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16 May 2024

Ajita Wilson (1950 – 1987) prolific actress

Original March 2007.

Wilson was born and raised in Brooklyn.

After a start as a transvestite entertainer in New York in the last remaining burlesque spectacles of the time, Wolson also posed for some adult magazines,

Around 1970, bankrolled by a rich boyfriend, said to be from Denmark, Ajita Wilson went to Europe, and had completion surgery. It is rumoured that she was featured in hardcore loops at this period – however such are not documented.

Her first non-porno film was Cesare Caneveri’s La Principessa Nuda,1976. in a leading role as Miriam Zamoto, an African princess on a fund-raising mission who encounters Italy’s La dolce vita. The film is a light Comedy/satire poking fun at celebrities and the so-called jet set. Suddenly Ajita Wilson was a star.

With an uncritical approach to scripts, Ajita was constantly employed throughout the 1970s, in both mainstream genre movies, and also in softcore and even hardcore porno. She was often top-billed.

She often played characters simply named ''Ajita''.

In 1978 she made a crossover into Euro-trash such as women-in-prison flicks, and a number of films directed by Jesus Franco.

There were suggestions that she was trans, but they were not taken too seriously. Some knew, other did not. She was frequently featured in European nudie magazines simply as a woman.

1981 was the year of her best-known film, Jesus Franco’s Sadomania, aka Hellhole Women, where Ajita plays the cruel lesbian prison warden who takes delight in the inmates’ suffering – who is named, for some reason, Magda Urtado (said to be the maiden name of Ajita’s real-life mother). In a confusing scene, director Franco, in the role of a gay brothel owner, is sodomized by Ajita, in a second role as a mustachioed man. 

That year she was featured in magazines: the Afro-American magazine Jet featured Ajita as their “Beauty of the Week”: 

“Beautiful Ajita Wilson from Rome is a movie actress in Europe”. 

She was also featured on the cover of Players Magazine and High Society.

She co-starred opposite trans singer/actress Eva Robin’s in Eva Man (1980) and El Regresso de Eva Man (1982). 

Another Jess Franco film, Macumba Sexual, has Ajita in the role of Princess Obongo, a voodoo princess returning from the dead and haunting a woman by using sexual hallucinations.

In the 1980s she starred again in women-in-prison films such as Hell Behind Bars, Hell Penitentiary and Savage Island (with Linda Blair from The Exorcist, an incoherent production using footage of two other movies from the 1980s).

By the mid-1980s Ajita’s career was declining. She was mainly in obscure Greek softcore films. Part of the decline was that softcore porn was being pushed out by US hardcore porn at this time, and the advent of VHS videos.

In 1986 she was arrested by the carabinieri in a brothel in Florence and tried to escape running naked through the street. In 1987 she died from the complications from a road accident.

The rumour that she was trans was more said after her death.

After Wilson's death, an interviewer for "Sinister Tales" asked director Carlos Aured to comment on speculation as to whether she was a transsexual. Aured simply replied, 

"She was charming, beautiful and very professional. The rest is not important.".

Alternate accounts:

There is an alternate story that says that she is Magda Urtado from Rio, but that is the name of her character in Sadomania – it is also supposedly her mother’s maiden name.

Jesus Franco suggested in the 2003 documentary Sadomaniac, that the mysterious star hailed from Ethiopia.

According the October 1981 edition of the American magazine Players (vol. 8, no. 5), she was born in 1951 in Flint, Michigan, the offspring of a Brazilian mother and a US father. In Marco Giusti's book Dizionario Dei Film Italiani Stracult, Sergio Bergonzelli, who directed her in “La Doppia Bocca di Erika”, said that “Ajita had been a firefighter in an American city".

  • “Ajita Wilson, mujer de la noche”. Interviu, 189, 27 diciembre 1979.
  • “Beauty of the Week: Roman Beauty”. Jet, August 20, 1981:43. Online.
  • “Ajita Wilson la veneren era”. High Society, Edizione Italiana, Settembre, 1981.
  • “Film Star: Ajita Wilson Goes Nude”. Players Magazine, 8, 5, October 1981.
  • Bob McCann. “Ajita Wilson” in Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television. McFarland, 2009.
  • Monica Roberts. “Black Trans History-Ajita Wilson”. TransGriot, august 21, 2012. Online
  • “Before Laverne Cox there was Ajita Wilson”. Welkom, 8.sep, 2015.
  • Johnny Stanwick. “Created by Cinema: The Enigma of Ajita Wilson”. The Grindhouse Effect, Online
  • Matt Richardson. “Ajita Wilson: Blaxploitation, Sexploitation, and the Making of Black Womanhood” Transgender Studies Quarterly, 7, 2, May 2020. Also at edu.
  • Sierre B Holt. “Ajita Wilson’s Jet Set Style”. The Stylestorian, July 26, 2020. Online.
  • Rebekkah Mulholland. Historical Erasure is Violence: The Lives and Experiences of Black Transgender Women and Gender Nonconforming Women of Color in the 19th And 20th PhD thesis, The University of Memphis, May 2020: 28,38, 63, 69-71,73-4 . Online.

IMDB      EN.WIKIPEDIA       FINDAGRAVE      MySpace       Cult Sirens

La Principessa Nuda (aka The Nude Princess, 1976)
Gola Profonda Nera (aka Black Deep Throat, 1976)
Sylvia im Reich der Wollust (aka The Joy of Flying, 1977)
Candido Erotico (aka Copenhagen Nights/The Exhibitionists, 1977)
La Bravata (1977)
Nel Mirino di Black Afrodite (aka Black Aphrodite, 1978)
Le Notti Porno Nel Mondo nº 2 (1978)
L´Amour Chez Les Poids Lourds (aka Traveling Companions, 1978)
Proibito Erotico (1978)
La Pitoconejo (1979)
Pensione Amore Servizio Completo (1979)
Libidine (1979)
Femmine Infernali (aka Escape from Hell, 1979)
Eros Perversion (aka Twelfth Night, 1979)
Los Energéticos (1979)
Una Donna di Notte (1979)
Luca il Contrabbandiere (aka Contraband, 1980)
Orinoco-Prigioniere Del Sesso (aka Hotel Paradiso, 1980)
Evaman, La Máquina Del Amor (1980)
Erotiki Ekstassi (aka Love, Lust and Ecstasy, 1980)
Sadomania - Hölle der Lust (1981)
Erotiko Pathos (aka Blue Passion, 1981)
Apocalipsis Sexual (1982)
Catherine Chérie (1982)
Triferes... Gatoules (1982)
Bacanales Romanas (1982)
La Amante Ambiciosa (1982)
Macumba Sexual (1983)
Töchter Der Venus (1983, aka The Pussycat Syndrome)
Inferno Dietro Le Sbarre (aka Detenute Violente/Captive Women Hell: Hell Penitentiary/Hell Behind Bars, 1983)
La Doppia Bocca di Erika (aka Naked Wild Erections, 1983)
Anomali Erotes Sti Santorini (1983)
Corpi Nudi (aka Nude Strike, 1983)
Stin Athina Simera... Oles Ton Pernoun Fanera! (1984)
Ke To Proto Pinelo (1984)
Idones Sto Egeo (1984)
Savage Island (1985; re-uses scenes from 1979´s Femmine Infernali)
Bocca Bianca, Bocca Nera (aka Love Boat. 1987)
Joe D'Amato Totally Uncut (1999, stock footage)


IMDB lists her as appearing almost 50 films. This compares with 6 for Aleshia Brevard, 26 for Eva Robin's, 28 for Holly Woodlawn, 79 for Bibi Anderson and 75 for Alexis Arquette. Most of Alexis' film were in her pre-op phase, so on the crude criteria of counting films Ajita is second only to Bibi as the major transsexual film star of that period.

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