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I’d always wanted to interview Angel Kelly. She was a big name in 1980s adult film, and one of the few black female superstars of the industry. She was a founding member of the Pink Ladies, the west-coast adult actress support group with Nina Hartley, Jeanne Fine, and Porsche Lynn. She acted with the big names of the day – people like Sharon Mitchell, Lois Ayres, Billy Dee and Mike Horner. And she was friends with Tupac Shakur, featuring in the video for his song “How Do You Want It?”
But I wasn’t so sure that Angel Kelly wanted to talk with me. I first contacted her years ago and – while she was kind and polite – she told me she wasn’t ready to speak. She said the last time she sat down for an interview was 1996, and she just wasn’t ready to delve deep into her adult industry life. But she said we could keep in touch, so we did, trading the occasional texts and holiday greetings.
But a few weeks ago, Angel Kelly contacted me and said it was time. I wondered what made her ready to do something we danced around for years. We set a date and I questioned if she would keep it.
She did. And thank goodness – because Angel Kelly has quite the story to tell.
So what has Angel Kelly been doing since her time in the business? And why is she finally speaking out now, almost 25 years after her last real interview? Here’s your chance to listen and find out.
This episode is 87 minutes long.
The music playlist for this episode can be found on Spotify.
with Tom Byron
The Pink Ladies (from top left): Porsche Lynn, Angel Kelly, Nina Hartley, Jeanna Fine
with Alicia Monet
with Jeanna Fine
with Jack Baker
with Tracey Adams
The cast of Sorority Pink: Angel Kelly, Porsche Lynn, Jeanna Fine, Barbara Dare, Nina Hartley
with Heather Hunter, Porsche Lynn and Robin Byrd
with Porsche Lynn (left) and Jeanna Fine (middle)
Angel Kelly iconic x-rated film star from 1987 through 1993 had good relationship with Peter North that’s really interesting podcast thank you keep up the good work April and Ashley reach the Milestone 100 podcast we can’t wait
Thanks so much Jeff!
This is the big one!!! I have been waiting for this for 98 episodes – and finally ANGEL KELLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am excited to listen to this – and very timely to cover an African American performer too.
Well Done Rialto.
Thanks Fantozzi – hope you enjoy it!
This was a very good interview. Thank you for sharing Angel story. Or better yet let’s thank Angel for sharing her story.
Great interview; however, I thought it was interesting that She didn’t want to discuss the effect that Her career had on Her daughter
The Rialto Report is a unique oasis a sea of mediocrity. All we get on social media (e.g. Facebook – Classic Adult Films) is dumb fanboys posting a selection of pictures supplemented by some third hand information gleaned from old magazines or google.
Thanks for posting first hand real information – free of charge, and not included in some fanzine or book.
The Amber Lynn pod was brilliant – I am excited to listen to Angel Kelly.
Thank you Jack!
I find it So Funny(However not Suprising) the first time she met Magic Johnson was at a Peep Show while working. 🤣 Another Excellent piece of Work
finally- i was in love with this woman since i first saw her in a film. so excited about this episode. thank you rialto report. you made my year
Absolutely a fascinating woman, well spoken and intelligent….There’s no judgment towards her, pertaining to her past adult employment…LOVE U Angel
I didn’t knew Angel Kelly did with John Holmes Follow by O’Farrell theater in San Francisco California and San Fernando area Los Angeles California
WOW!!! ANGEL KELLY IS 💖 🔥
Is that Angel Kelly with Sticks Downey from Happy Days? Yes, it looked like Jack Baker was going to follow in the footsteps of King Paul and the late great Johnnie Keyes as porn’s next black superstar. Jack started off by doing scenes with such porn power houses as Marilyn Chambers and Sheri St Clair, and Janey Robbins in Yankee Seduction. But it became evident pretty fast that Jack could not maintain an erection and usually had to have Field Marshall Bradley or Ray Victory stunt cock for him. But Jack was a great comic actor and used those skills to have a good career in porn after his career in mainstream Hollywood came to an end.
Holy cow! Great interview with Angel. She seemed so honest and comfortable with herself. One of the most underrated video star of her generation. Without continuing to connect Angel with anyone else, is an interview with Ebony in the works? Home run!
Glad to finally hear Angel finally tell her story on her terms. I hope she releases her memoirs.
Angel started my affinity for black women and will always remain my favorite. She was just gorgeous, had a fantastic body, smile and attitude. She seemed to enjoy her work very much.
I also liked Sahara (second to Angel), Jeannie Pepper, Heather Hunter, Nina DePonca and Sade. Didn’t get to see the wonderful Desiree West (who started much earlier than the rest) until later on and became a big fan of hers as well. Never got the big deal about Ebony Ayes though, and will leave it at that. Would be grear to hear interviews with the above ladies as well. Jeannie is probably most likely to agree to one.
I like your list! Desiree West was incredible, so pretty. And of course Sahara ruled the 80’s and Sade never got the credit as the other black stars of the 80’s but she was very popular in the magazines like Players. In an odd way I even liked Lady Paree? Paree had an unbelievable ass and great hips, but her face was so so
PS In 1998 there was a 5’10 black superrmodel type who went my Moet. She could have been a huge star but dropped off the map after only a few films. She dated director Nicky Starks
I never really watched her flicks, Ebony Ayes, or Jeanne Pepper for that matter. Only V. Del Rio’s. I rented Fleshdance with my cousins, & found it boring. We didn’t even watch it all after all the hype. Regardless, I in my old age has gotten blown away on a resurgence tip of Shanna Evans, & my favorite of the era, Black Sahara AKA Yvonne Weldon. They’ve prolly got beards, & 3rd nipples by now, but maybe you guys could interview them. Shanna was the cutest, but Sahara had the baddest skillset. Keep up the great work. I actually sat through yours, & T.T. Boy’s YouTube interviews with Paul Thomas. He just did Eric Edwards, & I dug your Tom Byron interview. Gonzo killed porn for me, & nothing can touch the Golden Era of both Mainstream, & Black porn of those years especially the Dark Brothers works. T.T. tried in the late ’90’s to the ’00’s, but hey. SHANNA, & SAHARA!!! Vanessa is pretty much accessible. Best Wishes.
So hype for this one ! The talk show Angel referenced with Heather Hunter was my first introduction to her via YouTube and I must say she stole the show with her classic beauty and intelligence , pure star quality . I loved seeing them both in the Tupac video too. The final minutes of this podcast were cathartic to say the least , it was palpable. April knocked it out the park as always and Angel is still stunning .
Thank you so much Isaac – we so appreciate it!
Thanks for the interview of Angel Kelly, one of the true pioneers of Black Actresses in the adult Industry during the 1980’s.
Thank you for listening Randolph!
Thanks for another great interview! You all are THE best! I’ve noticed so many podcast hosts of Adult Industry stars try to focus all the attention back on themselves and it makes for a disappointing interview. Your interview with Angel was awesome, as always. I love that she acknowledged her gay and trans fans who looked out for her in NYC and glad she is doing well today 🙂
Thank you so much James!
Probably in my top three RR podcasts. I had such a smile on my face listening to Angel talk so candidly and vividly about her time in the business. As usual Rialto delivers the goods like no other. Thanks for uplift during tough times Angel.
We so appreciate that George!
What a wonderful interview. Wish I had seen her movies, but enjoyed her beauty through magazines. Angel, you’re not getting older, you’re getting better. Thank you for sharing your story.
Angel Kelly was a great performer. Always enthusiastic and service with a smile! I loved hearing her story. Cool to hear tidbits on FM Bradley and the sex position they were the first to do on film. I saw her do that position with Frank James and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Another one that stands out is a 3 way with Rachel Ryan and some dude in a swimming pool.
Very touching moment when she talked about Megan Leigh. So sad especially when you don’t see it coming.
Judging by the recent picture of Angel, she will be beautiful forever. Thanks Rialto Report and thank you Angel for sharing your story.
I listened to the RR episode with Angel Kelly and was blown away! April,you asked great questions like always,kudos!
Thank you so much Robert!
Wow. Angel is an absolute charmer. Great episode!
Thank you Shawn!
Thank you for this great interview with a legend.
The goodness was all Angel!
This was a great interview! I think the first time I ever saw Angel Kelly was on that BET show she mentioned. I was 13 years old! When I think of old-school black porn, Angel is part of a trifecta that also includes Ebony Ayes and Jeannie Pepper. So obviously this was a podcast I was really looking forward to! Keep up the great work…nobody does it like The Rialto Report!
We so appreciate that Big Al!
Awesome interview, Angel was one my favs. I’m really sorry to hear of some of the racism she experienced. I truly hoped it was better for her in the industry. I am glad to hear she had some great friends in the business that helped her cope. The Pink Ladies sounds like it was a great support group.
Looking forward to the next interview! The 80’s ladies rule!
Another great interview with the quality and professioalism I have come to expect of you guys the output is just incredible.
Only one question though, I thought that Patricia Lee was the first African-American porn Superstar even though she’s never gotten the credit she really should have been be given.
She is the first African American pornstar, how about doing an interview with her?, or with the first Asian American pornstar Linda Wong another undervalued superstar.
keep up the consistency
Thanks for the thoughts and ideas bigsplash!
Loved this. How warm, honest and tough she is. Perhaps my favourite of all the podcasts you’ve done!
Angel Kelly one of the most beautiful women period
That is all that needs to be said.
Thanks for that podcast!
Also, Angel mentioned Porsche Lynn a number of times in that podcast. How about a podcast with her, so we can hear her side of the story?
An interesting find. Angel was the first big-time black female star to come after Desiree West. I met Angel at CES back in the late 80’s. I can remember she was the only adult star there who charged for an autograph. As a matter of fact, in all the years I attended CES she was the only one to charge. My lasting memory of her..
As a journalist who specializes in deep dive interviews with actors, let me say BRAVO! I deal with a lot of the older genre performers (primarily horror and exploitation) and nothing is more special than giving them a place to relive treasured memories, as well as sometimes cope with old issues. It’s sometimes very close to therapy, hahaha.
When Miss Kelly tells you how she has had no one to speak with about this part of her life, it’s very moving. She seems like a great lady, and I can’t name another outlet be it a podcast, a fanzine (well maybe Robin Bougie’s incredible and respectful porn fanzine CINEMA SEWER which I cannot rec highly enough…he should be a guest on the show as well), or any other kind of outlet, that treats these performers from erotica with such respect, and reverence. Then the formatting is simple, the hosts don’t prattle on about themselves (an issue far too common in podcasts) and the end product is clean and polished.
THE RIALTO REPORT is one of the greatest CINEMA podcasts…ever.
So much respect.
Did Bougie appear or make porn? If so, I absolutely agree that The Rialto Report should have him as a guest.
If he is a fanzine editor, I fail to see why he would be relevant to a podcast that focuses on the oral history of adult film with ORIGINAL participants.
The beauty of the Rialto podcasts is that they focus exclusively on the people who made the business. And not the people who write about people who made the business.
I hope it stays that way. No offense to any fanzines.
We so appreciate the kind words Sean!
Dear April, thank you for the great interview of Angel. I’m the same age as all of the girls of this of this era. Born in 59. This is amazing all the content I green from Rialto. Thanks again .Peace….
The first time I noticed Angel was in the 1986 movie she made with John Holmes .I was a teenager living in a country where the adult industry was strong but scarce about black female performers ( the first national black adult movies star was Julia Channel in 1993 ), After 1991 I lost her trace until the year 2006 when I signed up an account on Myspace and while searching for Hip Hop artists I found the page of AK enterprise . I befriended her and she was pleased about my delicate attention .
Angel was charming and loving but she was always fearing to be forgotten and to have her beauty fading away under the stain of time . She was also deeply grieving Tupac . She was already talking about her book ,the development of her music business and a eventual return to movie business if the money was there . Few years later I left Myspace to Twitter for good and I lost sight of her .
Today little has changed but there is an explanation for that : in 1991 she testified with Heather Hunter on a TV show of the latent racism in the industry and about black female performers to be way underpaid ( that situation hasn’t changed either ) The industry made her pay the price for her honesty . She couldn’t expect too much from the permanent sexism of the Hip Hop underground .
I’m coming to the final point about Tupac . Angel always stated until a recent interview that He was an exception , gentle and respectful with women and that a communicating love was binding both . Why did she feel the need to talk about his alleged sexual acrobatics with Her , Hartley and Hunter ? Why would she say if someone she befriended for all friendship had intercourse with her body and claiming it with pride everywhere ? Angel has just betrayed Tupac , she diminished herself at the same time because Tupac wasn’t communicating love with his threesome , the question that arises after her recent allegations is : did he even care for her at all ?
I have a lot of respect for Angel and sending love to her but she needs to measure the consequences of her actions .