Monday, February 22, 2010

RIP Jamie Gillis




Jamie Gillis passed away at the age of 66, from cancer, yesterday in New York City. Jill interviewed Jamie Gillis for Inches and had this to say in fond rememberance of the gifted adult actor, director and porn entrepreneur:

"Jamie Gillis was the first interview I did for "Inches". Jennifer already had several interviews under her belt and she was quickly becoming a veteran in that regard, but in the winter of 2007, I was still a virgin so to speak, and needed to get my feet wet. One afternoon while still at work, I left a voice message at Jamie Gillis's residence in New York, requesting a somewhat rare interview for our book. When I got home a few hours later, he had already returned my call with a very warm greeting on my answering service - accepting my request for an interview. I had only seen a couple of his film appearances and wanted to ask him specifically about working with John in Lust at First Bite (aka Dracula Sucks). (For those who aren't familiar with it, guess who plays Dracula?) Because of his reputation on screen, it was a little surreal to hear that hypnotic and seductive voice in reply to my call. It is definitely distinct.

"When we did the interview about a week later, I found him to be an open (perhaps a little forgetful at times, particularly about some of the titles of his films and his co-stars, but who can blame him), thoughtful and charismatic person. He was extremely sensitive to our project and to John's memory. The two actors first met in 1973 when John picked Jamie up in Los Angeles on their way to a film shoot. Jamie was immediately struck by John's casual, easy going manner and although they were never close friends, they always respected one another. Jamie felt that John possessed a "Jimmy Stewart" quality that he appreciated and immediately liked. Jamie Gillis was not a fan of mind-altering substances and he spoke about how drugs sadly converted people into monsters, including John. He was deeply disturbed when he read about the Wonderland events and John's connection to the homicides - that was not the John he had known. Due to his fear of flying, Jamie did not attend John's memorial service, but he was one of the select invited guests. Upon learning of John's illness, Jamie had suggested to some of Holmes' other male contemporaries that it would be a thoughtful gesture to do something for John during his dying days, in the way of a visit, or otherwise. He was frustrated at the time because he couldn't get anyone motivated to do so, but he understood that people were afraid.

"Jamie said that he'd always wanted a copy of the movie poster from the film, Marathon, that advertises Holmes and Gillis as two of the film's sexual titans during a sequence that would become "The Battle of the Giants". A few weeks after our interview, I found the poster online and sent it to him. He was very appreciative and sent a thank-you note. Partly as a joke in reference to being anatomically smaller than John Holmes, he signed it, "Your little Giant". When our book was published, we sent him a copy, as we had done for most of the people we had interviewed. A few weeks later, Jamie wrote a nice note and offered a quote about our work for our website. He had expressed to me earlier that he had not been entirely happy with The Other Hollywood, so we were pleased and honoured when he praised our book and said he was very happy to be involved.

"It wouldn't surprise me if one day the eccentricities of Jamie Gillis's intriguing life and work are represented in a project of magnitude. He is deserving. RIP 'Little Giant.'"

John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches is now available as an e-book. Please visit our website at: http://www.johnholmesinches.com/ for details.

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