Considering her messed up start in life, it has to be something of a testament to a strength of character somewhere that she amounted to anything. Born on 14 December 1962, Ginger describes her own childhood as highly dysfunctional and abusive. Her clock supervisor father was a drinker and womaniser. Her mother constantly argued with him, got hit and took out her anger on her daughter. Ginger maintains she had already made a suicide attempt with sleeping pills by the age of 12. Her mother's wrath only worsened when her father left. Luckily for Ginger, her paternal grandparents took her away from her mother and cared for her like she was their own daughter.
After graduating in 1981, Ginger moved out of her grandparent's house and, shortly after, they moved to Lucerne Valley, California. Ginger was working at a music store by day and behind a bar at night in Rockford when she got a call the following year to say her grandfather had had a heart attack. She was on a plane to California next day and has lived there ever since. The eventual death of her grandfather, the only positive male role model she'd known in her life, hit Ginger hard.
A former boyfriend from Rockford came to join Ginger in California. She described him as the 'first nice boyfriend' she'd ever had, but all the same he was out of work and happy for Ginger to be the breadwinner. In search of a better paying job, Ginger answered an advertisement from the World Modeling Agency in September 1983 and was immediately hired to do a spread for Penthouse. "I never thought of myself as pretty. My mother used to tell me I looked like a witch. I never even wore makeup ... The first time I saw myself in a magazine in a convenience store, I was so excited I ran around the store showing people these nude pictures of myself. I didn't even think about being embarrassed about it. I just thought I looked pretty. As far as I knew no one from Rockford had ever been in a magazine before. I was proud of it. I always had a dream about being famous," Ginger recalls.
Within just a few months of her first shoot, adult movie producers came calling, hoping to cash in on her 34B-24-34 girl next door looks. "When I found out what they wanted me to do, I refused. I didn't see myself as that kind of girl," Ginger says. "But then one day I walked into my agent's office and saw this woman who was elegant and beautiful sitting there reading a porno script. I thought, if this kind of woman can do these films, maybe they ain't so bad." She shot her first X-rated movie, Surrender In Paradise, in December 1983 - starring opposite Jerry Butler and getting flown out to Hawaii to film it at the same time as celebrating her 21st birthday. She rapidly became one of the biggest stars of the adult home rental 80s boom, and not just for her all-natural look.
Ginger shot both anal and double penetration scenes in her movies, something pretty rare for the time. And she also was something of a trail-blazer for talking very dirty during her sex scenes. Adult Video News gave her the Best New Starlet award in 1985. But Ginger was already thinking about a change in direction. "I started to get involved with writing some of the scripts. I really wanted to get out by that time and try to get into mainstream acting. But I felt I wanted to have some solid skills to take with me when I left," she recalls. In February 1986, after a short stint as the first ever 'Vivid Girl' and at the height of her adult fame, Ginger did quit the porn world for the first time.
As Ginger Lynn Allen, she took acting classes and set out on the long road to trying to make it in mainstream movies. Much of her early roles were of the softcore skin-flick variety. But she persevered and some better opportunites slowly came. A small part in Young Guns II in 1990 saw her meet Charlie Sheen. They eventually had a two-year relationship, with Sheen announcing after their eventual split that she was the only ex he had ever managed to remain great friends with. She helped him through drug rehab, sobering up herself in the process, and both Charlie and his father Martin tried to help Ginger when she found herself in legal trouble in 1991, both writing letters to the court on her behalf. It didn't help. Ginger was sentenced to 17 days in jail and four months probation for falsification of a tax return. She herself maintains it was revenge on the part of the US Government after she refused to testify against porn producers who were claimed to have shot Traci Lords movies when Lords was underage.
Despite getting more mainstream movie and TV roles, in 1999, more than a decade after she first left, Ginger Lynn decided to make a return to hardcore movies. Her first XXX flick in 14 years Torn won Best Video Of The Year at the XRCO Awards. She shot two more movies White Lightning and New Wave Hookers 6 before heading back to mainstream again. She noticed many changes in the time she'd been away from porn. "Some things have changed for the better, some things have just changed. I think what I miss the most about the good old days is the comradery of the actors. It was such a close knit family back then. Everybody knew everybody and we were all friends for the most part. There were maybe 30 or 40 performers, and we were almost like family in some strange way. Today there are nearly a thousand performers. I grew up in porno. Then I moved away. I romanticized the memory of the industry. When I came back I realized that porno was a nice place to grow up, a nice place to visit, a nice place to spend a few weeks a year, but I don't want to live there anymore," she explained at the time.
There's still a draw there, however, for AVN and XRCO Hall Of Famer Ginger. Now firmly in hot MILF country, alongside her mainstream work, Ginger has also recently resurfaced in hardcore one more time, shooting some X-rated scenes for Kink. They are something of a first, seeing her take a submissive role for the first time, as she gets strap-on fucked by Bobbi Starr and performs a hardcore BDSM scene with real-life boyfriend Mark Davis.