Harry Reems

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Harry Reems
Harry Reems1.jpg
Reems' 1974 mugshot
Born
Herbert John Streicher

(1947-08-27)August 27, 1947
DiedMarch 19, 2013(2013-03-19) (aged 65)
Other namesHarry Reams, Harry Reemes, Peter Long, Bruce Gilchrist, Charles Lamont, Tim Long, Ned Reems, Dan Stryker, Herb Streecher, Herb Streicher, Herb Stryker, Bob Walters
OccupationActor, realtor
Years active1970–1985
Spouse(s)Jeanne Sterret (1990–2013; his death)

Herbert John Streicher (August 27, 1947 – March 19, 2013), better known by his professional pseudonym Harry Reems, was an American pornographic actor and later a successful real estate owner. His most famous roles were as Doctor Young in the 1972 pornographic cult classic Deep Throat and The Teacher in the 1973 classic The Devil in Miss Jones. Throughout the 1970s and into the mid-1980s he was one of the most prolific performers in the adult film industry. He became the first American actor to be prosecuted solely for appearing in a film. He retired from the industry in 1985.

Early life[edit]

Reems was born Herbert John Streicher in August 27, 1947 into a Jewish family.[1] He was the youngest of three children. His father Don Streicher worked as a salesman before becoming a bookmaker. His mother, Rose, was a model. Harry’s father later entered the printing industry and was wealthy enough to move the family to Westchester, New York. In 1965, at age 18, he went the University of Pittsburgh to become a dentist.[2] However he later enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, from which he received an honorable discharge following hardship leave.[3] In 1967, he moved to East Village in Manhattan where his brother and roommate where gaining experience as actors. His early (non-porn) acting career were principally in off-Broadway theater for La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, New York Theater Ensemble and National Shakespeare Company.[4][5]

Career[edit]

Prior to appearing in Deep Throat, Streicher was chosen by filmmaker Eduardo Cemano to do a hardcore scene in a film called The Deviates, which had been released previously as a softcore film. It was a body-painting sex scene that Streicher later described as his most painful sex experience because the tempera paint used began to dry and crack. Cemano then starred him in his first 16 mm feature film, called The Weirdos and the Oddballs, which was later upgraded to 35 mm and released as Zora Knows Best. It was for this film that he changed his name to Peter Long.[citation needed]

Looking for ways to support himself, Streicher appeared in dozens of short silent stag films, often referred to as "loops", during the early 1970s. He eventually went on to appear in approximately 140 feature-length sexploitation and hardcore films between 1971 to 1974 and from 1982 to 1985, with Deep Throat (1972) and The Devil in Miss Jones (1973) being the best known, as well as grindhouse roughies like Forced Entry (1973) and Sex Wish (1976); in the former he plays a sadistic Vietnam veteran hellbent on rape and murder – later described by Streicher as the one film he regretted appearing in[6] – while in the latter he plays a husband-turned-vigilante seeking revenge over the rape and murder of his wife.[citation needed]

In 1975 he published a memoir, Here Comes Harry Reems, in which he details the early years of his adult film career. Reems also appeared in a couple of mainstream films, such as the sex comedy/horror film Case of the Full Moon Murders (1973), the drama Deadly Weapons (1974), horror films Demented (1980) and To All a Goodnight (1980), the comedy National Lampoon's Movie Madness (1982) and the TV movie The Cartier Affair (1984). He provided narration for the film Mae West (1982). He also appeared in several Swedish-produced porn films, including Justine & Juliette (1975), Bel Ami (1976) and Molly (1977), as well as the mainstream SS Operation Wolf Cub (1983).[7]

For the production of Deep Throat in Miami, Florida in January 1972, Streicher was hired to be part of the lighting crew, but the director was unable to cast one of the roles and asked him to play the part. He was paid $250 for one day of acting work ($1,200 total). Streicher said that he was unaware that the director had given him the name "Harry Reems" until he saw the movie.[8]

Trial and later years as an actor[edit]

A theatre in Amsterdam featuring Deep Throat

Reems's appearance in Deep Throat led to his arrest by FBI agents in New York City in July 1974[9] and his indictment in Memphis, Tennessee, in June 1975 on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute obscenity across state lines.[10] Reems called it forum shopping. He was convicted in April 1976 with 11 other individuals and four corporations.[11]

His conviction was overturned on appeal in April 1977 because his activities in making the film occurred before a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on obscenity in 1973 (Miller v. California), and Reems was granted a new trial.[12] The charges against Reems were dropped in August.[9]

The defense argued he was the first American actor to ever be prosecuted by the federal government merely for appearing in a film, and he received considerable support from established Hollywood and New York celebrities during his trial, including Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, Shirley MacLaine, Richard Dreyfuss, Colleen Dewhurst, Rod McKuen, Ben Gazzara, Mike Nichols, Julie Newmar, Dick Cavett, George Plimpton, and Stephen Sondheim.[13] Nicholson, Beatty, and Louise Fletcher were reportedly ready to testify on his behalf at his trial. His successful appeal was handled by Alan Dershowitz.[citation needed]. His autobiography Here Comes Harry Reems was published in 1975, in which he reported extensively on his first experience as an actor in adult movies.

Reems was cast in the 1978 musical film Grease as Coach Calhoun, but out of fear that his notoriety would jeopardize the film's box office in the Southern United States,[14] he was replaced by Sid Caesar.[15]

Reems returned to theater in the 1979 play The Office Murders[16] and the 1981 play What the Butler Saw.[17]

In 1982, after an 8-year hiatus from porn, Reems returned in the porn and performed in the film Society Affairs, and reportedly received a six-figure salary for doing the film.[18] In 1984, he starred in the film Those Young Girls with the 16-year-old Traci Lords. He retired from performing in porn in 1985. In the same year he was included in the XRCO Hall of Fame; also included in the AVN Hall of Fame[19]

Later years[edit]

Park Ave in Park City

After years of drug abuse and homelessness, Reems began his recovery in 1989 while living in Park City, Utah. He was married to Jeanne Sterret, a religious woman he had met while skiing in the same city. He then converted from Judaism to Christianity. "Being the low-bottom drunk that I was, I started going around to churches," said Reems. "I called myself a church gypsy." Reems credited his conversion to Reverend Mark Heiss, a former pastor with Park City Community Church in Park City, Utah.[citation needed]

Heiss was abruptly replaced at the church by someone else, for reasons Reems says were never explained; Reems left the congregation because he believed church attendance was "about putting money in the coffers". Outside organized religion, he continued to meditate, pray, and offer gratitude to God. "If I didn't put God in my life, I'd be dead now," he said. "I am not religious. I'm spiritual, 100 percent."[20] He continued to identify himself as "Harry Reems", even using the name while he worked as a real estate agent. He later was a trustee at a local United Methodist church.[4]

He was interviewed in the 2005 documentary Inside Deep Throat. Reems' entrance into the adult entertainment industry, his experience filming Deep Throat and its subsequent infamy and obscenity trials, are the subject of the 2010 play The Deep Throat Sex Scandal. During the Los Angeles run of the play, Reems died in Utah; his death was noted by the production.

In 2014, award-winning playwright Craig Hepworth opened his play Porno Chic about Reems and Lovelace and the fallout from Deep Throat in Manchester, UK. The play opened to rave reviews, and the 2016 production went on to win Best Drama at the GMF Awards. The play is set to return in 2018/19 for a UK tour. [21][22]

Death[edit]

Reems died of pancreatic cancer on March 19, 2013, aged 65, at the Salt Lake City Veterans Administration Medical Center. He had no children.[23]

Filmography[edit]

  • 1970:
    • Bacchanale
    • The Cross and the Switchblade
    • Erecter Sex 3: Sex Ed 101
    • Erecter Sex 4: Pole Position
  • 1971:
    • A Time to Love
    • The Altar of Lust
    • His Loving Daughter
    • The Weirdos and the Oddballs
    • Vice Versa!
    • Dark Dreams
    • Sex USA
    • Klute
  • 1972:
    • Deep Sleep (as Harry Reemes / credit only)
    • Meatball
    • Cherry Blossom
    • Rivelazioni di un maniaco sessuale al capo della squadra mobile
    • Forbidden Under Censorship of the King
    • Deep Throat
    • The Abductors
    • Selling It
    • Mondo Porno
  • 1973:
    • Girls in the Penthouse
    • Revolving Teens
    • Case of the Full Moon Murders
    • Loops
    • The New Comers (as Harry Reams)
    • The Collegiates
    • Over Sexposure
    • Filthiest Show in Town
    • Devil in Miss Jones
    • Forced Entry
    • Gas Station Attendant (as Tim Long)
    • Head Nurse
    • Fast Ball
    • High Rise
    • Herbie (as Richard Hurt)
    • It Happened in Hollywood
    • Fleshpot on 42nd Street
    • The Female Response
  • 1974:
    • Ape Over Love
    • Pleasure Cruise
    • Wet Rainbow
    • Doctor Feelgood
    • Memories Within Miss Aggie
    • Deadly Weapons
    • Teenage Cheerleader
    • Deep Throat Part II
    • College Girls
    • Hotel Hooker
    • Intensive Care
    • The Love Witch
  • 1975:
    • Sherlick Holmes
    • More
    • Linda Lovelace Meets Miss Jones
    • Every Inch a Lady
    • Butterflies
    • Justine och Juliette
    • Sexual Freedom in Brooklyn
    • Christy
    • Sometime Sweet Susan
    • Experiments in Ecstacy
  • 1983:
    • Eighth Erotic Film Festifal
    • Wolf Cubs
    • Mae West
    • National Lampoon's Movie Madness
    • Vice Squad Cop ‘’
    • Society Affairs
  • 1984:
    • Sister Dearest
    • Girls on Fire
    • Those Young Girls (video)
    • The Cartier Affair (television film)
    • R.S.V.P. (film telewizyjny)
    • For Your Thighs Only
    • Girls of the Night (video)
    • One Night at a Time
    • Private Fantasies 4 (video)
  • 1985:
    • Private Fantasies VI
    • The Grafenberg Spot
    • Tower of Power
    • Too Naughty to Say No
    • Beverly Hills Exposed
    • Deep Chill (video)
    • Dream Lover (video)
    • Educating Mandy (video)
    • Erotica Jones
    • Fantasies Unltd
    • Heart Throbs
    • Hot Blooded
    • Hot Nights at the Blue Note Cafe
    • Indecent Itch
    • Loose Ends
    • Losing Control
    • Love Bites (video)
    • Lucky in Love
    • Lust in Space
    • Obsession
    • Older Men with Young Girls (video)
    • Oriental Jade
    • Passage to Ecstasy
    • Rubdown
    • Talk Dirty to Me One More Time
    • Ten Little Maidens
    • The Girls of 'A' Team (video)
    • Titillation
    • Trashy Lady
    • Wet, Wild & Wicked (video)
    • Whore of the Worlds (video)
    • With Love from Susan
    • WPINK-TV: Its Red Hot!! (video)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richard Corliss (2008-10-27). "Porn's Pied Piper: Deep Throat Director Dies". Time. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  2. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (March 20, 2013). "Harry Reems, Deep Throat Star, Dies at 65". People. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  3. ^ Dave Itzkoff. "The Afterlife of a Porn Star". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2012-09-15.
  4. ^ a b Dougherty, Steve (May 13, 1991). "Born-Again Porn Star". people.com. People. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  5. ^ Dershowitz, Alan M. (27 July 2011). The Best Defense. Random House. p. 156. ISBN 978-0394713809. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  6. ^ Vermeulen, Dries (28 July 2012). "Forced Entry". videotramp.com. Video Tramp. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Harry Reems (I) (1947–2013)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  8. ^ Jim Gallagher, "Porn fame is a trying experience for Reems," Chicago Tribune, October 14, 1976, pg. A1.
  9. ^ a b "Inside Deep Throat: Timeline", worldofwonder.net; accessed October 5, 2016.
  10. ^ U.S. v. Battista, 646 F.2d 237, 241 (C.A. Tenn., 1981). The federal district court in Memphis had jurisdiction and venue because Deep Throat had been transported across state lines to be shown in Memphis, Tennessee in February 1974. U.S. v. Peraino, 645 F.2d 548, 549 (C.A.Tenn., 1981).
  11. ^ "'Deep Throat' Obscene, Jury Rules; 12 Convicted", Los Angeles Times, May 1, 1976, p. 11. "Notables Aid Convicted 'Deep Throat' Star", The New York Times, June 29, 1976, p. 26.
  12. ^ "Judge Grants New Trial for 'Deep Throat' Star", New York Times, April 12, 1977, p. 12. The jury instruction at Reems' trial had improperly used the post-Miller definition of obscenity.
  13. ^ Inside Deep Throat: Timeline; accessed October 5, 2016.
  14. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (May 21, 2005). "The Afterlife of a Porn Star". New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. Retrieved May 8, 2011.
  15. ^ "Harry Reems profile". NotStarring.com. Retrieved May 8, 2011.
  16. ^ Hischak, Thomas S. (22 February 2001). American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1969-2000, Volume 4 (Vol 4 ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-0195123470. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  17. ^ Hischak, Thomas S. (22 February 2001). American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1969-2000, Volume 4 (Vol 4 ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 190. ISBN 978-0195123470. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  18. ^ Winkel, Daniel (28 November 1982). "'Deep Throat' actor Harry Reems banks on porno revival". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  19. ^ Romboy, Dennis (24 December 2006). "From porn to pillar of society". DeseretNews.com. Desert News Utah. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  20. ^ Harry Reems – 'Throat' star thanks God for new lease on life Archived 2008-06-19 at the Wayback Machine, The Salt Lake Tribune
  21. ^ "Harry Reems Memorial Brings Out the Legends of XXX". AVN.com. March 25, 2013.
  22. ^ "Harry Reems Memorial Gathering Set for Saturday in L.A." XBIZ.com. March 21, 2013.
  23. ^ "Harry Reems, star of porn's 'Deep Throat,' dies". USA Today. March 20, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2017.

External links[edit]