After writing my posts about the casts of Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, I thought for a while of other movies that prove influential during my formative years, and realized that to complete the quartet, I also needed to cover Debbie Does Dallas. Aside from Deep Throat, DDD is possibly the most successful adult movie ever made, and hails from the âgolden ageâ when an adult film director still regarded a âplotâ as a necessity rather than baggage.
The movie tells the story of young Debbie Benton, who's dreams of becoming a professional cheerleader in Texas are jeopardized by a precarious financial situation, until she and her friends - in a direct predecessor of The Apprentice - form a working conglomerate to raise capital from a variety of business ventures. Much hilarity ensues, in a heartwarming tale of youth, the struggle to achieve your dreams, and the benefits of living in a capitalist society.
And so come with us now, as YesButNoButYes answers the all important question about the stellar cast of Debbie Does Dallas - âWhere are they now?â (Viewer discretion advised)
Debbie De Santo aka Barbara Woodson aka Bambi Woods - Debbie Benton
Bambi Woods is so closely identified with her lead role in Debbie Does Dallas, that urban legend has it that at one time she was actually a member of the Dallas Cheerleaders. This is only partially true - she did try out for the squad, but was never accepted. (Paradoxically, she never actually has sex with anyone FROM Dallas in the movie). To many, she is the epitome of the 70s female sex star, possibly due to the very few roles she played - Bambi's whole adult film career revolved almost exclusively around the role of Debbie, which she created for Debbie Does Dallas, and reprised in two sequels. She came from a very religious background (as many female porn starts seem to), emerged on the scene for her brief moment of fame, and then, mysteriously, she disappeared from sight. Conflicting rumors have her dying of a drug overdose in 1986, turning up in strip joints across the US, and being ârescuedâ by her step-parents before going into seclusion. Even her real name is a matter of fierce debate.
UPDATE 5/21/07: nearly 18 months after this piece was first written, we have FINALLY tracked Bambi Woods down and scored an exclusive interview. Read it here.
Robert Kerman aka R. Bolla - Mr. Greenfield
Robert Kerman's character is the one who initially suggests a way that Debbie and her friends can make the money they need to get to Dallas, and it is he with whom Bambi Woods acts out the climax of the movie (pun intended). Performing under a variety of stage names, Kerman not only appeared in nearly 150 adult movies, but also flirted with the mainstream, including roles in Cagney & Lacey, Airport '79 and Cannibal Holocaust. In fact, from 1979 to 1981, he became a mainstream American leading man in Italy until the Italian film industry was notified that he was actually an adult film star from New York. Now pursuing a legitimate acting career, he was last seen in the role of âTugboat Captainâ in Sam Raimi's Spiderman (2002).
Misty Winter - Roberta
I couldn't find anything at all about this lady, who also appeared in a number of adult movies (including the seminal Inside Seka under the name Christie Ford), so anyone that can supply more information, please let me know. Misty is the first of the Dallas entrepreneurs to monetize her fine Yankee talents, specifically within the confines of a Candle Shop.
Robin Byrd - Mrs. Hardwick (wife of the Candle Store owner)
Robin has become famous to New Yorkers as the host of a late-night porn cable-access show, and general porn-star-about-town celebrity, her most recent public engagement being as a presenter at the Gay Pride HX Awards. Visit Robin's web site.
Rob Everett - Mr. Hardwick
There's some kind of genius behind calling the owner of a candle shop in a porno movie âMr. Hardwickâ. Rob Everett (aka Eric Edwards) started out with a legitimate acting career, winning a scholarship from ABC TV to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and through the William Morris agency got bits parts on TV and in commercials for Colgate and Gilette. However, it is within the porn industry that Rob achieved legendary status as one of the only actors to have appeared in adult movies in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, with over 1000 appearances. He is even the subject of a biography you can buy at Amazon. Rob finally gave up acting in adult movies to raise his sons as a single father, but is still closely connected to the industry as a video editor.
Sherri Tart - Rikki
Sherri Tart (aka Rikki O'Neal) first got into the adult film industry in 1978, after a short-lived career as a figure model. She instantly made some major waves with her performance in Debbie Does Dallas as one of the pair of car-wash girls, and went on to adult film stardom in a further 12 movies before retiring in 1980. (YBNBY reader Joe L. sends us a note that Rikki may have committed suicide in the early 80s)
Jenny Cole - Annie
The other of the two car washers, Jenny is a fairly rare thing in the adult movie industry - a one-hit wonder. After Debbie Does Dallas, she dropped from sight, and has remained an enigma ever since. YBNBY reader Joe L theorizes that, as Jenny & David Suton only have sex with each other in the movie - of the pretty intimate variety too - and then both dropped from the porn scene, that maybe the two were a couple. We'll probably never know for sure. Jenny - if you're out there, let us know what happened to you.
UPDATE: Reader Robin P. writes to tell us "Like many other fans, I have been interested in other movies that the Debbie Does Dallas actors made. You say in your piece "where are they now" that Jennie Cole and David Suton have no other screen credits. I have just been watching an old film form 1975 called "Last Sex Act", and I would swear that the two of them star in the movie. Even the IAFD database only credits Robyn Bird in that film, and they all used a collection of screen names that appear nowhere else. The fact that they appeared together in this earlier film supports your theory that they were a couple."
David Suton - Mr Bradley
Another actor for whom Debbie Does Dallas is seemingly his only screen credit. Still, at least now his car is clean.
UPDATE: Reader Carl K. writes to tell us "By the way, DDD actor David Suton WAS in another porn film that I know of, called "Her Name Was Lisa" featuring the wonderful Samantha Fox (who lives a few blocks from me!) I've seen nothing else of him since that and DDD." That information leads us to this IMDB entry for David Pierce, so it seems "Suton" appeared in quite a few adult movies. Just about the only thing we can deduce from that entry is that he changed his last name almost every time he worked, but kept the first name "David".
Merle Michaels - Donna
Debbie Does Dallas was Merle's screen debut, and she went on to appear in over 40 adult films before finally abandoning porn in 1986 to concentrate on a career in journalism, an apt role considering her star turn in Debbie Does Dallas takes place in the library. She now lives with her husband and four sons in Montana.
Herschel Cohen aka Herschel Savage - Tim (Donna's boyfriend)
Another veteran of adult movies, Herschel Savage has over 700 credited titles in the IMDB ranging from 1971 right up to the present day. From â87 to â97, he took a break because of âpersonal problems,â during which time he worked in the distribution end of porn. Then in 1998 he got back into the saddle and has been performing ever since. Herschel credits part of his âcome-backâ to the arrival of Viagra. He is married to porn star Wanda Curtis and currently living in San Francisco.
Georgette Sanders - Lisa (the ball girl at the tennis club)
Despite being in only seven films, Georgette Sanders chose her vehicles wisely, and the porn movies she did appear in are generally considered to be classics of the form. Her starring role as the debauched schoolgirl in Babylon Pink carried the film to the Best Film prize at the 1979 Erotic Film Awards (for which the credits memorably listed her as âGeogette Suanderâ). Her key scene in Debbie Does Dallas is played with Arcadia Lake in the record store. Georgette retired from movies in 1980 after shooting her final film, 'Sweet Surrender.'
Arcadia Lake - Tammy
Introduced to the porn industry by DDD co-star and lover Rob Everett, this was one of her first movies. She went on star of over 40 porn films, but struggled with drugs all her life and sadly died of an accidental overdose in 1990, six years after her last film performance.
Tony Mansfield - Tony
Tony went on to become a disco promoter in Greenwich Village, which makes you wonder if all the parts in Debbie Does Dallas were cast to type, because it's in a record shop that Tony reaches the climax of his movie career.
Anyone wishing to watch brief clips from Debbie Does Dallas can look here (free - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and here (paid) - they're all pretty graphic, so use your discretion. And the original movie is still available from your friendly neighborhood porn store. Tell them Scaramouch sent you.
UPDATE: Many thanks to the YBNBY reader who gave me access to a Channel 4 documentary that filled in a lot of the gaps for this story. If anyone can add any more detail, you can email me at email@example.com.
Also, some info from YBNBY reader, Homebru:
Back when DDD was first released, the first theatrical showing in Dallas was well publicized by a local radio DJ. On opening night, the first showing of the evening was, if I remember correctly, sold-out and the local law enforcement couldn't get in to be personally offended. However, when the theater started a second showing with the law in attendence, it was only minutes into the performance before everyone in the building was arrested. Yes, customers too.
The next morning, the story was covered in the newspaper under the headline "Debbie Doesn't Dallas".
A couple of weeks later, a theater in Ft Worth was stopped when it tried to exhibit the film. The headline the next morning read "Debbie Doesn't Ft Worth, Either".