Entertainment

Porn Star Harry Reems Dies: Top 10 Facts You Need to Know

Deepthroat actor dies Harry Reems dead Harry Reems died.

Legendary porn star Harry Reems died yesterday in hospital in Salt Lake City at age 65. The star had been suffering with pancreatic cancer for past 12 months. Reems is most well known for his role in the 1972 classic adult feature Deep Throat. In that movie Reems played a gifted physician who did his best to help a female patient whose clitoris was located in her throat.

Here’s what you need to know about the man, and the legend…


1. Reems was the Star of Deep Throat

Deepthroat actor dies Harry Reems dead Harry Reems died

Regarded more as a sexplotiation movie than a straight up porno, the movie entered mainstream culture, and was even reviewed by Roger Ebert. Though the famed critic was not too impressed, he wrote:

It is all very well and good for Linda Lovelace, the star of the movie, to advocate sexual freedom; but the energy she brings to her role is less awesome than discouraging. If you have to work this hard at sexual freedom, maybe it isn’t worth the effort.

Reems received no mention in the review.

It was directed by Jerry Gerrard who sought to make a sex comedy. Initially the backers behind the movie wanted it to be renamed: The Sword Swallower. To which Gerrard disagreed, saying:

Deep Throat will become a household word

How right Gerrard was, in 1972, Mark Felt, Bob Woodward’s source in Watergate, was identified by The Washington’s Post’s Managing Editor Howard Simons as “Deep Throat.”


2. Like Many Porn Stars, Reems Didn’t use his Real Name

Deepthroat actor dies Harry Reems dead Harry Reems died

He was born Herbert Streicher in the Manhattan in 1947 but was raised in the suburb of Westchester. Aged 18 he enlisted in the Marines but was honorably discharged a year later to look after his father who was terminally ill.


3. Again, Like Many Porn Stars, Reems Originally Tried to Make it as a Regular Actor

Deepthroat actor dies Harry Reems dead Harry Reems died

He was a fixture in the 1960s and 70s New York acting scene. He joined the actor’s equity in 1967 and earned some off-broadway credits. A friend introduced him to the world of adult films when Reems was struggling to pay his rent. Reems credits the Marines with giving him the physique necessary to be an adult-star.


4. He was Named Harry Reems by Jerry Gerrard

Deepthroat actor dies Harry Reems dead Harry Reems died

Deep Throat director Jerry Gerrard

Reems had begun taking work behind-the-camera by 1972, one such movie he was hired to work on as a lighting director was Deep Throat. When director Jerry Gerrard couldn’t find a male lead, he hired Reems to play the the lead for $100 a day. During post-production, Reems who was still going by his birth name, was re-christened Harry Reems without his knowledge.


5. Reems was Arrested and Tried for “Conspiracy to Promote Obscenity” in 1974

Deepthroat actor dies Harry Reems dead Harry Reems died

He was found guilty in a Memphis federal court in 1976 but this conviction was overturned in 1977 on a technicality, the charges were completely dropped later that year. According to Reems he is: “…the only actor ever tried and convicted of pandering obscenity for being in a porno movie.”

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6. He was Cast as the Coach in the Movie Version of the Musical Grease

Deepthroat actor dies Harry Reems dead Harry Reems died

Reems still longed for mainstream acting roles and he almost got his wish when he relocated to Los Angeles in 1974 and was cast as Coach Calhoun in Grease. But worries that Reems’ infamy for pornography would affect the success of the movie in the South led to his being replaced by Sic Caesar in the part.

Reems spoke about this period saying:

Acting was my true love, and I buried that possibility by going into adult films, the writing was on the wall. There was no place for me in conventional entertainment.


7. After a Lifetime of Hard Partying, Reems Became Sober and a Born-Again Christian in 1986

Deepthroat actor dies Harry Reems dead Harry Reems died

In 1986, after several benders where Reems said he drank a gallon of vodka a day, Reems found himself homeless, at this time he entered a 12 step program and found God. He also married a woman, named Jeannie, in 1990, remained married to her for the rest of his life.


8. Despite his Religious Conversion, he Continued to be Identified as Harry Reems

Deepthroat actor dies Harry Reems dead Harry Reems died

By the time that Reems reached his religious epiphany, he had felt he became so identifiable with his porn name, changing it would have been too disruptive.


9. In his Later Years, Reems Became a Real Estate Agent

Deepthroat actor dies Harry Reems dead Harry Reems died

After becoming sober, Reems was granted a realtor license in the state of Utah. Because of his past, Reems was put on probation regards the license for five years. Reems says:

And after a year or two of good, hard work, I became known as the Realtor, and very few people questioned my background


10. The Documentary he was Featured in, Inside Deep Throat, was a hit at Sundance in 2005

Deepthroat actor dies Harry Reems dead Harry Reems died

This gave Reems the real-move credibility he craved throughout his career. During a Q&A on the movie after a screening, thanks to his contribution to the movie, Reems received a prolonged standing ovation.

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