American adult film star Harry Reems

Though he never broke into legit pics, he also appeared in 'The Devil in Miss Jones'

Harry Reems, star of “Deep Throat,” which became the center of the “porno chic” movement of the 1970s, died Tuesday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer at a Salt Lake City Veterans hospital. He was 65.

Reems was born Herbert Streicher in 1947 and grew up in Gotham, where he had dreams of becoming an actor. He took his good looks and sexual stamina and turned it into a porn career, starting at the age of 21.

The 1972 “Deep Throat,” which starred Linda Lovelace, was part of the era’s sexual liberation in which it became fashionable for celebs, the mainstream media and middle-class couples to talk about porno films. Some film scholars claim “Deep Throat,” made on a minimal budget, was the most profitable movie of all time. Most people dispute that, but it was clearly a sensation. On June 14, 1974, Daily Variety announced the X-rated pic had just made L.A. movie history by earning $3.2 million at the Hollywood Pussycat, a record gross in a single theatre in L.A.

The blockbuster turned the actor into a porn superstud but controversy followed. The FBI indicted Reems for conspiracy to distribute obscene material across state lines. He was initially convicted of the charge but once Hollywood got involved, bizzers raised money for Alan Dershowitz to defend him and the charges were dropped.

Reems appeared in more than 100 pornographic films throughout the 1970s and 1980s, including “The Love Witch” and “The Devil in Miss Jones.” Though he was originally cast in “Grease,” producers feared the public’s reaction, and he was replaced by Sid Caesar.

His inability to break through to more traditional acting depressed Reems. He turned to alcohol and drugs but eventually transformed his life in the late 1980s, he became a successful real estate broker. In Park City, Utah, he met and married his wife Jeanne, who survives him.

He is also survived by a brother.

 

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