This is a classic article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. It is great and worth archiving here on the blog. I would like to go to one of these conventions one day, walk around and people watch. I’m sure it’s fascinating. I bet Screech from Saved By The Bell has his own autograph-signing booth.
I wonder what happened in Rio Rancho that made Laurie want to move? Maybe Jill can tell us. Val Kilmer lives in New Mexico also.
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Sunday, July 12, 1998
Holmes shares story of her famous husband in book `Porn King’
By Joan Patterson
It was not a saint’s life, but Laurie Holmes believes it’s time to get the story straight.
Holmes was in town last week during the Video Software Dealers Association convention with copies of a new book detailing the life of her late husband, John Holmes, the star of adult films during the 1970s and early ’80s. Holmes appeared in more than 2,000 productions, such as “Insatiable” and “Tropic of Passion.”
The book, “Porn King: Autobiography of John C. Holmes,” is based on tape-recorded interviews between John Holmes and author Fred Basten beginning in 1985. The recordings, Laurie Holmes says, tell the real story of a man often misunderstood by the public and those in the pornography industry. Her own recollections of her husband’s final months are written in the book’s epilogue as told to Basten.
“(Holmes) was a very interesting man, without a doubt one of the most intelligent human beings I ever met. … Not to say he was perfect. He made a lot of mistakes, but he faces what he did,” says Holmes, a former adult film actress.
She says she held onto the book manuscript for several years, believing the public was not ready to hear the frank story of a college student who enters the world of pornography in the 1960s, becomes addicted to cocaine and eventually dies at age 43 after contracting the AIDS virus. But the 1997 release of the film “Boogie Nights,” which she says is “very loosely” based on her husband’s life, has stirred public interest in John Holmes’ career. She sees the movie as a chance to set the record straight about her husband.
“People have been real curious about his story so it’s time to release (the book). … He was not the villain people made him out to be. He wasn’t a saint, but I’ve heard so many wrongs about him over the years,” she says. “He wasn’t gay. He wasn’t a snitch. He wasn’t a junkie.”
Holmes also wants the public to be aware of the current “outbreak” of AIDS within the adult entertainment industry because of unprotected sex. John Holmes’ death from the AIDS virus in 1988 is detailed in the biography and linked to his work in the adult film industry. Rumors that he contracted the virus through intravenous drug use are wrong, she says.
Despite the death of such a well-known adult film star, the heterosexual pornography industry was slow to institute safe sex requirements such as condom use. It was not until April, according to an Associated Press report, that several major producers of adult films started requiring actors to wear condoms. The action was taken after three actresses in the industry tested positive for AIDS earlier this year, the report states.
Laurie Holmes, who is 35, lived in Boulder City from 1976 to 1980. She made her first X-rated film in Las Vegas at the age of 18. It was called “The Greatest Little Cathouse in Las Vegas.”
She met John Holmes in San Francisco about one year later while they were working on a film together called “Marathon.” They remained close for five years, then married in 1987 at Las Vegas’ Little Chapel of the Flowers.
The marriage was kept secret, Laurie Holmes says, by her husband who was “a very private person.” When he died, many acquaintances in the industry and journalists reporting on his death were surprised to hear about Laurie Holmes, the wife.
She stopped making adult films in the early ’80s. After her husband’s death, Holmes moved back to her home state of New Mexico. After what she considers an unwelcome stay in Rio Rancho, she moved to nearby Albuquerque and worked as an exotic dancer.
Holmes, who still lives in Albuquerque, is now devoting herself full time to a company she created earlier this year, Johnny Wadd Inc. It is named after the alias used in several of her husband’s films. The company distributes videos of his films and published the recently released biography.