Success, controversy, marriages, divorces, arguments, bankruptcy, awards, legend status, inspiration for a collection of poetry - and that's just scratching the surface of an extraordinary 13 year porn career that has led to the name of Jill Kelly being recognised as one of the biggest and most notable stars in the history of American pornography.
Her career started its rocky journey towards iconic status back in 1986 when she posed as an 18 year old to take a career as a stripper in a club in California - a stint that was ended when an ex-boyfriend rang the club to inform the management she was in fact three years younger than this. Undeterred, she returned to the same club after her 18th birthday to win her job back and alleged that the staff never even recognised her.
After 4 years as a private performer in San Francisco, porn star friend Tiffany Million invited her to the AVN Awards in 1993 where she met her first husband, porn star Cal Jammer. He, along with Millions, persuaded Kelly into the porn industry and she was shooting films regularly by 1995. The early part of her career was dominated by softcore and solo content after she admitted that she had insecurities over blowjob scenes, but she quickly overcame these.
Her first appearances on film weren't perhaps as nerve-wracking as one might have expected considering the fact that she had already performed in a relatively prominent role in the cult 1991 action movie The Roller Blade Seven. It wouldn't be the last mainstream movie role she had - a cameo in the Spike Lee movie He Got Game in 1998 had been proceeded by a larger role in Orgazmo the year before, a movie made by the South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
All the while though, her porn career had developed into an extremely successful one. Now taking regular hardcore roles, she snapped up 3 major industry awards in 1997 including being named as Performer Of The Year by XRCO. By 1998 she was one of the major players in the industry as she set up her own production Jill Kelly Productions. It would go on to become one of the most prolific and high quality porn production companies in Hollywood for the duration of its existence.
Whilst her professional career suddenly found a certain amount of stability and a huge amount of success, her professional life wasn't quite so cut and dry. Sifting through the predictably large amounts of information that exists about Kelly, it's difficult to know how many marriages and divorces she has had. Her marriage with Jammer ended, as did a later marriage to Corey Jordan in 2004 after just one year. Between that it is known that she was engaged to another porn star called Julian and it's more than likely that it was an engagement that culminated in another marriage and subsequent divorce.
In-between mainstream movie roles, running a burgeoning production company and starring in many of her productions, her personal life was indeed a rocky one. She also had a rocky relationship with Howard Stern who would constantly mock her lack of stability in her personal life on air, especially so after she issued a press release about her divorce from Jammer. The source of the animosity is not immediately clear but unlike many fellow stars she did not make any appearances on his radio show.
Trying to pin down the strengths in her career is almost impossible - after all, Jill Kelly did star in well over 500 films prior to her not particularly surprising retirement in 2006. She always seemed to be most comfortable in lesbian content and notably threw herself wholeheartedly into famous scenes with Jenna Jameson and Juli Ashton, and spoke particularly highly of her appearances in the Perfect Pink series from 1999 to 2001.
Thereafter she became practically semi-retired as a performer, concentrating her efforts behind the camera for productions for her company. Inexplicably though, especially for a company responsible for over 200 titles including the extremely popular 100% Blowjobs and When The Boyz Are Away The Girlz Will Play series, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2006 and all of the company's titles, including 60 that were still unreleased, were sold to Penthouse for just over $1.75 million. Many puzzled over this fall from grace and why so many titles were gathering dust instead of earning money.
The stress of this, along with two near-death experiences due to pregnancies, are more than likely the reasons why she stepped out of the industry, albeit quietly, a few weeks after her company was sold. It's fair to say that she, and her consistently entertaining company, are missed. After all, not many porn stars have a collection of poetry (The Jill Kelly Poems) named after them. Come back soon, Jill.
Name - Jill Kelly
Porn aliases - Calister Jammer, Calista Jay, Jill Kennedy, Seth Damien
Place of birth - Pomona, California, USA
Nationality / Ethnicity - Caucasian-American
Date of birth - February 1st, 1971
Official website - N/A
Debut year - 1993
Retirement year - 2006
Specialist niches / genres - Lesbian / various
Mainstream exposure - The Roller Blade Seven (film, 1991), Orgazmo (film, 1997), He Got Game (film, 1998)
Must-see movies / titles - Dreams Of Desire (1996), Takin' It To The Limit 6 (1995), Dream Catcher (1998), Kill Jill (2006), Cover To Cover (1995)
Must-see sites - Club Jenna, Vivid, Wicked Pictures
Notable awards - AVN Awards: AVN Hall Of Fame, Best All-Girl Sex Scene for Takin' It To The Limit 6 (1996), Best All-Girl Sex Scene for Dreams Of Desire (1997), Best Couples' Sex Scene for Dream Catcher (1999) - XRCO Awards: Performer Of The Year (1997)