John Holmes

February 1st, 2010

by Jennifer Sugar & Jill C. Nelson

The first biography of John Curtis Holmes – The King of Porn!

posingwithbio ”Sugar and Nelson have researched their subject considerably and it is evident on every page. John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches is the distinctive Holmes biography.” — Robert Cettl. Read More Testimonials

Most people might, understandably, predict that the world’s first porn star was a woman, but they would be wrong.

John Curtis Holmes was just a simple country boy from Ohio when he moved to California in 1964.  It was the infancy of hardcore, so in Holmes’ wildest dreams, he could not have predicted the turbulent ride on which he had embarked by publicizing his private parts.

With the fame he achieved by playing his most famous character – a gun toting detective named Johnny Wadd – came money.  Holmes was pleased to spend it on his wife and mistresses, but soon was in over his head after he became addicted to cocaine.  Unfortunately for Holmes, in the years that followed, his addiction led him into several desperate choices – including setting up a robbery at the home of Ed Nash, a powerful L.A. nightclub owner.  The robbery resulted in one of the most gruesome, unsolved, multiple-murders in Hollywood history.  Amazingly, before his untimely death in 1988, John Holmes regained his momentum, remarried and rebuilt his life and career.  However, the grave consequences of his addiction, his association with the Wonderland murders, and his AIDS-related death made him an infamous figure in pop culture. premiere3-221x300

Digging past the stigmas, John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches – the first biography about John C. Holmes – unearths the human being behind the penis and proves that there was more to him than could be measured in inches.  This biography includes material from the authors’ new interviews with: Laurie Holmes, Bill Amerson, Bob Chinn, Julia St. Vincent, Detective Tom Lange, Detective Frank Tomlinson, Paul Thomas, Ron Jeremy, Seka, Marilyn Chambers, Candida Royalle, Rhonda Jo Petty, Dr. Sharon Mitchell, Bill Margold, and many others!  Also included is additional source material containing extensive  interviews with:  Sharon Holmes, Dawn Schiller, Dr. Vonda Pelto, Ph. D., and L.A. Times film critic, Kenneth Turan.

John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches encompasses 114 reviews of John’s most notable feature films, 86 loops synopses, 3 photos sections with rare nudes, and a comprehensive filmography.

The tree of life represents the roots of man.  The branches are the different directions a man can take, live or exist.  When you’re dead, those that you leave behind will put you in a part of that tree.  It represents what was, what is and what will be.  It’s eternal.” — John Holmes

The first biography of John Curtis Holmes, The King of Porn!



Published by BearManor Media — Winner of 2010 Independent Publisher Book Awards

August 8th, 2013

“Inches” turns 5

Fantasm1976Five years ago this evening, Jennifer Sugar and I stood at the podium in front of a full house consisting of friends, loved ones, fans, the curious and the press at Book Soup on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood to launch the release of John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches. The event, hosted by none other than legendary adult film historian, Bill Margold, was a highly successful and spectacular evening with excerpts read, a special letter contributed by one of John’s most popular co-stars, The Platinum Princess, Seka, and special guest speakers: filmmaker, Cass Paley, director, Bob Chinn, and John’s widow, Laurie Holmes. Following a Q&A and during our signing (which included a special appearance by Holmes friend and co-star Rhonda Jo Petty), a custom commemorative cake designed by Cake & Art was served to all guests.

Today, we celebrate the five year anniversary of our book’s release and acknowledge what would be John’s 69th birthday by launching a brand new hardcover edition of A Life Measured in in Inches. This special edition contains an introduction written by Sugar (who is also the book’s creator) and a postscript written by yours truly, followed by select excerpts from my second book: Golden Goddesses: 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Cinema: 1968-1985.

Jennifer Sugar was a 21 year old Michigan State University student when she traveled alone to Los Angeles to attend a Hollywood celebration, ‘Fit for a King’ at the Erotic Heritage Museum. The event was in recognition of John Holmes’ 60th birthday on August 8, 2004. It was during that evening where Jennifer made her initial interview contacts for our biography and when she returned home, she began the interview process while still attending school. Four years later to the day, Inches was released. The following is a short excerpt from the introduction Sugar wrote for the new hardcover version of our book in which she describes her decision to tell John’s story after seeing the 2003 film Wonderland.

The introduction is aptly titled Conception: ”I began to wonder about the story of a boy from Ohio, who moved to California in the late 1960s to become the biggest, male porn star, ever, when the adult entertainment industry was brand new, illegal and underground.  John went on to become famous for what was in his pants, and infamous for the dark days of his drug addiction, his subsequent involvement with the crimes leading up to the Wonderland murders, and his death at a young age from AIDS, which was still a relatively new disease to North America in the 1980s.  I was amazed that there wasn’t already a definitive biography about John Holmes – like him or not, he is a part of American pop culture history, with an amazing story –  how could I not want to learn more and write about him?”

Copies of the hardcover anniversary edition of John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches can be obtained through at this link: Hardcover John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches and will be available through soon.

~ RIP John

August 5th, 2013

The Rialto Report: Interview with Legendary Filmmaker, Bob Chinn

During the past several months, adult film documentarian, Ashley West, has interviewed several legendary personalities from the Golden Era and through his extraordinary podcasts titled The Rialto Report, has presented their fascinating life stories. West’s credentials in this field are nothing short of impressive. In conjuction with The Rialto Report, Ashley has also contributed liner notes, commentaries and more for the re-release of Distripix films under the name Benson Hurst and is currently working on a documentary about the origins of the New York adult film scene. (See: Ashley West.)

Rhonda Jo Petty in Disco Lady directed by Bob Chinn
Until recently, West’s comprehensive episodes have centered on men and women involved in sex films on the east coast of the United States. Yesterday, Rialto Report’s latest offering highlights the voluminous work of pioneer filmmaker Bob Chinn, who became familiar to adult audiences through his partnership with John Holmes particularly via the innovative and highly popular Johnny Wadd film series, with nine releases spanning between 1971-1978. This podcast will be of special interest to fans not only of Bob Chinn, John Holmes, and the films they created together, but most significantly, in his usual disarming manner, Bob discusses in great detail and with impeccable recall many of  thetalented actors and actresses he had the pleasure to direct throughout his extensive career spanning four decades. Several of the ladies who were fortunate enough to cross paths with Bob (one of the most admired and respected men in the business) are featured in Golden Goddesses. All were quick to sing his praises and respect him very much. Check out Bob Chinn’s page for his first novel, Flesh of the Lotus, inspired by the film by the same name: Flesh of the Lotus

Bob Chinn’s Jade Pussycat with John Holmes and Georgina Spelvin

I am delighted to have been invited by Ashley West to co-present this special two hour episode as Bob Chinn is clearly one of the most intelligent and intriguing individuals to have left his mark in the golden age arena, and I’d like to personally thank Ashley for doing a masterful job in preparation for this show. Your tireless work and professionalism are simply outstanding. So grab a refreshment, kick back and enjoy the ride as you time travel with Bob Chinn back to the late 1960s and into the present day. You definitely will not be disappointed. The podcast (#18) titled, Bob Chinn, West Coast Pioneer may be accessed here: Rialto Report: Bob Chinn

John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches © 2008 Jennifer Sugar and Jill C. Nelson. All Rights Reserved.
John Holmes