Harry Reems, an ex-Marine who starred in Deep Throat, the most profitable porn movie—and maybe just movie movie—of all time, has died after battling various illnesses. He was 65.
From The Onion A/V Club obit:
In 1973, Manhattan Judge Joel J. Tyler famously deemed Deep Throat obscene, variously calling it a "feast of carrion and squalor," "a nadir of decadence" and "a Sodom and Gomorrah gone wild before the fire." In 1976, Reems—along with more than 60 other individuals and companies—was indicted in Memphis, Tennessee, and successfully convicted of conspiracy to distribute obscenity across state lines.
(Perversely, both [co-star Linda] Lovelace and [director Gerard] Damiano served as witnesses for the prosecution, having been granted immunity for their testimony. According to Reems, "Linda Lovelace just stood there, pointed, and said, 'Yeah, that's the actor I did the sex with in the movie,' and the director stood up and said, 'Yeah, that's the actor I directed to have sex in the movie.'")
Deep Throat may have grossed as much as $600 million. Reems was paid $100 for his efforts. He eventually left the adult movie biz, stopped drinking and drugging to excess, became a Christian, and went into real estate in Utah. The A/V piece includes the tidbit that Reems was originally cast to play the gym teacher in the John Travolta/Olivia Newton John film of Grease, but was bounced due to his clothes-shedding past.
Hat tip: Sean Higgins of the Washington Examiner.
In 2005, Jesse Walker wrote about the documentary Inside Deep Throat and what he called "progress at the cineplex." Read that here.
And in 2010, Reason TV asked, "Should Obscenity be Illegal?"