'Deep Throat' Porn Star Harry Reems Dies at 65
Harry Reems, famous for acting in famous porn film "Deep Throat", has passed away. The cause of his death is still unclear, but his wife Jeanne Sterret confirms he had suffered from multiple health problems including pancreatic cancer. He was 65. Besides his wife, he is also survived by his brother Robert.
Reems served in the Marine Corps before embarking on a career in porn industry. He started acting career in Off-Broadway shows, but the need of money led him to star in adult movies. He played in more than 100 films including "The Devil in Miss Jones", "Pleasure Cruise", "Forced Entry" and "For Your Thighs Only".
Among his wide array of filmography, it was "Deep Throat" that sent him to stardom as the first American bona fide male porn star. He was originally hired as the lighting director on the movie but when the original male lead was a no-show, he stepped in. He plays Dr. Young opposite Linda Lovelace.
The movie became an international sensation reportedly grossing more than $600 million, while he was only paid $250. He once said that being the male lead had a lot of perks to compensate the lack of money though, such as partying at the Playboy Mansion and hanging out with celebrities, not to mention the fame.
In 1974, Reems was busted along with several of his associates in New York by federal agents. They were charged for conspiracy to transport obscene material across state lines but managed to have their convictions overturned. During the trial, he started drinking and plunged deeper into depression after his porn career began to fade.
His hope to find acting job outside porn vanished after he was fired from the production of 1978's movie musical "Grease". He was initially set to play Coach Calhoun before being replaced by Sid Caesar. "Acting was my true love, and I buried that possibility by going into adult films," he said in a 2005 interview. "The writing was on the wall. There was no place for me in conventional entertainment."
He sobered up in the 1980s after undergoing an alcohol treatment program before leaving porn industry and moving to Park City, Utah. He then worked as a real estate agent and married Jeanne in 1990.
"Lovelace", a biopic chronicling the life of Linda Lovelace, will be released later this year. Reems will be played by Adam Brody, while Lovelace is portrayed by Amanda Seyfried.
Born Herbert Streicher in Manhattan on August 27, 1947 and raised in suburban Westchester County, N.Y., Reems kept his porn name because "nobody under 50 even knows who I am now. Unless you're a porno historian, and then you're really sick."
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