Page last updated at 11:26 GMT, Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Deep Throat director Damiano dies

Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace
Deep Throat star Lovelace was killed in a car accident in 2002

Gerard Damiano, director of infamous 1970s pornographic film Deep Throat, has died in Miami at the age of 80.

Made in 1972 for 25,000, it was the first "porno" widely seen in cinemas and made an estimated $600m (382m).

The title - a reference to fellatio - was subsequently used as a pseudonym for the whistleblower who spilled the beans about the Watergate scandal.

Damiano, a former hairdresser and occasional actor, died in hospital after suffering a stroke last month.

"He was a film-maker and an artist and we thought of him as such," said the director's son, Gerard Damiano Jr.

"Even though we weren't allowed to see his movies, we knew he was a moviemaker and we were proud of that."

Obscenity

Shot in just six days, Deep Throat became notorious for its graphic sex scenes.

Its star, the late Linda Lovelace, would later claim she had been forced to appear in the film by her husband and manager.

Mark Felt
'Deep Throat' was later revealed to be former FBI deputy head Mark Felt
The film caused such outrage her co-star Harry Reems was subsequently convicted of obscenity.

It was re-released in US cinemas three years ago to coincide with a documentary about the film, entitled Inside Deep Throat.

"My father never dreamed that it would get that kind of attention," said Damiano Jr.

For all its success, however, Deep Throat was not his father's favourite. "He was fond of it for what it was," he continued.

"But in terms of film-making he would never call it a great film."

Damiano's other credits include Forbidden Bodies, Future Sodom and his final work, Naked Goddess 2.

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