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

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.