‘Radio’ Ray Wells:
An Actor Looks Back

‘Radio’ Ray Wells: <br />An Actor Looks Back

The Rialto Report is on vacation this week, but when ‘Radio’ Ray Wells got in touch with us to ask if we’d like to showcase some of his scrapbooks – how could we say no?

Ray was an actor on hundreds of west coast adult film sets in the 1970s and 80s, usually in small parts and working with people like Joey Silvera, Annette Haven, Desiree West, Paul Thomas, and Clair Dia.

His scrapbooks contain all sorts of oddities; Instamatic photos from sets, invitations to premieres, Polaroid audition snaps, even a typed set of instructions for actors appearing in an adult film. Most of these items haven’t seen the light of day for over 30 years so their quality is variable, but they offer a fascinating glimpse of the industry through the eyes of an insider.

We’re grateful to Ray for sharing this collection, and hope that you enjoy it too.

Note: All captions on the photos are from Ray Wells and Scott Hamilton. Any added contributions are gratefully received at info@TheRialtoReport.com

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Ray Wells

After getting a degree in business in Charlotte, North Carolina, Ray Wells moved to San Francisco in 1970 living in a commune at 1911 – 1915 Divisadero St. He remembers spending most of his time dropping acid and fantasizing about being hired as a sexual performer.

One day he was was hitchhiking and was picked up a pretty blonde called Connie Di Angelo. Connie turned out to be one of the top madames in San Francisco. She and Ray became friends and he would hang out at her brothel, meeting the various women who worked for her. Ray told Connie about his fantasy of being paid for sex, and she recommended speaking to Clair Dia, a model and actress who’d been appearing in some of the first X-rated movies in the city.

Clair hooked Ray up with photographer Paul Johnson, and Ray was soon working regularly as a nude model with Paul and other photographers in the business. Soon Ray was making 8mm loops with shooters like Sam Menning and Irv Carsten, and he eventually crossed paths with John Seeman, an actor who was also the go-between for filmmakers coming up from Los Angeles to San Francisco to shoot porn films. John found acting work for Ray with luminaries such as Ted Paramore, Carlos Tobalina, Bob Vosse, and Bobby Hollander.

The money from the films paid the rent, and Ray supplemented it by selling weed, playing the harmonica in a garage band, and organizing music for parties. Ray had been to broadcasting school because he wanted to work in radio eventually; it never worked out but it earned him the nickname ‘Radio Ray’.

Then in 1979, Ray moved to Los Angeles. John Seeman suggested that the agent Jim South would get him work out of the World Modelling offices. Ray met Jim and found X-rated acting gigs plentiful. In fact he’d hang around the offices so often that he eventually started working there as well. He’d answer phones, set up appointments, and take Polaroids of the aspiring actors. It was Ray who was there when future stars like Traci Lords and Shauna Grant showed up for the first time.

When I showed Ray a list of the women he worked with together with photos of them, he fell silent in amazement. “Is this really possible?” he asked incredulously.

“It seems like another life. A lifetime ago. I just can’t believe that I had sex with all these beautiful women. I’m almost 70 now. What a crazy life.”

Ray Wells, Joey SilveraKristine Heller, Joey Silvera

 

Ray WellsJoey Silvera, Desiree West, Kristine Heller

 

Ray WellsAnnette Haven, Paul Thomas, Desiree West, Dashile Miguele

 

Ken Scudder. Annette HavenKen Scudder, Annette Haven

 

Annette Haven, Clair DiaAnnette Haven, Clair Dia

 

Edwin BrownEdwin Brown

 

Ray Wells

 

Ray Wells

 

Ray Wells

 

Ray Wells

 

Ray Wells

 

Jean Jennings

 

Ray Wells

 

Ray Wells

 

Paul ThomasPaul Thomas

 

Ray WellsPaul Thomas

 

Christine KellyChristine Kelly

 

Ray Wells

 

Ray Wells

 

Ray Wells

 

John Holmes, Desiree WestJohn Holmes, Desiree West

 

Ray Wells

 

Ray Wells

 

Ray WellsRay Wells on set, at the Space Retreat

 

Ray WellsView from the Space Retreat set

 

Candida RoyalleCandida Royalle (lying) at the Space Retreat set

 

Ray Wells

 

Sandy PinneyActress Sandy Pinney‘s wedding

 

Sandy PinneyActress Sandy Pinney‘s wedding

 

Sandy PinneyPhotographer Paul Johnson at Sandy Pinney‘s wedding

 

Ray WellsInstructions for actors – issued by Aventura Motion Pictures

 

Ray WellsMitchell brother

 

Annette HavenAnnette Haven (in mask), Tyler Reynolds (in profile)

 

Annette HavenAnnette Haven

 

Ray Wells

 

Ray Wells

 

Ray Wells, Jim SouthPolaroids from Jim South‘s World Modeling

 

Ray Wells, Jim SouthPolaroids from Jim South‘s World Modeling

 

Ray WellsRay Wells, in one of his last modeling shoots

 

Ray WellsYour photographer, Ray Wells

29 Comments

  1. Anon · July 12, 2015 Reply

    What a superb and evocative collection of items… thanks Ray and everyone at the Rialto. It is good to know that there are still collections out there that preserve this period in time.

  2. T. Jones · July 12, 2015 Reply

    Ray Wells! I remember him! He seemed to be in EVERY film that I saw coming out of SF in the early days. Always there, and not a bad actor either…. a real ham! I met him once a premiere. A real nice gentle guy.
    Good to see you’re still out there Ray.
    Are you still in touch with Tyler, Joey, and the old gang?

    • Radio Ray · July 12, 2015 Reply

      I talk to Tyler almost everyday, Have spoken with Paul Johnson, Bill Margold, John Seeman, Annette, and Kay Parker. Would love to find Joey Nasavera, and meet up with any woman I had the pleasure to work with during those days, to catch up on our lives,
      Ray

      • Rachel S. · July 12, 2015 Reply

        Hi Ray – pleased to see you active on this board! I’m researching a PhD in gender roles in early adult films and kept seeing your face, so it’s nice to hear your bio, see you pictures, and hear from you – all in one day thanks to TRR. I hope life has treated you well over the years. Thanks for sharing.

      • Tamara Longley fan · July 18, 2015 Reply

        Hi Ray, do you know if the first black porn star, San Francisco based King Paul is still alive? He was in all the Diamond collection loops and just disappeared in 1982

  3. BFC · July 12, 2015 Reply

    Kristine Heller, now there’s a blast from the past. Is it true that she died 20 years ago or so?

  4. Tom Pellar · July 12, 2015 Reply

    Another great contribution to the growing list of towering achievements of this website.

  5. Chris · July 12, 2015 Reply

    Great stuff. I am surprised no pictures of John Leslie

  6. Hank Rose · July 12, 2015 Reply

    Now that’s more like it. A pictorial time machine back to the good old days.

  7. Cathy Gigante-Brown · July 12, 2015 Reply

    Wonderful vacay feature. Thanks for sharing, Ray!

  8. Gregory Pecker · July 12, 2015 Reply

    You should do a podcast on ZEBEDY COLT. btw bambi woods is 60 today.

    • The Rialto Report · July 13, 2015 Reply

      Two of our favorites – we’ll do what we can!

    • JJ · December 25, 2015 Reply

      I read that Zebedy Colt died years ago. It would be interesting to know what he has say…

      Now Bambi Woods is someone that I would love to see here! I wonder what happened to her.

  9. C. Elam · July 12, 2015 Reply

    Amazing collection of photos! What great stuff!

    I believe I can ID the unidentified topless woman with Paul Thomas above. It looks like Victoria Winter, aka Virginia Winter and several other names. I’d assume that’s her with him in the “action” shot right afterward.

    imdb for Victoria Winter

  10. Steven Otero · July 13, 2015 Reply

    Remembering Kristine

    Kristine Heller retired from the adult industry in 1978, leaving behind almost 30 movies and loops. In 1999 Paul Thomas directed a movie titled The Awakening. In that film, the main character, played by Inari Vachs, is based on Kristine Heller explaining that “she [struggled] between her Catholic upbringing and her thing in porno.” Though it’s based on real life events, Thomas did not make it a period piece. “It’s a cautionary tale,” said Thomas. “Beware that deciding to go into pornography is a serious decision in your life. I don’t want to get too heavy, but it’s the most emotionally true movie I’ve ever done.”

  11. John · July 13, 2015 Reply

    Strangely moving.

  12. Peter · July 13, 2015 Reply

    Wow, amazing archive! Nice to see Kristine Heller among them, not sure what happened to her.

  13. Mike Wray · July 13, 2015 Reply

    Another good one. I’d love to know more about the mysterious Aventura film company who were the authors of the sheet of instructions reproduced above. Does anyone know any details?

    Keep up this incredible work!

  14. Tamara Longley fan · July 18, 2015 Reply

    I had ho idea Ray’s career went back to the 70’s? I remember seeing him in a lot of 80’s features, a couple of times watching him paired up with the stunning Tamara Longley.

    Desiree West was so pretty, saw a recent photo of Desiree on another classic porn site and though she now wears glasses and looks middle aged, she is still very attractive and you would recognize her in a second

  15. Lurky McLurkson · July 18, 2015 Reply

    Staggering stuff! Fascinating.
    The western village is the (still standing) town on the Paramount ranch.

  16. John · July 22, 2015 Reply

    Here’s the Google Street view from 8600 Hillside Avenue in Hollywood where cocktails were served at “Space Retreat’:

    https://www.instantstreetview.com/@34.100136,-118.373814,160.85h,5p,1z

  17. Don Fernando · July 23, 2015 Reply

    Kristine Heller was the girl that I did the “audition” with for Jerry “Jay Gladstone” Abrams. It was my very first scene in porn but I wasn’t nervous walking up the 15th Street hill,; that is, until I met Jerry.

    Looking like a gruff Hells Angel that lost his colors, I almost bailed out but I needed the pussy … and the $40 was a secondary incentive to try it. But when he explained to me what a “loop” was, he was like a gentle. soft-spoken professor so I relaxed. “No talking, no stopping and you can cum anytime after 11 minutes after I start rolling. If you cum before 11 minutes, you do not get the $40!”, Jerry instructed me. I put my watch back on. Jerry laughed “Don’t worry… I’ll let you know when 11 minutes has gone by so take your watch off”.

    Jerry started his stopwatch… tick… tick… tick. I was a nerdy-type and could never score with a beauty like Kristine Heller unless she was a hooker so… those 11 minutes seemed like an eternity. I could have cum 11 times in that scene, Kristine turned me on that much. Luckily, I had been doing Kegel exercises for 2 years so I was able to hold back.

  18. Radio Ray · July 24, 2015 Reply

    Don Fernando? How the hell are you old friend? Did you see the snapshot I got of you working with Joey’s GF? I forgot her name, but boy, what a hottie. Remember that? That’s you halfway in and sucking on her wonderful boobies. I remember asking Joey for his blessing the day I was lucky enough to work with her, what fun!
    Hey, send me an email, let’s chat,
    Radio Ray

  19. Louie Max · September 4, 2015 Reply

    un fn believable… the jim south polaroids are gold!!

  20. Ronald · June 26, 2016 Reply

    I loved him in kiss the day goodbye!

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