An immensely popular adult film actress, Stormy Daniels was a whip-smart businesswoman as well as an award-winning screenwriter and director. Born March 17, 1979 in Baton Rouge, LA, Stephanie Gregory Clifford was working as a stripper when she befriended adult film actress Devon Michaels, who brought her to Los Angeles and helped her break into the porn world. Adopting the stage name "Stormy Daniels," she quickly rose to fame as one of the most popular actresses in the industry, winning multiple awards. Daniels also set herself apart by proving her business acumen, taking control of her career to write, direct and appear in dozens of successful films, building her own mini empire. The actress proved so popular, in fact, that she was able to cross over into mainstream projects, booking small roles in "The 40 Year Old Virgin" (2005) and "Knocked Up" (2007) and larger roles on the tabloid drama "Dirt" (FX, 2007-08) and the catering comedy "Party Down" (Starz, 2009-2010). Delighting her many supporters, Daniels publicly mulled running as a Republican for a Louisiana U.S. Senate seat in 2010, touring the state and giving speeches, even after her political advisor narrowly escaped a car bomb attack. Although she ended up choosing not to run, Daniels made mainstream headlines and inspired many of her fans to hope that she would indeed enter politics one day.
By Jonathan Riggs