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Harry Reems: Deep Throat, Memphis, Alcoholism, and Redemption

By Stephen Applebaum

When Harry Reems died in March in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the age of 65, it wasn’t his years spent selling property that earned him obituaries around the world. Long before converting to Christianity and becoming a realtor, Reems starred alongside Linda Lovelace in one of the most notorious hardcore sex films of all time, Deep Throat (1972), and became the only American actor ever to be convicted of obscenity. His death occurred just two months after the Sundance premiere of a new biopic about the film’s orally gifted leading lady.

Before the new film, Lovelace, was screened, Reems told reporters that he hoped it would be accurate, and that he was angry no one involved had contacted him when they were doing research. If he had viewed Lovelace before dying, he would have understood why. Constructed as two narratives offering opposing versions of the same events, the film essentially takes the line of Linda Lovelace’s third autobiography, Ordeal (1980), 
in which she claimed that far from enjoying the work that made her famous (as her previous two books had claimed), she had in fact been coerced into performing by her abusive manager-husband, Chuck Traynor, sometimes at gunpoint. “When you see the movie Deep Throat, you are watching me being raped,” 
she testified before an inquiry into the sex industry in 1986.

Read the whole article at http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/16892/1/dirty-harry

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