Aja (pornographic actress)

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Aja 00030134.jpg
Born (1963-07-14) July 14, 1963 (age 51)[1]
Tampa, Florida, U.S.[1]
Other names Barbara Cunningham[1]
Ethnicity Caucasian
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)[1]
No. of adult films 276 as performer
(including compilations)
17 as director
(per IAFD)[1]

Aja (born July 14, 1963 in Tampa, Florida) is the stage name of an American former pornographic actress, adult film director, and exotic dancer.


Aja starred in director John Leslie's Adult Video News '​ Best Video of the Year award-winning Mad Love (1988) in a scene described as "notably [...] surreal" by author and Ohio University Telecommunications graduate studies director Joseph W. Slade.[2] AVN later declared the film one of the 500 best of all time, also describing Aja's scene as "strange"; she starred in two others among their 500 best, Alex deRenzy's Ghostess with the Mostess and Paul Thomas' The Naked Stranger, [3] all in her first year as a performer, winning AVN's "Best New Starlet" in 1989.

In 1990, she starred in director Sharon Kane's Stairway to Paradise, a film which was the subject of a study by University of California, Los Angeles professor of psychiatry and human sexual relations specialist Robert Stoller. In casting the film, writer Jim Holliday "wanted Aja in the worst way and Sharon agreed. Aja is very box-officeable."[4]

According to the Internet Adult Film Database Aja stopped filming new scenes in the early 2000s, though videos that feature her performances continue to be released through 2014.[1]


On September 16, 1992, she was one of four porn stars participating in the Porn-AM Golf Tournament in Denver, Colorado, which was organized by J. R. Wolfe as a benefit for the Adult Film and Video Association of America's recently formed Free Speech Legal Defense Fund.[5]

In 1994, Carnal Comics published a comic book rendition of her biography and how she became a porn star, which was reprinted three times.[6][7]




  1. ^ a b c d e f "Aja". IAFD. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  2. ^ Slade 1997, p. 119.
  3. ^ Ramone 2006, pp. 137, 195, 212.
  4. ^ Stoller 1993, p. 81.
  5. ^ Husted, Bill (August 7, 1992). "Porn Stars to Tee it Up". Rocky Mountain News. 
  6. ^ Carnal Comics - True Stories of Adult Film Stars
  7. ^ Sanford, Jay Allen (September 8, 2007). "Carnal Comics - the Inside Story". San Diego Reader. 
  8. ^ "AVN Awards Past Winners". AVN.com. Archived from the original on 2009-04-25. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 

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