Lorissa McComas – The tragic death of a B-Movie queen

I first came across Lorissa McComas while watching some late-night Cinemax movie called “Lap Dancing” about twenty years ago. In rewatching some clips of this flick it is beyond amateur…the editing and film quality is unbearable to watch…but the allure of Lorissa McComas on camera is riveting.

She had surgically enhanced breasts but it was her face that mesmerized. Fresh as a daisy with an unabashed smile. And some readers are going to laugh but…she was a damn good actress…Yea, of course, I realize that she’s in the movie for one reason, to show off her body, but in each of her dialogue scenes, she goes all out…She could have easily gone into mainstream films if she had the connections.

And therein lies part of the tragedy. By age twenty, McComas had turned to stripping to support herself. Born and raised in the suburbs of Cincinnati, she would be arrested with another stripper on charges of “prostitution”. The arrest occurred after a guest at a bachelor party slipped a dollar bill in her garter belt.

Undaunted, McComas would start her own stripper company called “Extasy Entertainment”. There weren’t any strip bars in the area and McComas would provide strippers to bachelor parties. McComas bragged to a local newspaper that her company was the biggest in the area. “I advertise the most. And I have the prettiest girls. The ladies doing this are attractive, educated, college girls who come from good homes. A whole different breed of people. During the summer (1994) I was making $5,000 a week. The demand for this is outrageous.”

She would also make a name for herself as a softcore actress and model. She appeared in publications such as Femme Fatales magazine as well as numerous “late-night” fodder for Cinemax and direct-to-video productions. She did at least one hardcore porno shoot where she masturbates with a vibrator…but the rest of her filmography is of the softcore variety with no filming of penetration. Pornography to be sure and not titillating to watch because her talent level is above the prurient level…she’s beautiful to watch but the productions are beneath her…This isn’t pedestalization on my part…her timing, voice cadence and delivery are far above anyone else in these productions…So Lorissa was no doubt stuck…she couldn’t see the potential she had beyond just showing her tits and ass. And she certainly didn’t have anyone around her trying to elevate her to the level that her beauty and talent should have ascended.

So she was one of those entertainers whose work blurs the line between actress and porn star…a label ultimately inconsequential because of her tragic death.

Her life itself seemed rife with tragedy. According to her blog, her mother would be diagnosed with terminal cancer after Lorissa moved to Los Angeles. She traveled back to Florida to care for her and her mother died in her arms. A short time later, Lorissa was on a film set which she received word that her father committed suicide.

On November 3rd, 2009, it was announced on her no longer functioning website that she died. She had divorced three years earlier and moved to Waverly, Virginia. The Waverly Police Department ruled her death a suicide courtesy of a pump shotgun (this is unsubstantiated, I’m merely repeating what I’ve read on another website). Some reports indicate that she was upset by her long fight with RS dystrophy which left her wheelchair-bound. During this time, she lived with her brother who committed suicide himself two days later courtesy of a methadone overdose.

There are internet rumors that persist that she was murdered by her ex-husband and that she had a prescription drug problem. There is another website which reports that her son was taken away from her because of her involvement in the adult entertainment industry.

Again, there are numerous forums where her death is discussed but there are head-spinning amounts of contradictions and speculations.

What is clear is that work in the adult industry never ends well. Lorissa could have made it as a mainstream actress. She had the looks and the acting chops to have at least made garnered work on the low-budget horror level. I guess that she had a mindset shift early in life, she found making money posing nude for Penthouse/Playboy too damn easy to pass up. She stayed on that gravy train and matriculated into next level pornography. When that money dried up for her, it may have been too much emotionally to handle. She had lost both her parents only seven years earlier, her brother Rennit was dying of AIDS and her son was taken away. There was a rumor of a suicide letter as well but again, these facts aren’t being released to the general public. Lorissa did not have any notoriety beyond a cult fanbase of late-night Cinemax watchers.

A truly beautiful girl…and a tragic tale which leaves you saying “if only…If only…” filling in the blanks with different paths that her life should have taken.