In Europe, many pornographic actresses and actors come from the so-called pornographic bloc countries, such as Russia, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.
In France, popular female performers have included Brigitte Lahaie, Marylin Jess, Clara Morgane, Katsuni and Yasmine Lafitte. In Mexico, Maritza Mendez and Silvia Loret have become famous in recent years.
In other countries, the "star" system is not common, with most actors being amateurs.
A pornographic actor (or actress for female), or porn star, is a person who performs sex acts in film that is usually characterized as a pornographic film.
Such films tend to be made in a number of distinct pornographic subgenres and attempt to present a sexual fantasy and the actors selected for a particular role are primarily selected on their ability to create or fit that fantasy.
Performers in these early productions were usually uncredited or used pseudonyms to avoid legal sanction and social disapprobation.
The use of pseudonyms is the norm in the industry; pornographic film actors maintained a low profile, using pseudonyms to maintain a level of anonymity, while others performed uncredited.
Exceptional performance of pornographic actors and actresses is recognized in the AVN Awards, XRCO Awards and XBIZ Awards.