Harry Reems

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Harry Reems, whose one day of work on the 1972 porn film Deep Throat made him globally famous and a target of federal prosecutors looking for someone to punish for the film’s blockbuster status, passed away last year. Here he is in 1976, before his descent into alcoholism and homelessness and rebirth as a religious realtor, discussing the FBI’s pursuit of him. I could be wrong, but that looks like John Candy on the panel.

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The Olivier of oral, Harry Reems, the porn star born Herbert Streicher to two very proud and well-hung parents, just passed away. In all seriousness, his work on the landmark 1972 skin-flick Deep Throat led to years of prosecution on obscenity charges. Reems ultimately was victorious, and converted to Christianity in later life. Margalit Fox, who writes lively copy about dead people, penned his obituary in the New York Times. An excerpt:

Mr. Reems, who began his career in the 1960s as a struggling stage actor, had already made dozens of pornographic films when he starred opposite Ms. Lovelace in Deep Throat.

But where his previous movies were mostly the obscure, short, grainy, plotless stag films known as loops, Deep Throat, which had set design, occasional costumes, dialogue punctuated by borscht-belt humor and an actual plot of sorts, was Cinema.

Mr. Reems played Dr. Young, a physician whose diagnostic brilliance — he locates the rare anatomical quirk that makes Ms. Lovelace’s character vastly prefer oral sex to intercourse — is matched by his capacity for tireless ministration.

“I was always the doctor,” he told New York magazine in 2005, “because I was the one that had an acting background. I would say: ‘You’re having trouble with oral sex? Well, here’s how to do it.’ Cut to a 20-minute oral-sex scene.'”•


William F. Buckley “welcomes” Reems and a wild-haired Alan Dershowitz:

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