Jamie Gillis

Last updated
Jamie Gillis
Jamie Gillis ces99121.jpg
Gillis at the CES in Las Vegas, 1999
Jamey Ira Gurman

(1943-04-20)April 20, 1943
DiedFebruary 19, 2010(2010-02-19) (aged 66)
New York City, U.S.
Other namesAl Cianelli, Jamier Kantor, Jaime Gillis, Jaimie Gillis, Jaimi Gillis, Jamey Gillis, Jamie Grill, Buster Hymen, Jamey, James Kleeman, Ronny Morgan, Barry Gillis, Sir Jamie Gillis, James Rugman (gay)
Partner Serena (actress) Zarela Martinez [1]

Jamie Gillis (born Jamey Ira Gurman; April 20, 1943 – February 19, 2010) was an American pornographic actor, director and member of the AVN Hall of Fame. He was married to the porn actress Serena.


Early life

Gillis was born Jamey Ira Gurman [1] in New York City. He was named after the Tyrone Power character in the film The Black Swan (1942), and he took the name Gillis from the girlfriend he was living with when he made his first films. [2] Gillis later attended Columbia University and graduated magna cum laude. [1] While supporting himself driving a cab, he answered an ad in The Village Voice . [3]


He appeared in more than 470 movies as an actor." [4] He also directed several adult movies. Openly bisexual, he appeared in many gay porn films, including a sex scene with Zebedy Colt in the 1975 Gerard Damiano BDSM-themed film The Story of Joanna . Gillis appeared in the mainstream Hollywood film Nighthawks (1981) as the boss of Lindsay Wagner's character (he's credited as 'Designer'). He also made his name in two Radley Metzger films, The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976) [5] and Barbara Broadcast (1977); the former is considered, by award-winning author Toni Bentley, the "crown jewel" of the Golden Age of Porn. [6] [7]

According to Al Goldstein, Gillis was always described as "sexually the wildest, most decadent, off-the-wall guy in the business." [3] His scene with Brooke Fields was emblematic in this regard. He was a pioneer in the pornographic style known as Gonzo. In addition to starring in the first Buttman film, he also created the influential On the Prowl series. Featuring a porn star who rides in a limo looking for regular guys to have sex with, the video series was very popular and inspired a scene in the movie Boogie Nights . [8] He also co-produced the popular Dirty Debutante series with fellow director and performer Ed Powers, [9] as well as the Walking Toilet Bowl series of films that focused on golden showers and coprophilia.


Gillis died on February 19, 2010, in New York City from melanoma, which was diagnosed four to five months earlier. [10] In an audio interview given to The Rialto Report shortly before his death, Gillis stated that in the 1970s he had wanted his ashes to be scattered in Times Square, but years later he changed his mind, stating that the cleaned up Times Square that emerged in the 1990s would contaminate his ashes. [2]


As an actor, incomplete

As a director, incomplete

  • Devious Old Gillis (1998)
  • Back on the Prowl 2 (1998)
  • Back on the Prowl (1998)
  • Punished Sex Offenders (1990)
  • Takeout Torture (1990)
  • On the Prowl (1989)


See also


Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Veronica Hart</span> American pornographic actress

Jane Esther Hamilton is an American former pornographic actress and current adult film director who performed under the stage name Veronica Hart during the 1980s. She is sometimes credited as Jane Hamilton, V. Hart, Veronica Heart, Victoria Holt, Randee Styles or just Veronica. Hart is a member of the AVN Hall of Fame. Director Paul Thomas Anderson has called her "the Meryl Streep of porn."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Stagliano</span> American pornographic actor and director

John Stagliano, also known as Buttman, is an American entrepreneur, former pornographic film actor, producer and director who founded and owns the Evil Angel pornographic film studio.

Radley Metzger was an American pioneering filmmaker and film distributor, most noted for popular artistic, adult-oriented films, including Thérèse and Isabelle (1968), Camille 2000 (1969), The Lickerish Quartet (1970), Score (1974), The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann (1974), The Image (1975), The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976) and Barbara Broadcast (1977). According to one film reviewer, Metzger's films, including those made during the Golden Age of Porn (1969–1984), are noted for their "lavish design, witty screenplays, and a penchant for the unusual camera angle". Another reviewer noted that his films were "highly artistic — and often cerebral ... and often featured gorgeous cinematography". Film and audio works by Metzger have been added to the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City.

<i>The Opening of Misty Beethoven</i> 1976 pornographic film directed by Radley Metzger

The Opening of Misty Beethoven is an American pornographic comedy film released in 1976. It was produced with a relatively high budget and filmed on elaborate locations in Paris, New York City and Rome with a musical score, and owes much to its director Radley Metzger. According to author Toni Bentley, The Opening of Misty Beethoven is considered the "crown jewel" of the Golden Age of Porn (1969–1984).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ed Powers</span> American pornographic director, producer and actor

Mark Arnold Krinsky, better known as Ed Powers, is an American pornographic film director, producer, actor, and radio host. He is the owner of the porn production company Ed Powers Productions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nacho Vidal</span> Spanish pornographic actor, director, producer, writer, and camera operator

Ignacio Jordà González, better known as Nacho Vidal, is a Spanish pornographic performer, director, producer, writer, and camera operator.

Constance Money is an American former adult film actress. She played the lead role of Misty Beethoven in the 1976 adult classic The Opening of Misty Beethoven.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">XRCO Awards</span> Adult entertainment industry award

The XRCO Awards are given by the American X-Rated Critics Organization annually to people working in adult entertainment and it is the only adult industry awards show reserved exclusively for industry members.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joey Silvera</span> American pornographic actor and director

Joey Silvera is an American pornographic film director and former actor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Seymore Butts</span> American pornographic filmmaker

Adam Glasser, known professionally as Seymore Butts, is an American pornographic film director, producer, and occasional performer who has produced hundreds of films in the gonzo genre of pornography.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eric Edwards (actor)</span> American pornographic actor and director

Eric Edwards is an American pornographic actor, photographer, and director. Everett started in mainstream theater and transitioned into porn, starting in the late 1960s. Everett had a long career in the adult entertainment industry – over 40 years, making him the only actor in the world to appear in porn films in every decade through the 2000s since the porn industry started in the 1960s. Everett starred in and directed many films and photo shoots, including co-starring in the iconic film Debbie Does Dallas. He is a member of both the AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame. Bill Margold called Everett "one of the legends of the business" and "the Babe Ruth of porn."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Herschel Savage</span> American former pornographic actor, director and stage actor

Herschel Savage is an American former pornographic actor, director and stage actor who has appeared in over 1,000 adult films. In 2002, AVN ranked him 46th on their list of The Top 50 Porn Stars of All Time. He has also been inducted into the AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Randy Spears</span> American pornographic actor (born 1961)

Randy Spears, sometimes credited as Greg Ory, is an American retired pornographic actor and director who has appeared in numerous adult feature films. Spears is noted among porn actors for his comedic acting talent.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Leslie (director)</span> American pornographic actor and film director

John Leslie Nuzzo was an American pornographic film actor-director-producer. Usually credited under the name John Leslie, he also worked under a variety of pseudonyms, including John Leslie Dupre, Frederick Watson, and Lenny Lovely.

Gonzo pornography is a style of pornographic film that attempts to place the viewer directly into the scene. Jamie Gillis is considered to have started the gonzo pornography genre with his On the Prowl series of films.

New Wave Hookers is a 1984 pornographic film that established the alt porn genre. It featured a cast of established performers from the era and was followed by a number of sequels and a remake. The movie starred Ginger Lynn, Desiree Lane, Kristara Barrington, Kimberly Carson, Brooke Fields, Gina Carrera, Jamie Gillis, Jack Baker, Tom Byron, Steve Powers, Peter North, Rick Cassidy, Greg Rome, and Steve Drake. Traci Lords appeared in the original version dressed in all-red lingerie and portrayed "the Devil."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Christoph Clark</span> French pornographic actor, producer and director

Christoph Clark is a French pornographic actor, producer and director.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">VCA Pictures</span> American pornographic film company

VCA Pictures is an American pornographic film production and distribution company. The company was founded by Russ Hampshire, and was formerly a major player during the 'Golden Age of Porn'. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s VCA produced big budget, plot-oriented feature films. In 1982 VCA sold 12,000 units of Insatiable on its first day of release, making it the top selling video that year in America. In the 1990s Hampshire served one year in jail for the interstate transportation of obscene materials. In 2003, VCA was bought by Hustler Video, a subsidiary of Larry Flynt-owned Larry Flynt Publications. VCA maintains a separate identity within the LFP conglomerate. VCA distributed the 1998 documentary Wadd: The Life & Times of John C. Holmes, and in 2004 provided footage for the HBO documentary Pornucopia.

Mike Adriano is a pornographic actor and director. He has been nominated for best director awards at several recent AVN Award, XBIZ Award and XRCO Award ceremonies.

On the Prowl is a series of pornographic videos filmed by Jamie Gillis in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The video series is considered to be a watershed entry in the pro-amateur field and is credited as one of the first gonzo videos ever shot. The series is the basis for one of the scenes in the 1997 film Boogie Nights. The basis of the films centered on Gillis approaching random men with the invitation of free sex with a professional pornographic actress or paid escort. Filming locations would range from limousines to adult bookstores and the series was noted for its degradation of the women filmed during the series, who would take part in various elements such as golden showers, anilingus, and occasionally physical violence.


  1. 1 2 3 "Porn Star Jamie Gillis Remembered by Non-Porn-Star Friends". New York . Retrieved December 8, 2013. His real name was Jamey Gurman; he was a native New Yorker and "renaissance Jew" who graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University and, in the spirit of countercultural exploration and open-mindedness, ended up in porn.
  2. 1 2 Jamie Gillis: New York Beginnings, audio interview with Jamie Gillis, The Rialto Report, November 17, 2013"
  3. 1 2 "SCREW Interview with Jamie Gillis: The Hamlet of Hard-Core," SCREW, May 17, 1976, pp. 4-9, 41.media, retrieved 1/15/2015.
  4. "The Underboss". Gay Erotic Video Index. Archived from the original on 2008-02-07. Retrieved 2007-09-08.
  5. 1 2 3 West, Ashley (April 7, 2017). "'The Opening of Misty Beethoven' (1976): Jamie Gillis and Constance Money". The Rialto Report . Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  6. Bentley, Toni (June 2014). "The Legend of Henry Paris". Playboy . Archived from the original on February 4, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  7. Bentley, Toni (June 2014). "The Legend of Henry Paris" (PDF). ToniBentley.com. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  8. Sloan, Will (21 November 2013). "The Godfather of Gonzo Porn". Random House. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  9. XBIZ (2007-09-25). "The Godfathers of Gonzo". XBIZ.com. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
  10. Peter Warren (2010-02-19). "Jamie Gillis Passes Away". business.avn.com. Retrieved 2010-02-19.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "rame awards list". Archived from the original on 2019-04-21. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
  12. MayorDefacto. "Transcript of the video A Night of Legends: First Annual XRCO Adult Film Awards". Archived from the original on 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
  13. "Winners of XRCO Awards 1986".
  14. "Academy Awards of XXX Convene in 'the Valley of Lust': Uptight Undercurrent Mars Atmosphere of Kinky Abandon in Era of Challenges From Law". Los Angeles Times . 19 February 1988. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  15. "Winners of XRCO Awards 1988".
  16. 1 2 3 "Past AVN Award Winners". Archived from the original on 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
  17. "AVN Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
  18. "XRCO Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 2007-10-07. Retrieved 2007-12-27.