Deep Throat Star Dies Sober

By McCarton Ackerman 03/21/13

Alcoholism once left porn actor Harry Reems homeless; he dies at 65, decades clean.

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RIP Harry Reems Photo via

Iconic porn actor Harry Reems lost his battle with cancer this week; but he won his fight with alcoholism while he lived. Reems, who starred alongside Linda Lovelace in the infamous 1972 porn film Deep Throat, died on Tuesday at a Salt Lake City hospital from pancreatic cancer and other ailments. At the height of his celebrity in 1974, he was charged alongside 10 others for "conspiracy to distribute obscenity" across state lines, related to distribution of the film Deep Throat. The charges were eventually dropped, but the scandal reportedly took an immense toll on his personal and professional life. Mainstream film opportunities dried up, and while waiting to go on trial, "the heavy drinking began," said Reems in a 2005 interview. He became a "2-quart-a-day vodka drinker" and despite starring in more than 100 adult films throughout his career, was eventually reduced to living "in the back of an Albertsons' dumpster in Malibu." He didn't stop drinking until the late 1980s, when he entered a 12-step program while living in Park City, Utah. Having sobered up, Reems went into the real estate business and also found religion, which he credited with helping him to remain sober. "I put God in first position, not me," he told Utah's Deseret Morning News in 2006, "because anything I had ever done almost killed me."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.