Friday, 7 July 2017

Casey Donovan: Pioneering Gay Porn Legend: Edinburgh Festival 1979


In 1979 we attended the Edinburgh Festival with our friends Marian Montgomery and Richard Rodney Bennett. Sitting at the dinner table, one of thirty people, was this very handsome American man who looked like he had stepped straight out of a fashion catalogue. Marian introduced us, not just to him but to around a dozen others. I never thought about until some years later when I was made aware that the pretty blond was Casey Donovan, in Edinburgh as part of a group to promote the prize-winning film, "Gal Young Un". So we met gay porn's pioneering legend without even knowing who he was! Later on we met Ryan Idol, Karen Dior, and of course Joey Stefano and a few others. All of them absolute legends.




Casey's story is now published:

“I think my greatest accomplishment so far is something that doesn't show up in lights or get reviewed - and that's simply the sexual sanity that I have tried to contribute to over the last twenty years.”
   This was Casey Donovan, speaking in 1983, four years before his untimely death.
   Born John Calvin Culver, he was a pioneer and will eternally remain amongst the elite of the adult film industry. Yet he was more than just a porn star. As a hustler par excellence his clients included movie stars, senators, European royalty, and ordinary fans. The love of his life was the tough-guy actor Tom Tryon, who treated him badly. His other famous lovers included Rock Hudson, Paul Newman, and Superman actor Christopher Reeve.
   Casey scored successes on the legitimate stage—Tubstrip toured for two years and packed theatres across North America. He acted opposite Ingrid Bergman, and played Jesus Christ in an avant-garde production of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. As a “tour guide” he escorted well-heeled clients to exotic locations. As an “agony uncle”, he eloquently responded to fans’ letters for four years in Stallion magazine. It is for his contribution to the cinema, however, that he was revered. He shot to fame in Boys in the Sand in 1971, the very first gay porno feature film as opposed to the tawdry “loops” of the day. He triumphed in Radley Metzger’s Score, made heterosexual porn films, and remained at the top of his profession for fifteen years, a long time in the world of adult film.
   Away from the screen, Casey was the unassuming boy-next-door. On film nothing was too exhibitionist or outrageous for him to tackle. Published to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of his death, this is his amazing story. It includes full details of his twenty-seven films and ten theatrical runs, and more than fifty photographs.



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