John Holmes, a porn film actor, was born in Ashville, Ohio, United States of America on August 8, 1944. He is popular and globally renowned for his different kinds of roles in over 573 pornographic movies, making him one of the most demanding actors in the adult film industry. Homes also gained fame because of his alleged involvement in the July 1981 Wonderland killings, and he died in March 1988 due to AIDS.
Family Background & Personal Life:
Holmes was the youngest of 4 children raised by Mary, a religious zealot, and Harold Bowman, an abusive stepfather. However, he was a biblical student i.e., followers of the Bible student movement but dropped school, left home, and joined the US Army, where he was deployed in West Germany for almost 3 years.
Thereafter, in 1964, he moved to Los Angeles, after being discharged from the military and worked for different types of roles such as a cab driver, door-to-door salesman, ambulance driver, temp worker, postal clerk, forklift driver etc.
John Holmes used to spend his spare time in woodworking, and clay sculpting, and sometimes in outdoor activities like fishing, visiting beaches, camping, and hiking.
John Holmes’ Professional Career:
Holmes began his pornographic film career in the late 1960s, while unemployed and recovering from a lung collapse. He joined a Gardena men’s card club, where he, fortunately, met a photographer while standing next to him at a men’s washroom, who shared his business card with Holmes and informed him he could get a good opportunity in the underground adult film business. From 1969, for adult magazines as well as an occasional ‘loop’ or ‘stag film’, Holmes did nude modeling.
With the release of an adult film series in 1971, Holmes’ career took off. The commendable success of Johnny Wadd prompted an instant demand for sequels. With Flesh of the Lotus, Bob Chinn followed up the same year.
After the success of Deep Throat (1972), Behind the Green Door (1972), and The Devil in Miss Jones (1973), porn became fashionable. In spite of the fact that its legality was still being debated. Holmes was rumored to be earning up to USD 3,000 per day as a pornstar by the late 1970s. His cocaine use and freebasing were becoming an increasingly significant problem at this time. It had an impact on his ability to sustain an erection professionally.
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John Holmes’ Key Asset: His Exceptionally Large Penis
Holmes was best known for his enormous penis, which was aggressively advertised for its length and thickness. However, there’s no published measurement of Holmes’ actual length of the penis, girth, tumescence, ejaculate volume, or sexual stamina. He had not been circumcised.
Dorothiea “Seka” Patton, a veteran porn actress, claimed Holmes’ penis was the largest in the industry. In the documentary Exhausted, she compared oral sex with Holmes to felling a telephone pole. When John Holmes first measured himself, he claimed to be 10 inches tall, as per his first wife.
On another occasion, John Holmes informed his penis was 16 inches in length and 13 inches in size. Bill Amerson, Holmes’ long-time friend and industry collaborator, stated, “I saw John measure himself several times; it was thirteen-and-a-half inches [34.3 cm].”
Holmes’ penis size became so popular that it was used as a promotional tool for movies in which he didn’t even star. Anyone ‘But My Husband’ had a promotional tagline that said, “Tony ‘The Hook’ Perez has a penis so large he gives John Holmes a run for his money.” At the peak of his career, Holmes claimed to have had his penis insured for USD14 million by Lloyd’s of London. Holmes revealed in claiming to be insured “for USD1 million an inch.”
Despite his notoriety and infamy, Holmes devoted significant time to environmental charity. He was a member of Greenpeace and was known to advocate and collect donations door-to-door for charities such as Save the Whales and Save the Seals.
King of X-Rated Films Dies at 43:
John Holmes was diagnosed with HIV in February 1986, 5 or 6 months after testing negative. According to his second wife, Laurie Holmes, he never used hypodermic needles because he was terrified of them. Holmes could not have contracted HIV from intravenous drug use, according to Gebenini and friend/former coworker Bill Amerson, who both affirmed later that he never used needles.
During the summer of 1986, Holmes was approached by Paradise Visuals, who were unaware of his HIV status, and offered a lucrative agreement to travel to Italy to film his final two pornographic films. The Rise of the Roman Empress was Holmes’ final picture.
Holmes, later Italian Parliament member Ilona “Cicciolina” Staller, Amber Lynn, Christoph Clark, and Tracey Adams appeared in the film. The Devil in Mr. Holmes, starring Adams, Lynn, Karin Schubert, and Marina Hedman, was his final picture.
Holmes married Laurie Rose in Las Vegas, on January 23, 1987, after informing her about his AIDS-related complications. He died on March 13, 1988, at the younger age of 43, which was characterized in his death certificate as encephalopathy and cardio-respiratory arrest owing to AIDS, accompanied by lymphadenopathy & esophageal candidiasis. His ashes were strewn at sea off the coast of Oxnard, California, by his spouse Laurie and mother Mary.
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February 14, 1985- 1st inductee into XRCO (X-Rated Critic’s Organization) Hall of Fame
XBIZ Award 2008- Lifetime Achievement- Male Performer
John Holmes remains a contentious character, known around the world for his good performance in over 573 pornographic films while also being linked to the July 1981 Wonderland killings. Born in 1944, he entered the adult film industry in the late 1960s and quickly rose to prominence.
Despite his stormy reputation, John Holmes had a generous side, actively supporting environmental causes such as Greenpeace and raising donations for charities. His marriage to Laurie and subsequent death from AIDS related complications at the age of 43 highlights the intricacies of his life & legacy.
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