Alex de Renzy

Adult film pioneer Alex de Renzy died on June 8 at an L.A. hospital after a stroke. He was 65.

Known for such films as “Pretty Peaches,” “Femmes de Sade” and “Baby Face,” the San Francisco-based director made more than 200 adult films (including those under the pseudonym Rex Borsky) since he entered the industry in 1969.

As owner of San Francisco theater the Screening Room, de Renzy fought countless legal challenges to expand the limitations on adult entertainment, radically changing the scope of adult films.

Born in New York, de Renzy entered the film industry thanks to an Air Force compatriot, shooting news service documentaries while moonlighting as a Las Vegas craps dealer. He moved to San Francisco in the 1960s, where he worked for Gordon News Films, using their camera after-hours to produce short adult films. When the camera was stolen, he used the insurance money to finance his first feature.

He bought the Screening Room, where he premiered all of his films and later offered such entertainment as his “Copenhagen-Style Live Show,” which ran for six years in San Francisco.

Winner of numerous awards from the Adult Film Assn. and Adult Video News Hall of Fame, de Renzy was known for his technical expertise and character-driven films. He was one of the last directors to switch over to video.

De Renzy is survived by his wife Carol; two ex-wives; five daughters; four sons; his mother; and a brother.

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