Gerard Damiano

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Gerard Damiano
Born (1928-08-04)August 4, 1928
The Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
Died October 25, 2008(2008-10-25) (aged 80)
Fort Myers, Florida, U.S.
Occupation Director, Producer, Writer

Gerard Damiano (August 4, 1928[1] – October 25, 2008[2]) was an American director of adult films and producer, writer and director of the 1972 cult classic Deep Throat. He also directed the smash hit The Devil in Miss Jones, which ranked #7 in Variety's list of the top-grossing pictures of 1973. (Deep Throat came in at #11 that year, its second consecutive year on the list.)[3] Damiano is one of the seminal directors of what is known as The Golden Age of Porn.

Biography[edit]

He was born to an Italian American Catholic family in the Bronx, New York City.[2] When he was 6, his father died; his mother never remarried. The day he turned 17, he joined the United States Navy for 4 years. Before this, he was a shoeshine boy in Times Square and worked in an automat.[4] Afterwards, he studied X-ray technology on the G.I. Bill and was an x-ray technician at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, New York,[4] then opened a hairdressing salon with a friend in New York City.[2] Frequently overhearing sexual gossip at the salon convinced him that pornographic films made to appeal to couples would be a commercial success.[5]

Damiano took an interest in film-making after his accountant introduced him to a producer who was making a low-budget horror film. Intrigued, Damiano began helping out as he could on the set,[2] and went on to work as a crew member on numerous New York sexploitation films in the late 1960s.[6]

He directed the famous film Deep Throat (1972) starring Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems. The film is regarded as pioneering, and its success is credited with helping to launch the modern adult-entertainment industry.[7][8] Damiano was surprised that the film attracted such attention.[7] The film was financed by organized crime, and Damiano did not benefit from the film's substantial commercial success.[6] Other notable films made by Damiano include The Devil in Miss Jones (1973), Memories Within Miss Aggie, and the sadomasochistic classic The Story of Joanna (1975).

In 1973, The Devil in Miss Jones made the Variety list of the top ten highest-grossing pictures of the year, and Deep Throat, in its second year of release (and second year on the list), just missed the top 10, coming in at #11 for the year. The Devil in Miss Jones racked up box office receipts of $7.7 million for the year, coming in just below the James Bond-franchise entry Live and Let Die and Peter Bogdanovich's Paper Moon. Deep Throat grossed $4.6 million for the year, placing it ahead of the prestige picture Sleuth,[3] which featured Oscar-nominated performances by Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. In 1975, Inish Kae, the film's distributor, launched an ad campaign touting the movie for Academy Award nominations. The ads in the entertainment industry trade press touted Miss Aggie for Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director (Damiano) and Best Actress (Deborah Ashira).[3]

He often appeared in his films in small non-sexual side roles, and used the names "Albert Gork", "Al Gork", "Jerry Gerard", or "D. Furred".[9] He directed more than 50 adult films during his career.[10]

He married three times; with his second wife, Barbara Walton, he had two children, Christar and Gerard, Jr.[1][4]

He was interviewed for the 2005 documentary Inside Deep Throat.

Damiano died on October 25, 2008 in a Fort Myers, Florida hospital, aged 80, following complications from a stroke[1][7] he had suffered in September.[11]

Filmography (partial)[edit]

  1. We All Go Down (1969)
  2. Deep Throat (1972; as Jerry Gerard)
  3. The Devil in Miss Jones (1973)
  4. The Story of Joanna (1975)
  5. Fantasy (1979)
  6. People (1979)
  7. For Richer, for Poorer (1979)
  8. The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue (1981)
  9. Consenting Adults (1982)
  10. Throat 12 Years After (1984)
  11. Cravings (1985)
  12. Splendor in the Ass (1989; alternative title: Sex Express)
  13. Young Girls in Tight Jeans (1989)
  14. Manbait (1990)
  15. Naked Goddess (1990)
  16. Just for the Hell of It (1991)

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c David Sullivan (2007-10-27). "'Deep Throat' Director Gerard Damiano Dies at 80". AVN. Retrieved 2008-10-27. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d Amy Bennett Williams (2007-10-27). "Gerard Damiano, adult film director, dies in Fort Myers". The News-Press. Retrieved 2008-10-27. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c Lewis, Jon (2000). Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle Over Censorship Created the Modern Film Industry. New York, New York: NYU Press. pp. 260–67. ISBN 978-0814751428. 
  4. ^ a b c Margalit Fox (2008-10-28). "Gerard Damiano, 80, Dies; Directed ‘Deep Throat’". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  5. ^ "Gerard Damiano, 80; Directed Ground-Breaking 'Deep Throat' Film". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  6. ^ a b Deep Throat: Damiano, Lovelace.. and “Lovelace”, The Rialto Report, 8 September 2013
  7. ^ a b c "Gerard Damiano, 'Deep Throat' Director, Dead at 80". ABC News. Retrieved 2009-03-30. [dead link]
  8. ^ "'Deep Throat' director dead at 80". CNN. Retrieved 2008-10-28. [dead link]
  9. ^ Gerard Damiano at the Internet Movie Database
  10. ^ Elsworth, Catherine (2008-10-28). "Porn director of 'Deep Throat' Gerard Damiano dies". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  11. ^ "Gerard Damiano, 'Deep Throat' director, dead at 80". Associated Press. 2008-10-27. Retrieved 2008-10-27. [dead link]
  12. ^ XBIZ Award Winners, XBIZ, February, 2011

External links[edit]