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RIP: Jesse Jane

9:58 AM EST on January 26, 2024

Sadly, Dana Plato is no longer the most famous person to die in Moore from a drug overdose.

Yesterday afternoon, word spread across the globe that famed Oklahoma adult film star Jesse Jane – arguably the most famous Oklahoma actress in history – passed away from an accidental drug overdose, along with her boyfriend, in her Moore home. 

Jane – whose real name was Cindy Howell – grew up a military brat before settling in Moore and graduating from Westmoore High School in 1998. 

By the mid-2000s, she was one of the most popular and recognizable names in the pre-streaming era of pornography. She won multiple awards, hosted shows on Playboy TV, and even scored gigs in mainstream productions like Starsky and Hutch, Bucky Larson, and, the worst TV show of all time, Entourage. 

Anyone on the planet who’s ever used an incognito browser is probably familiar with Jane and her work, so her death became a global news headline. It even got a write-up in the New York Times:

We’ve been writing about Jesse in some capacity or another on this site since our early infancy. 

She actually helped kick off the TLO Porn Star, uhm, Beat back in July 2007 when we asked our earliest and most loyal readers to let us know whether Jesse, or her Choctaw rival Ashlynn Brooke, was Oklahoma’s Best Porn Star. 

Sadly, that post is no longer in our archives thanks to Google bots labeling us a porn website over it, but it still resides on the Internet Archive. For what it’s worth, we went with Ashlynn Brooke because there were photos of Jesse hanging with Hinder on her My Space page.

After her TLO debut, Jesse’s name would appear in 57 other Lost Ogle articles over the years. 

She was an Ogle Madness regular, making it to the Elite 8 in 2010 before being knocked out by Carrie Underwood, and was featured in both Hot Girl Friday and Hot Girl A Day In The Month of May, when Clark Matthews lamented her wearing Lakers swag at a Thunder playoff game.

Eventually Jesse would switch gears and become a Thunder fan, and be the closest thing this city would ever have to a Jack Nicholson.

Even when a post wasn't solely dedicated to her, we always enjoyed dropping Jesse’s name for a bit joke or funny reference. The most recent one being in 2021 when we learned that an erotic model was running for Norman City Council

I'm not judging or shaming Monica here. In fact, I'm all for diversity in politics, and think we can all admit that the alternative semi-nude model field has been underrepresented in our government for way too long. In fact, maybe this will inspire other alternative, swimsuit, BDSM and "adult" models run for public office! Who wants to hit up Jesse Jane to run for mayor of Moore?

Unfortunately, we also had to cover Jesse’s demise and fall from grace. 

In 2020, we broke the story about her arrest for public drunkenness following an OU game. She would later claim, rather unconvincingly, that she was drugged.

I've heard a lot of wild stories about Jesse over the years, and according to my Moles who knew her well, she – like many people who work in the adult film industry – struggled with addiction and drug abuse. Just as with so many other Oklahomans, that disease cost Jesse her life.   

Our thoughts go out to Jesse’s friends and family, and especially her son, who serves as an OKC fireman. 

Although her life met a tragic end, she will always be remembered as an American cultural icon, and her spirit and work will live on in incognito browsers for eternity.


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