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Harry Reems, Deep Throat Porn Star, Dead at 65

USMagazine, Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 12:45pm (PDT)

Harry Reems, the porn star actor perhaps best known for his role in 1972's film Deep Throat, died following a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer on Tuesday, March 19, in Salt Lake City, Utah, his friend Don Schenk first reported. He was 65.

"I met Harry some 20 years ago, long after he had left the adult film industry -- an industry that almost destroyed him," Schenk wrote in an online forum. "Over the years my wife and I have become close friends with Harry and his wife [Jeannie], and began to spend time on the phone with them several times a month, ski with them every winter, and go visit during the summer."

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According to Schenk, Reems, real name Herbert Streicher, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last summer, and had undergone months of chemo and radiation treatments. Earlier this month, he was admitted to the hospital for jaundice, and he passed just four days after slipping into a coma on Saturday, March 16.

Reems, who would go on to make a name for himself in more than 100 hard-core films, initially got into the porn industry after he found himself strapped for cash to pay his $38.37 monthly rent in Alphabet City, he revealed in a New York magazine interview in 2005.

The Manhattan natives' background was actually in the dramatic arts, and he had previously performed in both experimental and Off-Off Broadway productions.

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His adult film credits, which include Back Door Bride, Forced Entry and Those Young Girls, did eventually help him make a name for himself in the industry, but they also led to the unraveling of his personal life.

In 1974, Reems was arrested for conspiracy to distribute obscenity across state lines, making him the only actor to date to be charged by the federal government for appearing in a film.

His Deep Throat costar, Linda Lovelace, testified against him, but his 1976 conviction was overturned just one year later.

He later turned to alcohol, and hit a low point when he was homeless on the streets of Hollywood, panhandling on Sunset Boulevard just to survive. In July 1989, however, Reems took his last drink and began to reinvent his life -- finding religion, real estate, and his future wife, Jeannie.

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Reems was the subject of a 2005 documentary, Inside Deep Throat, that chronicled the controversial film's release and the impact that its wide-screen debut had on society -- and the porn industry -- immediately afterward.

The actor would go on to start a second career for himself as a successful real estate broker in Salt Lake City.

He is survived by his wife, Jeannie. The couple did not have any children together.

This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: Harry Reems, Deep Throat Porn Star, Dead at 65

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