Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jamie Gillis passes away at 66

By Michael Raso

I was shocked when I heard that Jamie Gillis passed away yesterday at 66 years old. According to numerous on-line reports, Gillis was battling cancer in the last year.

Jamie Gillis "Pleasure Palace" (1979)
Jamie Gillis in Carter Stevens’ PLEASURE PALACE (1979)

Seeing Jamie Gillis (on film) is a daily occurrence at the studio, where I archive and program DVD releases for my labels Retro-Seduction Cinema and After Hours Cinema. Three of my personal and on-going projects – the restoration of Eduardo Cemano, Joe Sarno and Carter Stevens’ film libraries – all include Jamie Gillis in one way, shape or form.

Jamie Gillis and Tina Russell (directed by Eduardo Cemano)
Jamie Gillis (with Tina Russell) in a rare behind the scenes shot (being directed by Eduardo Cemano in MADAME ZENOBIA 1973)

Abigail Lesley is Back in Town" (1975)
Jamie Gillis and Rebecca Brooke from Joe Sarno's ABIGAIL LESLEY IS BACK IN TOWN (1975)

I last saw Jamie Gillis in December 2008 at a dinner film historian Michael Bowen & I threw (for Joe Sarno) at Zarela’s restaurant in NYC. It was cold and snowy. Carter Stevens drove in all the way from the Poconos just to attend.

Zarela's NYC December 16, 2008
Lack of focus is made up for by Lots of Laughter!
Pictured: Peggy Sarno, Michael Bowen and Jamie Gillis
Zarela's Resaurant, New York City - December 16, 2008

Zarela's NYC December 16, 2008
The Three Amigos!
Pictured: Carter Stevens, Joe Sarno and Jamie Gillis
Zarela's Resaurant, New York City - December 16, 2008

It has been and continues to be a real joy restoring the lost films of the great men mentioned above. Much more work to do and so, so sad that Jamie had to leave us so early in the celebration of the re-releases of so many films that he brought his talent to.

Porn legend Jamie Gillis dead at 66 by Greg B / Cinesploitation

Jamie Gillis passes away / AVN

Jamie Gillis titles