Today Is Porn History Day

bigabnerSonnyLandhamThe movie Predator is distinctly unique among films in that three of the films male stars ran for governor of their state.

Everyone reading this most likely knows that Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for anw won The office of Governor of the state of California.  Many of you also know that Jessie Ventura ran for and won the office of governor of Minnesota.

The one that most of you don’t know is the one that is interesting because if you are in porn you should know it.

When people talk about actors who started out in porn, you never hear his name.  Some people thinlk that Stallone started in porn but he didn’t, his movie was soft core.

He was born in Canton, GA though few people there know where his career began.  He was American Indian, Cherokee and Seminole to be exact and he was a big guy.  His first roles were in porn, like in a parody of a popular cartoon strip called “Big Abner” and he did hard core in it and in other classics like “Misbehavin” and “The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann”

He went on with many adult performers to star in an adaptation of an Elmore Leonard Book called “52 Pick Up” (Mainstream)

From there he got some big roles, usually as an Indian and often with the name Billy Bear.  He rose to stardom in the Eddie Murphy/Nick Nolte movie called “48 Hrs”  He played a big Indian named “Billy Bear” The same year he also had a part in “Poltergiest”.

In 1987 He has one of the leads in “Predator” where he played “Billy”

He also had TV roles in Miami Vice, The A Team and The Fall guy (among others)

In 2003 he ran in the Republican primary for the governor of Kentucky but he lost.  he also ran for Senate and lost that as well.

 

 

sonny-landham-predatorThe name he uses in mainstream is his real name; Sonny Landham.  The name he used in porn…Sonny Landham.

You won’t find him in AVNs Hall of Fame, he never won any crossover awards, but he is by any account, a successful crossover.

Next time someone talks about successful crossovers that started in porn…That’s the only real one I can think of.

 

9 Replies to “Today Is Porn History Day”

  1. Karmafan

    He also has a distinctive “deep” voice. Not as noticeable as Michael Clark Duncan but once you have heard it you will remember who he is when you see him in another movie/porn.

  2. BT

    Mike you are taking me back – 1975, freshman year in college, visiting the Foster Theater in Youngstown, Ohio, where porn was on the big screen. I thought I’d seen all the Sonny Landham flix, but I missed that one. Back when breasts were small and bushes were full.

  3. Dirty Bob

    The biggest successful crossover EVER has to go to CHARLES NAPIER. The name might not be familiar, but if you look at his face I am 100% certain you will recognize him. Charles’ appeared in some Russ Meyer sexploitation movies – including Cherry, Harry, & Raquel; Beyond The Valley of the Dolls; Supervixen (they were about as hardcore as you could get away with back then at the theaters) – and followed that up with (before AND after the porn releases which also says something) over 200 credited appearances – from Star Trek, Hogans Heroes, Mannix, Mission Impossible, Kojak, The Batman, Simpsons, Dallas, Monk, Night Court, Curn Your Enthusiasm, Austin Powers, Superman, A-Team – and he even co-starred in a few TV series. His last role was in Archer in 2011. You may best remember him in Rambo as the officer who sent him out and recalled his rescue helicopter. Here is a link to a complete list of his credits: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0621008/?ref_=tt_ov_st

  4. LurkingReader

    Seems a bit ironic that it’s easier to find successful hardcore porn crossovers to politics than Hollywood.

  5. Jake

    Sunny Leone!

    Seems a bit ironic that it’s easier to find successful hardcore porn crossovers to Bollywood than Hollywood.

  6. BT

    If we’re honest, Ron Jeremy is the most financially successful porn star ever; while he’s barely done any mainstream entertainment work – at best, he’s had bit parts in forgettable low budget movies, he’s probably been the best business person – the one who made the most of his brand.

    If we’re equally honest, Sonny Landham is probably the most successful cross-over from porn to mainstream entertainment. And, maybe the real truth is that he was never much of a porn actor during the golden age – not like Paul Thomas, Richard Bolla, Joey Silvera, Jaime Gillis, John Leslie, and others who appeared in film after film. But he had longevity in mainstream – he may have had predictable roles, but, he had his fair share and he broke into bigger action movies, with appearances in films like 48 hours.

    Girls get all the attention, but there is not female porn star who crossed over and had longevity. Marilyn Chambers ended up dying alone in a trailer; Jenna had a best selling book, a Times Square billboard, and celebrity appearances on MTV – and not all that long ago, she was spreading her legs on a web cam. Tera had a brief run when Spider did that reality rock band show, but she’s no longer relevant. Ginger had her shot with Charlie Sheen and faded. And Sasha Grey had a run, but really hasn’t done much beyond her 6 episodes on entourage. If you can’t capitalize on a Stephen Soderbergh film, you’re probably just going to muddle along.

    Porn is porn, and when so many of today’s porn stars are tatted and pierced up the wazoo, they’re automatically limiting their opportunities to be anything other than freak roles in mainstream.

  7. spawn777

    Sonny has one of the scariest action movie lines of all time. In the midst of the 80s when we were having a full on love affair with Native American culture, and Native American characters were stereotypically wise, intuitive, and (if they were a good guy) always spoke the truth. So when Sonny responds to Poncho’s question as to what he’s afraid of, considering he’s afraid of no man, Sonny responds “There’s something out there, Poncho, and it ain’t no man.” Now that’s the trailer moment line, and it’s good and scary, but after a double-beat pause he adds “We’re all gonna die”. As a kid, I needed a new pair of shorts.

  8. BT

    I just noticed that Sasha Grey is not among the cast members for the Entourage movie – heck, David Spade, Warren Buffett and Tom Brady are in there, but no Sasha.

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