Thomas Bryan Taliaferro Jr. (Tom Byron) was born on April 4, 1961, in Houston, Texas. Tom grew up in Houston, in a large family of four sisters, one of whom was openly gay. The shy, soft-spoken and extremely intelligent Byron fast-tracked through high school and graduated one year early. When he turned 18 he moved to Los Angeles, and got a job in an adult video/novelty store, which was located across the street from Jim South's World Modeling Agency. South is a well-known booking agent for adult video actors and actresses. One day in May of 1982 Tom decided to walk in and meet Jim. South was cautious at first, because Tom looked younger than what his driver's license claimed, but wound up signing him to a shoot. Bobby Hollander's "Anything Goes: Gourmet Video 19" (1982) was Tom's first shoot. His first scene was with Craig Roberts and Lili Marlene, and Tom unfortunately didn't fare too well under the pressure. However, he decided to stick it out and soon landed major roles in Private Teacher (1985), All American Girls II: In Heat (1983) and the Marilyn Chambers vehicle Up 'n' Coming (1983). With his extraordinary work in those three films, Byron was thrust into the spotlight. Many adult video producers took notice of the talented 21-year-old. Byron, who had been doing a number of loops and magazine still shoots to pay his rent, and work started pouring in.
Tom made a name for himself as the consummate professional opposite such adult superstars as Ginger Lynn and Traci Lords, with whom he once shared an apartment. Along with his two friends, Peter North and Marc Wallice, Byron took the adult video world by storm. Between 1982 and 1990 he worked in nearly 1,000 films with virtually every actress in the business. Some of his finest work included the "Brat" series, where he played the bumbling husband Morty Dickinson, as well as his work in Sizzle (1982) and New Wave Hookers (1985). Tom has received countless awards for his scene with Ginger Lynn and Steve Powers in "New Wave Hookers", a scene which Byron has referred to as "easy" but is regarded in adult circles as "legendary". By 1991 he had established himself as a presence in the adult-video world. Unfortunately, that was also the same year that the IRS came looking for him regarding unfiled income taxes. He found himself in serious financial debt and was even looking at some jail time if he couldn't straighten out his problems. In order to pay off his debts, Byron took on a rigorous work schedule. In 1991 he appeared in over 250 videos (averaging between two and three scenes per movie) in addition to appearing in a number of still magazine shoots for European and American publications.
However, by 1992 he was burned out and unhappy with the industry, and began looking for other diversions. He chose music. He formed a band and began touring the L.A. music scene while doing porn on the side. He got some publicity by demanding a condoms-only policy during his scenes, the first actor to do so, but the publicity was short-lived, as was his music career. In 1993 he dedicated himself full time to appearing in adult films, and gave up his condoms-only stance. Between 1993 and 1996 he worked in well over 500 adult videos, often for his old friend, director Alex de Renzy (aka Rex Borsky). In 1997 Byron signed with a fledgling company called Elegant Angel. Company head Patrick Collins (aka Roscoe Bowltree) decided to bring Byron on board as an actor and a director (Byron had directed one of the Brat movies when director Paul Thomas had taken ill). However, Patrick saw the potential in Byron and pushed him to direct his own video series. After shooting a scene with Sean Michaels and Nikki Brantz that appeared in Sodomania 17: S.M.U.T. (1996), Byron was on his way, and was assigned to direct a series called "Cumback Pussy". His directing style was very similar to that of his old buddy DeRenzy, and Byron, as well as Elegant Angel, cleaned up at the the Adult Video News Awards.
In 1998 Byron, Robert Black and Van Damage decided to leave the stable of Elegant Angel after they felt betrayed by Collins. They formed their own company called Extreme Associates, named for its promise to produce "extreme" videos. Tiffany Mynx also left Elegant Angel and became the company's first contract starlet. Byron attempted to convince his good friend Marc Wallice to leave Elegant Angel also. As well as being a longtime friend, Wallice had been one of the people who helped Byron through his transition from performer to director and had also worked as the editor and cinematographer on many of Byron's early Elegant Angel movies. However, by late 1997 it was revealed that Wallice had contracted the HIV virus, and he subsequently retired.
In 1999 Byron began shooting the "Lord of Asses", "Whack Attack" and "Planet of the Gapes" series, which were very similar to his "Cumback Pussy" line. He is still going strong and has ventured out, with his friend Rob Black, into the wrestling world. He helped form the Los Angeles-based XPW (Xtreme Pro Wrestling) organization, which is considered the top wrestling outfit behind WWF, WCW and ECW. In 2000 Byron worked almost exclusively for Extreme, with an occasional appearance in a Seymore Butts video. To date Byron has appeared in nearly 2,000 adult videos, a few mainstream films (such as 52 Pick-Up (1986)) and has been inducted into the XRCO and AVN Hall of Fame.