Harry Reems, who starred in the classic 1972 pornographic feature hit Deep Throat, died in Salt Lake City on Tuesday. He was 65. Reems was a Marine before acting in off-off-Broadway plays and starting in adult films. He was hired as a lighting director on Deep Throat but took over the lead role of Dr. Young when the actor originally cast did not turn up to work. The film became an international phenomenon, earning some $600M and a place in cinema history. Lovelace, about Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace, debuted in Sundance this year; Adam Brody plays Reems in the movie. In 2005, Reems appeared in the documentary Inside Deep Throat, which also had its premiere in Sundance.
Reems’ appearance in the 1972 Deep Throat led to a 1976 conviction on charges of conspiracy to transport obscene material across state lines. The New York Times notes he became a “First Amendment cause célèbre” as Hollywood stars including Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson spoke out on his behalf. He was represented on appeal by Alan Dershowitz and had the conviction set aside in 1977. Reems starred in other adult films during the 1970s and, after a battle with alcohol, ran a successful real estate business in Utah.