Cult movie starlet Ginger Lynn Allen endured a childhood marred by dysfunction, physical abuse, and parental abandonment, eventually to become the most popular adult film entertainer of the early '80s.
Born in Rockford, IL, and raised by her paternal grandparents after age 12, Allen moved with them to California shortly after graduating from high school. In 1983 she auditioned for a modeling agency and received an offer to pose nude for Penthouse magazine the same day. Allen loved the attention and within a few months began appearing in pornographic films, many of which were star vehicles for the instantly popular young seductress (who was known in the business at the time as Ginger Lynn). Her films include New Wave Hookers, Ginger's Sex Asylum, and Supergirls Do General Hospital, and many have retained their popularity with adult video connoisseurs. In a two-year period she performed in 69 adult films, working with such pornographic notables as Traci Lords, John Holmes, and director Gregory Hippolyte. She quit the adult film business in 1986, hoping to break into mainstream acting and subsequently found roles in low-budget, straight-to-video action and comedy features like Wild Man and the Vice Academy series. The actress weathered legal difficulties in 1991, when she was convicted of filing a false tax return and spent some time in a drug rehabilitation center. During this period she also gained tabloid notoriety when she began dating actor Charlie Sheen, whom she met while working on Young Guns 2. Allen's career continued through the rest of the decade, with appearances on NYPD Blue, the children's television program Superforce, the Wing Commander III CD-ROM game, and a series of aerobic workout videos. In 1999, Allen returned to pornographic films with Torn and New Wave Hookers 6, but did not stop working toward success as a mainstream actress. She appeared in the Hollywood spoof The Independent and gave an intense portrayal of an aging stripper struggling to raise her child in the "Turn the Page" video for heavy metal band Metallica.