Bambi Woods - one of the most famous adult movie stars of all time, and one of it's most enigmatic. She burst onto the scene in the 1978 "Debbie Does Dallas", became an international sensation, and then seemed to disappear almost as quickly as she arrived. her final whereabouts shrouded in mystery - in fact many people say she died in 1986 of a drugs overdose.
So, what really happened to Bambi Woods?
But before we get to that, a little backstory.
Growing up in England, and in the pre VHS days, my adolescent youth was spectacularly porn-free. It wasn't until the late 80s that I first watched a fuzzy 7th generation copy of Deep Throat with a friend, one bizarre speed-filled summer afternoon, in a double header with John Water's Pink Flamingo.
I came to America in 1996, in hot pursuit of an online redheaded temptress (who was soon after to become my wife) and that's when I was first introduced to Debbie Does Dallas. For those of you who haven't actually seen the movie, a brief recap, courtesy of the IMDB entry:
This all-time best-seller among adult movies is about Debbie (Bambi Woods) whose talents have earned her a coveted place as a professional football cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys. However Debbie and her friends on the cheerleading squad are faced with a problem. She doesn't have any money to make it to Dallas. She and her girl friends try to figure out ways to make a little extra cash... on the side! One of them works in a library, another in a candle shop, and Debbie herself works in a clothing store for Mr. Greenfield. While doing their odd jobs they realize that they can make more money by doing sexual favours for their bosses. Debbie makes enough money when "Mr. Greenfield scores a field goal and Debbie makes a touchdown".
It's one of those movies from the pioneering days of the adult industry, when stag loops burst out of the backroom, and full length adult features made it onto cinema screens across America. It's claimed that at one point Debbie Does Dallas was making over $250,000 per week per screen. Arguably, it could well be the most profitable movie of all time, as it's continued to sell on VHS, DVD and, most recently HD-DVD.
And as if to add to the mythical status of the movie, there's also one of the greatest mysteries of the adult movie world - whatever happened to Bambi Woods, the star? Little is known about her early life, she appeared in just four movies, and then seemingly disappeared from the face of the Earth. Even her real name is a matter of fierce debate, and her wikipedia entry is sparse (and, it turns out, wrong on almost every count) This central mystery formed the backbone of the 2005 documentary Debbie Does Dallas Uncovered, and despite intense efforts, no trace of Woods could be found.
It was against this background, that I wrote one of our earliest "Where are they now" stories. It was a quickly written, hastily researched article, attempting to list the current whereabouts of the cast of the movie. I admit to no great sleuthing skills, just patience and a knack for using search engines. But somehow, the piece struck a nerve, and it's become one of our most popular stories. In fact, if you search for Debbie Does Dallas on Google, that story - as of May 2007 - comes up second, beaten only by it's IMDB entry.
And as time passed, readers sent in their own tips for expanding the story. And I edited and updated the piece. But no-one could ever shed light on the whereabouts of Debbie. And I never gave up hope that one day, we might find out.
And then....... in March of this year, an email arrived.
I came across your article on Debbie Does Dallas. It was the first porn movie I ever saw and was my introduction to sex so it's fair to say it was burned in my brain. I was recently holidaying in Melbourne at a medium level resort and my wife and I became friendly with a couple who was also staying there.
We spent quite a bit of time with them and it bugged me that I knew her from somewhere and she said that she used to do some acting in Los Angeles in b-grade movies when, after about three days of hanging out with them, it hit me exactly who she was. I didn't know any other way to bring it up but to just say it and she laughed and said she never even got recognised when the movie was out and doesn't get recognised now but, yes, it was her.
I said it to her on her own but she said her husband knew all about it and we had quite a few laughs about it over the next few days. We even got her address and email to keep in touch. She said that no-one had ever approached her about the movie and it was no big deal and if they'd asked she would talk, just not on camera because of her children. She laughed about some private investigator trying to find her and said it would have helped if he had known her name.
She did say that a couple of things in some story recently (I think it might have been E! ?) were false. Firstly, she did not go on a date with one of the actors who said he did. (Sorry, I don't know the actor's name). Secondly, someone who said they had spoken to her parents never did. (Both of her parents are now passed away). She also said she had a friend who was called Desiree? who was also a big porn star who she met when they worked at a club together in New York and their kids play together all the time.
Anyway, don't know if anyone really cares but thought some people would like to know that she is okay and well. She left to go back to America on last month after her holiday and said she really enjoyed her time here.
Hope this was of interest to you.
All the best
It's one of those moments, when the hair stands up on the back of your neck. Was it a hoax? A crank email? Or could it be the real thing?
Kevin and I exchanged emails a couple of times, and I asked him to pass on a message to "Bambi" for me. I doubted very much that I would hear from her - if she'd managed to keep her whereabouts secret for 25 years, I had no high hopes that she would break her silence for me.
And then..... another email arrived:
I had your message passed onto me and I had a look at your site and I'm happy to pass on some information. I never wanted to be involved in a commercial activity about myself because when you do the press seems to think they have the right to do or say anything about you in the name of "public interest". I had no idea that they were doing the documentary on the movie until I saw it on TV and it was quite funny to see these things being said about me which were so untrue. I'm happy to set it right for you.
I don't know how much help I can be to you because, for obvious reasons, I don't wish any photos of me to be published and I am not prepared to give out personal details as I would then be easy to contact. I wish no disruption to the lives of those around me but I will answer your questions. I find the interest in the movie quite amusing because at the time none of us thought anything of it. It was just a way to make money and no-one had any idea how big it was going to be and continues to be.
It amazes me that people are so interested in that movie. To me there was nothing great about it and to think that someone would make a documentary about it is just amazing.
If you have any questions you want to ask feel free to send them through and I will answer them as honestly as I can. Hopefully through your site you can put to rest these rumours that people like to spread around.
And so, I immersed myself back in the world of Debbie Does Dallas. I read everything I could find online, i rewatched the documentary, I bought the new version of the movie to listen to the commentary tracks, to glean whatever information I could. I compiled a list of over 40 questions, and sent them off.
And over a series of emails, Bambi answered them all.
Starting tomorrow, we're proud to present the true story of one of the most famous adult movie actresses of all time - Bambi Woods, in her own words.
Previously on YBNBY
Where are they now: Debbie Does Dallas