October 9, 1970 – July 11, 1994
by Kevin Hassell
She was born into this world as Shannon Michelle Wilsey, and left as porn star legend, Savannah. As there are plenty of sites dedicated to her, I will skip the details of her life story, and focus on the events surrounding her death.
In 1994, Savannah, or Shannon Michelle Wilsey, was going through hard times. She had drifted in and out of relationships with many high-profile rock stars, ranging from Gregg Allman and Billy Idol, to Axl Rose and Pauly Shore.
She was in a fierce battle with the IRS over mounting debts. She had recently been turned down by Hustler magazine for a photo spread (hrr), and the rejection was devastating. All this, and her continued drug use, combined to make her life miserable. Sadly, that would not last for very long.
On July 11, 1994, Savannah was returning to her rented home in the hills of Universal City, north of Hollywood. She was accompanied by Jason, a member of the rock group House of Pain.
He was house-sitting while they were on the road. At around 2 a.m., Savannah swerved from the road, driving through a picket fence and into a tree.
She totaled her Corvette.
She also broke her nose and suffered severe lacerations to her face.
For her, this was the beginning of the end.
Upon arriving home, she asked Jason to take her pet Rottweiler, Daisy, for a walk, and to go inspect the fence.
After he left, she phoned her manager, Nancy Pera. Savannah also worked as an exotic dancer, and commanded big bucks for her dancing, sometimes up to $5,000 an appearance. She was scheduled to leave in a few hours for a lucrative dance assignment, at Goldfinger’s, in Nyack, NY. Crying, and barely coherent, she told Pera that she would have to cancel her gig, and that she needed plastic surgery. According to Pera, “Savannah was in a crunch for money. She saw her world collapsing”. Sadly, this would prove to be very true.
When Jason returned minutes later, with Daisy, Savannah was nowhere to be found. Worried, he searched the house, finally coming to the garage. Upon opening the door, he found Savannah lying in a pool of blood on the floor, with a .40 Baretta between her legs. Unable to accept what had happened to her beautiful face, Savannah had decided to take her own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to her head.
Nancy Pera arrived a few minutes later, with police and paramedics already on the scene. Sadly, Savannah hadn’t died from the wound, and was barely breathing. Pera says that as Savannah was brought out on a stretcher, “I squeezed her foot, while shouting, “Stay with us!” Savannah was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Savannah would struggle for seven to eleven hours on life support. At 11 a.m., her father decided to shut her life support systems down when it became obvious that she would not survive. She was only 23 years old.
The reason that Savannah didn’t die right away was due to her placement of the gun at her right temple. When she pulled the trigger, the gun reared up, causing her to inflict an indirect impact on her brain.
Savannah wasn’t well liked by those that worked with her. She was frequently referred to as “the Ice Queen.” She continually boasted of her affairs with rock stars, from her groupie past with Greg Allman,
to having sex a half dozen times in a single evening with Billy Idol.
She said, on a scale of 1 to 10, Axl Rose was a 1 when it came to the sack. Savannah was well known for her preference of rock stars.
Upon hearing of her death, Screw magazine headlined the news of her suicide “DING DONG THE BITCH IS DEAD.” It was accompanied by text that read, “Everyone knew that she was an airhead, and now she’s got the hole in her head to prove it.” Others in the adult film industry were saddened. Said porn star Jenna Fine, “The world is a little less “sparkly” without her, and the heavens have one brighter star.”
40 people attended Savannah’s funeral. Savannah and her father were estranged, and the hospital was the first time that he had seen her in four years. She was cremated, and her ashes were given to her father. In her career, she worked in a total of 84 movies.
Trivia: Although she had a reputation as a bitch, Savannah was also very generous with her money. She gave to many different charities, in particular the Pediatric Aids Foundation.
According to Savannah, Billy Idol liked for her to wear high heels during sex.
January 2003, from Findadeath friend Mike Pare in Canada:
Savannah was not the first girl who committed suicide after dating Gregg Allman, so did Jenny Aurness (correct sp) dtr. of James Arness-he never talks about her….She killed herself when he dumped her for Cher…
Interesting stuff Mike, thanks!
This just in, March 2003, from Findadeath friend Lee Josephs:
Hey Scott, I have been a visitor of your site for several years. I must say I am addicted to it. Those computer Nazi’s at my office must have noticed I liked it, since I can no longer view it from there. The wit and humor are definitely great!
Well, the reason why I am writing is because I stumbled upon another forgotten Hollywood child star who lived and died the stereo-typical Hollywood lifestyle. After reading about the porn star Savannah, I found that she picked that name because of a movie she really liked called Savannah Smiles.
Not a very memorable movie, but there was a cute little girl named Bridgette Anderson. It appears after the age of 12 that Bridgettte could no longer could find work as an actress, and had to return to a “normal” existence.
That existence led to her untimely death in 1997 at age 21, via an over dose or drugs and alcohol.
2004: Just a bit of trivia concerning Savannah, she used to date Tom Leykis!!! Talk about low self-esteem!!! Not that I don’t love Tom, but he’s icky!!!! Just proves what he says: big tits, big ego equals low self-esteem!
-Big BIG fan Rick