Birthday: May 30, 1963
Birthplace: Farmington ,
Years Active: 1981- 2007
Hair Color: Blond
Frequent partners: Bobby Hollander, Eric Edwards, Joey Silvera, Ron Jeremy, Tom Byron
Born Colleen Marie Applegate
May 30, 1963
Bellflower, California, U.S.
Died March 23, 1984 (aged 20)
Palm Springs, California, U.S.
Other names Callie Aimes
No. of adult films 76 including compilations (per IAFD)
Shauna Grant (nee Colleen Marie Applegate; May 30, 1963 – March 23, 1984) was an American nude model and pornographic performer. She ran away from her small town in Minnesota and proceeded to appear in over 30 pornographic films, earning up to $100,000 in her two-year career. A drug addict, Grant killed herself after the arrest of her partner in March, 1984. She was inducted into the XRCO Hall of Fame in 1999. She was sometimes credited as Callie Aimes, Callie Aims, or Colleen Applegate.
Born in Bellflower, California, Colleen Applegate grew up in the small town of Farmington, Minnesota. Her family moved there in 1973, when her father took a managerial position with Central Telephone Company of Minnesota. Applegate was a cheerleader in high school and graduated from Farmington High in 1981. She stayed in the small town, working first as a cashier and then as a repair clerk with the phone company. There, one night in December that year, she consumed a handful of prescription sinus pills in a suicide gesture.
In PBS’ Frontline: "Death of a Porn Queen" profile (episode 5.13, U.S. airdate June 8, 1987), her father, Phil Applegate, admitted that he never discussed the suicide attempt with his daughter; he and his wife at the time (Colleen’s mother, Karen Applegate) believed their daughter was merely seeking attention. According to the Frontline piece, the entire family had at least one group session at a counseling center during which no one really talked about the situation.
In March 1982, when the news spread about her overdose, Applegate ran away from home with her boyfriend, Mike Marcell, and moved to California. Applegate left behind her parents, a brother, and three sisters.
Adult film career
After arriving in Los Angeles, Applegate and Marcell unsuccessfully pursued several employment leads in the first month. Then Marcell saw an ad for the World Modeling Agency in Van Nuys, which diligently sought attractive new recruits for "figure modeling". Accompanied by Marcell, Applegate visited the agency’s owner, Jim South, who set up a photo session with legendary soft-core photographer J. Stephen Hicks, whose work was frequently featured in Penthouse.
Her first pictorial’s theme featured a mock camping set and was to be published by Club. Hicks reflected on Applegate’s appearance and personality, saying: "I deal with a lot of girls who are new in the business, a lot of young girls and a lot of girls from out of town. Colleen was so incredibly young and naive. She was completely un-hip and non-L.A."
Her wholesome, "girl next door" looks soon landed her work posing for other magazines such as Hustler Magazine and Penthouse. But Hicks advised Applegate to get out of nude modeling quickly, because when all of the magazines had used her, the only thing left for her would be hardcore movies. "You know, you take a typical girl that’s used to working at McDonald’s or at a shoe store, where she’s used to making a minimum wage, and suddenly she’s given the opportunity to get made up, and be in front of people who tell her she’s beautiful, and make as much money in a day as she was making in three weeks and, um, they change. They change. And that’s sad."
Almost immediately, Applegate progressed to filming hardcore photo sessions for Suze Randall.
Applegate’s relationship with her boyfriend did not endure their first two months in California; Marcell left her to return to Minnesota and ultimately joined the U.S. Army. Before his induction, he informed her small town that Applegate was involved with pornography, which caused her family much embarrassment. Marcell refused to speak to Frontline about his relationship with Applegate, except to say that he no longer cared about her.
Ignoring Hicks’ advice, Applegate continued working with World Modeling Agency, where she met veteran porn producer Bobby Hollander. Hollander launched her adult film career, suggesting what he felt was a "classy" stage name, Shauna Grant.
As a fast-rising adult-entertainment personality, she was featured in Virginia, Suzie Superstar, and Flesh and Laces 1 & 2, among many other films. Her pay rose from $300 a day to nearly $1,500. As Shauna Grant, she made dozens of popular adult movies, usually plot-oriented. In Suzie Superstar, she played the lead singer of a rock band.
Grant only did heterosexual scenes, in contrast to most female porn performers, who also do lesbian scenes regardless of their sexual orientation. Off-screen she traveled in limousines and stayed in first-class hotels.
Grant was provided with her own make-up artist, 27-year-old Laurie Smith (who was also an adult star). Smith, who co-starred with Grant in several movies (including Suzie Superstar, The Young Like It Hot, and Bad Girls IV), also became Grant’s best friend—and fellow cocaine partier—during that period. She quit the adult film business for a short time following Grant’s suicide.
Grant’s popularity earned her three acting nominations at the March 1984 Erotic Film Awards. However, despite these accolades and her beauty, Grant had some difficulty getting work due to her cocaine addiction and lack of "enthusiasm" during sex scenes. In some circles she acquired the nickname "Applecoke" and gained a reputation for being flaky.
By industry standards, Grant was early in her career when it suddenly came to an end.
In 1983, Grant retired from the adult film industry after less than a year and just over 30 films and videos, in which she had sex onscreen with 37 men, and after contracting herpes and having an abortion. She disliked the industry, although she regarded Joey Silvera well.
The night of the 8th Annual Adult Film Association Awards show, at the Coconut Grove Ambassador Hotel, she was a multiple nominee and presenter (with John Leslie). While her desire for work in mainstream films was not working out, she was so prestigious at the time that famed director Francis Ford Coppola was seated at her table.
That night she agreed to work on her first adult film in ten months. Matinee Idol was due to begin filming in eight days in San Francisco, California. A few days after the awards show, her Minnesota boyfriend flew to Los Angeles to see her, but Grant and Smith had partied for two days, and Grant forgot about his arrival until the last minute. The beau was stranded at the airport, because neither Grant nor Smith had a car. This was the same day that Ehrlich telephoned from prison, saying that their relationship was over and that Grant would have to move out.
Grant persuaded her friend, veteran porn actress Kelly Nichols, to take the role intended for Grant. Grant also had the option of returning to Minnesota. Her parents offered to pay for her college expenses, but she believed she would no longer be comfortable at home in Minnesota.
On March 21, 1984, Grant committed suicide in Palm Springs by shooting herself with a .22 Long Rifle. Shortly after 7 p.m. she lay down, placed the gun horizontally against her head, and pulled the trigger. The shot passed through her right temple, out the left, and into the bedroom wall, according to police reports. The gun was discharged from such close range that the bullet left virtually star-shaped holes. Brain dead, Grant was rushed to Desert Hospital, where life support systems were disconnected after two days.
Grant’s funeral was held on March 28, 1984, at St. Michael’s Church, a Catholic parish near the center of Farmington, Minnesota. Members of the adult film industry did not attend the ceremony, believing their presence would only exacerbate the family’s anguish. Instead, they contributed flowers and letters. Grant was buried in her favorite color, pink.
Preliminary investigations by Palm Springs police posed questions regarding the circumstances surrounding Grant’s death. Weeks after the event, police were still awaiting results of toxicological and gun-residue tests. The possibility of a foul play investigation hung in the balance.
She was buried at the Saint Michaels Catholic Cemetery, Farmington.
Depiction in popular culture
Wiki letter w.svg This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (October 2014)
Adult filmmaker Roberta Findlay made the controversial Shauna: Every Man’s Fantasy (1985), about Grant’s suicide.
Grant’s career and death were fictionalized as the basis for the television movie Shattered Innocence (1988), starring Jonna Lee, a film that bears little resemblance to Grant’s actual life. Her parents used their proceeds from selling the movie rights to fund Grant’s tombstone.
The musician Klaus Flouride honored Grant in the song "Dancing with Shauna Grant", from his album The Light is Flickering (1991). The song also mentions Virginia and Suzie Superstar, both of which are films that Grant starred in.
American death metal band Ripping Corpse wrote a song for their album Dreaming with the Dead (1991) about Grant, entitled "Deeper Demons". The lyrics question why such a tragic fate befell "little Colleen".
Christian metal band Mastedon wrote a song called "Innocent Girl", in memory of Shauna Grant on their debut album It’s a Jungle Out There! (1989). The lyrics were written by the former Kansas lead John Elefante and his brother Dino.
Pop-punk band J Church wrote a song about the life and suicide of Grant called "Girl In A Magazine", which appeared on their 7" This Song Is For Kathi (1992).
Notable television appearances
Hard Copy: "Shauna Grant" (18 June 1990), as "Herself" (archive footage)
Frontline: "Death of a Porn Queen" (8 June 1987), as "Herself" (archive footage; originally produced as a local special report for WCCO-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul)
Porn Star Shauna Grant became a superstar because of her wholesome, blonde beauty, not because she was much of a trend-setter, but in her final moments she became what not even her biggest critics could have guessed: the first of many pornographic film stars to commit suicide. Her short, erotic life came to a screeching, cocaine-fueled halt in the early evening of March 21, 1984, when she put her recently-jailed boyfriend’s .22 caliber rifle to her head and pulled the trigger.The beautiful Shauna Grant, the former Colleen Applegate, was dead at the age of twenty.Shauna Grant’s suicide sent shock waves throughout the adult film industry, which at the time was reeling from media and governmental scrutiny. Critics pointed to her death as evidence of the industry’s destructive effects — not even the most famous starlets were immune to porn’s evil nature, they said. Shauna Grant’s death was nothing quite so dramatic, however, but rather was the culmination of years of insecurities, failed relationships, and severe cocaine misuse.The beautiful girl who would grow up to be erotic superstar Shauna Grant was born Colleen Applegate in Bellflower, California. When she was 9 years old, the family followed her father’s job with the phone company to Farmington, Minnesota, a tree-lined village of 3,500 that lies thirty miles of corn and soybean fields south of Minneapolis. Almost immediately, Shauna Grant began to chafe against the bit of the small town atmosphere. She dreamed of bigger things than Farmington could possibly offer.At Farmington High School, Shauna Grant engaged in cheerleading and softball, but her main allegiance was to her boyfriend, Mike Marcell, and the partiers they hung with. Upon her 1981 graduation, she took a job with her father’s phone company, but Shauna Grant’s fate was not in small town middle America. After a prophetic attempted overdose of sinus pills, Marcell packed up his black El Camino and the pair headed to Hollywood to make her a star.Once in Los Angeles, they found that jobs were scarce . After a couple weeks of fruitless searching, Shauna Grant answered an ad in a trade magazine looking for ‘figure models.’ Shauna Grant had the figure, and a photo-shoot was set up. Although Shauna Grant was uncomfortable at first with the erotic nature of the pictures, she wasn’t uncomfortable with the much-needed cash they provided.Instantly, a star was born.Shauna Grant’s fresh-scrubbed, innocent beauty sozzled all who saw her, and the photo spreads began to come hot and heavy. Within two months of hitting L.A., Shauna Grant was had modeled for most major adult mags, and her relationship with Marcell had ended.Shauna Grant became the most photographed woman in the sex-mag field over the next six months. The money began to roll in, sometimes at the rate of $2000 per day. Soon she began dabbling in porno shorts. As Shauna Grant’s income grew, so did her taste for cocaine, a habit she’d picked up in L.A. that had the added side-effect of keeping her weight down, a powerful lure for a girl constantly in fear of being overweight and ugly (although how such a beautiful girl could ever think that is beyond imagination!).Shauna Grant’s work in adult loops led to the breakup of another relationship, but she soon rebounded into one with adult film producer Bobby Hollander. Her new mentor wasted no time in getting Shauna Grant involved in full-fledged erotic films. Hollander christened his new starlet Shauna Grant (sometimes spelled Shana).Shauna Grant shot to the top of the adult film world almost instantly. Her first film, "Paper Dolls," quickly led to more and more offers, and Shauna Grant became the star that Colleen Applegate always dreamed of being. Her ‘day rate’ skyrocketed, and although having sex on camera was initially difficult for an insecure midwesterner, the high salaries more than made up for any discomfort. Limos, first-class hotels, and more and more coke became the staples of Shauna Grant’s new life.Soon, though, Shauna Grant was on the outs with Hollander, and her new steady, a coke dealer Jake Erlich, began moving her out of the porn biz. They moved to Palm Springs together and Shauna Grant took over as manager at Pelle, a leather goods store that Erlich owned. Her life became one of increasing domesticity and she reestablished contact with her estranged family. Everything was going smoothly until Erlich was arrested (and later convicted) on medicine charges.Shauna Grant was cut off from both Erlich and his money, and she was frantic. Her money was at an end, so she agreed to go to San Francisco to shoot a new film. Her cocaine use rose again, and she began having paranoid visions of people stalking her. She appeared at the 1984 Erotic Film Awards, where she was nominated three times.
|All American Girls 2: In Heat||Praexis Productions||1983|
|Bigger the Better||1986|
|Bloopers, Outtakes, Embarrassing Moments||1985|
|Blue Vanities 30||1988|
|Blue Vanities 64||1988|
|Blue Vanities 68||1988|
|Blue Vanities 69||1988|
|Blue Vanities 70||1988|
|Celebrity Presents Celebrity||1986|
|Centerfold Celebrities 2||1984|
|Centerfold Celebrities 3||Facial||1984|
|Dreams Of Pleasure||Gourmet||Facial||1983|
|Eighth Erotic Film Festifal||1984|
|Flesh & Laces||Caballero Home Video||1983|
|Flesh And Laces 2||Caballero Classics||1983|
|Ginger Lynn’s Yours For The Asking|
|Golden Age Of Porn: Hyapatia Lee|
|Golden Age Of Porn: Shauna Grant|
|Golden Girls Film 78||1982|
|Golden Girls Film 79||1982|
|Golden Girls Film 84||1982|
|Gourmet 8 Pack: 8 Pack|
|Gourmet Quickies 18||1985|
|Gourmet Quickies 25||1985|
|Hollywood X-posed 2||1993|
|Hyapatia Lee: 4 Pack|
|Kay Parker: 4 Pack|
|Kimberly Carson: 4 Pack|
|Loads Of Fun 4||1993|
|Lusty Ladies 4||1983|
|Only the Best 1||1986|
|Only the Best of Suzie||1991|
|Only the Best of the 80’s||1992|
|Personal Touch 1||Arrow||1983|
|Personal Touch 2||Arrow||1983|
|Personal Touch 2 (new)||1993|
|Phone Sex: 4 Pack|
|Ron Jeremy Screws The Stars||Caballero Classics|
|Sex Games||Caballero Classics||1983|
|Shana Blonde Superstar||Gourmet||1985|
|Shauna Grant||Gourmet video||1983|
|Shauna Grant 4 Pack|
|Shauna Grant Superstar||1984|
|Shauna Grant vs Amber Lynn|
|Shauna Grant: The Early Years||Gourmet||Facial||1988|
|Shauna Grant: The Teenage Years||Facial|
|Shauna: Every Man’s Fantasy||Clip||1985|
|Summer Camp Girls||Caballero Classics||1983|
|Super Stars-Bridgette Monet||Caballero Classics||1983|
|Superstar Shauna Grant|
|Suze’s Centerfolds 7||1983|
|Suzie Superstar 1||1983|
|Swedish Erotica 16||Caballero Classics||1981|
|Swedish Erotica 45||Facial||1983|
|Swedish Erotica Collectors Edition # 5: 4 Pack|
|Swedish Erotica Superstars Featuring Bridgette Monet||Facial||1983|
|Swedish Erotica Superstars Featuring Shauna Grant||1984|
|Swedish Erotica Vol.91||Caballero Classics|
|Taste of Money||1983|
|TLI Video Tape 1||1982|
|True Legends of Adult Cinema: The Erotic 80’s||1992|
|Virginia||Caballero Home Video||1983|
|Wacky World Of X-rated Bloopers||Gourmet video||1989|
|Wife Swap||Gourmet video||1989|
|X-Rated Bloopers 2||1991|
|Young Like It Hot||1983|