out of this European country from 1976 onwards. She retired in the mid-80s following problems with drug addiction and, sadly, died of an overdose in the early 90s.

Stewart, real name Catherine Greiner, also appeared in some mainstream movies including  the Henry Rollins film La Nuit des Traquées (1980).

She is fondly remembered in France as an icon of the Golden Age of French ‘Porno-Chic’ with her best work being in the films:

  • Bouches experts (1978)
  • Cuisses en delire (1978)
  • Julie par devant par derriere (1978)
  • Cette malicieuse Martine (1979)
  • Nymphomane lubrique (1979)

Andrea True

Better known perhaps for her 1976 hit single More, More, More (subtitled How Do You Like It?), Andrea True was a popular porn star of the Scandinavian markets in the 1960s. She crossed over to the U.S. markets at the beginning of the 1970s. Starring in more than 50 hardcore adult films during this decade, she enjoyed a good deal of mainstream commercial success.

Paring with the likes of Bobby Astyr, Davey Jones, Harry Reems and Jamie Gillis, True was at the heart of the Golden Age of Porn, rubbing shoulders (and more) with the top stars of the day.

She was a real advocate for the porn industry at the time she was involved in it and believed that she was standing up for democracy by taking part in adult movies. In an interview taken in 1977, she told reporters that she believed the  “first amendment was in great danger because of censorship from our government”.

After retiring from porn in 1976 she focused on her singing career which never really surpassed the success of that first single. After her third album failed to make any impact she briefly returned to the adult industry in the mid-1980s but, at almost 40 years-old, regarded herself a “too old for a comeback”.

You can catch some of her best work from this decade in films such as:

  • Devil’s Due (1973)
  • Deep Throat Part II (1974)
  • The Chamber Maids (1974)
  • The Seduction of Lynn Carter (1974)
  • Keep on Truckin (1975)
  • Every Inch a Lady (1975)

Jennifer Welles

best 70s porn stars jennifer welles

Jennifer Welles in The Sexualist. Image via Pinterest.

Making her adult film debut in 1969, Jennifer Welles made a few dozen porno movies during the seventies. Her initial foray into the industry was in the softcore sexploitation genre but her involvement became more hardcore and explicit.

Also appearing in fetish magazines as a model under the name ‘Lisa Duran’, Welles won the 1977 Erotica Award for Best Actress (Little Orphan Sammy) and was inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame in 1996. Welles was also the editor of the Eros magazine for a time during the 70s.

She left the industry rather abruptly that same year when she married a rich fan.

Welles was the subject of the documentary film Inside Jennifer Welles (1977) which she reportedly directed but was in fact the work of Joseph Sarno.

Famously a diverse performer, she engaged in a variety of sex acts on screen from lesbian to gangbang, anal to interracial. And, though she only made around 20 titles, she is remembered as an ‘exuberant’ porn star of the seventies.

Her best work is certainly in the title for which she earned her industry award, Little Orphan Sammy (1976) but she can also be seen putting in some commanding performances in:

  • Honey Pie (1975)
  • Sexualist (1975)
  • Sweet Cakes (1976)
  • Temptations (1976)

Desiree West

best 70s porn stars desiree west

Image via XHamster.

One of the first African-American porn stars, Desiree West started her career in the adult industry in 1973 and appeared in more than 100 films. Sadly, she was often cast in very minor roles and she was playing second fiddle to the ‘stars’ in movies like Ceremony: The Ritual of Love (1976), Sweet Cakes (1976) and SexWorld (1977). She did finally get headline billing in 2004 when a DVD release of her finest clips hit the market with D Soul Sister: A Desiree West Collection.

She was obviously known for her interracial scenes but she was also pretty handy with her mouth and her oral technique is much admired by her fans. Speaking of which, you can still catch her work on popular tube hosting sites where she has notched up over 13 million views on XVideos alone.

Though she officially retired from the industry in 1980, she continued to make a couple of adult films here and there during the eighties.

West was inducted into the XRCO Hall of Fame in 1997.

Marlene Willoughby

With over 100 performer credits to her name in the Internet Adult Film Database, Marlene Willoughby was a prolific star of the 1970s and 1980s porn scene.

Of Polish/Italian descent, her dark hair and striking cheekbones made her a memorable beauty but it was her lithe figure which earned her the nickname ‘Willowy’ (Willoughby).

She started out in showbusiness in 1969 with some mainstream work including roles on stage and in film. Willoughby even returned to mainstream acting during the 1980s, landing herself a part in the comedies Trading Places (1983) and Married to the Mob (1988).

Her work in the porn industry started in 1972 when she debuted in the film While The Cat’s Away. This was followed up a few years later by several films from 1975 including Farmer’s Daughters, Honey Cup and The Opening of Misty Beethoven.

An outspoken proponent of the industry Marlene Willoughby continued making porno movies right up to 1993. During her career, she also worked as a burlesque dancer, nude model and was a columnist for High Society and Velvet.

Linda Wong

best 70s porn stars linda wong

Image via Adult DVD Empire.

One of the first Asian porn stars in America, Linda Wong was Japanese by ethnicity but was born and raised in San Francisco. She began nude modelling for magazines like Hustler before she was approached to work in the adult film industry. Her first major role was in 1976 when she was cast in the lead for Oriental Babysitter. It was her role in Jade Pussycat (1977) however when she first really came to the attention of fans. Set in her hometown of San Francisco, the film also starred John Holmes and Georgina Spelvin and was well received.

Wong reportedly worked as a prostitute in Nevada for a few years after she retired from the porn industry in 1981. However, she did make a brief comeback in 1985 in a starring role for the eponymously title movie, The Erotic World of Linda Wong (1985).

Once voted 25th in Complex magazine’s Top 50 Asian Porn Stars of All Time list, Wong can also be seen in action in the following titles:

  • China Lust (1976)
  • One of a Kind (1976)
  • Final Sin (1977)
  • China de Sade (1977)
  • Black Silk Stockings (1979)

Bambi Woods

best 70s porn stars bambi woods

Image via Pinterest.

Best known for her starring role in the classic porn movies from this decade, Debbie Does Dallas (1978), Bambi Woods only made a handful of adult films.

The movie and Woods both hold iconic status in the annals of the industry but little about the star is actually known.

She is reported to have been shocked by the publicity and notoriety that the film achieved and was devastated when her family found out about her involvement in porn.

It was reported that the sequel of Debbie Does Dallas III (1985) was, in fact, edited together using unused footage taken during the filming of the original and the follow up, Debbie Does Dallas II (1981).

Woods disappeared from the public eye by the mid-1980s and she has not been seen since. There were some claims in the late 80s that she had died of a drug overdose but private investigators working for UK documentary producers in 2005 reported she was alive and well and living a normal life.

Best Male Porn Stars of the 1970s

The seventies were the first time in the history of porn where the men were gaining recognition for  their role in the industry. Prior to this, male porn performers were largely uncredited or seen as merely being ‘tools’ for the female leads. Instead, the Golden Age of Porn was to launch the careers of hundreds of leaning men who would go on to become legends of the adult industry; many are still working today as directors or producers.

Bobby Astyr

best 70s porn stars bobby astyr

Image via TXXX/YouTube.

Bobby Astyr made his debut in porn in 1974 and appeared in over 150 films during the course of his career which spanned through to the mid-1980s. He was nicknamed ‘the Clown Prince of Porn’ and was often cast in comic roles.

Astyr co-starred with many leading ladies of the day but was often seen alongside Samantha Fox with whom he was in a relationship.

Winner of the 1979 AFFA for Best Supporting Actor for his role in People, Astyr was inducted into the XRCO Hall of Fame in 1999.

Along with his role in the aforementioned People (1978), he also performed in:

  • Fantasy Club of America (1975)
  • Honey Pie (1975)
  • Sherlick Holmes (1975)
  • Through the Looking Glass (1976)
  • Barbara Broadcast (1977)
  • Babylon Pink (1979)

Alban Ceray

best 70s porn stars alban ceray

Image via Pinterest.

Though many of the performers on this list hail from the United States, Alban Ceray is a much-loved legend of the French porn scene during the 1970s though to the early 2000s.

Ceray stumbled on a career in the adult industry after he moved to Paris in the mid 1970s after a neighbor (and owner of an erotic theater) asked him to step in for a missing actor. His stage debut was seen by the adult filmmaker, José Bénazéraf, who knew talent when he saw it.

Bénazéraf, cast Ceray in his next film and the rest, as they say, is history.

Ceray went on to star in over 500 adult movies with both European and American stars including Traci Lords, Laura Angel and Brigitte Lahaie. Most of these movies were filmed in the 1970s although he also worked with Manuel Ferrara in 2003 at the age 58 on the title Virginie.

As well as his porn career, Ceray also ran his own libertine club during the 1980s and had a reputation as a very hospitable host for his swinging guests.

Most of his work seventies is in French but you don’t need to speak the language to appreciate just why he was so appreciated on the French Cinema X scene. The best examples can be found on Parties fines (1977), Cuisses en delire (1978) and Demarcheuses en chaleur (1979).

Don Fernando

best 70s porn stars don fernando

Images via IAFD/Wikipedia/Porn.

Nicknamed ‘Asianman’ or known as Mr. Camera, Don Fernando is a member of the AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame and has twice won Best Supporting Actor awards. He has been in the business since 1977 when he starred in Rites of Uranus.

His career has seem amass more than 1500 performance credits on IAFD and over 130 as a noted director of the 90s and 00s.

Fernando featured in several great seventies porn films including Getting Off (1979), Hot Rackets (1979) and Candy Stripers (1978).

Jamie Gillis

best 70s porn stars jamie gillis

Image via YouPorn.

Starring in more than 400 adult films over the course of a career which spanned from 1971 through the 80s, 90s and into the early 00s. A popular performer that had a natural rapport with his co-stars, Gillis starred in several iconic adult movies of the 70s including Deep Throat II (1974), The Story of Joanna (1975), The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976), Water Power (1976), Barbara Broadcast (1977) and Lust At First Bite (1978).

He also directed around 30 movies, most of these in the 1990s as part of the award-winning and pioneering gonzo-style documentary film series On The Prowl.

Gillis had a reputation for being ‘off the wall’ and was described by colleagues as being ‘sexually wild’ and ‘decadent’. Though the bulk of his filmography is heterosexual, Gillis also performed in gay and bisexual roles for some porn movies.

He won multiple awards over his career including an X-Caliber Award for Best Actor for his role in The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976). Gillis is a member of both the XRCO and AVN halls of fame.

John Holmes

best 70s porn stars john holmes

Image via PornStarClassics.

Few names are as synonymous with the 1970s as that of John C Holmes, AKA Johnny Wadd. Owner of one of the porn industry’s biggest dicks, Holmes has gone down in history as a legend of the adult film scene.

Though he made his porn debut in the late 1960s it wasn’t until the Golden Age of Porn got underway  that he made a name for himself in the Bob Chinn film Johnny Wadd. In the movie, Holmes played the role of a private investigator and was an instant hit. Chinn followed this up with Flesh of the Lotus in 1973 and a whole series of sequels ensued.

Not that Holmes was in need of one stream of casting; his sizable assets and natural on-screen presence put him in high demand and he starred in plenty of pornos. In fact, he was one of the most prolific actors of the day and has notched up over 550 film credits in his career.

Though his penis remains the most famous thing about him, no documented evidence survives his untimely death over its size. There are lots of contradictory claims as to its size with some suggesting it was 16” long and 13” in circumference whilst others (including Holmes’ first wife) stating it was 10”. Irrespective of the true size, it is widely acknowledged that it was big and it was the cumshots that were most impressive. Holmes has been widely promoted as having the greatest seminal volume in the business, second only to the 80s and 90s star, Peter North.

The subject of many documentaries and books, John Holmes contracted HIV in the 1980s and died as a result of complications caused by AIDS in 1988.

If you want to see what the fuss was about when it comes to this porn screen legend then do check out the original few Johnny Wadd titles but also take a look at:

  • Personal Services (1973)
  • Autobiography of a Flea (1976)
  • Spirt of Seventy Sex (1976)
  • Teenage Cruisers (1977)
  • Erotic Adventures of Candy (1978)
  • Little Me and Marla Strangelove (1978)
  • Pizza Girls (1978)
  • Senators Daughter (1978)
  • Taxi Girls (1979)

Johnnie Keyes

best 70s porn stars johnnie keyes

Image via XNXX.

African-American Johnnie Keyes had a lead role in the film Behind The Green Door (1972) which was one of the first mainstream movies to depict interracial sex (co-star Marilyn Chambers).

Keyes also worked on a lot of the Swedish Erotica titles of the 1970s as well as starring in other classics like Resurrection of Eve (1973), SexWorld (1977) and Heavenly Desire (1979).

Awarded the title of Film Pioneer when he was inducted into the XRCO Hall of Fame, Keyes also gained an XBiz nomination for Best Non-Sex Acting Performance in his role in the 2013 film New Behind The Green Door.

Also a Hall of Fame inductee with the Urban Spice Awards, he went on to have a successful career after porn as a boxer, singer and sex surrogate.

John Leslie

John Leslie has over 600 performer credits on IAFD and 150+ director credits. He began working in the industry in 1975, aged 30. He has won the AFAA, AVN, XRCO and CAFA awards for Best Actor multiple times and has earned over 15 titles as a director.

A member of the AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame, his signature style as a director was in feature length sex dramas.

Appearing with some of the biggest female names in the business over his career his most notable 70s appearance include:

  • Honeymooners (1976)
  • Obsessed (1977)
  • Desires Within Young Girls (1977)
  • SexWorld (1977)
  • Lust At First Bite (Dracula Sucks) (1978)
  • Pretty Peaches (1979)
  • The Ecstasy Girls (1979)

Michael Morrison

best 70s porn stars michael morrison

Image via XHamster.

Originally entering the adult film industry in 1977 as a ‘favor’ to a girlfriend, Morrison (real name Milton Owen Ingley) went on to have a reasonable spell in porn. He has over 200 credits to his name in front of the cameras and a further 100+ as a director.

Inducted into the XRCO Hall of Fame as a film pioneer, he was a likable performer with a cheeky charisma.

Movies starring Morrison that are well worth a peek, include:

  • Visions of Clair (1977)
  • KSEX (1978)
  • Deep Rub (1979)
  • Inside Desiree Cousteau (1979)
  • Tangerine (1979)

Richard Pacheco

best 70s porn stars richard pacheco

Image via YouTube/Wikipedia.

Recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) and a member of both the AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame, Richard Pacheco as a porn star from 1978 right through the 1980s.

His first film was a role in Candy Stripers in which he used the pseudonym McKinley Howard. Over the course of his career, Pacheco has won several industry awards in recognition of his work including multiple Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. He was also voted Playgirl Man of the Year in 1979.

He went on to direct just one film in the 80s, Careful, He May Be Watching which starred Seka. It earned him a Best Director Award and it also took home the title for Best Film in 1988.

Pacheco has remained a part of the industry with his work through FSC and has also contributed to documentaries including After Porn Ends (2012).

Endowed with an ‘average’ penis, Pacheco has joked with his wife that he had the smallest cock to ever hit the big time. It didn’t seem to hinder his career and his co-stars never looked as though they were complaining.

You can catch Pachecho on the job in several great seventies’ films including:

  • Easy (1978)
  • Pizza Girls (1978)
  • Hot Legs (1979)
  • Candy Goes to Hollywood (1979)
  • Screwples (1979)

Harry Reems

Real name Herbert John Streicher, Harry Reems is best known for his iconic portrayal of Doctor Young in the classic seventies porn flick, Deep Throat (1972). He also played opposite Georgina Spelvin in the equally exemplary The Devil In Miss Jones (1973).

Reems started out making low-budget adult reels and loops in the early 70s before catching a break with feature length titles. As well as the more mainstream porno-chic movies, Reems also made plenty of ‘grindhouse roughies’ which focused on more sexually violent characters. In Forced Entry (1973) he played the role of a sadistic war veteran who is obsessed with rape and murder. Reems later regretted his involvement with the project.

At the height of his fame in the late 1970s, Reems pursued a career in the mainstream world of acting and was even cast as Coach Calhoun for the original film Grease. However, the production company was nervous about his notoriety as an adult film actor and re-cast the role. He did manage to land some other work, mainly on stage, before returning to porn in 1982. He retired again in 1985.

Reems was the archetypal 70s porn star with a fine bushy mustache, a rug on his chest and tussled hair. Popular with the ladies, he was a tall and athletic guy who showed a clear love for the work.

Reems has over 200 performer credits on the IAFD with some notable films that are worth a watch including:

  • Time To Love (1971)
  • French Schoolgirls (1973)
  • Butterflies (1974)
  • Memories With Miss Aggie (1974)
  • Sex Wish (1976)

Herschel Savage

best 70s porn stars herschel savage

Image via TubePornClassic.

Another of the bedrocks of the 1970, 1980s and 1990s porn scene, Herschel Savage has amassed more than 1800 credits as a performer on IAFD and has received more than 40 nominations for industry awards over his 40+ year career. He has won 9 times.

An inductee to the AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame, Savage made his debut in 1974 in the film Hardly Married and went on to become one of the biggest stars of the 1970s. Famously appearing in iconic titles such as Debbie Does Dallas (1978), Skin Flicks (1978) and People (1978) he had a dominant screen persona. Combined with his good looks, tall athletic build and great stamina, he was a natural for porn.

He started directed a few titles in the 90s but never made the full transition to filmmaker like some of his contemporaries.

Briefly taking a break from the industry in the late 90s, he has gone on to some mainstream roles but (now in his 60) has continued making porn, albeit in non-sex roles these days.

Joey Silvera

Almost a fixture of the 80s and 90s porn scene, Joey Silvera started out his career in the adult film industry in 1971. His debut came in the Lowell Pickett film, Cozy Cool in which he performed with Maria Arnold and Veronica Taylor.

Over a 40+ year career, Silvera has notched up more than 1500 performer credits on IAFD and almost 400 as a director.

A member of both the AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame, Silvera has won dozens of industry awards including many for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Director.

At 6’ 2” with a 9.5” cock, he was made for porn and in the prime of his 20s he cut a fine figure on screen.  There really aren’t many big names of the adult film industry with whom Silvera hasn’t worked, either as a co-star or as a director.

He currently works under John Stagliano’s Evil Angel brand and is still making porn movies today.

If you want to see some of Silvera’s early work then check out:

  • Journey of O (1975)
  • Ceremony The Ritual of Love (1976)
  • Long Jeanne Silver (1977)
  • SexWorld (1977)
  • Pussycat Ranch (1978)
  • Black Silk Stockings (1979)

Marc Stevens

best 70s porn stars marc stevens

Images via XHamster.

Also known as Mr. 10 ½ due to the reported size of his penis, Marc Stevens was a ‘super-cock’ legend of seventies porn. He starred in over 80 films and worked with Annie Sprinkle, Georgina Spelvin and Gloria Leonard. He was a tall and muscled performer who was openly bisexual and who also made some gay porn movies.

As well as his porn career, Stevens also worked in live sex shows and as erotic dance troupe performer. He died of AIDs in 1989 aged just 45 and was posthumously inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame in 2019 and the XRCO Hall of Fame in 2008.

Notable works from his filmography include The Devil in Miss Jones (1973) and All About Gloria Leonard (1978).

Paul Thomas

best 70s porn stars paul thomas

Image via YouPorn.

With over 650 performer credits and more than 370 as a director, Paul Thomas is a prolific member of the porn industry.

He originally started out in front of the cameras in 1974 making his debut in the Rik Taziner film Devil’s Playground in which he co-starred with Desiree West and Bonnie Holiday. Over the course of his long career, he has performed with most of the big name porn stars of the 70s and 80s and directed more contemporary stars.

He started directing in 1985, gradually taking more of a back seat role and has flourished as an adult filmmaker, winning more than seven AVN and two XRCO awards for Best Director. He is a member of the AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame as well as being a recipient of the Legends of Erotica Award in 1997.

You can catch Paul in action in 70s pornos like:

  • The Autobiography of a Flea (1975)
  • Desires Within Young Girls (1977)
  • Final Sin (1977)
  • Candy Stripers (1978)
  • Lips & McCain (1978)
  • Lust At First Bite (1978)
  • Hot Legs (1979)

Top Porn Films of the 70s

So, with all these adult film stars kicking around making hundreds of adult movies, which ones are the best? We’ve picked our choice of the best films from each year of the 1970s plus given you our selection of other films of the era that are worth watching.

Is your favorite seventies porn film on our list? Drop us a comment below to let us know what you think is the best porno movie of this decade.

1970

best 70s porn films mona the virgin nymph

Images via Wikipedia/Wikipedia.

After the release of Andy Warhol’s Blue Movie in 1969, Mona The Virgin Nymph is considered the second sexually explicit film to get a general release in the United States. As a result, it is recognized as being an important film of the Golden Age of Porn, helping to pave the way for subsequent blue movies reaching wide audiences.

Unlike Blue, Mona The Virgin Nymph actually had a plot albeit a rather notional one. The film follows Mona (played by Fifi Watson), a young bride-to-be, thwarted in her sexual enlightenment by her dour mother who wants her to remain virginal until after marriage. It’s a landmark film that aptly ushered in an age of enlightenment of its own and remains a classic of seventies adult film.

Grossing around $2 million, it was also a commercial success and helped provide the production team with funding to go on and make some other great films of the decade including Flesh Gordon (1974), Alice in Wonderland (1976) and Harlot (1971).

Some other great films of this year include:

  • Substitution
  • Love Thy Neighbors
  • I Want You
  • The Notorious Cleopatra
  • Country Cuzzins
  • Tarzan and the Valley of Lust

1971

best 70s porn films adultery for fun and profit

Images via The Classic Porn.

The following year wasn’t a ‘classic’ for the Golden Age of Porn and though Mona The Virgin Nymph had lifted the lid on adult film, it wasn’t until 1972 with the release of Deep Throat that porn would really see its heyday in the mainstream. However, the year did see a lot of ‘taboo’ titles with forbidden love and swinging being the main themes. Our pick of 1972 is with a title called Adultery For Fun & Profit.

Directed by Richard Robinson and Grand Prize Winner at the Amsterdam Adult Film Festival in 1971, Adultery for Fun & Profit follows the adventure of a professional adulterer, Richard. Paid to seduce the wives of husbands who want a divorce, the resulting photographs from his exploits help head off costly alimony settlements….everyone’s a winner. It’s a well-made, tightly paced movie that culminates in an exquisite ending where Richard gets his comeuppance at the hands of the women that he’s wronged.

Other titles from 1972 that are popular include:

  • Daddy’s Babysitter
  • Swinging Wives
  • His Loving Daughter
  • Daddy Knows Best
  • The Love Garden
  • I’m No Virgin
  • Maid in Sweden
  • Erotic Adventures of Pinocchio
  • Country Hooker

1972

best 70s porn films behind the green door

Images via Wikimedia/XHamster.

We’ve kind of mentioned Deep Throat a lot already and there is no doubt whatsoever that the title marks an important turning point in the age of porn. It’s also a great film that everyone should see at least once; however, our vote for film of the year 1972 actually goes to Behind The Green Door.

Directed by the Mitchell Brothers, the film is widely considered one of the classics of the Golden Age of Porn and for good reason. Adapted from a short story of the same name, this hardcore movie was the first mainstream release to feature interracial sex. Putting this into context of the period when the Civil Rights Act finally abolished segregation only six years previously, this was a big deal.

Famously, the star of the show, Marilyn Chambers, doesn’t utter a single word of dialogue during the whole film. It features a psychedelic sequence where a cum shot is depicted on-screen for over seven minutes!

Filmed on a budget of just $60k, the movie grossed over a $1 million on its first release and is estimated to have made over $50 million in total (including later video releases). Behind The Green Door is credited as being one of the pivotal movies to launch the porno-chic boom and made Chambers into an overnight sensation. Critically, the title was deemed to have enough artistic merit to set it aside from regular ‘smut’.

Following Deep Throat, it was the second film to be inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame.

Some other great films from 1972 include:

  • Teenage Fantasies
  • Big Breast Orgy
  • Street of a Thousand Pleasures
  • Virgin Hostage
  • Prison Girls
  • Ozark Virgin
  • Candy’s Cat House
  • Is There Sex After Marriage?
  • The Pig Keeper’s Daughter
  • Cousin Betty

1973

best 70s porn films the devil in miss jones

Image via Amazon.

Directed and produced by Gerard Damiano and starring Georgina Spelvin, The Devil In Miss Jones is our pick of the films released in 1973. Another classic of the decade, the film has gone on to spawn numerous sequels, remakes and even parodies. Along with other iconic titles of this period, The Devil In Miss Jones received critical acclaim from mainstream audiences and was openly and publicly discussed by celebrities and well-known film critics.

The movie follows the grim plot of a lonely and depressed spinster, (Spelvin) who commits suicide. Having done so she is denied entry to heaven and must remain in limbo. Enraged by this exile from either heaven or hell, she bargains with an angel to allow her to return to earth so she may ‘earn’ her place in hell. Spelvin’s character embraces her new role as the embodiment of lust and becomes something of a sexual deviant and addict as she endures both pain and pleasure.

Her thrill is short lived as she returns to the afterlife to face her own hell; an eternity trapped in a small room with an impotent man.

More commercially successful than either Deep Throat or Behind The Green Door, The Devil In Miss Jones grossed $15 million at the U.S. Box Office making it the 10th most successful film of the year, just behind the James Bond release Live and Let Die.

Other titles of note released this year include:

  • Resurrection of Eve
  • The Cheerleaders
  • Diary of a Schizo
  • Please Don’t Eat My Mother
  • Sinful Dwarf
  • The Sea Nymph
  • Teenage Bride
  • The Dirty Mind of Young Sally
  • The Russians Are Coming
  • A Scream In The Streets
  • Memories in Miss Aggie

1974

best 70s porn films emmanuelle

Images via Amazon/Pinterest.

With the Golden Age of Porn in full swing across Europe and the United States, there were hundreds of new adult films being released. Covering every genre there were some great titles to be seen including comedies and spoofs like Flesh Gordon and hardcore works like John Holmes Pops The Cherry. Only two years had passed since the original but sequels like Deep Throat Part II were also gaining big audiences at the box office.

Our pick of the year though is with a French softcore classic in Emmanuelle. The film made a household name of the lead performer, Silvia Kristel who reprised her role as Emmanuelle in several sequels.

The movie’s sex scenes are far from explicit by the standards of some other titles on our list but the content was certainly provocative and included the first screen depiction of the ‘mile high club’ as well as the infamous scene of a dancer ‘puffing’ on a cigarette from her vagina. The film is an adaptation of the novel by the same name which tells the story of a bored housewife of a French diplomat who seeks pleasure where she can. It was one of the first pornographic films in France to be critically acclaimed and was a huge success. It is estimated that the film as reached audiences in excess of 300 million people. It remains one of the country’s most successful ever films.

Other films of note from 1974 include:

  • The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann
  • Lialeh
  • Score
  • Confessions of a Young American Housewife
  • Fulfillment
  • Candy Stripe Nurses
  • The Swinging Genie
  • Sodom & Gomorrah: The Last Seven Days
  • Dicktator
  • China Girl

1975

best 70s porn films naked came the stranger

Image via Wikimedia/XVideos.

Based on the New York Times bestseller by the same name, our pick of the films for this year is Naked Came The Stranger.

Directed by Radley Metzger (aka Henry Paris) and starring Darby Lloyd Rains, the film is (in our opinion) one of his finest. A master of the erotic genre, Metzger had been making movies since the mid-60s and brought a touch of sophistication and art to his work. With the release of hardcore and explicit films from the early 70s, his style was in danger of becoming ‘passe’. In this film, he proved that art and porn could be great bedfellows without sacrificing the new appetite for more graphic sex.

The film is pretty simple in plot and follows the exploits of Billy and Gilly; two radio hosts who are happily married….or so it seems. When she finds out that her husband is cheating on her, Gilly exacts her own revenge by having sex with as many men as she can around New York. What follows is a montage of memorable tableaus including the top of a bus on Fifth Avenue, a deserted ballroom and a stylish party. Littered with sharp dialogue and hardcore sex, it is (at its heart) a romantic comedy of errors but is one of the most accomplished porn films of the era.

There were lots of great porn movies released in 1975 including:

  • The Story of Joanna
  • 3 A.M.
  • Story of O
  • Linda Lovelace For President
  • The Bite
  • Anyone But My Husband
  • Pleasure Masters
  • A Dirty Western
  • Honey Pie
  • The Image
  • Slip Up
  • Sensations

1976

best 70s porn films the opening of misty beethoven

Images via Pinterest/Wikimedia.

Another film directed by Henry Paris (or, Radley Metzger) The Opening of Misty Beethoven is considered by many as the ultimate movie of the Golden Age of Porn with some even referring to it as the ‘crown jewel’ itself.

It was filmed on a large budget and took advantage of this with some exotic locations including Paris, Rome and New York.

The storyline is largely based on a version of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion (or My Fair Lady) and follows the eponymous character of Misty Beethoven (Constant Money) as she is turned from lowly prostitute to goddess by sexologist Dr Seymour Love (Jamie Gillis). Her task is seduce a homosexual art dealer (Casey Donovan) which she does with ease as well as performing several other impressive conquests.

Retzger’s signature style can be seen throughout and though, at turns, quite comical it is a satirical piece of film. As ever, the noted director and filmmaker places importance on both plot and characterization whilst adhering to the key ingredients of a porn movie…..ultimately, yes, The Opening of Misty Beethoven has a lot of hardcore sex. In fact it touches on a few taboos and includes the first scenes of female on male pegging in a porno.

Awarded Best Classic DVD by the AVN in 2002 and one of the first films to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, the film won several AFAA awards when it was released including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay.

Also of note from 1976 are the following titles:

  • Naked Afternoon
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • The Autobiography of a Flea
  • Up!
  • The Starlets
  • One of a Kind
  • Easy Alice
  • I Feel It Rising
  • Love Camp
  • Kansas City Trucking Co.
  • Spirit of Seventy Sex
  • Through The Looking Glass

1977

best 70s porn films inside jennifer welles

Images via Wikipedia/XNXX.

The 1970s saw a raft of documentary style movies, exposing the lives behind the stars of the screen. Inside Jennifer Welles is considered a classic of this genre of autobiographical releases. Interestingly, Welles is credited with directing the film but it was actually produced by Joseph W Sarno.

Certainly for fans of this goddess, the film was a tour de force in showcasing her many talents and features what is thought to be her first on-screen sapphic encounter with fellow porn star of the day, Marlene Willoughby. As an exposé, it is far from revealing and there are no shocks or revelations about life as a porn star in the seventies. However, it is a well crafted fictional movie that represents a fan’s wet dream.

Other films from this year that are well worth a watch, include:

  • The Devil Insider Her
  • Captain Lust
  • The Jade Pussycat
  • Long Jeanne Silver
  • Barbara Broadcast
  • Desires Within Young Girls
  • Jungle Blue
  • Odyssey
  • Sweetheart
  • Family Fun
  • Joint Venture

1978

best 70s porn films debbie does dallas

Images via IMDb/Wikimedia.

Telling the story of a band of cheerleaders, Debbie Does Dallas is a classic porn film from the 1970s that has become part of the American psyche. Spawning numerous spin-offs, remakes and sequels there has even been a Broadway musical of the film.

The 1978 original starring Bambi Woods was directed by Jim Clark and also featured the talents of fellow stars of the day Robin Byrd, Herschel Savage, Eric Edwards and Christie Ford. It follows the exploits of a band of high-school cheerleaders who attempt to raise enough money to send their captain, the title character, to Dallas to try out for the Texas Cowgirls.

When it was released on video in the 80s, it became one of the best-selling titles of all time and earned it the Most Popular Adult Cassette title from the Video Software Dealers Association (1985). It was also voted the Best Classic DVD by AVN in 2008.

It’s a romp of a movie that ticks all the boxes for a commercial porno success though is certainly far from being the best film artistically of all time. Instead, what you get is plenty of barely legal teens cavorting nude and engaging in plenty of sexual activities. Its funny as well as sexy and doesn’t take itself too seriously. For this reason, it typifies the kind of porn that the adult industry was turning its attention to as it approached the 1980s….hardcore lite.

Other good films to come out of 1978 include:

  • Candy Stripers
  • SexWorld
  • Hot Lunch
  • Maraschino Cherry
  • A Night At The Adonis
  • The Other Side of Aspen
  • Pretty Peaches
  • Caught in the Act
  • Black Silk Stockings
  • The China Cat
  • Dracula Sucks (Love At First Bite)
  • Sister Emmanuelle

1979

best 70s porn films the tale of tiffany lust

Images via Wikimedia/IMDb.

Another selection from the filmmaker Radley Metzger to conclude the decade with The Tale of Tiffany Lust. Filmed on location in New York and starring Candida Royalle, Vanessa del Rio and Desiree Cousteau, the film follows a housewife as she embarks on a journey of sexual discovery. The protagonist Tiffany Lust starts by visiting a radio show host, Florence Nightingale who welcomes guests into her studio to perform sex in front of a live audience. After enjoying some anal sex with one of her guests, Nightingale quips on air “Well, that not only feels good, but it helps you sit up straight.”

It has elements of all of Metzger’s style including the comedy and the eroticism but is far from being memorable as a classic. However t does feature the talents of some fine performers and even stars a young Ron Jeremy.

It was re-released in 1981 as Body Lust.

Other films of this year that are worth a mention include:

  • Taxi Girls
  • The Ecstasy Girls
  • A. Tool & Die
  • Young Head Nurses
  • The Big Orgy
  • Serviced With A Smile
  • Football Cheerleader
  • One Page of Love

Top Porn Directors of the 1970s

With such a prolific period of porn being produced, there were hundreds of adult film directors creating some classic movies. The most notable director of the era, in our opinion, was Radley Metzger. Also known as Henry Paris, he was known for his artistic signature style which incorporated more complex plots and characterization as well as including lavish designs. He was the man behind such iconic films as The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976) and Barbara Broadcast (1977).

Other directors of note from this Golden Age of Porn, many of whose works are noted above, include:

  • Tinto Brass
  • Bob Chinn
  • Jim Clark
  • Joe D’Amato
  • Gerard Damiano
  • Michael Findlay
  • Russ Meyer
  • Artie & Jim Mitchell
  • Alex de Renzy
  • Michael R Robinson
  • Joseph W Sarno
  • Howard Ziem

Where to Find The Best 70s Porn

We hope we’ve tempted you to want to try out some of this classic porn and even found some of the best sites on the net where you can watch seventies adult films to your heart’s content.

Of course, you can find clips of many seventies’ porn movies across tube sites like Pornhub, XHamster, XNXX and RedTube. However, we think these premium sites offer the best streaming for some of the finest full-length feature films around:

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