The number of pornographic film actors who have worked in the United States can be indicated by number of actors tested by Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation (AIM).When in 2011 its patient database was leaked it contained details of over 12,000 pornographic actors that it had tested since 1998.The first erotic film was the 7-minute 1896 film Le Coucher de la Mariée directed by Frenchman Albert Kirchner (under the name "Léar") which had Louise Willy performing a bathroom striptease.In Austria, Johann Schwarzer produced 52 erotic productions between 19, each of which contained young local women fully nude, to provide an alternative local source to the French productions.The use of pseudonyms has remained a tradition in the industry, and actors would perform under a number of pseudonyms, depending on the genre of film, or changed a pseudonym when the previous one ceased to be a draw card.Arguably the first pornstar to become a household name was Linda Lovelace (the pseudonym, of Linda Susan Boreman) from New York City, who starred in the 1972 feature Deep Throat.
In France, popular female performers have included Brigitte Lahaie, Marylin Jess, Clara Morgane, Katsuni and Yasmine Lafitte. In Mexico, Maritza Mendez and Silvia Loret have become famous in recent years.
In Italy, the Swedish Marina Lothar rose to prominence in the early 1980s, as well as Moana Pozzi, Ilona Staller (Cicciolina), Lilli Carati, and Barbarella.
Most pornographic films are directed at a heterosexual male viewer, and the primary focus and most on-screen time is on the women in them.
The pornography industry in the United States was the first to develop its own movie star system, especially for commercial reasons.
In other countries, the "star" system is not common, with most actors being amateurs.
Examples include Marilyn Chambers (Behind the Green Door), Gloria Leonard (The Opening of Misty Beethoven), Georgina Spelvin (The Devil in Miss Jones), and Bambi Woods (Debbie Does Dallas).