By Dawn Cranfield
Pioneering Adult Film Star, Harry Reems, Dies at Age 65
Star of “Deep Throat” and “Devil in Miss Jones” Dies in Salt Lake City Hospital
Harry Reems, whose real name is Herbert Streicher, 65, died in a Salt Lake City hospital Tuesday. Reems was the porn star famous for playing Dr. Young in the 1972 cult classic “Deep Throat” and 1973s “Devil in Miss Jones”.
Reems fame was somewhat of an anomaly, as he was originally hired as the lighting director and was an extra on the set of “Deep Throat”. However, when the main character failed to show up for his part on the day of filming, Reems stepped in and notoriously shot the scene with Linda Lovelace that would eventually lead to his fame and some well-publicized legal trouble.
While the low budget film ($25,000) would probably not have been worth mentioning 41 years later, Reems’ criminal investigation and prosecution for obscenity for conspiracy brought it global attention. “Deep Throat” went on to become a cult classic and eventually made hundreds of millions of dollars.
The obscenity conviction was overturned on appeal, but the legal battle brought Reems lasting attention in the adult entertainment
business and was an important First Amendment win for some.
“The battle over ‘Deep Throat’ became a ‘cause celebre, said Paul Fishbein, founder of AVN (Adult Video News).” (cnn.com)
Reems’ Internet Movie Database page lists 139 productions in which he acted between 1970 and 1986, when he left the industry. (cnn.com)
Although a spokeswoman for the George E. Wahlen Medical Center in Salt Lake City would not disclose the reason for Reems’ death due to privacy reasons, his wife Jeanne Sterrett Reems has stated that he had multiple health issues including pancreatic cancer.
In 1987, Reems left the adult film industry to move to Utah where he became a Mormon. He began using his birth name, Herbert Streicher, and started selling real estate. Eventually though, he reverted back to using his infamous porn name, Harry Reems, and was more successful.
Reems is survived by his wife and a brother.
“Reems’ friends plan a memorial on Saturday after a performance of a stage play that tells his infamous story – ‘Deep Throat Sex Scandal’ — at the Zephyr Theatre in West Hollywood, California.” (cnn.com)