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

March 22nd, 2015

John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches Audiobook — NEW!

BooksoupsigningAuthors Jennifer Sugar and Jill C. Nelson are proud to announce John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches is now available on audiobook through BearManor Media’s affiliate BearManor Bare. The unabridged biography recorded by professional voice actor Shoshana Franck is the second edition version.

To purchase your copy today please visit:



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

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