Gerardo Rocco Damiano
August 4, 1928
|Died||October 25, 2008 (aged 80)|
|Occupation||Director, producer, writer|
|Spouse(s)||Paula Morton (1975–2008; his death)|
Gerardo Rocco "Gerard" Damiano (August 4, 1928 – October 25, 2008) was an American director of adult films. He wrote and directed the 1972 cult classic Deep Throat, which starred Linda Susan Boreman aka Linda Lovelace. 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.) Damiano is one of the seminal directors of what is known as The Golden Age of Porn (1969–1984).
Gerard Damiano was born Gerardo Rocco Damiano to an Italian American Catholic family in the Bronx, New York City. When he was 6, his father died; his mother never remarried. The day he turned 17, he enlisted in the United States Navy, in which he served for 4 years. Before this, he was a shoeshine boy in Times Square and worked in an automat. After his discharge at the age of 21 years, Damiano studied X-ray technology on the G.I. Bill and was an x-ray technician at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, New York, then opened a hairdressing salon with a friend in New York City. Frequently overhearing sexual gossip at the salon convinced him that pornographic films made to appeal to couples would be a commercial success.
His entrance into porn
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, and went on to work as a crew member on numerous New York sexploitation films in the late 1960s.
He directed the famous film Deep Throat, which was released in 1972 and starred Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems. The film is regarded as pioneering, and its success, plus that of The Devil In Miss Jones, which starred Georgina Spelvin, the following year, is credited with helping to launch the modern adult-entertainment industry. Damiano was surprised that the film attracted such attention. The film was financed by organized crime, and Damiano did not benefit from the film's substantial commercial success.
Other notable films made by Damiano included The Devil in Miss Jones (1973), Memories Within Miss Aggie (1974), The Story of Joanna (1975), Let My Puppets Come (1976), Odyssey (1977), The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue (1980) and Skinflicks (1981).
Recognition in Variety
In 1973, The Devil in Miss Jones made the Variety list of the top ten highest-grossing pictures of the year; Deep Throat, then 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, 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).
Damiano often appeared in his own films in small non-sexual side roles, and used the names "Albert Gork," "Al Gork," "Jerry Gerard," under which name he had actually produced and directed Deep Throat, or "D. Furred." He directed more than 50 adult films during his career.
He was interviewed for the 2005 documentary Inside Deep Throat.
- We All Go Down (1969)
- Deep Throat (1972; as Jerry Gerard)
- The Devil in Miss Jones (1973)
- Memories Within Miss Aggie (1974)
- Legacy of Satan (1974)
- The Story of Joanna (1975)
- Let My Puppets Come (1976)
- Joint Venture (1977)
- Odyssey (1977)
- Fantasy (1979)
- People (1979)
- For Richer, for Poorer (1979)
- The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue (1981)
- Consenting Adults (1982)
- Throat 12 Years After (1984)
- Cravings (1985)
- Splendor in the Ass (1989; alternative title: Sex Express)
- Young Girls in Tight Jeans (1989)
- Just for the Hell of It (1991)
- Manbait (1991)
- Naked Goddess (1992)
The following listing includes related award-winning directors of adult erotic films:
- David Sullivan (October 27, 2007). "'Deep Throat' Director Gerard Damiano Dies at 80". AVN. Archived from the original on October 29, 2008. Retrieved October 27, 2008.
- Amy Bennett Williams (October 27, 2007). "Gerard Damiano, adult film director, dies in Fort Myers". The News-Press. Retrieved October 27, 2008.[dead link]
- Lewis, Jon (2000). Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle Over Censorship Created the Modern Film Industry. New York City: NYU Press. pp. 260–67. ISBN 978-0814751428.
- Margalit Fox (October 28, 2008). "Gerard Damiano, 80, Dies; Directed 'Deep Throat'". The New York Times. Retrieved October 29, 2008.
- "Gerard Damiano, 80; Directed Ground-Breaking 'Deep Throat' Film". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 30, 2009.
- Deep Throat: Damiano, Lovelace.. and “Lovelace”, The Rialto Report, September 8, 2013
- "Gerard Damiano, 'Deep Throat' Director, Dead at 80". ABC News. Retrieved March 30, 2009.[dead link]
- "'Deep Throat' director dead at 80". CNN. Retrieved October 28, 2008.[dead link]
- Gerard Damiano at IMDb
- Elsworth, Catherine (October 28, 2008). "Porn director of 'Deep Throat' Gerard Damiano dies". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved March 30, 2009.
- "Gerard Damiano, 'Deep Throat' director, dead at 80". Associated Press. October 27, 2008. Retrieved October 27, 2008.[dead link]
- XBIZ Award Winners, XBIZ, February 2011