Harry Reems, Deep Throat Star, Dies at 65
03/20/2013 AT 05:30 PM EDT
Reems, who had been living in Park City, Utah, passed away in a VA hospital in Salt Lake City, a longtime pal confirms.
Born Herbert Streicher, the superstud of a dozen major hard-core movies made over 40 years ago, including the groundbreaking Deep Throat, was the only American actor ever to be convicted of obscenity.
As Reems told PEOPLE in 1976, "I only did the movies as a hoot. I don't feel guilty of any crime. I certainly don't want to be a convicted felon."
Yet a federal jury in Memphis convicted him of conspiracy for his role as the doctor in Deep Throat, even though the movie – which grossed some $250 million – only earned him $100 for his appearance.
The making of Deep Throat and the legal woes surrounding it are the subject of an upcoming movie, Lovelace, starring Amanda Seyfriend as leading lady Linda Lovelace, and Adam Brody as Reems. (Lovelace died in 2006.)
The youngest of three children, Reems attended the University of Pittsburgh for a year, joined the Marines, then studied theater in New York before dabbling in B-grade movies and finally graduating to porn, which he then gave up in the 1980s.
According to Reuters, he survived a bout of alcoholism and poverty before getting sober and becoming a successful Park City real-estate agent. He is survived by his wife of two decades, Jeannie, and a brother.