Roger Ebert, Pulitzer Prize winning movie critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, died today at the age of 70. Ebert spent more than 45 prolific years punditing for the newspaper, in time growing more famous than many of the films he reviewed. He popularized thumbs-up or thumbs-down judgments on his televised show with the late Gene Siskel, then continued on with Richard Roeper.
He also shared a common interest in amazingly pneumatic knockers with boobie connoisseur Russ Meyer, and penned Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970), Up! (1976), and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens (1979) for the legendary director.
Roger Ebert, mighty wielder of the pen, has left the building. He will be missed.
Jesus "Jess" Franco, pioneer of the sexploitation industry and director of over 200 films, died early this morning at the age of 82.
After the success of his cult classic The Awful Dr. Orloff in 1962, Franco pumped out a steady stream of blood-and-boobies skinema often featuring lesbian vampires, women in prison, zombies, cannibals, naughty nuns, and works of the Marquis de Sade. He defied the odds at times when no financial backing was available by continuing to produce supremely sexy films with his signature hand-held camera and zoom shots.
Franco passed away of unknown causes at the age of 82 on 2 April 2013 in Malaga, Spain. His longtime companion and muse Lina Romay shuffled off this mortal coil last year, and with any luck, they’re producing a lesbian vampire flick together in heaven.
Mr. Skin was lucky enough to speak to Jess Franco in 2004; you can read the skinterview here. Then give a one-handed salute to the career of Jess Franco with a look at his greatest work, right here at MrSkin.com!
Harry Reems, the legendary porn pioneer who starred in both Deep Throat (1972) and The Devil in Miss Jones (1973) has passed away at age 65. Harry appeared in approximately 140 feature-length sexploitation and hardcore films in the ‘70s and ‘80s, after a chance promotion from lighting crew to star on the set of Deep Throat. His appearance in Deep Throat was not all fun and blowjobs though, since it led to his arrest by FBI agents in 1974 on charges of conspiracy to distribute obscenity across state lines. Although personal problems eventually brought her career to a standstill, Reems began his recovery in 1989 with marriage and a conversion to Christianity.
He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last summer, and passed away yesterday at the Salt Lake City VA Hospital.
Mr. Skin was lucky enough to speak to Harry Reems in 2005 when he was promoting the DVD release of Inside Deep Throat. Read his thoughts on a fascinating career here.
Kirdy Stevens, pioneer of the adult film industry and director of best selling XXX shocker Taboo (1980), has died of pneumonia at age 92.
Kirdy first got into adult movies in 1957, when he and two partners built a film-developing lab to process black-and-white adult movies they had shot themselves. His longtime wife and scriptwriter Helene Terrie tells AVN, "He absolutely had no fear of getting arrested or going to jail for what he believed in. He just was a true believer in the First Amendment and the right to artistic expression."
Kirdy only made 14 hardcore films in his 25 year career, but left quite a mark on the industry with Taboo (1980), a hardcore flick that rated #21 on AVN's "Top 101 All Time Greatest Movies" and went on to spawn an impressive 22 sequels. Mammoth-mammed MILF Kay Parker dazzled as the lead, acting out forbidden fantasies in a series of sexual encounters, including a suburban orgy.
See pics after the jump!
It's a sad day for Skinema lovers all over the world as we bid farewell to sexploitation legend Sylvia Kristel.
A beauty queen in her native Holland, Sylvia first became famous for her fantastically nude role as the original Emmanuelle (1974). One of the first erotic films to be shown in mainstream theaters, Emmanuelle was a massive success that went on to play in one Parisian cinema for a staggering 11 years. She returned for the sequels Emmanuelle 2 (1975), Good-bye, Emmanuelle (1977), and Emmanuelle IV (1984).
As the slinky, supple embodiment of '80s Euro eroticism, Sylvia went on to star as the legendary seductress Mata Hari (1985) and as a sexually adventurous housewife in Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981). She then brought her heaving hills to Hollywood for parts in the skin classics Private Lessons (1981) and Private School (1983), although personal problems eventually brought her career to a standstill.
Sylvia was diagnosed with cancer this past July, and her agent Marieke Verharen tells the AFP news agency that ""she died during the night during her sleep."
Good-bye, Emmanuelle. You will be missed.
Celebrate the life and career of Mr. Skin Hall-of-Famer Sylvia Kristel right here at MrSkin.com
Tony Scott, the director who helped define high-octane '80s action with his movies Top Gun (1986) and Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), has died of an apparent suicide at age 68.
The Wrap reports that Scott jumped from a suspension bridge in Los Angeles yesterday afternoon, and the coroner's office has confirmed that the British-born filmmaker's body was retrieved from the LA harbor. A suicide note was discovered in Scott's car, and The New York Daily News is reporting that a battle with inoperable brain cancer may have led to his suicide.
Scott worked for years as a commercial filmmaker before making his feature debut with The Hunger (1983), a Mr. Skin Hall-of-Famer that features Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve in one of the hottest lesbian scenes in SKINema history. That sort of Sapphic heat naturally caught Hollywood's attention, and box-office supremacy soon followed with films like Days of Thunder (1990), The Last Boy Scout (1991), True Romance (1993), Crimson Tide (1995), and Man on Fire (2004). Scott's last film was 2010's Unstoppable, a runaway-train movie starring Denzel Washington and Rosario Dawson. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
[UPDATE: Scott's family is denying media reports that he was suffering from brain cancer. The Los Angeles county coroner's office says that it would not have a final cause of death for Scott for several weeks.]
Memorial Day weekend is almost here! Before you crack open a beer and fire up the grill, take a moment to remember the beautiful, talented skin stars who passed away before their time. No words can express the loss we all feel at losing women like the classy Natasha Richardson, the sweet and sexy Brittany Murphy, and lovely legend Farrah Fawcett. Luckily, we'll always have their movies to remember them by. Here's to you, ladies. We'll never forget you.
He was a leading member of the L.A. Rebellion movement that brought African-American filmmakers together in solidarity, and, more importantly to our purposes, he made a movie about a man who gets his revenge on a corrupt justice system using his eight-foot dong (Welcome Home Brother Charles, 1975).
Jamaa Fanaka's stock in trade was the grindhouse and the drive-in, but his movies, including Emma Mae (aka Black Sister's Revenge) (1976), the aforementioned Welcome Home Brother Charles, and the Penitentiary films (Penitentiary, 1979, Penitentiary 2, 1982, and Penitentiary 3, 1987) all embody a defiant spirit that wouldn't be out of place at a Black Panther Party meeting and inspired intense excitement and passionate fandom in the inner-city kids who saw his movies (Snoop Dogg is a particularly vocal Fanaka fan).
Fanaka, who was born in Mississippi and grew up in Los Angeles, had a natural aptitude for movies and wrote, directed and got distribution for his first three feature films while still enrolled in UCLA's film school. Penitentiary was the highest-grossing independent film of 1980, but Fanaka's career unfortunately slowed down with his worsening health throughout the '90s and early 2000s. He passed away this week at the age of 69.
Fight the power with the Blaxploitation sensations of Jamaa Fanaka right here at MrSkin.com
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