LOS ANGELES —
“I got the call about 3 a.m.,” Type 9 Models owner Kevin told XBIZ.
The cause of Bryce’s death is not known, but she was found dead at her home in the Winnetka area of the San Fernando Valley early Wednesday, her agent said. Born Kathryn Sue Johnston, she was 30 years old.
“I know that she went to sleep and did not wake up,” Kevin said. “I notified her mother of this about an hour ago. Her mother had been trying to reach her.”
L.A. County coroner Ed Winter said he will be conducting an autopsy, but there were “no obvious signs of trauma.”
“We will look into everything, but we won’t release any preliminary information at this point,” Winter said, adding that it looked like it was “a natural death.”
Performer Rachel Roxxx, Bryce’s good friend for the past two years, said that she also received a call about Bryce early this morning and immediately drove to Bryce’s home, helping the coroner with information for Bryce’s family. Bryce lived with roommates who are not in the adult industry.
“She was a wonderful woman, had a heart of gold,” Roxxx said. “I will miss her dearly.”
Roxxx told XBIZ she last spoke to Bryce a few days ago and that Bryce told her she was not feeling well.
“She had a cold or something,” said Roxxx, who shared an apartment with her for 10 months before they moved out in October. Roxxx said that Bryce had been battling alcoholism and had been aloof in recent weeks.
“She’s a very independent girl, never asks anybody for help and she’s very convincing about that,” Roxxx continued. “She was pretty impossible to get a hold of recently. She closed herself off and was hiding in her room a lot.”
Kevin, who has represented Bryce for scene bookings on and off for about three years, said that it had been some time since he had spoken with the Pittsburgh native “mainly because she was in the process of leaving Type 9 and doing something different.”
“She still had plenty of phone calls coming in [to book her],” Kevin said. “She was a stellar performer. When she was on her A-game, you couldn’t slow her down. No one put the effort into it the way she did when she was on her game.”
Kevin said that Bryce was a pleasure to represent.
“She was a very strong person in the respect that she wasn’t going to let anybody take advantage of her. She was a very giving person, very easy to work for,” Kevin said.
He said that it was unclear whether Bryce had been considering leaving adult.
“She may have been wanting to seek different avenues in life,” he said.
Bryce made her adult entertainment debut in Florida in late 2007 and performed in more than 70 titles for several top production companies. She was a former exotic dancer and personal trainer whose stage name was a tribute to her favorite author, the late Hunter S. Thompson.
An avid reader, Bryce had a double major at the University of Pittsburgh in non-fiction writing and literature. In a 2008 interview she said she at one time thought she would someday become a college professor teaching literature.
Born of Italian and Scotch-Irish descent, she also formerly worked in real estate, retail and marketing before getting into porn. She said she idolized classic Vivid Girl Briana Banks.
James Bartholet, the owner of Galaxy Publicity, worked closely with Bryce on her PR needs for much of the past year. He said he tried to call her last week but was unable to reach her.
“I’m very saddened. We all loved Hunter very much. She was a wonderful, giving and caring person who had a big heart,” Bartholet said. “We all feel a big emptiness inside right now. I’m just beside myself.
“She was so talented and had so much potential.”