Porn Legend Harry Reems Dead at 65

Mar 20, 2013 10:15 AM PST

SALT LAKE CITY — Porn legend Harry Reems, best known for his role as the doctor opposite Linda Loveleace in the classic ‘70’s film “Deep Throat” has died.

According to Gawker, Reems’ close friend Don Schenk reported the actor’s death yesterday when he succumbed to organ failure at the Salt Lake City Hospital where he was admitted earlier this month.

Schenk said Reems was suffering from pancreatic cancer as well as other health problems including peripheral neuropathy and emphysema.

An obituary from Schenk reads in part, “Harry, whose given name was Herbert Streicher, was thrust into infamy in 1972 when he stared in ‘Deep Throat,’ the first adult film made for wide screen, but because he was a union actor with a Screen Actors Guild card, the film's producers had to create a new name for him.

“The funny thing is Harry was not even supposed to be in the film. He was hired to handle the lighting. Writer/Director Gerard Damiano ran into a casting issue when the fellow hired to play the lead part didn't show up. Harry was thrust into the job, for which he was paid only $250.”

According to Gawker, Reems was the only porn star to date to have charges brought against him by the federal government for appearing in a movie.

“Though he was initially convicted of conspiracy to distribute obscenity across state lines, the charges were eventually dropped following a retrial. Many mainstream celebrities who were outraged by the potential precedent supported Reems both verbally and financially during the trial,” Gawker reported.

Reems was also plagued by alcoholism but eventually became sober and found faith and a career in real estate with his wife Jeanne in Park City, Utah.

In the 2005 DVD documentary, “Inside Deep Throat," Reems said, "I'm 16 and a half years clean and sober and as happy as I could ever want to be. In fact, my life today is better than anything I could've thought it would be when I was younger."

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