John Holmes

August 8, 1944 – March 13, 1998 


How big is it?


Bigger than a payphone, smaller than a Cadillac.


John Holmes
John Holmes


Legend has it that John Holmes plopped le dong in front of porn producer Bob Chinn and Chinn saw dollar signs. Sort of true, but John had been doing porn for a while, so the legendary appendage had already appeared on film.  But Chinn (the Burt Reynolds character in Boogie Nights) was impressed and did think up the Johnny Wadd detective character, which made Holmes a superstar and the first male porn star to feature on the posters.

During the 70s porn heyday, it was not illegal to make or possess porn.  What was illegal was the actual payment of the actors, which qualified as pimping and pandering. During one such bust where John paid the girls himself, he was arrested. The arresting officer, Tom Blake, gave Holmes a choice: go to prison, or get parole and become an informant. Detective Johnny Wadd became a snitch for the porn industry.

Long story short, John made a ton of money. He started doing drugs. He started really screwing up and pissing people off. A lot of people didn’t want to work with him anymore. During his drug period, he hooked up with some loser dealers that lived in a house on Wonderland, in the Hollywood Hills.



4 people were brutally (blunt force trauma to the head and body) murdered in this house on June 29, 1981, and John was accused and tried for the murders, but acquitted.  Oh yeah, this was their mailbox.




Interesting bit of trivia, if you rent the movie about the murders, Wonderland, for your entertainment the actual crime scene video footage is there.


He was finished. He was diagnosed HIV Positive in 1985. He had bedded thousands of women and a few men (for pay) as well. He did contact his old associate Bob Chinn and asked Bob if he wouldn’t mind if John used the Johnny Wadd character for another film. Chinn said no prob. John also mentioned to Chinn that he was dying of colon cancer.


A month before he died, John married his long-term girlfriend Laurie. They lived in an apartment building in Panorama City.

They would enter the lobby,

check their mailbox,

take the elevator up to their apartment

– number 201.

Next door to the apartment, is an old Montgomery Wards.

Insert obvious toolbox joke here.

In February of 1988, John was admitted to the Veterans Nursing Home Care Unit in nearby Sepulveda.

I drove around, and the place is huge. I choose to believe that John died near this intersection, only because my juvenile sense of humor found the sign funny.

It was there that he died on March 13th.

He was 43 years old.


John Holmes' Death Certificate


Rumor has it that John was afraid his dick would be pickled and put on display after his death, but his widow Laurie made sure he was cremated in one piece, and apparently scattered his ashes in San Francisco.

My buddy Larry told me that John’s widow was on a talk show around the time of John’s death, and claimed that the men in the gay porn flick John did, were actually women that looked like men. Pardon me whilst I stifle my guffaw.

At the time of his death, John had only two possessions. His 10k ring worth 65 bucks and his memoirs, worth $35.00. His wife Laurie flogs the book on her website, as well as her dirty underwear, sealed in plastic, for freshness. Lovely.

Thanks to Ted James of Celebrity Collectables for the copy of John’s Last Will and Testament.

Funny but horrible story: John wanted to mess with some girl’s head, and laced her ice cream cone with LSD, and laxative. While she was tripping her brain out and pooing her guts out, he told her she was melting.



Trivia: During the porn heyday, John was invited to leave his hand and foot prints in front of The Pussy Cat Theater in West Hollywood.



The theater since sold, and now plays gay porn, and is called the Tom Kat.




His mark still remains.



As a side note, I did go to a different Pussy Cat Theater once, to see John Bobbitt in Frankenpenis. It was pretty lame.



September 2003 – Trivia from friend Ophilia:  Just wanted to tell you something kinda funny.  In Fort Smith, AR there is a construction company called Holmes Erection.



Honest to God.  Look it up in the yahoo yellow pages or something.  I laugh every time I drive by it.



5 thoughts on “John Holmes

  • May 14, 2023 at 12:54 am

    I am not gonna say anything about what’s left pit but still the whole thing is an amazing story of its times and the changing times. Dawn Schiller …sharon…and others. What a story. Check out almost any documentaries

    In one the faces are silhouette then in others….both sharon and Dawn Schiller were involved in the movie.

    In a documentary about this
    There’s a video of a Dennys that Dawn Schiller went to. I swear it was an old looking sign that has been redesigned since. Makes a great screen grab!

  • January 31, 2023 at 1:34 pm

    It appears there’s a typo in the the date (year) of death in the heading.

  • December 5, 2022 at 4:21 pm

    Yeah you’re right Sam, except for the greaseball in the plaid shirt eyeing up his next car-jacking victim.

  • May 9, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    That picture of him leaving his handprints in cement looks almost like a 18th or 19th century religious painting. Very classy.

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