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West began her adult film career in 1973. She was one of the first African-American porn stars. She retired in 1980, although she appeared in films sporadically during the early 1980s. During her career, West generally was relegated to secondary roles. In 2004, she finally got top billing when a compilation of her scenes was released as Double-D Soul Sister: A Desiree West Collection. In the mid-1990s, the X-Rated Critics Organization honored West by inducting her into the XRCO Hall of Fame.