PORN VALLEY - Missy, the soft-spoken five-foot-high blonde who took the adult industry by storm shortly after her first appearance in 1994, was reportedly found dead in her apartment in Valencia, Calif. from an accidental overdose of her prescription medication. She was 41 years old.
A funeral service was held approximately a month ago, unpublicized reportedly because Missy's family wanted no adult industry presence at the ceremony. The death was not considered to be a suicide.
"I adored Missy," said Joy King, Vice-President of Wicked Pictures, for whom Missy was briefly a contract performer. "I thought she was an angel, and we were deeply saddened by her tragic loss, everyone in the company, and our hearts went out to her family. She was very special."
Missy made her adult debut in Midnight Pictures' 1994 production Cuntrol, directed by Jim Enright, where she performed a girl/girl scene with Tiffany Mynx - though neither it nor any of her earlier features garnered good reviews.
In fact, it wasn't until Missy's first movie for Wicked - Anal Maniacs 3, directed by Jonathan Morgan - that the critics took notice, describing her as "enormously appealing," and her short anal scene as "quality pork." Indeed, by 1997, Missy and then-husband Mickey G. had been signed to non-exclusive contracts with Wicked, and it was in that year that the couple directed the top-rated Heart & Soul for that company - her sole directorial credit.
Missy appeared in over 350 XXX movies during her five-year career, receiving five AVN awards - including both Best New Starlet and Female Performer of the Year at the 1997 AVN Award show - and three from the X-Rated Critics Organization (XRCO). She was inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame in 2002.
Toward the end of her career, Missy and Mickey were reportedly having escalating marital differences, and by the summer of 1999, she had effectively stopped doing scenes. She appeared in just two more movies, both likely utilizing footage shot months or years earlier.
But Missy's ties to the adult industry didn't break that easily. For months, rumors flew that Mickey, whom she had met while both worked at a local hospital - she in the administration department, he as a male nurse - had been a sort of Svengali, coercing her into performing sex on camera.
"I know there was some contention that that's the way it was," said King. "I was very close to Missy, and I never got the impression she was doing anything she didn't want to do. I wouldn't have hired her if I had. Had she been single, would she have searched out a career in this industry? Probably not. But she certainly didn't seem like she was waiting until the time she could escape. She was always very, very content with what she was doing, and certainly didn't seem unhappy in her decisions."
Still, performer Hank Armstrong, husband of the late Anna Malle, while recalling several swing parties to which he and Anna had taken Missy and Mickey, told of a darker side to the relationship.
"About six months before she quit, we were in New York City and staying at Neville's [Chesters] with Michael [Mickey] and Missy and we were all going to work together," Armstrong told AVN in November, 2001. "And she had very strange behavior where she wouldn't talk to anybody, she wasn't socializing, and that's not the Missy we knew, because we were all friends; we hung out. And we asked her what the hell was wrong - Anna asked her - and she goes, 'I want to get out of the business. I'm scared. I'm afraid that Michael will kill me.' And we go, 'What!?' And she goes, 'I'm just really afraid for my health, my safety.' She goes, 'I want to quit and I don't know what I'm going to do.' And she was just very scared, and she says, 'I'm sorry I even told you that because I know it'll get back to him. Please don't tell him that I said it.' I said, 'We're your friends. We're not going to tell nobody nothing.'"
"In our presence, he wasn't physically or verbally abusive to her either, so we didn't really know," Armstrong continued. "So we shut our mouths. I mean, what could we do? We didn't know what was going on, but that's my personal opinion, that it was maybe physical and mental anguish that pushed her to get away.
That same month, AVN received a letter from Missy, "to tell you about my absence." Several of her industry friends described Missy as "spiritual" when they had known her, but nothing prepared them for what was apparently the next step on his spiritual path.
"Four years ago I had a mental breakdown and went crazy," Missy wrote. "It took alot of prayer to be normal again. The only thing is now I can't be around alot of people..."
"Since then I've had several doctors and breakdowns and went through some kind of evil terror and pain. Lord God and Jesus never left me and now I will never leave them. I fear for all of you because I met something that was pure evil in that industry. I'm having premonitions of the end of time. I freaked out and had a seizure. God will not leave us. Jesus gave me a message of pure love, it was God. Now I'm a Christian and always have been. I pray for all of you all the time, because I came to your industry to one day change it to a more loving atmosphere with God. Guess what - Jesus came. Please don't ever forget what Jesus did for us. He died so we may be with our Lord God in Heaven..."
"Michael [Mickey G.] and I aren't together anymore because I choose to be a Christian and to not have sex any more, and also, he can't take care of me. I don't think anyone could have taken care of me. He can't afford the doctors and medication or my spells. I miss that man, but I did it for his own good. Michael is a Christian as well, that's what kept us together for so long."
According to one source who knew Missy well, Mickey "always seemed very, very caring. He cared a lot about her. He didn't seem overly controlling to me, although after the fact, I've heard he was very controlling, but it didn't appear that way when I worked with them. He seemed to adore her. That doesn't mean he wasn't controlling. You don't know the intimate details of a relationship from looking at it from the outside. I do know that when they had just split up, it wasn't particularly pleasant, and I do know that the family wasn't supportive of their relationship."
Although Missy went to live with her parents after her retirement and the breakup of her marriage to Mickey, she was living alone at the time of her death.