PHOTOS: ‘Deep Throat’ porn actor Harry Reems dies after turbulent life

Harry Reems Credit: Getty Images
Harry Reems
Credit: Getty Images

Porn actor Harry Reems, who made his name starring opposite Linda Lovelace in the 1972 movie “Deep Throat”, has died at the age of 65, according to his wife Jeanne.

She told the New York Times that her husband died on Tuesday in hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was reported to have been battling multiple health issues, including pancreatic cancer.

His death comes just months before the release of “Lovelace”, a biographical film starring Amanda Seyfried in the title role and Adam Brody as Reems which will put the spotlight back on one of the 1970s’ most active porn actors.

Reems’s rollercoaster life off set reads like a script for a Hollywood movie as he transitioned from the marines to porn movies to alcoholism and then to religion and suburban life.

He was born Herbert Streicher into a Jewish family from Brooklyn, New York, and joined the Marine Corps after school.

After leaving the marines, he struggled to make a career as a stage actor in New York so, needing money, worked in a number of pornographic films.

But his breakthrough came when director Gerard Damiano hired him as lighting director on “Deep Throat”. The original male lead failed to show up so Reems stepped in, playing a doctor helping Lovelace with a sexually sensitive area in her throat.

“Deep Throat” was the first porn film widely shown in theatres and made an estimated $600 million at the box office — although Reems claimed he only received $800 for his role.

It also became the nickname for a source who helped Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein investigate the Watergate scandal that led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation.

But the film also caused much outrage and Reems was convicted of obscenity in 1976. He admitted that the prospect of a five year jail sentence and trial put him under enormous pressure and set him on a path to alcoholism.

He launched a high-profile appeal backed by celebrities including Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty and the conviction was eventually overturned.

Reems, with a bushy black moustache and hairy chest exposed by his open shirts, went on to star in several other porn movies after “Deep Throat” but demand for his services started to wane by the 1980s as his battles with alcohol increased.

By the mid-1980s he was bankrupt, drinking heavily and homeless. It was not until 1989 that he sobered up, converted to Christianity, obtained a real estate license and married Jeanne in 1990.

In a 2005 interview with the Guardian, Reems described his battle with alcohol, his regret at going into the porn industry and the way his life had changed since he became sober.

“I’m happier today than ever. I saved my own life. I’m content with the way I conduct myself with my marriage, my home, my business,” said Reems.

“I live in a small town where everybody knows everybody and nobody thinks of me as a porn actor.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Giant ketchup bottle up for sale in southern…

By Mary WisniewskiCHICAGO (Reuters) - Want a giant historic order of fries with that?A water tower shaped like a 170-foot-tall ketchup bottle is for sale…

Local

NYPD: Man denied money punches 65-year-old at Bronx…

A 65-year-old man was punched and shoved at a D train station in the Bronx last week when he denied another man money, police said.

Local

New York Governor Cuomo's office intervened in corruption…

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's office meddled with a commission he created to root out corruption in state politics, pushing back whenever it focused on groups tied to Cuomo, the…

International

South Korea ferry fugitive found dead with bags…

By Ju-min Park and Sohee KimSUNCHEON/INCHEON South Korea (Reuters) - South Korea's most wanted man, whose heavily decomposed body was found in an orchard last…

Entertainment

One Direction fans celebrate four years of Harry…

Whether you love them or hate them — or if you say that you hate them and secretly sing along to their songs alone in…

Music

Jack White attends Cubs game, looks miserable

Jack White went to a Cubs game and got photographed looking really unhappy about it.

Music

Wiz Khalifa brings Dem Boyz to town for…

It’s well into the third year of Wiz Khalifa’s hip-hop- and herb-themed Under the Influence of Music tour. Along with Khalifa, this year's lineup features Jeezy,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shaprio's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

NFL

3 storylines to watch as Jets open training…

Jets head coach Rex Ryan might be in for an even tougher job in 2014 after arguably his best coaching job last season.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

Style

How to dress like a socialite while sticking…

Nicky Hilton is releasing a new book about how to dress fabulously while sticking to a budget.

Parenting

The best Back-To-School Backpacks

Get ready for back-to-school with these stylish kids' backpacks.

Education

Elementary school students like their healthy school lunches…

When the federal government first rolled out its healthier school meal guidelines in 2012, elementary schoolers weren't happy. Much was written about how America's youngest…

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.