Joanna Angel

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Joanna Angel
Joanna Angel 2017.jpg
Angel at the XRCO Awards 2017
BornDecember 25, 1980
Brooklyn, New York, USA

Joanna Angel (born December 25, 1980) is an American alternative pornographic and mainstream actress, director, and writer of adult films.[1] She is best known for starting BurningAngel in April 2002 with her flatmate Mitch Fontaine, and has been credited with helping the alt porn scene grow and develop in industry.[2] Launched as a response to websites such as SuicideGirls, it featured alternative performers acting in exclusively hardcore scenes with a stronger focus on a punk aesthetic.[2]

Early life[edit]

Angel was born in Brooklyn, New York, to an Israeli mother and an American father. She was raised in River Edge in Bergen County, New Jersey, where she attended Cherry Hill Elementary School and graduated from River Dell High School in 1998. After graduating, she enrolled in Rutgers University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature with a minor in Film Studies.[3][1]

She worked in a kosher fast food restaurant in Teaneck during high school, then at an Applebee's and another restaurant called Happy's Health Grille during college.[4]

She eventually relocated to the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York, and created together with Mitch Fontaine the website BurningAngel, a hardcore adult site catering to an emerging genre dubbed alt porn, while she danced as a stripper at night. Her website followed in the footsteps of the very popular SuicideGirls, which she has referred to as "the McDonald's of alt porn."[5] When asked whether she thought that alt porn was turning into a movement she stated, "I think it's a movement. I think I've started something."[6]


Angel at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo January 18, 2013

Angel has written, produced, directed and starred in films available exclusively through Burning Angel, as well as appearing in more traditionally distributed adult films. She was under an exclusive contract with VCA Pictures, which expired in March 2007, and was, at one time, represented by the adult talent agency Bad Ass Models.

In 2013, Burning Angel produced The Walking Dead: A Hardcore Parody, an adult spoof of The Walking Dead. In response to criticism over the decision to employ "yellowface," instead of an East Asian actor to portray the Korean-American character Glenn Rhee, Angel stated:

Alright, I know some of you lame asses were offended by me turning someone non-Asian into someone Asian, but Danny is an important member of the Burning Angel family, and I really wanted him in this movie – and he actually has a lot of similar features as Glenn and made the most sense to play him. Around election time, I aged Danny about 60 years and turned him into Joe Biden. In Evil Head, we gave him an '80s looking wig. I was not doing this to make fun of anyone of any race – I did this because it was a parody. So all you over-sensitive PC people: calm down.[7]

This declaration did little to quell detractors, such as, which responded by writing:

I did it because it was a parody, isn't exactly a defense; ironically, it's more of an explanation of why people found it offensive, as the whole meaning of parody is to imitate something for the purpose of ridicule. Angel found a black actress to play the part of Katana-swinging Michonne. One has to wonder if she had been forced to cast a white actress, would she have put her in blackface? Or would that have been crossing the line?[8]


Following the success of Burning Angel, Angel has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times.[9]

Angel briefly wrote a monthly sex advice column for Spin. She also contributed a chapter to the book Naked Ambition: Women Pornographers and How They Are Changing the Sex Industry.[10]

In 2010, Angel appeared in a public service announcement for the Free Speech Coalition on the topic of Internet copyright infringement of adult content, directed by Michael Whiteacre.[11][12] The spot, entitled the "FSC All-Star Anti-Piracy PSA",[13] found her in the company of adult performers such as Lisa Ann, Julie Meadows, Kimberly Kane, Ron Jeremy and Wicked Pictures contract stars, Alektra Blue and Kaylani Lei.

In 2011, Angel was named by CNBC as one of the 12 most popular stars in porn. CNBC noted that she owns her own studio and that the "punk look" that she and her other actors share has created a new genre in the porn industry, called alt porn.[14] Also, in 2011, Angel made a cameo on the Adult Swim show Childrens Hospital, in the season three episode "Night Shift." She played herself as a porn star and family friend of Rob Corddry's character Dr. Blake.[15][16]

Angel sometimes appears on as a friend of the columnists and appears in the music video for "Sound Wave Superior" by Emmure.[17]

In 2013, Angel appeared in the independent film Scrapper, starring Michael Beach and Aidan Gillen,[18] along with the ensemble cast musical comedy Skum Rocks! [19] In 2014, she had roles in the crime drama The Owl in Echo Park[20] and the Kevin Nealon comedy series Racquetball.[21] She also appeared in the documentary film Doc of the Dead, which features Interviews with Max Brooks, Stuart Gordon, Jacqui Holland, Robert Kirkman, Greg Nicotero and Judith O'Dea.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Angel dated fellow porn star James Deen for six years.[23] On December 2, 2015, Angel appeared on The Jason Ellis Show to give more details about her "violent and scary" six-year relationship with Deen.[24]

Angel married fellow adult film actor Aaron "Small Hands" Thompson on October 31, 2016.

Angel is a Democrat.[25] In 2015, she endorsed Bernie Sanders for President of the United States in the Democratic primaries for 2016 U.S. presidential election.[25]


Angel was nominated in 2006 for the AVN Awards for both Best New Starlet and Best Actress, and although she won neither, she did take home the award for "Most Outrageous Sex Scene" for her appearance in Re-Penetrator. She was nominated for the 2009 AVN Award for "The Jenna Jameson Crossover Star of the Year".[26]

  • 2006 AVN Award – Most Outrageous Sex Scene (Re-Penetrator) with Tommy Pistol[27]
  • 2007 XBIZ Award – Crossover Move of the Year[28]
  • 2008 XRCO Award – Best On-Screen Chemistry (with James Deen)[29]
  • 2011 AVN Award – Best Porn Star Website (Editor's Choice) –[30]
  • 2011 AVN Award – Best Solo Sex Scene (Rebel Girl)[30]
  • 2011 NightMoves Award – Best Director (Editor's Choice)[31]
  • 2012 NightMoves Award – Best Individual Website (Editor's Choice) –[31]
  • 2012 NightMoves Triple Play Award (Dancing/Performing/Directing)[32]
  • 2013 AVN Award – Best Porn Star Website –[33]
  • 2013 AVN Award – Best Solo Sex Scene (Joanna Angel: Filthy Whore)[33]
  • 2013 NightMoves Award – Best Ink (Editor's Choice)[31]
  • 2013 NightMoves Hall of Fame inductee[34]
  • 2014 AVN Award – Best Porn Star Website – (tied with[35]
  • 2015 AVN Award – Best Porn Star Website –[36]
  • 2016 AVN Hall of Fame inductee[37]
  • 2016 XRCO Hall of Fame inductee[38]
  • 2018 XBIZ Award - Best Actress - Comedy Release and Best Sex Scene - Comedy Release, (Jews Love Black Cock (Burning Angel/Exile)[39]
  • 2019 XBIZ Award - Best Actress - Comedy Release (Dirty Grandpa (Burning Angel))[40]
  • 2019 XBIZ Award - Best Supporting Actress (Talk Derby to Me (Sweetheart Video))[40])
  • 2019 XBIZ Award - Best Sex Scene - All-Sex Release (Joanna Angel Gangbang: As Above, So Below (Burning Angel))[40]


  1. ^ a b Smooha, Shahar (July 12, 2007). "'Each time it's more fun'". Haaretz. Retrieved July 23, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Schechner, Richard (February 15, 2013). Performance Studies: An Introduction. Routledge. ISBN 9781136448720.
  3. ^ Levin, Eric (December 19, 2007). "A Woman on Top". New Jersey Monthly (January 2008). Retrieved December 31, 2012. Possibly the world's first Jewish punk porn star with a BA from Rutgers, Oradell native Joanna Angel calls the shots on both sides of the camera and minds the bottom line. ... Joanna (real name) Angel (stage name) grew up in an orthodox Jewish family, graduated from Riverdell High School in Oradell, and earned a BA in English from Rutgers in 2003.
  4. ^ Loftus, Cindi (April 2007). "Joanna Angel". Xcitement Magazine. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved June 23, 2007.
  5. ^ "Joanna Angel Interview". Wanted List. Archived from the original on February 5, 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  6. ^ "Joanna Angel Interview". Hustler World. Archived from the original on March 10, 2009. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  7. ^ Rhee, N'jaila (February 11, 2013). "Yellowface and the Adult Film Industry's Asian American Problem". Racebending. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  8. ^ Morrissey, Tracie (January 31, 2013). "Walking Dead Porn Parody Relies on Yellowface". Jezebel. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  9. ^ Lanham, Robert (May 1, 2005). "Wearing Nothing but Attitude". New York Times., Archived at
  10. ^ Milne, Carly (2005). Naked Ambition. New York: Carroll & Graf. ISBN 978-0-7867-1590-9.
  11. ^ Kravets, David (April 29, 2010). "Porn Stars Decry Piracy in New Video (SFW)".
  12. ^ Mokey, Nick (April 30, 2010). "Adult Film Stars' Plea: Please Pay for Porn". Digital Trends.
  13. ^ FSCAPAP (April 20, 2010). "FSC All-Star Anti-Piracy PSA (texted version)". YouTube.
  14. ^ Morris, Chris (January 5, 2011). "The Dirty Dozen: Porn's Most Popular Stars". CNBC. Archived from the original on October 14, 2014.
  15. ^ "Joanna Angel on Adult Swim's Childrens Hospital!". Joanna Angel Official Blog. January 26, 2011. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  16. ^ "Childrens Hospital "The Night Shift" (TV Episode 2011)". IMDb. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  17. ^ "Sound Wave Superior | Emmure | Music Video | MTV". MTV Networks. June 20, 2008. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  18. ^ Staff. "Scrapper (2013)". Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  19. ^ Staff. "Skum Rocks! (2013) 77 min". IMDb. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  20. ^ Staff. "The Owl in Echo Park (2014)". IMDb. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  21. ^ Staff. "Racquetball (2014– ) Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  22. ^ "Doc of the Dead". March 24, 2015. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  23. ^ "How To Date A Porn Star: My Night Out With Joanna Angel In Las Vegas". January 18, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  24. ^ Yamato, Jen (December 3, 2015), "Joanna Angel Opens Up About James Deen's Alleged Abuse: 'He Really Is a Scary Person'", The Daily Beast, retrieved December 2, 2015
  25. ^ a b Breslin, Susannah (July 24, 2015). "Porn Stars Endorse Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Marco Rubio for President in 2016". Forbes.
  26. ^ "Nominations 2009 AVN Adult Movie Awards" (PDF). AVN. November 25, 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 27, 2009. Retrieved November 26, 2008.
  27. ^ "2006 AVN Award Winners Announced". AVN. January 9, 2006. Retrieved July 22, 2007.
  28. ^ "XBIZ Award Winners". XBIZ. February 2011.
  29. ^ "XRCO". Retrieved February 23, 2008.
  30. ^ a b "AVN Announces the Winners of the 2011 AVN Awards". AVN. January 9, 2011. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  31. ^ a b c "NightMoves Online – Past Winner History". Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  32. ^ "Past Winner History". Archived from the original on July 22, 2013. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  33. ^ a b "And Now... The 2013 AVN Award Winners!". January 20, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
  34. ^ "Bonnie Rotten Snags Best Female Performer Nom from NightMoves". AVN. July 15, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  35. ^ "AVN Announces the Winners of the 2014 AVN Awards". Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  36. ^ "AVN Announces the Winners of the 2015 AVN Awards". AVN. January 24, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  37. ^ "Class of 2016: The AVN Hall of Fame Inductees". Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  38. ^ "2016 XRCO Award Winners Announced". AVN. June 22, 2016. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  39. ^ XBIZ Award Winners, XBIZ, January 2018
  40. ^ a b c XBIZ Award Winners, XBIZ, January 2019

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