Hartley in an undated photo (possibly 1980s or 1990s)
Marie Louise Hartman
March 1959 (age 61)
|Other names||Nina Hartman, Nina Hartwell|
|Height||5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)|
David Arthur Carr
(m. 1986; div. 2003)
(m. 2003; div. 2018)
|Relatives||Marge Frantz (aunt)|
Joseph Gelders (grandfather)
Emma Gelders Sterne (great aunt)
Hartley was born in Berkeley, California, to a Lutheran father and a Jewish mother (Louis Hartman and Blanche née Gelders, both deceased) whose family was from Alabama. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the youngest of four children, with an older sister and two older brothers. Her parents were members of the Communist Party USA who converted to Buddhism when she was young. Her father was blacklisted in 1957. After graduating from Berkeley High School in 1977, she attended San Francisco State University's undergraduate nursing school and graduated magna cum laude in 1985. She was a registered nurse per the California Board of Registered Nursing until her license expired in 1986.
Adult film career
In 1982, during her sophomore year of nursing school, she started working as a stripper at the Sutter Cinema and later the Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theatre. She made her foray into the world of pornographic movies during her junior year in 1984. She started out at first in photo spreads for Hustler and High Society. Her debut performance was in the film Educating Nina, making her a protégée of Juliet Anderson.
Explaining how Marie Louise Hartman became Nina Hartley, she stated in an interview that she chose the name "Nina" because it was easy for Japanese tourists to say during the time she was a dancer in San Francisco; "Hartley" was chosen as it was close to her own real last name as possible and because she "wanted a name that sounded like that of a real person". She stated that when she got into the adult business, she was blessed with two popular fetish items: "big, baby-blue eyes and that round butt with a high, small waist", with her buttocks becoming her trademark.
In 1992, she directed her first movie, Nina Hartley's Book of Love.
A long-time board member of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, Hartley considers herself a liberal and an outspoken sex-positive feminist, although for a time she was a socialist activist. Addressing other women, she said, "Sex isn't something men do to you. It isn't something men get out of you. Sex is something you dive into with gusto and like it every bit as much as he does."
Hartley has been an advocate for the adult film industry's right to exist. Before the rise to stardom of Jenna Jameson, she had often been called on when television news programs and talk shows required an articulate, leading adult film actress to support the pro side. The two came under hard scrutiny from the mostly female audience, but they refused to back down and were outspoken in their support of the industry. Ona Zee and she spoke out strongly against illegal drugs in the industry.
She was interviewed by Eric Schlosser for his book Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market in which she was critical of the hypocrisy of anti-pornography legislation and actions.
Hartley had a role in the 1997 film Boogie Nights, playing William H. Macy's character's serially unfaithful wife, and she appeared in the 1996 Canadian film Bubbles Galore. Hartley also appeared in the late rapper Tupac Shakur's music video for his 1996 single, "How Do U Want It?"
She appears in the Amazon Award-winning 2016 documentary Sticky: A (Self) Love Story, in which she discusses her sex-positive views on self-love, with regards to education, the forced resignation of Joycelyn Elders, and her opinions on the blackballing of comedian Paul Reubens after his arrest for masturbating in a public theater. Hartley attended a Las Vegas premiere of the documentary at the Erotic Heritage Museum on May 26, 2016, in which she sat on a Q&A panel with the writer/producer/director Nicholas Tana, and adult film actress Ginger Lynn.
In 2010, she said, "Now I work with women who are younger than my breast implants."
Hartley played the part of Hillary Clinton in the film Who's Nailin' Paylin? This was a pornographic parody of then-Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, with Lisa Ann in the role of Palin.
Hartley was also featured in the 2012 documentary After Porn Ends, which is about life after being a porn actor.
As of 2018[update], Hartley has remained active in the industry. Appearing primarily in "mature"-themed pornography, in 1994, she began her line of instructional videos that are marketed under the Nina Hartley's Guide brand.
Hartley is openly bisexual in her private life. From 1981 to 2000, Hartley was involved in a relationship with a man and a woman. She married her male partner in 1986; their divorce was finalized in 2003.
Hartley has won numerous awards throughout her career, from various critic and fan organizations. The following is a list of her Adult Video News Awards:
- 1987 Best Actress – Video for Debbie Duz Dishes
- 1987 Best Couples Sex Scene Film for Amanda By Night II
- 1989 Best Supporting Actress – Film for Portrait of an Affair
- 1989 Best Couples Sex Scene – Video for Sensual Escape
- 1991 Best Supporting Actress – Video for The Last X-Rated Movie
- 2005 Best Specialty Tape – BDSM for Nina Hartley's Private Sessions 13
- 2005 Best Specialty Tape – Spanking for Nina Hartley's Guide To Spanking
- 2009 Best Non-Sex Performance for Not Bewitched XXX
- AVN Hall of Fame
Hartley has won a number of XRCO Awards:
- 1986 Best Couple Sex Scene for Ball Busters
- 1987 Best Couple Sex Scene for Peeping Tom
- 1987 Torrid Triad Scene for Every Woman Has A Fantasy 2
- 1989 Female Performer Of The Year
- 1990 Best Supporting Actress for My Bare Lady
- 1990 Best Girl-Girl Scene for Sorority Pink
- 1995 Hall of Fame
Other awards and nominations
- 1988 Free Speech Coalition Lifetime Achievement Award - Actress
- 1990 FOXE Female Fan Favorite
- 1991 FOXE Female Fan Favorite
- 1992 FOXE Female Fan Favorite
- 1996 Hot d'Or Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2006 Ninfa Public – Lifetime Career Award
- 2013 XBIZ Award nomination – MILF Performer of the Year and Best Non-Sex Acting Performance (The Truth About O)
- 2014 Fanny Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2019 XBIZ Award - Best Non-Sex Acting Performance (Future Darkly: Artifamily)
- Nicolas Barbano: Verdens 25 hotteste pornostjerner (Rosinante, Denmark 1999) ISBN 87-7357-961-0; features a chapter on Hartley
- Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Nina Hartley: XXX: 30 Porn-Star Portraits (Bulfinch, U.S. 2004) ISBN 0-8212-7754-5; features an essay and introduction by Hartley
- Nina Hartley: Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex (Avery, U.S. 2006) ISBN 1-58333-263-4
- Louis Marvin: The New Goddesses (AF Press, U.S. 1987): ISBN 0-912442-99-9; features a chapter on Hartley
- David McCumber: X-Raxploration of Sex from Celibacy to Polyamory and Everything in Between (2010, New World Library, ISBN 978-1-57731-910-8); features an interview with Hartley
- Morpheous: How to Be Kinkier: More Adventures in Adult Playtime (2012, Green Candy Press, ISBN 1931160945); introduction written by Hartley
- Friedman, Gabe (June 15, 2015). "7 Jews Who Made It Big In Porn". The Forward. Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
- Olson, Ingrid (2019). "Letters to Nina Hartley: Pornography, Parrhesia, and Sexual Confessions". In Waugh, Thomas; Arroyo, Brandon (eds.). I Confess!: Constructing the Sexual Self in the Internet Age. McGill–Queen's University Press. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-2280-0064-8.
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- Fagan, Kevin (January 31, 2010). "Adult film star Juliet 'Aunt Peg' Anderson dies". SFGate. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
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- McLemee, Scott. (February 6, 1997). "Sect Appeal", salon.com
- Schlosser, Eric (April 1, 2004). Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market. HMH. ISBN 9780547526751.
- McGregor, Glen (May 30, 1999). "Porn star bubbling over with laughs amid funding feud". Calgary Herald. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
- Allen, Samantha (January 22, 2016). "'Sticky' Documentary Dispels Myths About Self-Love". The Daily Beast – via www.thedailybeast.com.
- "Sticky: A Self Love Story". February 1, 2016 – via Amazon.
- "Sticky: A (Self) Love Story – May 25th 7PM @ Erotic Heritage Museum – Erotic Heritage Museum Las Vegas". www.eroticmuseumvegas.com.
- Hartley, Nina (2006). Amazon: Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex. ISBN 978-1583332634.
- Morpheous; Hartley, Nina (July 11, 2012). How to Be Kinkier: More Adventures in Adult Playtime. Green Candy Press – via Amazon.
- Lynn Comella (October 6, 2010). "Las Vegas Weekly: Nina Hartley's adult film career has been long, distinguished and trailblazing—and it's far from over". www.lasvegasweekly.com. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
- "Hustler Video Does It Again With Palin Parody". Hustler World. October 8, 2008. Archived from the original on October 9, 2008. Retrieved October 6, 2008.
- "Nailin' Palin". Masturbation Invasion. October 6, 2008. Retrieved October 6, 2008.
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