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Jamie Gillis, 1970's Adult Film Legend Dead At 66

Jamie Gillis, the controversial but very popular 1970's adult film actor has died at the age of 66. Gillis was best known for numerous appearances with his then girlfriend, Serena, in many adult films, often with very extreme and hard content such as BDSM themes, playing dominant roles.

Gillis was actually trained to be a mainstream actor, and certainly was a powerful on-screen presence in any movie in which he appeared, but by the 1970's he seemed drawn to the world of adult films, although Gillis had made some film appearances in a few mainstream movies as well.


Gillis was born in New York, NY, and was a graduate of Columbia University. He once worked as a cab driver while trying to find work as an actor. He answered an ad in THE VILLAGE VOICE for a nude model once, and slowly began to find work in the adult entertainment industry.

Recently, Gillis had been suffering from cancer and finally died of the disease. Some reports claim that Gillis was actually bisexual, and he had starred in at least one all male film as well. While never as popular as either John Holmes or Ron Jeremy ever were, Gillis was still a highly recognizable star in many films, both adult and mainstream.

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Comments (10)

800 Fantasy Lane. One of th... (Below threshold)

800 Fantasy Lane. One of the very few feature length porn flicks that didn't bore the hell out of me after 20 minutes and Gillis did a fine imitation of an actor in it.

Hello, BryanD. Yes, indeed ... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

Hello, BryanD. Yes, indeed 800 FANTASY LANE was a fairly good film. Jamie Gillis always seemed to bring a sort of dark and mysterious character to any role he played, even in those adult sorts of films. If he would have concentrated on mainstream films, then he might have had a real opportunity to play many interesting roles. But type casting himself into this adult genre of films really limited his potential in my view. He had an interesting stage persona in my view. An opportunity missed.

Paul Hooson, Do you think '... (Below threshold)

Paul Hooson, Do you think 'concentrating on mainstream films' gets you a career in mainstream films? Hardly.

Um, it's the Casting Directors & Producers who do the hiring. Don't you think Jamie would've worked more in mainstream IF GIVEN THE CHANCE? Actors go where the work is.
RIP Jaimie.

I am the co-author of the f... (Below threshold)

I am the co-author of the first and definitive biography on the late adult film legend, John Holmes titled, John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches. We were fortunate to have been granted a rare interview with Mr. Gillis for our book. My co-author, Jennifer, posted my reflections about my interview with Gillis in 2007 on our myspace page on Saturday:

RIP Jamie Gillis

Jamie Gillis passed away at the age of 66, from cancer, yesterday in New York City. Jill interviewed Jamie Gillis for Inches and had this to say in fond rememberance of the gifted adult actor, director and porn entrepreneur:

"Jamie Gillis was the first interview I did for "Inches". Jennifer already had several interviews under her belt and she was quickly becoming a veteran in that regard, but in the winter of 2007, I was still a virgin so to speak, and needed to get my feet wet. One afternoon while still at work, I left a voice message at Jamie Gillis's residence in New York, requesting a somewhat rare interview for our book. When I got home a few hours later, he had already returned my call with a very warm greeting on my answering service - accepting my request for an interview. I had only seen a couple of his film appearances and wanted to ask him specifically about working with John in Lust at First Bite (aka Dracula Sucks). (For those who aren't familiar with it, guess who plays Dracula?) Because of his reputation on screen, it was a little surreal to hear that hypnotic and seductive voice in reply to my call. It is definitely distinct.

"When we did the interview about a week later, I found him to be an open (perhaps a little forgetful at times, particularly about some of the titles of his films and his co-stars, but who can blame him), thoughtful and charismatic person. He was extremely sensitive to our project and to John's memory. The two actors first met in 1973 when John picked Jamie up in Los Angeles on their way to a film shoot. Jamie was immediately struck by John's casual, easy going manner and although they were never close friends, they always respected one another. Jamie felt that John possessed a "Jimmy Stewart" quality that he appreciated and immediately liked. Jamie Gillis was not a fan of mind-altering substances and he spoke about how drugs sadly converted people into monsters, including John. He was deeply disturbed when he read about the Wonderland events and John's connection to the homicides - that was not the John he had known. Due to his fear of flying, Jamie did not attend John's memorial service, but he was one of the select invited guests. Upon learning of John's illness, Jamie had suggested to some of Holmes' other male contemporaries that it would be a thoughtful gesture to do something for John during his dying days, in the way of a visit, or otherwise. He was frustrated at the time because he couldn't get anyone motivated to do so, but he understood that people were afraid.

"Jamie said that he'd always wanted a copy of the movie poster from the film, Marathon, that advertises Holmes and Gillis as two of the film's sexual titans during a sequence that would become "The Battle of the Giants". A few weeks after our interview, I found the poster online and sent it to him. He was very appreciative and sent a thank-you note. Partly as a joke in reference to being anatomically smaller than John Holmes, he signed it, "Your little Giant". When our book was published, we sent him a copy, as we had done for most of the people we had interviewed. A few weeks later, Jamie wrote a nice note and offered a quote about our work for our website. He had expressed to me earlier that he had not been entirely happy with The Other Hollywood, so we were pleased and honoured when he praised our book and said he was very happy to be involved.

"It wouldn't surprise me if one day the eccentricities of Jamie Gillis's intriguing life and work are represented in a project of magnitude. He is deserving. RIP 'Little Giant.'"

The legendary Mr. Gillis wa... (Below threshold)

The legendary Mr. Gillis was a tremendously gifted actor who I think was vastly under appreciated as well as under admired. I knew him only a little but was impressed with his erudition and smooth, dulcet voice. I am sad Jamie and I shall now never get to make a picture together, we had talked about him doing a character role for one of my features. Let's hope to see good dvd editions of MIDNIGHT HEAT and CORRUPTION asap. And who can forget WATERPOWER!?! MIDNIGHT HEAT is the real deal version of TAXI DRIVER. He's gone from us too soon. RIP...

Thanks so much for your gre... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

Thanks so much for your great comments here Jill and Andrew. It's so great to hear accomplished authors and members of the acting and film community comment here. Your fond remembrances of Jamie Gillis, really add to his legacy here. I deeply appreciate the time you took to add your personal reflections about this great film actor. Thanks so much for sharing those experiences.

Jamie was a great actor; wi... (Below threshold)
Joe Elliott:

Jamie was a great actor; witty and a truly funny person and GREAT sense of humor. I worked with him many times in production. Very bright, a real mench. ( Good man) RIP Jammie. Professor Joe Elliott

1.). JG was one of the more... (Below threshold)

1.). JG was one of the more interesting and darker characters from the golden age, when the action on camera was more real. And by real I mean body hair. My cousin and I would sneak peek satellite porn from his rich parent's monster early 80's satellite dish (every time they left his house that summer we'd hand-crank that bitch to the nearest poon satellite we'd surreptitiously notched on the rotor) and the very first time I actually witnessed a man put his ding-ding into a lady's hoo-hah it was the scene from "Hot Oven" as a manical and lusty pizza chef. An early memory from my coming of age. R.I.P. Mr. Gillis.

2.). I peed in a horse once.

I'm sad by this.My favorite... (Below threshold)
Jeff Steen:

I'm sad by this.My favorite porn actor.RIP Jamie

It breaks my heart that Jam... (Below threshold)

It breaks my heart that Jamie Gillis has gone a week after losing my mother.He was truly a beautiful person who was extremely talented.After chatting with him both on the phone and through emails,I have a deepened respect for the man.Zarela should consider herself to be extremely fortunate to be with him even during his bout with cancer.My prayers go out to his family and friends.It was an absolute pleasure to get to know him for a short while,and I will never forget him.RIP Jamie

Anne Arevalo

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