A rare combination of raw masculinity, athleticism, and thick hair, the male pornstars of the 1970s had chiseled chests, thick mustaches, and much thicker hair than those of today. Alongside some of the best co-stars in the business, these performers spearheaded the porn revolution and acted in some of the best films of the Golden Age of Porn.
You don’t need to go much farther to find the top male pornstars of the 1970s. For your enjoyment, Adult B2B Marketing has assembled a list of ten of the most well-known and renowned male pornstars of the 1970s.
Without mentioning Jeffrey Hurst, one of the pioneering performers of the early pornographic era while it was still in its infancy, we cannot discuss the Golden Age of Porn. His career lasted the 1970s and 1980s, and he released Slammer Girls in 1987, which led to his retirement. He balanced two professions as a theatrical actor and a porn performer, making his pornographic debut in Bedroom Bedlam in 1973.
Ron Jeremy, often known as The Hedgehog, is the top US male porn performer and has earned a slot in the Top 10 greatest male pornstars of the 1970s. Jeremy gained notoriety as the greatest male pornstar of the 1970s and 1980s because of his trademark mustache and long hair. His prowess in the bedroom also helped him land an acting role and rank #1 on AVN’s list of the 50 Greatest Pornstars of All Time. Not including his foray into mainstream cinema or the 258 films he directed, he began his career in 1977 with Can I Do It Until I Need Glasses? and has since amassed almost 2000 pictures. Of course, with several accusations of rape and abuse in recent years, Ron Jeremy’s name has become rather notorious. Following a court ruling in January 2023, Jeremy was placed in a mental hospital after it was determined that his “incurable neurocognitive decline” rendered him mentally incompetent to face trial.
The Classic Treasure Island gave British porn star Long Dong Silver his moniker, and he gained notoriety for possessing an enormous penis—rumored to measure eighteen inches! The low-budget Sex Freaks was Silver’s first movie, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that he gained notoriety, starring with pron actress Seka in Beauty and the Beast in 1982.
American porn actor John Holmes (1944–1988) gained notoriety in the 1970s and 1980s. Known as the “Elvis Presley of Porn,” he is ranked fourth on our list of the greatest porn performers from the 1970s because of his prodigious bedroom abilities. With the Johnny Wadd series, which featured the films Tell Them Johnny Wadd Is Here (1976), The Jade Pussycat (1977), China Cat (1978), Liquid Lips (1976), and Blonde Fire (1978), his pornographic career took off in 1971. Later on, he worked on more than 240 adult films. As a male pornstar, he was honored with the 2008 XBIZ Lifetime Achievement Award.
From 1941 to 2017, Sonny Landham was of Cherokee and Seminole descent. He had a commanding physical appearance and a powerful voice, and during the years he had taken on several parts involving Native Americans. In the 1970s, he began his acting career in pornographic films. Prior to entering the mainstream acting scene and landing his renowned parts in The Warriors and Predator, he was a naked model for Playgirl magazine. He gave up acting and tried his hand at running for Kentucky governor in 2003, but was not successful.
One of the most recognizable and beloved pornstars of the 1970s is John “Buttman” Stagliano. His career has been greatly admired by his admirers, who have followed him from the Buttman Adventures flicks to the adult pictures he produces with his Evil Angel production firm. After working as a stripper, he went into the pornographic business as an actor. He remained in this role for his 1978 film debut in Stranger in Town before switching to director and popularizing the gonzo porn genre.
Harry Reems personified the spirit of the 1970s with his sculpted figure and mustache. In the 1970s, he began his acting career and, while collaborating with Linda Lovelace, launched his career in pornography with the well-known film Deep Throat. This led to his incarceration at the time due to the state’s obscenity laws, and he also starred in The Devil in Miss Jones. Prior to these movies, he acted in a number of 35mm silent stag pictures and pornographic films, but his career didn’t really take off until Deep Throat.
In the porn industry, Eric Edwards is a triple threat as a pornographer, photographer, and director. He began his acting career in the late 1960s and continued to grow it when he collaborated with Lovelace in the 1970s. He is the only porn actor to have worked in every decade of the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. His 1984 film Great Expectations, for which he received several AVN and XRCO honors over the years, is his most well-known part.
Spalding Grey was a novelist, dramatist, and screenwriter who began his career in the adult business in the 1970s, but he is most renowned for his autobiographical monologues. During this period, he also made appearances in pornographic films. He participated in an acting circle with William Defoe and Elizabeth LeCompte and had a featured role in Farmer’s Daughters (1976) and Maraschino Cherry (1978) directed by Radley Metzger. He switched to mainstream acting in the 1980s, and throughout the decades leading up to his death in 2004, he became well-known.
When talking about male pornstars from the 1970s, John Leslie was among the most well-known figures, along with Ron Jeremy and Harry Reems. Among the 300 films in which he appeared, the most well-known were Obsessed (1977), Desire among Young Girls (1977), and Talk Dirty to Me (1980). He is also credited as being the first porn star to go into directing in the 1980s, with the 1987 release of Night Nurses. He has gained inductions into the AVN and XRCO Hall of Fames for his efforts in the porn business.
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