Even people who've never watched a porn movie know the name Ron Jeremy. That's because Ronnie, as his friends call him, has transcended pornography. In Beaver Street, I describe him in the mid-1980s as somebody "who inhabited a twilight zone somewhere between bad joke and major celebrity." There was always something amusing about seeing this paunchy, well-hung schlump, known as "The Hedgehog" because of the bristly hair that covered his rolls of body fat, walk onto the screen.
But 20 years later, it was Jeremy who had the last laugh. He’d become, I wrote, “almost as recognizable as a face on Mount Rushmore.” Because, in addition to appearing in more than 2,000 porn flicks and a number of mainstream movies, he’d starred in a reality TV show, The Surreal Life; he was the subject of a documentary, Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy; and he’d written a best-selling memoir, Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz. The list goes on.
The news about Ron Jeremy (his real name is Ron Hyatt), which has been running everywhere from ABC to AVN, is not funny. Yesterday, Jeremy, 59, underwent two emergency operations at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles for a life-threatening heart aneurysm. The latest reports say that the surgery went well, and that Jeremy is recovering but unconscious.
I can only wish him a speedy recovery.