Friday, 11 July 2014

Death of a porn star

11th July 1994

This day in history...Shannon Michelle Wilsey, AKA Savannah, died in hospital following a suicide attempt

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Shannon Wilsey
Shannon Wilsey: Before Savannah 
When Shannon was just 2 years old, her parents divorced. She grew up in Texas with her mother, lived briefly with her father in California and then lived with her grandparents in Mission Viejo. There she became a high school cheerleader. She had told close friends that her childhood was an unhappy experience and that she had been molested. Whilst in high school, Shannon started dating rock star Gregg Allman, and eventually went on tour with him for several years, becoming a groupie. When she returned to California she decided on a career in the entertainment industry. With her symmetrical good looks, breast enlargements and pale blond hair, she caught the attention of Vivid Video and became a Vivid Girl. 

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Greg Allman and Savannah
Savannah
Shannon enjoyed the film: Savannah Smiles, and thus chose her stage name. She became a nude model and eventually a porn actress around 1990. During the time of the Gulf War, she posed nude next to tanks and jets, in an effort to boost the morale of military forces and to boost her career.

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Savannah shoot
Shannon soon became involved in a long-term relationship with fellow pornographic actress Jeanna Fine. She claimed to have 'fallen deeply in love' with her. The on-going on-off relationship eventually took its toll and Shannon began dating other people. Her relationships include; singer Billy Idol, comedian Pauly Shore, bassist Billy Sheehan, guitarist Slash and actor Mark Wahlberg. According to an interview with Adult Video News, Shannon stated "I love sex and I love sex with rockers more than anything else..." Despite her high-profile dating life, many of the people she was involved with were only interested in flings, whilst Savannah was looking for something more serious. She was naive and had her heartbroken time and time again. 

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Savannah (left) and Jeanna Fine (right) on magazine covers
Like many other adult actresses, Shannon soon fell into the porn industry's stereotypical traps of drug use, excessive spending and financial troubles. She also gained a reputation for being temperamental and egotistical. Despite being disliked by many who worked with her, she became a highly recognised entertainment actress in just 4 years. She appeared in over 100 movies in her lifetime, which is impressive considering her tragic death when she was just 24 years old. She featured in The Invisible Maniac, 1990, Camp Fear, 1991, and Sorority House Massacre II, 1994. 

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The Invisible Maniac, 1990
Death of a porn star
Savannah's death was seen as the end to all her worries. She apparently hated the porn industry and was desperate to get out of it. However, her debt and financial troubles kept pulling her back in. She even started charging $5000 to appear at exotic dance clubs. She was also in a fierce battle with the IRS and was recently rejected by Hustler magazine for a photo spread.

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Savannah
Around 2am, 11th July 1994, Savannah drove herself and friend Jason Swing, home from a night of partying - they were both drunk. Close to her home, Savannah drove her white 1993 Corvette into a fence and suffered cuts to her face and a broken nose. She then went back to her house with Swing and asked him to walk her Rottweiler, Daisy, as she was upset and wanted to make a phone call. After Swing left, Savannah called her friend and manager, Nancy Pera, and hysterically begged her to come and help her. Depressed, alone and convinced that her injuries would end her career, Savannah grabbed her 9mm she kept under her pillow and shot herself in her face. When Nancy Pera arrived, and Swing came back from walking Daisy, they found Savannah lying in a pool of her blood - still breathing. She was taken to hospital and was on a life support machine for nearly 12 hours, until her father allowed it to be turned off. 

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Nancy Pera
Reactions to her death were mixed. Only 40 people attended her funeral, one of which was Pauly Shore, one of the only lovers in her life that turned up. Upon hearing her death, Screw Magazine headlines the news of her suicide as "DING DONG THE BITCH IS DEAD" which was followed by the text "Everyone knew that she was an airhead, and now she's got the hole in her head to prove it." Others were much more sympathetic and thousands of websites and many films have dedications to her. Jeanna Fine said "The world is a little less sprakly without her, and the havens have one brighter star."

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Screw Magazine
Shannon Wilsey's death was the third high profile suicide in the Adult industry, at the time. In 1984, 20-year old porn actress Shauna Grant shot herself n the head with a rifle. In 1990, 26-year old Megan Leigh shot herself in the mouth, after being denounced and rejected by her family for becoming a lesbian. 

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Shauna Grant (left) and Megan Leigh (right)
After Savannah's death, Bill Margold founded Protecting Adult Welfare (P.A.W), a non-profit organisation that provides counselling for adult performers in need. 

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Savannah
What are your thoughts on Savannah's tragic life? Leave your comments below
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18 comments:

  1. She was my favorite pornstar and the cutest woman I'd ever seen.I MISS HER SO MUCH.

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  2. Her last days alive were sad may she rest in peace

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  3. Find the peace you were denied on this dirtball of a planet. RIP

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  4. Beautiful girl and miss her.

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  5. I wish she would of had a much better life and gotten what she was looking for. Fuck asshole people and fuck drugs and depression. RIP Beautiful

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  6. RIP you wonderful woman. Too soon for sure.

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  7. The girl could fuck like a rabbit. She always seemed a bit uncomfortable in her scenes, like focused on her payday for allowing faceless men to shoot cum all over her.

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  8. Ah, HOT LEGS! Now this is what the Golden Age of Adult Films is all about! http://www.analisisdigital.com.ar/noticias.php?ed=1053&di=1&no=246660 Bob Chinn, by this point a veteran of adult cinema whose name just screams quality, directs a first-rate cast performing a first-rate script, shot by a first-rate crew of professionals.https://fuhyohigai-labo.com/ Not only does the film look terrific, full of clever camera work and sizzling sex scenes, it's just plain FUN!

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  9. SHE HATED EVERY MINUTE OF IT REMEMBER THAT WHEN YOUR WATCHING! Sex with XXX cost Shannon her life. I believe she was still a child in many ways because of what she had gone thru. She's in a much better place now, no worries, no pain ONLY HAPPINESS!

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  10. When I leave this Earth, I hope to meet you in heaven, Shannon. I really enjoyed watching you as a porn star when you were alive. You deserved better.

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  11. All these pornstars shot-suicide-really? A rifle for suicide, really? Plus women don't use guns they take pills or cut.These women were far more controlled/abused (Greg allman started filming her sex acts @age 16 allegedly). This is most likely murder, allegedly.

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  12. Sad life for sure. Only 23 and unhappy all of her short life. Abused and not brought up properly by anybody just simply didn't know how to make her right choices in life. Money and drugs might be easy companions but painful.

    The little I know from you is that you were beautiful on the inside and outside. Not your fault not being taught how to deal with things. May you rest in peace. Hope to meet your beautiful soul someday.

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  13. My hope is in that you have found or will find your way home. 143

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  15. Think about her a lot. Very sad. Wish she got the mental health she needed. Only 40 people went to her funeral? Wish she wasn't treated so horribly. People had the nerve to be happy she died? Very sad.

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