April 20, 1943|
New York City, New York, USA
|Died||February 19, 2010
New York City, New York USA
|Other names||Al Cianelli, Jamier Kantor, Jaime Gillis, Jaimie Gillis, Jaimi Gillis, Jamey Gillis, Jamie Grill, Buster Hymen, Jamey, James Kleeman, Ronny Morgan, Barry Gillis|
|Ethnicity||Dutch Jewish|
Gillis was born James Ira Gurman in New York City and graduated from Columbia University. His parents named him Jamie after the Tyrone Power character in the film The Black Swan (1942), and he took the name Gillis from the girlfriend he was living with when he made his first films. While supporting himself driving a cab, he answered an ad in the Village Voice.
He appeared in more than 470 movies as an actor." He also directed several adult movies. Openly bisexual, he appeared in many gay porn films, including a sex scene with Zebedy Colt in the 1975 BDSM-themed film The Story of Joanna. Gillis also appeared in the mainstream Hollywood film Nighthawks (1981) as the boss of Lindsay Wagner's character.
According to Al Goldstein, Gillis was always described as "sexually the wildest, most decadent, off-the-wall guy in the business." He was a pioneer in the pornographic style known as Gonzo. In addition to starring in the first Buttman film, he also created the influential On The Prowl series. Featuring a porn star who rides in a limo looking for regular guys to have sex with, the video series was very popular and inspired a scene in the movie Boogie Nights. He also co-produced the popular Dirty Debutante series with fellow director and performer Ed Powers, as well as the Walking Toilet Bowl series of films that focused on golden showers and coprophilia.
Gillis died on February 19, 2010 in New York City from melanoma, which was diagnosed four or five months earlier. In an audio interview given to The Rialto Report shortly before his death, Gillis stated that in the 1970s he'd wanted his ashes to be scattered in Times Square, but years later he changed his mind as "clean Times Square would contaminate them".
As an actor, selected
- Die You Zombie Bastards! (2005)
- Sunset Stripped (2002)
- New Wave Hookers 5 (1997)
- Alien Space Avenger (1989)
- Taboo IV (1985)
- New Wave Hookers (1984)
- A Little Bit of Hanky Panky (1984)
- Night of the Zombies (1981)
- Dracula Exotica (1980)
- Sensual Fire (1979)
- Dracula Sucks (aka Lust At First Bite) (1978)
- A Coming of Angels (1977)
- Obsessed (1977)
- Through the Looking Glass (1976)
- WaterPower (1976)
- The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976)
- Oriental Blue (1976)
- Deep Throat Part II (1974)
As a director, selected
- Devious Old Gillis (1998)
- Back on the Prowl (1998)
- Back on the Prowl 2 (1998)
- Punished Sex Offenders (1990)
- Takeout Torture (1990)
- On the Prowl (1989)
- 1976 AFAA Award - Best Actor (The Opening of Misty Beethoven)
- 1977 AAFA Award - Best Actor (Coming of Angels)
- 1979 AAFA Award - Best Actor (Ecstasy Girls)
- 1982 AFAA Award - Best Supporting Actor (Roommates)
- 1984 XRCO Award - Best Kinky Scene (Insatiable II)
- 1987 XRCO Award - Best Actor (Deep Throat 2)
- 1987 XRCO Award - Best Supporting Actor (Babyface 2)
- 1989 AVN Award - Best Supporting Actor – Film (Pretty Peaches 2)
- 1989 XRCO Award - Best Actor (Second Skin)
- 1997 AVN Award - Best Actor – Film (Bobby Sox)
- 1999 AVN Award - Best Supporting Actor – Video (Forever Night)
- AVN Hall of Fame
- Legends of Erotica
- XRCO Hall of Fame
- Nicolas Barbano: Verdens 25 hotteste pornostjerner (Rosinante, Denmark 1999) ISBN 87-7357-961-0: Features a chapter on him.
- The Rialto Report: Jamie Gillis: New York Beginnings, audio interview with Jamie Gillis, November 17, 2013
- Sloan, Will (November 21, 2013). "The Godfather of Gonzo Porn". Hazlitt. Random House of Canada. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
- "Porn Star Jamie Gillis Remembered by Non-Porn-Star Friends". NY Magazine. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- Jamie Gillis: New York Beginnings, audio interview with Jamie Gillis, The Rialto Report, November 17, 2013"
- "SCREW Interview with Jamie Gillis: The Hamlet of Hard-Core," SCREW, May 17, 1976, pp. 4-9, https://41.media.tumblr.com/6344d69219434aa52838a3585497c038/tumblr_n3zx8xXbcv1sbtct0o2_1280.jpg, retrieved 1/15/2015.
- "The Underboss". Gay Erotic Video Index. Retrieved 2007-09-08.
- "SCREW Interview with Jamie Gillis: The Hamlet of Hard-Core," SCREW, May 17, 1976, pp. 4-9, https://41.media.tumblr.com/93510f3d02be61cbf5974dae36c11fde/tumblr_n3zx8xXbcv1sbtct0o1_1280.jpg, retrieved 1/15/2015.
- Sloan, Will. "The Godfather of Gonzo Porn". Random House. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- XBIZ (2007-09-25). "The Godfathers of Gonzo". XBIZ.com. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- Peter Warren (2010-02-19). "Jamie Gillis Passes Away". business.avn.com. Retrieved 2010-02-19.
- "rame awards list". Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- MayorDefacto. "Transcript of the video A Night of Legends: First Annual XRCO Adult Film Awards". Retrieved 2008-08-09.
- "Academy Awards of XXX Convene in 'the Valley of Lust': Uptight Undercurrent Mars Atmosphere of Kinky Abandon in Era of Challenges From Law". 19 February 1988. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Past AVN Award Winners". Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- "AVN Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- / "Legends of Erotica". Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- "XRCO Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- Jamie Gillis at the Internet Movie Database
- Jamie Gillis at the Internet Adult Film Database
- Jamie Gillis at the Adult Film Database
- Jamie Gillis: New York Beginnings, audio interview with Jamie Gillis, The Rialto Report, November 17, 2013
- Jamie Gillis at AllMovie
- Jamie Gillis at Find a Grave
- The Prince of Gonzo Porn - July 2007 interview
- 1983 interview with Shauna Grant on YouTube
- Interview by Al Goldstein in SCREW magazine, July 9, 1973, pp. 5–8.