Robert Kerman

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Robert Kerman
Born (1947-12-16) December 16, 1947 (age 66)
Brooklyn, New York
Occupation Actor

Robert Charles Kerman (born December 16, 1947), also known as R. Bolla, or Richard Bolla, is an American actor. He grew up in a middle-class Italian-Jewish neighborhood of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.[1] As R. Bolla, he appeared in well over 100 pornographic films, most famously Debbie Does Dallas (1978).[1] He also appeared in the sequel, Debbie Does Dallas II (1981). He's also one of the few adult film stars to make the jump into mainstream cinema. His most famous mainstream role was as Dr. Harold Monroe in the controversial horror film Cannibal Holocaust.[1]

Adult film career[edit]

Kerman started his adult film career in 1975. He first appeared in performing on-screen sex with director Roberta Findlay in Anyone But My Husband.[1] Kerman then became one of the biggest stars of the Golden Age of Porn, star of such classics as Debbie Does Dallas, Gerard Damiano's The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue and Henri Pachard's The Devil in Miss Jones Part II. He won the Adult Film Association of America Best Supporting Actor award for Outlaw Ladies in 1981, and was inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame in 1998. His last role in an explicit hardcore film was in 1987's Corporate Assets.

Kerman highly regrets his participation in Debbie Does Dallas as he feels it ruined his mainstream career. In the 2005 Channel 4 documentary Debbie Does Dallas Uncovered he states: "In retrospect I'm really sorry that I did it, because I probably ruined the best years of my life as an actor."

Mainstream career[edit]

Kerman's breakthrough into the mainstream came in 1979, when he featured alongside Alain Delon and Robert Wagner in The Concorde ... Airport '79, in the role of Dulles Controller. In the 1980s, he starred in several Italian horror films, including Ruggero Deodato's exploitation classic Cannibal Holocaust, and Umberto Lenzi's cannibal films Mangiati Vivi and Cannibal Ferox. He received critical acclaim for his role in the 1982 drama feature Mission Hill. But he remained active in pornography throughout the first half of the decade, with notable roles including Lawyer Quim in Liquid A$$ets (1982), and Fritz von Holenwohl in the Henri Pachard directed Public Affairs (1984).

Cannibal Holocaust[edit]

In the DVD commentary for Cannibal Holocaust (in interview with Sage Stallone and Bob Murawski), Kerman described film director Ruggero Deodato as "remorseless" and "uncaring". He and Deodato got into long, drawn-out arguments every day of shooting, usually because of remarks made by Deodato. One particular aspect that led to disagreement was the genuine killing of animals. Kerman stormed off the set while the death of a coatimundi was filmed.


In 1985, Kerman broke into television, with his role as an attorney in an episode of Hill Street Blues, and supporting roles in two episodes of Simon & Simon. Two years later, he featured as a CID Agent alongside Kevin Costner and Gene Hackman in the thriller No Way Out (1987), the same year that he was cast in an episode of Cagney & Lacey.

After losing his mainstream agent in early nineties, Kerman began to slide into a deep depression.[1] In the 2005 documentary Debbie Does Dallas Uncovered Kerman revealed he had developed an alcohol and cocaine addiction due to lack of work.


In the 2000s Kerman could be seen as a tugboat captain in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, and as Dr. Monroe in the drama short Vic, directed by Sage Stallone. He often makes personal appearances at horror conventions around the world, to speak about his experiences on Cannibal Holocaust. He was also featured on Dave's Old Porn, discussing his pornographic film career with host Dave Attell. In a detailed interview with The Rialto Report in 2013, Kerman spoke about his keen desire to return to acting once more, but recognized that the chances of this happening were slim.[1]

Since his appearance on The Rialto Report, it has been announced that Kerman will be returning to the world of genre movies as part of The Book, an Italian anthology movie from Harbinger International. The movie will feature segments directed by Ruggero Deodato and Umberto Lenzi, two directors with whom Kerman worked with on his cannibal films.

Filmography (selection)[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f 'R. Bolla: Adult Film's Method Actor', The Rialto Report, audio interview with Robert Kerman
  2. ^ a b "Rame awards list". Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  3. ^ "AVN Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "XRCO Announces 2008 Award Winners". Archived from the original on 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 

External links[edit]