Blair Harris: Surf, Sex and a Second Life

Blair Harris: Surf, Sex and a Second Life

What ever happened to Blair Harris? He was a handsome young performer who showed up on the San Francisco adult film scene in the mid 1970s and stayed for almost 15 years, appearing in over 300 films and loops.

He made loops with early pioneers like Bob Wolfe and Irv Carsten. He performed in movies by renowned directors like Alex de Renzy, Anthony Spinelli, and Carlos Tobalina. He was friends with Jamie Gillis, roommates with Paul Thomas, he lived with Annette Haven for two years, and dated stars like Jeanette James, Candida Royalle and Mimi Morgan.

Then around 1990, Blair disappeared, and few people knew what became of him.

In this Rialto Report, we find out why Blair vanished and what his life has been like these past 30 years.

Blair Harris

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Blair Harris: Beginnings

When and where were you born?

I was born in Miami in 1952. My parents were from there – well, my stepdad, who raised me, was born there, and my mom was born in Alabama, which is close enough… My biological father, who split from my mom when I was an infant, was from Georgia. I think there was a big criminal colony in Georgia from Ireland – kind of like the British sent to Australia. So I often think I came from criminal stock.

But I lived with my stepdad and my mom. And when I was about 3 years old, we moved from Miami up to Fort Lauderdale. I think it was for my dad’s work but I’m not sure – when you’re 3 years old you just go with the flow.

Blair HarrisBlair Harris (aged 5)

Did you see your biological father when you were growing up?

No. The only time I remember seeing him was when I was 15 years old and he came to see me at school. It was very weird. I was a clueless teenager, and here’s this guy with tears in his eyes, and I had no idea what the fuck was going on. So much of the nuance, and poignancy, and everything else, was lost on me at that age.

What was your mom like?

She was a stay-at-home mom, civic-minded, supportive of my dad’s career. She was a serious lady – concerned with doing the right thing by us kids, raising us right, making sure we had the best nutrition and all that. She took parenting very seriously.

I’m very proud of my mom. She’s still alive at age 93. She pretty much devoted her life to me and my half-brother when we were growing up.

Were you close to your brother?

Yeah, pretty close. We were seven years apart, so there was some distance there, but we became closer as time went on.

What did your adoptive dad do?

He was an attorney. He handled civil suits for a while and then later specialized in real estate law.

Did you get along well with him?

Not really. He wasn’t around much, to tell you the truth. He worked a lot, so he would leave before I got up and came home after I went to bed. It was a normal, dysfunctional family of the 1950s and early 1960s I guess.

What are your earliest memories of Southern Florida?

That it was hot and flat. I spent a lot of time at the beach and in the water where I skin-dived and surfed.

I also remember doing duck-and-cover drills in elementary school. The teachers kept saying, “We’re only 90 miles from Cuba.” A lot of the kids would cry in fear being attacked. But even then I knew it was insane – as if crawling under a small plywood desk would protect you against an atomic bomb. 

Blair HarrisBlair Harris (age 6)

What was your family’s ethnic background?

We were just generic white. I had my genetic profile done, and I’m English, Irish, Welsh and Scottish with a little bit of Norwegian. Oh, and 2% Bantu African, however that slipped in there.

Was your family religious?

Not at all. My grandma on my mother’s side was Catholic and she took me to church with her every once in a while. And my family tried out the Unitarian Church a few times. But no, we weren’t religious.

Were you a good kid?

I started out that way. I was pretty shy – introverted and sensitive. I read books, I watched TV, and I really loved the outdoors. I liked fishing and building forts and stuff like that. My friends and I would take lumber from construction sites and build forts by the lakes and rivers nearby. And we would swim for miles in the canals around Fort Lauderdale.

Where you a good student?

I was fairly good, at least until I got into junior high school. Then the culture and the times started changing and all of a sudden school just didn’t make any sense to me. I remember we had a class in high school called AVC – Americanism versus Communism. On top of advanced math and stuff. I was like, “When am I ever gonna’ use this shit?” 

All I wanted to do was surf. And my parents were pretty permissive with me – they let me get away with a lot of shit. So I started to get into trouble. I smoked pot, dropped acid, skipped school and went surfing. And this was when being busted with drugs was dangerous – if the cops stopped you, you could go to jail for years. 

I wound up hating school so much I dropped out when I was 17. I got a GED a year later. 

What did you make of all the cultural change that was going on?

I remember that it was pretty likely that I could get drafted and go to Vietnam, and that idea horrified me. I didn’t want to go, and my parents didn’t want me to go – my mom encouraged me to go see the Quakers, because they counseled people on how to avoid the draft.

I wound up getting really lucky. That year they instituted the lottery draft and I got a really high number, so I was never picked.

Do you remember when you started to become sexually aware?

Probably around the age of 14 or 15. I was dorky and awkward and a late bloomer. But I did read my father’s Playboys and the photos of naked women fascinated me, which I guess was pretty normal at that age.

There were a few girls around who seemed to have sex with anyone and everyone. My first time was with one of those kinds of girls. I think it lasted less than a minute. Not romantic, but I didn’t give a shit.

Did you receive any sex education at home or in school?

Yeah, my parents did talk to me about sex and were pretty open. They were a bit uncomfortable but they tried to be open.

I remember that I went to summer camp in North Carolina when I was about 13 and I had to take an overnight bus by myself to get there. My mom said to me, “There are men that might want to try and put their hands on you…” Later I found out that she had once been groped on a bus by an old lady while she was sleeping, so I guess that’s where that came from.

What did you do when you dropped out of high school?

One of the first things I did was drive cross-country to California with a friend. He had a van and we drove straight, taking turns sleeping in the back and driving.

Blair Harris

Why California?

Some friends who’d been out there said the waves were much better than in Florida. We went to Swami’s Point, this real famous surf bay in San Diego. And the surfing really was much better than Florida. Also it felt like half the kids in the U.S. were heading to California at the time.

We were going to stay in San Diego a while but some cops pulled us over, saw our IDs and told us we were underage and couldn’t be there without our parents. They said we were lucky that juvenile hall was at capacity cause otherwise they would have hauled us in. They let us off with a warning but said if they saw us again they’d take us in so we drove up north to stay with an aunt of mine near San Francisco. After a while my friend left but I stayed a few months.

What did you make of San Francisco?

San Francisco was great. There were so many people closer to my age instead of the retirement state of Florida. I remember hitch-hiking across the Golden Gate bridge once and finding what looked like a tab of acid on the floor of the car so I quietly picked it up and put it in my mouth. 

I really liked it out there.

So you stayed?

No – I wound up going back to Florida. After a while I said to myself, “Hey, my parents really do love me and wish the best for me. I should go home and try to reconcile with them.”

Blair Harris

Had you fallen out with them?

Sort of. I was getting into a lot of trouble back in Florida. Siphoning gas and getting caught by a neighbor, that kind of thing. And my parents found a big bag of pot in my drawer and thought I was a drug addict supplying the north half of Broward County. 

They didn’t want me to go to California but I went. But like I said, I decided I wanted to head back home to them. I lived with my parents for a while when I got back and picked up work here and there – some shitty construction jobs, occasionally selling pot. 

Then in 1971 when I was 19, I went to a trade school. It was an ocean sciences program. After that I got a job with the University of Florida.

In Gainesville?

Yes. I had a girlfriend in Gainesville going to junior college to become a nurse. And I knew a bunch of people moving to Gainesville. It was really different from South Florida – there was a hippy scene, and a lot of drugs and music. It was a much younger vibe there and I was a real hippie at that point with hair down to the middle of my back.

 

What was your job at the university?

I was a laborer for the Coastal Oceanographic Engineering department. We’d survey all these beaches, because the state had just passed a law that all new construction had to be set back from the high tidelines. When we weren’t doing that we were building a big wave pool to conduct experiments to combat erosion.

Was your plan to stay in Gainesville?

I split with my girlfriend and met another girl who was older than me, like seven years older, and I was crazy about her. We had this really torrid affair, and then she moved to California. And about that time my parents moved to California, so I decided to move west too, back to the Bay Area. That would be in about 1973 or ’74.

My girlfriend wound up dumping me, but I stayed in California.

What were you going to do for money now that you left your job at the university?

My stepdad said if I went to school, he would help support me. So I went to school so I wouldn’t have to work. I studied a hodgepodge of things like ornamental horticulture and theater, but I didn’t take it seriously.

Ultimately I decided I wanted to be in the heart of San Francisco – so I dropped out of school, moved to the city and got a job.

What job did you take?

I worked in a little antique store. I would fix the things that came in and get them sale-ready. In my downtime, I would go to bars and try to pick up girls.

It was a good time to be young in San Francisco.

Blair Harris

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Adult Films

How did you wind up getting into films?

One day I met this girl who was a photography student at the San Francisco Art Institute. She told me that to make money, she was performing in these short sex films they called loops. They were directed by a guy named Bob Wolfe who was actually from New York.

She asked me if I wanted to make a movie with her. She said it was easy money and that she’d rather have sex with me than some strange guy.

Blair Harris

Did you have any reservations?

None at all. I thought it sounded great. I could use the money and of course I was into the sex.

So I went with her to Bob Wolfe’s house – which was an old schoolhouse in Sebastopol, north of San Francisco. I remember he had a bunch of grubby little kids of his running around. Of course we didn’t shoot in front of them – we went to a separate part of the house to film.

Did you have any interest in performing before this?

No, not really. I’d taken a theater class in junior college, but I never really felt an affinity towards it. But in loops, acting was secondary to being able to maintain a reliable erection.

Blair Harris

What were your impressions of Bob Wolfe?

He just seemed like an old hippy guy. He was fat and had long hair and a beard. I’d describe him as disheveled.

Did everything go well with the shoot?

Yeah it went fine. When we were done, Bob handed me $100 and said he’d call me again. And shortly after he did.

The next time’s when I first met Paul Thomas. I didn’t have a car so PT wound up giving me a ride home from that second shoot. 

Paul ThomasPaul Thomas

What were your first impressions of PT?

I thought he was crazy. He had this convertible and as we were driving he was singing at the top of his lungs. He was in Beach Blanket Babylon at the time which made me wonder why he was shooting loops. But when I saw him perform in the films I realized why – he just really, really liked the sex.

PT and I wound up becoming friends. In fact we became roommates for a time. I remember one night when we were living together I woke up to find PT screwing this girl from behind… right next to me! But what was memorable about it was that he was playing the recorder all the time while he was doing it.

Did you get called up for more films straight away?

Yes. It was such a small circle of people in the Bay Area that you quickly got known. They were always looking for new women, but they weren’t necessarily looking for new guys. They wanted reliable young men that could perform.

Leslie BoveeBlair Harris with Lesllie Bovee

Did you shoot loops for other directors?

Oh yeah. One guy I shot a lot of loops for was Irv Carsten. I think that he might have shot in Europe for a while. He gave me a ton of work but he was slow. He’d take all fucking day to shoot a 10-minute loop.

Another guy I shot a lot with was named Ralph. He had this grubby apartment in Berkeley that we’d shoot in. He’d been in the business since the 1950s, and had a lot of great stories about the early days. He talked about how he used to have his films secretly developed, and then he’d drive miles away to mail them so that they wouldn’t be tracked back to him. It must have been really dangerous because even twenty years later in the 1970s, when I was shooting with him, it was still illegal.

I also got to know a lot of people around the loop business. Guys like Jason Russell, Bobby Genova, Bobby Hollander and Teddy Snyder.

 

Blair Harris

What do you remember about Teddy Snyder?

He used a lot of cocaine. I mean A LOT. And he had his own airplane. I flew with him a couple of times.

And you also shot loops for Jerry Abrams, right?

Oh yeah, I shot with Jerry. He was from the hippie days – Summer of Love and all of that. He used to put on the light shows behind bands like The Grateful Dead. 

Jerry would shoot the loops in his house, right above Castro Street, up the hill. He was really efficient – he’d knock them out in an hour. And he was funny. He’d say, “No soft-ons.”

And when you were screwing a girl and getting close to cumming, he’d shout, “Just think about Nixon and bowling.”

Jerry AbramsJerry Abrams

When did you move from loops to feature-length films?

Fairly quickly, I guess. It’s hard to even remember. 

Where you worried about the acting when you started making films?

I was a little nervous about the dialogue at first but I came to enjoy it. I actually wound up taking some acting classes – I never mastered the craft but it all became a little clearer to me after studying the mechanics of the practice.

Did you ever consider trying to get into mainstream films?

No, I never did. I didn’t really have a passion for it.

Did the feature movies feel different than the loops?

Oh yeah. We had scripts, we shot with big, early Panavision cameras. We’d have to wait around while they changed out the film. 

And those movie shoots went on for hours. They were very long days.

And you mostly shot in San Francisco?

Yes, the Bay Area. It was illegal but the cops didn’t care. I remember once shooting with Troy Benny [Carlos Tobalina]. He owned the Mayan Theater in L.A. and he made his own movies – these really terrible films. He owned his own camera equipment and used to rent it out to people so they could make films and he could make money.

Blair Harris

 

Anyway, he got a permit to shoot on the street in San Francisco and hired an off-duty police escort to help keep things in line. But he didn’t tell the cop it was a porn film. Everything went fine until the end of the day when the cop was talking to Troy’s girlfriend and asked her if she was in the movie. She replied, “Oh no – I don’t do porno movies.”

The jig was up –  and he was busted!

Blair HarrisCarlos Tobalina (as Troy Benny) directs Blair Harris (as David Blair)

 

Did you find most work through word of mouth?

Yes. And sometimes with the help of people like Alex de Renzy‘s wife, Katherine, and Harold Adler.

What do you remember about Harold Adler? 

He had this agency in the Ferry Building in San Francisco. He was a little skinny Jewish guy with big frizzy hair, cowboy boots and a big Cadillac.

And you worked a good deal with Alex de Renzy, Katherine’s then-husband?

Oh yeah. Alex was a really interesting guy. He owned a porn theatre down in the Tenderloin, a real seedy place, but he would shoot everything at his big house up in Novato. 

He was good to work for. He know what he wanted from his performers and he let you know. And my sense was that he had a few bucks to spend. He’d do close-ups, wide shots. There were plots too. He tried to make something more than just a purely strip-down thing.

But Alex was a real character – like a pirate. In fact he had a ship – a converted minesweeper or something like that. Somebody told me he sailed around the world on that thing and brought back all these exotic animals that he was going to sell. I think the feds seized the ship and all the animals died. 

I remember just a couple of years ago, I was going to this yoga class and one day a new instructor walked in and introduced herself as something like Susan de Renzy. After the class I went up to her and said,”I know an Alex de Renzy – are you a relation?” And she said, “Yeah, that’s my dad.”

Blair Harris

Do you remember anything from his film Pretty Peaches (1978)?

A little… I remember there were a lot of people at Alex’s house while we shot it, and that everything was chaotic, which was typical. But despite all that, Alex did seem to have a plan.

I also remember Desiree Cousteau – she was pretty and had an awesome body, but she just seemed dizzy and didn’t impress me much. We didn’t click I guess.

Pretty Peaches

Who were the male performers on the scene at that time?

It was John Leslie, Jon Martin, Don Fernando. I became friendly with all those guys.

And I knew Jamie Gillis pretty well. We hung out a lot when he first moved out west from New York. I really liked Jamie. He was very at home in his own skin. He never did drugs or drink, and he was so comfortable with himself – really relaxed with who and where he was.

I didn’t always feel comfortable with myself. I would second guess myself sometimes and wonder if I was doing the right thing. But Jamie, he just liked to play poker and have crazy sex and seemed to have everything he wanted or needed.

Jamie was with Serena at the time. I used to have sex with her sometimes when Jamie was around. He didn’t seem to mind at all.

What do you remember about John Holmes?

He was nuts. Just absolutely crazy. But that’s because when I got to know him he was far gone into cocaine. 

And what about the women?

I dated Annette Haven and we lived together for two years.

Annette HavenAnnette Haven (and Serena)

How did you come to date Annette?

Around 1976 I shot with her and Sharon Thorpe for Swedish Erotica – it was down in the San Fernando Valley. I remember because the producers wouldn’t tell us exactly where we were going to shoot because it was illegal. John Seeman was there and he drove us to an address. As we were driving, he said, “We’re being followed.” And sure enough, there were two unmarked cars tailing us. It was crazy. 

Aside from that it was a great shoot and I was attracted to Annette straight away so I asked her out. She kind of brushed me off saying she was busy but that I should call her later.

I tried a few more times until one day, Annette invited me to come over to her place. She’d invited a friend named Emily who was down and needed cheering up. I went over and we all got high and had sex for hours. The three of us, Annette Emily, and I – it was great. I remember when I was leaving thinking to myself, “Man, I’m gonna remember this day for the rest of my life.” 

After that, Annette and I just starting hanging out a lot and eventually we moved in together. She was really a singular personality. Extremely bright and of course very beautiful.

Outside of work, were you an exclusive couple?

Pretty much. Occasionally we’d have another girl with us – I never complained about that.

But we were mostly a regular couple. We’d take little trips up in Northern California. I’d help Annette with things because she was working a lot more than I was.

Was that ever a problem?

Not in terms of jealousy. But I probably would have liked to have done more. I was getting sporadic work through Harold Adler and Katherine. After you’re in the business for a while, it’s such a small circle of people, your name gets around. But I wasn’t working tons.

Blair Harris

Did your family know about your participation in the adult industry?

I brought Annette home to my parents for my dad’s birthday party once. They asked her what she did and she told them. And that was that – the cat was out of the bag.

At first I think my parents thought it was a phase I was going through. And they never tried to force their beliefs on me or anything.

They loved me and I don’t think my being in the business changed that.

Outside of Annette, what other women stand out in your memory?

I remember Connie Peterson – she was a little blonde girl with some really shitty tattoos. I remember one of them said “free rider “, and it was the worst jailhouse tattoo you can imagine. But she was sweet and funny and sort of innocent. I think she might have even been underage when she started.

Connie PetersonConnie Peterson

Dorothy LeMay also comes to mind. She was really cute though she too seemed very young too. She had a husband named Bob that got her into the business, and he was just nuts. He found her in Ohio I think, and brought her out to the Bay Area to get her into the business.

Dorothy LeMayDorothy LeMay

Do you remember Lili Marlene?

Oh yeah. She was funny, strange girl. She was married as well, as I recall. And she always struck me as very, very shy. But she seemed to really enjoy the sex.

How about Phaedra Grant?

Yeah, sure. I think she was from Portland or Seattle. I would be surprised if she’s still alive – she was pretty into drugs. But I do hope she found her way out and is alive and living well. She was very sweet.

Phaedra Grant

What caused your relationship with Annette to come to an end?

Oh man, I don’t know. Probably my immaturity. I was pretty immature at that time.

Did you wind up dating any other women from the business?

I dated Constance Money for a bit but never really felt like I got to know her well. It always seemed strange to me that she was in porn because she didn’t seem to like it much at all. Then she started to get recognized and it became a problem for her because she wanted to keep her participation a secret really.

I wouldn’t call it dating, but I used to see Candida Royalle from time to time. She was fun, friendly and just really loved sex.

Sharon Mitchell and I would have sex now and then. We used to party with PT – take a lot of drugs. A lot of coke.

And Mimi Morgan – I saw her outside of work. She really liked sex too. Most of the girls did. Once in a while you would work with someone that didn’t seem like she wanted to be there but they was few and far between.

Mimi MorganMimi Morgan

Who were the women you knew you would always have a good scene with?

Lili Marlene and Amber Lynn come to mind. Seka was fun – kinda dirty in her own way. Lysa Thatcher was fun too – she was married to Jim Mitchell for a while.

The Mitchell brothers always make me think of the O’Farrell Theatre – it was like every 18-year-old boy’s fantasy club house. It had a big pool table and a fridge full of Heineken beer. Then across the hall were all these naked girls getting ready to go on stage. I loved hanging out there.

I didn’t know Jim well but I used to sell Artie pot. He was a good customer of mine. 

Do you remember meeting Traci Lords?

Yeah I remember her – I think she was underage when I met her. I remember introducing myself saying, “Hi – my name’s Blair, and who are you?” She reacted like, “You should know: I’m Traci Lords.”

We had a sex scene and it was fine. She didn’t seem all that into it.

Were any films particularly memorable for you?

I remember making Skintight (1981) with the director Ed DePriest. It was shot in a big warehouse on Third Street in San Francisco. Annette and PT were in that. And Lisa Deleeuw was in it too.

I liked Lisa – she was outgoing and friendly and bouncy, in more ways than one! Jeanette James, whom I dated, was friends with Lisa, so I got to hang out with Lisa a bit.

Ed DePriest, Lisa Deleeuw, Paul ThomasEd DePriest, Lisa Deleeuw, Paul Thomas on the set of ‘Skintight’ (1981)

You acted in Cave Women (aka One Upon A Time…) (1979), the one film Annette directed, in 1979.

Yes. The guy who financed the film wanted to have a relationship with Annette, even though I was in a relationship with her at the time. Anyway he offered her the opportunity and she wanted to give it a try. She wrote the script and everything. And I think she was excited – mostly at the idea of making some money. Annette grew up really poor and she longed for financial security.

I don’t think the film made her any significant money but it was fun. And it was so telling of Annette. She had everyone playing Neanderthals but she dressed herself in this sparkly outfit.

Blair Harris

Were there particular directors you respected?

I guess Sam Weston [Anthony Spinelli], although we didn’t really get along. I didn’t feel like he respected me. But at least he tried to make a higher quality product. And Alex and Ed dePriest were good too. Ed did a lot of coke so I’m surprised he’s still alive.

I also liked working for the Lewis Brothers. They were just young, hustling guys. But they knew what they were doing. They were organized so you didn’t have wait around tons and waste time.

I liked Gary Graver too. He directed me in Private Moments (1983), among other films, in which I played a rock star. That was fun, thought that might have been the film where he bounced a check he wrote me.

On some sets back in the day, you could wait around forever.

Blair rocks the house in ‘Private Moments’

Do you remember Bob Vosse?

Yes – he was another guy who seemed like an asshole to me. He was so sexist towards the women.

He had this cameraman that he worked with – a big, fat guy. That guy used to have to wear a battery belt to power the camera, but he was so big that he had to get an extension for the battery belt to fit.

Did you ever consider adult films a career?

No. I didn’t take it very seriously. There were others that seemed to take it a lot more seriously than I did – people like PT, John Leslie and Jamie Gillis – but I wasn’t like that.

Blair HarrisBlair Harris with Lesllie Bovee

And it sounds like you were doing a decent amount of drugs at that time?

I was doing my fair share. I mean I’d been doing drugs since I was a young teen – smoking pot and dropping acid. But as the 1970s became the 1980s, cocaine started showing up on the sets and at parties. People always seemed to have coke on them. I was no exception.

When you were waiting for your scene, it was easy to grab a line or two to help alleviate the boredom.

When did drugs become a problem for you?

It was around the late 1980s, as I approached my 40th birthday. It was gradual at first, but then things accelerated and I hit a real low point. I had started using heroin to take the edge off from the cocaine binges I was going on. I was living in a residence hotel, eating the occasional meal at soup kitchens, and I just had had enough.

I felt like I couldn’t go on the way I was living if I wanted to stay alive. I decided I needed to clean up and get a trade.

Was the increased drug use a result of working in the adult industry?

No, not really. I mean… I used drugs while I was in the business – but my drug use really accelerated as I got out. 

Drugs were just the symptom anyway. They’re never the cause of people’s problems as far as I’m concerned. I just felt directionless in my life. The movies were a way of making money without choosing a direction or committing myself to something. It was fun for a while, but then I got to a point in my life where I felt, “I gotta do better than this. I have to. It looks like I’m gonna live past 40, so I need to get a real job and make a life for myself.”

Blair Harris

*

Leaving the Adult Business

Was it hard to get out of the business?

Not too hard. I was lucky in a lot of ways. I had good health and was fairly intelligent. I did use welfare for almost a year to get on my feet but then a roommate of mine got me a night job while I finished up trade school. It was at this adult club near us where they had live peep shows – the kind where girls dance behind the glass while guys feed in money.

I did miss some of my friends from the business. And I missed the easy sex. But I was a heroin addict so the sex had receded anyway.

How did you get clean?

I got on methadone. I was on welfare and food stamps for 10 months while I was in trade school. But within three days of graduating, I got a job as a heavy equipment mechanic. 

I worked in that field for a total of almost 30 years, the last 18 in civil service. The benefits were great and it had a much better pension than porn.

You’re married now. Does your wife know about your work in adult films?

No, she doesn’t. She’s from a Latin-American country and she’s very conservative in a lot of ways. I just think it would just shock her, and she already thinks I’m a little nutty as it is.

I think it would just be unfathomable for her.

Is there a part of you that feels guilty about not telling her?

No, I don’t feel that way. I mean, I suppose I would rather be able to tell her, but I just don’t think it’s a good idea at this point.

Are you happy nowadays?

I am. But retiring from work was a difficult time for me. I used to work six days a week and it was such a big part of my life. I wasn’t just a mechanic; I ran the shop. My whole life was structured around work.

Did you ever have any children?

Not personally. But I have five grand kids and a great grand kid through my wife. 

Where are you living now?

About a year ago, I moved back to Florida. The expense of living in San Francisco was too much. I owned a house in San Francisco that I lived in for 20 years. I sold that, and it was a pretty good nest egg. And I like to surf – and the water in San Francisco is really cold. I wanted to be near some warmer water so Florida just seemed like a good place to return to.

But then Covid and the lockdown hit and it’s been really hard. I miss being able to move about freely and travel. My wife has grand kids from a previous relationship in another country and we want to be able to visit them.

There’s a lot of things I want to do, and I’m just not doing much right now. I spend an awful lot of time on the couch, too much time watching TV. 

I want to go bike touring – this morning, I rode my bike for two hours. I’m in decent health. I have the usual problems that people get when they get old. I have arthritis, I have four replaced joints. But I don’t have any life-threatening illnesses or anything, so, yeah, knock on wood… things will soon open up.

How do you look back on your time in the business?

I have mixed feelings. On the one hand I did things that a lot of young men only dream of, and I got all that out of my system – or most of it. I don’t feel like I missed anything crazy which I think some guys do. They hit middle age and it’s time for a mid-life crisis. I don’t feel like that happened to me.

But sometimes I think about what my life would have been if I’d invested my time in something other than adult film. I know what’s done is done and you can’t go back, but if I could I probably would have made more of my younger life. 

But it’s all ended up well. I own my own home. I have enough money to be comfortable. I’m happily married.

Does your time in the business feel like another life?

It really does. It’s so separate, and I think just the fact that I was so much younger when I did it contributes to that. And while I’m sure there’s stuff floating around the internet it’s not like my films are in my face.

But it’s kind of nice to revisit those times. I spoke with PT and Herschel Savage a while ago and it felt good to let them know I was in a good place. The last time they saw me I was deep into drugs and not doing well. It’s gratifying for me to say, “Hey, I didn’t die. I did okay for myself.”

While that was me in those films, it truly was a whole other life.

And it’s nice to have someone interested in me and what I did. Thank you.

*

Blair Harris

*

  • Posted On: 13th December 2020
  • By: Ashley West
  • Under: Articles

59 Comments

  1. Jeff Robertson · December 13, 2020 Reply

    Blair Harris was awesome x-rated film star from the 70s 80s and early 90s that was really interesting article keep up the good work merry Christmas and happy holidays

  2. Jon Spalding · December 13, 2020 Reply

    BLAIR HARRIS!!!!

    I have heard so much about you over the years, and have always wondered what happened to you! It is excellent to read this and find out who you are and that you are still alive!

    This is an interesting life story and part of the history of the XXX film industry!

    • Andrew · December 13, 2020 Reply

      The first time I saw Blair Harris on screen I thought “wow I didn’t know Tony Danza did porn” LOL

      On an unrelated note-Wishing everyone at The Rialto Report, and your loved one’s, a happy and safe holiday season.:)

      • April Hall · December 14, 2020 Reply

        We so appreciate that Andrew – same to you and yours!

        • Kenny c · January 11, 2021 Reply

          That was a very interesting ,honest interview with a happy ending .
          Longtime follower. Kenny c.

      • Greg · December 15, 2020 Reply

        I think David Morris resembles Danza more. Check out these scenes: Coming on America, Scene 2 with Mandi Wine and Insatiable, Scene 3 with Marilyn Chambers. You can find them on Pornhub.com. Both are scorching!

      • Troy Knutson · February 7, 2021 Reply

        Great insightful interview.

  3. Karl Ward · December 13, 2020 Reply

    And so the tapestry continues…. The Rialto Report is an unprecedented collection of personal histories that tell an untold history of the film business. It is utterly unique and breathtaking in its scope, and nothing like it exists in any other genre to my knowledge.

    Blair’s story is a unique part of this.

  4. Hans · December 13, 2020 Reply

    Greetings from Denmark.

    Thank you very much for documenting Blair’s life. He was my favorite actor in the 1970s, and there has been no information about his life. This is magnificent.

    Amazing.

  5. Corey · December 13, 2020 Reply

    Very informative interview. Blair seems grounded and realistic about his life. No bitterness. Refreshing. And ANY info on Connie Peterson is worth reading. Thanks for another great piece of journalism.

  6. John · December 13, 2020 Reply

    Thanks for another great interview. It’s great to know Blair has such a good Life today.

  7. Don · December 13, 2020 Reply

    It is fantastic to know that he found a good life for himself and he is with someone he loves. Really awesome, thank you so much for the interview, brilliant as always.

  8. Heather · December 13, 2020 Reply

    Another wonderful interview and especially with one of the more unsung men of the golden era! (Unsung until now!) Also, that story about Paul Thomas and the recorder is everything! I wonder what tune? The mind boggles.

    Very glad to hear that Blair was able to get healthy and do well for himself. Thank you for the always sterling work you guys do.

  9. Hank · December 13, 2020 Reply

    The video clip of Blair is hysterical – and great song too… wonder what the background was to that??

    The Rialto Report: rewriting the truth about the history of the adult film industry since 2013…. and hopefully will never stop.

  10. Kay · December 13, 2020 Reply

    The story of Paul Thomas playing the recorder while having sex is the most PT story story ever!!!! Hilarious.

  11. Paul Murray · December 14, 2020 Reply

    Another stunning feature from RR. What always strikes me is just how beautiful the ladies were when you reproduce the photos. I am now tracking down more on Phaedra Grant and Mimi Morgan.
    Interesting to read a second opinion on the stunning Desiree in as many weeks…..
    Have a fantastic and very well-earned Christmas and NY break and here’s to many more precious insights into the golden era next year!

    • Jeff C · December 14, 2020 Reply

      Mimi Morgan had a small but memorable role as a nurse in Candy Stripers, a fun hospital comedy from 1978. So many banana jokes.

      • Roger Wade · December 14, 2020 Reply

        Mimi Morgan showed up in a lot of things and was the female lead, I guess you’d say, in a couple of them (Sheila’s Payoff and The First Time). She always seemed to be having fun with the work and it’s good to get confirmation from someone who was there

        another great RR interview with someone for whom the porn experience was part of a full life- thanks to all involved

        • April Hall · December 17, 2020 Reply

          Thanks Roger!

        • F. Cold · December 20, 2020 Reply

          I’ve seen SHIELA’S PAYOFF. One of those very low-budget “B”-line movies released by VCX. They had an “A”-line of adult movies for sale with the larger production values and then the lower-budget “B”-line and then the “C”-line were the gay films VCX released.

          SHIELA’S PAYOFF was VCX catalog #B107. (My tape still works despite it being some 38 years old!).

    • April Hall · December 17, 2020 Reply

      Thank you Paul!

  12. john seeman · December 14, 2020 Reply

    Beautiful interview. It’s good to know that Blair is doing well.

    • April Hall · December 17, 2020 Reply

      Thanks so much John – we miss you!

    • F. Cold · December 20, 2020 Reply

      In regards to ‘John Seeman’ and ‘Blair Harris’ I’ve got a movie that features them both. Titled LOVE SECRETS (1976), a pleasant little adult movie that VCX released on tape many moons ago and then added an un-related scene from a different movie to the DVD release — I reckon because “Love Secrets” is only 55 minutes.

      I remember the opening credits are written in sand on a beach in Kirkland, Washington. And that the movie was filmed in ‘Beaglevision’ (!). There’s a beagle roaming around on the beach — maybe the director’s dog? 🙂

      LOVE SECRETS was the kind of movie couples could watch together. I still have my aging VCX tape of “Love Secrets” and it’s the ‘proper’ movie without the extra scene from “A Formal Faucett” incorporated into it. I wrote a review for “Love Secrets” on the IMDb a long time ago — probably 15 years back — after watching it because there weren’t any ‘User Comments’ at the time. I would say this: A very low-budget adult movie doesn’t mean it’s bad. (I remember another movie on a very low budget called “The Seduction of Lacey Bodine” that was decent).

      A thought: I’d rather watch a 1-hour ’70s adult movie than one of these modern Hollywood CGI crap-taculars. ’nuff said.

  13. Jeff C · December 14, 2020 Reply

    I am delighted with this interview with Blair Harris. His face is one I have seen many times, but I had not yet put a name to it. His work in Champagne For Breakfast, Sweet Young Foxes, and Tropic of Desire I am well acquainted with. Like so many people interviewed before, adult film work was one interlude in a life full of experiences.

    Dorothy Lemay is definitely someone I would like to see an interview from. Watches of Garage Girls (I believe the image of her comes from that film) and Vista Valley PTA this year have put her more on my radar than before. She brought a lot of enthusiasm to her work.

  14. Melvin Blackburn · December 14, 2020 Reply

    Blair Harris worked in some of my most watched and enjoyed films, so its really cool the see that he is in a good place. Thanks and keep up the unparalled work you do.

  15. Tony Flow and the Majestic Masters of Mayhem · December 15, 2020 Reply

    I remember seeing a threesome with Seka and a gorgeous woman with jet black hair named Joan Thomas.
    I thought the guy in the scene was Blair Harris, but after looking it up the person is David Morris.
    They look so much alike, they could be twins. Same facial structure, long hair covering their ears, and both were born in 1952 just a month apart from each other.

    Anyway, thanks to the Rialto Report for another fascinating insight into the life journey of a male adult performer
    Great questions, especially asking about specific performers and his take on them

    Thank you Blair for sharing your story. It was an amazing and enjoyable read

    I love this site. Keep it up Rialto Report, you guys rock

    (By the way, Paul Thomas looks HIGH as fuck in the pic from the set of Skintight)

    • April Hall · December 17, 2020 Reply

      Thank you so much Tony Flow!

    • F. Cold · December 20, 2020 Reply

      I’ve had trouble distinguishing between DAVID MORRIS and BLAIR HARRIS, too. They’re not related in any way, but they do look a lot alike! It’s good that Blair Harris was able to get himself ‘clean’ and get on with a happy life. I don’t think David Morris fared as well. I recall reading his real name was ‘David Reingold’ and that he died in Boynton Beach, FL in 1999 at age 47.

      Best wishes for Mr. Harris and a ‘thank you’ for telling your story about life in and around the adult business in the ’70s and ’80s.

  16. Tony Flow and the Majestic Masters of Mayhem · December 16, 2020 Reply

    Just saw some screen shots from the 1983 movie “Private Teacher” and discovered Blair Harris was in the foursome scene with Joanna Storm, Laurie Smith (billed under another name) and a very young Marc Wallice that I watched ages ago.

    The ladies take turns humiliating the guys in different ways, including wrapping themselves in tin foil so they both look like the tin men from the Wizard of Oz. Finally the teasing ends, the tin foil is ripped off and the sex begins.

    This has to be one of Marcs Wallice’s first scenes. He absolutely kills it. He looks horny as hell and fucks like a beast.

    I would be curious to know what Blair thought of this scene and Marc Wallice.

    Tom Byron is also in this movie and I believe it was his first feature. He looks like he’s 15 and should be starring in HR Pufnstuff or Captain Kangaroo

    On a side note, I believe the Rialto Report peeps are based in New York. With Winter Storm Gail about to hit, I hope you guys stay healthy, safe, and warm.

  17. John · December 20, 2020 Reply

    Outstanding!!!!! Job well done!!! I’ve always liked Blair. He just had that guy next door look about him. I wonder what his thoughts are about my favorite Kimberly Carson? I believe that during the final season of The Deuce, you get a glimpse of Blair during the opening credits. I’m so happy that he is in a good place, that’s just awesome. Thank you Rialto Report for an awesome early Christmas present. You guys are the best and I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season, and that goes for you too Blair.

  18. Tony R · December 20, 2020 Reply

    Excellent piece. Seems like a really nice guy who had a lot of fun in SF in the late 70s, I always heard he dated Annette Haven (whose still alive), finally confirmed and gave a nice backstory. Keep up the great work!

  19. JK · December 21, 2020 Reply

    Fantastic interview! Please tell Blair he still has fans today. It may feel like a wasted youth, but he’s still bringing people joy – hopefully that makes it all seem a little more worthwhile! Warm wishes to you and he both!

  20. Sandro · December 23, 2020 Reply

    Grazie per questa bella intervista da dall’italia.
    Come under my spell è un dei miei film preferiti !
    Mi aspettavo una domanda su su quel film folle..

    • edoardo checcacci · December 23, 2020 Reply

      Thank you for this nice interview from from Italy.
      Come under my spell is one of my favorite movies!
      I was expecting a question about about that crazy movie ..

    • April Hall · December 29, 2020 Reply

      Grazie a te Sandro!

  21. Gamera · December 24, 2020 Reply

    Good interview, Blair seems like he’s in a good place. Doesn’t come across as nutty or off-kilter. Interesting story and some good tales and recollections.

  22. Dirkmaster · December 24, 2020 Reply

    Another awesome interview. These are so interesting, so revealing. I love the golden age, and I love hearing about the actors/actresses who participated. And this one is so upbeat, it’s a wonderful CHristimas present. Thanx, Rialto Report!

  23. King Paul Fan · December 27, 2020 Reply

    Do any of these legendary San Francisco porn legends know if the star of the Diamond Collection loops King Paul is still alive? Paul seemed to disappear around 1982. I know he didn’t have the style of Johnnie Keyes but no one remembers King Paul’s contributions.

  24. Mark Roberts · December 29, 2020 Reply

    Thanks for another great interview! I really enjoyed this one, sounds like Blair had a great time and got out at the right time as well. Cool that he was well adjusted and ended up with a productive career.

    This was a great way to say goodbye to 2020, Thanks, looking forward to the next installment!

  25. Thomas Walsh · January 8, 2021 Reply

    It is good to see that drugs did not end another great adult film stars life. Happy to hear Blair is doing well and I wish him nothing but the best!

  26. Brian · January 11, 2021 Reply

    Great interview, quick question if anyone knows the answer? There is a screen shot above of Blair picking a girl up at the airport. Does anyone know what the name of that movie is?

  27. Michael · March 11, 2021 Reply

    That was a really great report. It is good to remember Blair and put some background to a “face”. I am glad he is doing well. It was also really nice to learn a tiny bit about Lili Marlene. I don’t suppose you wonderful people at Rialto Report could persuade Lili to give you an interview? Hint.

  28. brian · August 22, 2021 Reply

    Thanks for the interview. I remember Blair with John Leslie in Talk Dirty To Me Part II. The characters they played seemed close to each other.

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