Rest in Peace Harry Reems (1947-2013)

Rest in Peace Harry Reems (1947-2013)

harry_reems_90Herbert Streicher, better known by his nom de porn Harry Reems, passed away yesterday (March 19th, 2013) after a battle with pancreatic cancer.  He was 65.

Born August 27th, 1947, Streicher served a stint in the US Marines before garnering an honorable discharge, at which point he began to pursue a career as an actor, primarily off-Broadway.  Looking for ways to support himself financially, he began to appear in short, silent stag loops (the predecessor of the porn film, and to which the current adult industry has gone full circle back to — short, plotless scenes).  His work in these loops eventually brought Herbert Streicher to the attention of Gerard Damiano, who was looking to shoot a film that would trigger a cinematic revolution: DEEP THROAT.  Though originally hired as a lighting technicion for the film, when the original actor failed to show Damiano cast Streicher as Dr. Young, the medical professional who discovers that Linda Lovelace’s clitoris is in the back of her throat – and in the process, Damiano bestowed the pseudonym “Harry Reems” on Streicher.

DEEP THROAT was a colossal success, and Harry Reems’ career as a porn (and sexploitation, appearing in non-pornographic films such as DEADLY WEAPONS, FORCED ENTRY and SEX WISH) star was up and running.  In the immediate aftermath of DEEP THROAT, Reems appeared in DEEP THROAT II, also with Linda Lovelace, and in THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES with Georgina Spelvin.

Also in the wake of DEEP THROAT, Reems would be arrested by FBI agents in July of 1974, and brought to trial in Memphis, Tennessee for “conspiracy to transport obscene material across state lines.”  He was convicted in April of 1976, though was able to successfully appeal and in 1977 all charges against him were dropped.


In later years, Reems would develop problems with drug and alcohol abuse though eventually turned his life around, marrying and becoming a devout Christian. After a time, he did lose interest in organized religion, though he continued to pray and offer thanks 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.” He even became a successful real-estate broker.

I for one am glad Harry Reems found peace and happiness in his life, even if it did take hitting rock-bottom to accomplish it.  And Harry, wherever you’ve gone off to, I hope there’s peace and happiness for you there as well.

In pace requiscat.

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Bill Adcock likes long walks off short piers and eating endangered species. In addition to his work for the Blood Sprayer, his writing can also be found at his personal site, Radiation-Scarred Reviews, which he's maintained since 2008. Bill has also contributed, as of this writing, to GRINDHOUSE PURGATORY issues 2 and 3, and CINEMA SEWER issue 27.

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