"Deep Throat" porn actor Harry Reems dies after turbulent life

Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:22am EDT
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(Reuters) - 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.   Continued...

Actor Harry Reems gestures as he arrives for a screening of the documentary film 'Inside:Deep Throat' in New York on February 7, 2005. REUTERS/Albert Ferreira/Startraksphoto/HO