“Porno Star” Tina Russell! The Story Of Her Meteoric Rise And Tragic Fall…

Celebrating Adult Movie Queen Tina Russell!

The “golden age” of adult film was the 1970’s, and my latest “2021 Sex Kitten Countdown” honors one of the greats, who had a blazing hot career and a tragic downfall…

Tina Russell was born Linda Marie Mintzer in 1948 in Williamsport Pennsylvania, where she grew up. by all accounts it was a normal childhood.

She graduated from high school in 1966, and as one online biography states:

“Her senior photo shows a mature brunette with a “Laura Petrie” hairstyle, looking more like a future nurse than a porn star.”

Yet within two years, she had moved to New York, where a burgeoning adult movie scene was waiting for her…

Jumping Into The Business – With Her Husband!

Tina began to show up in adult magazines, modeling along with her husband Jason Russell – and also performed in “live sex shows” – usually simulated due to obscenity laws.

For Tina, her next step was to appear in “loops”, the short sex films that played in adult book stores, usually in small booths, where a customer could have privacy.

Once films like “Deep Throat” won important court cases, the obscenity laws were a thing of the past, and Tina began to show up in a slew of adult films of that era, including some of the best of that time!

She was open and honest about her chosen career, as she told an interviewer in the early 70’s:

“I do not feel that I am sexually sick because I have been made love to in the presence of as many as 20 or more people. I am not a dirty-minded pervert simply because I feel that sex and other natural and basic functions should be in the cinema.”

She starred in “The Whistle Blowers” in 1973.

I have this original newspaper ad from that year:

the credits list her husband in the film as well, but nothing else about a lot – at that time, adult films were flowing the marketplace, and even showing up on weekly box office charts – they were just that popular!

Tina Is “Miss September!”

I found this ad that I had cut out of my local Seattle newspaper that same year:

That’s right, you got free coffee as you watched the film! Insert your own joke.

In this film, a disabled businessman sees the picture of a young girl, immediately falls in love with her and hires a detective to find her for him.

This film has also been lost to time sadly, as the original reviews say it was a well done adult film!

Russell became an even bigger star after the publication of her 1973 memoir, “Porno Star”, in which she discussed her exciting life in the New York adult film industry.

Her career was on a role with big adult films like this one, which featured her playing herself!

“A Touch Of Genie”

This 1974 film was also a big hit, with Tina playing a character named…Tina Russell!

In the film, Melvin is a big fan of adult actress Tina Russell. He finds a jar with a female “genie” inside who agrees to turn him into porn actors from Tina’s movies!

The next year, Tina joined an “all star” cast in the somewhat ill-conceived “sex comedy” and sequel to the adult film phenomenon that was “Deep Throat”:

“Deep Throat Part 2”

Most people don’t even remember this was made…rather than try to top the first film, which became a pop culture phenomenon, the filmmakers played the whole thing for laughs – which is probably NOT what “adult film” fans were looking for:

Here’s the plot: when one of sex therapist extraordinaire Linda’s patients turns out to be harboring the plans to a top-secret government computer, both the KGB and the CIA attempt to enlist Linda in their efforts to steal the data.

Oh my…still, Tina showed up and showed off a bit.

Linda Lovelace starred as well – the first film was indeed a cultural phenomenon at the time, and you can read all about it by clicking on myself tory here:

https://jrsploitation.com/2020/02/07/deep-throat-and-x-rated-box-office-seattles-original-newspaper-ads-varietys-xxx-rated-box-office-charts/

Russell was appearing in big films with big stars. Then, something changed and her career was over. Her last film was “Sensuous Vixens” in 1976.

According to one online site:

“Husband Jason became involved with Jean Jennings. This broke up their marriage and Tina became a chronic alcoholic, which led to her early death.”

I’m in the process of doing a story of Jean, as her story is a fascinating one.

She was married briefly to the legendary character Actor Joe Spinell, and they had a child together:

Whether true or not, something triggered Russell’s downfall…

As one online report stated:

“Rumors of alcohol abuse haunt her later years. On May 18, 1981, Tina Russell died of multiple organ failure at the Tri-City hospital in Vista, CA after having visited her brother in San Diego.”

She is buried in Resurrection Cemetery in Montoursville, PA, where her father is also buried. She was just 33 years old.

Tina had 45 screen credits, and many of these films are available at various cult video companies…Vinegar Syndrome for example has “Genie” as well as “Dark Dreams” and more…

In fact, “Dark Dreams” has been called a “hallucinogenic, sex and horror filled cinematic ‘trip'”…it was was one of the earliest attempts at an erotic ‘crossover’ film….worth checking out if you are adventurous…

Here’s another adult film Superstar who has been a bit forgotten to time:

Desiree West was Adult Cinema’s first Black Superstar, and you can see why by clicking on my story here:

https://jrsploitation.com/2020/11/30/celebrating-actress-desiree-west-my-2020-sex-kitten-countdown-has-adult-cinemas-first-black-superstar/

Another of the all-time greats was one of the 80’s most active super stars:

You can see all of Christy Canyon’s greatest hits by clicking on my story here:

https://jrsploitation.com/2020/11/05/the-refreshingly-candid-adult-superstar-christy-canyon-my-2020-sex-kitten-countdown-celebrates-christys-provocative-honesty/

If you like these stories, and don’t want to miss any of my “2021 Sex Kitten Countdown” as well, then go to my website’s front page and sign on to follow me – there are NO ads at all, just lots of stories to come about the wild world of exploitation and cult films!

Click here and see the “follow” button on the upper right!

https://jrsploitation.com

Make sure to subscribe for more of my “2021 Sex Kitten Countdown”! And let me know what you think of this story!



Categories: 70's Films, Books / Media, Cult Classics, Exploitation Films, Extreme Cinema, Grindhouse, JRsploitation, Nudity, sex kittens, Sexploitation Films, Talent / Celebrites

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1 reply

  1. A sad end to a once-huge career in the porn business. That seems to so often be the case.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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