John Curtis Holmes, who was known in his career as an adult entertainer as John C. Holmes and at one time, Johnny Wadd, who the lead character in a series of adult films in which he starred, was born on August 8, 1944 in Ohio and even today, is still one of the most well-known adult film actors of all time, especially notable for his large member, which is purported to be the largest, even till this day in the adult entertainment industry of all time. He was featured in over 2,250 adult movies during the 70’s and 80’s.
When he was 16, he dropped out of school and joined the United States Army, which stationed him in West Germany for three years prior to moving to Los Angeles, Califoria, where he began making adult dirty movies. Only rumors and speculation exist to how he was discovered and he’s not here to tell us so it may be never truly known. What is known is that he attempted to hide his career from his then wife, Sharon Gebenini. With his wife, he lived a run of the mill suburban life in Glendale, California for quite a few years until she found out what he was engaged in. He was never welcome into their marital bed again although they continued to remain a married couple.
In the later part of the 70’s John began to develop a severe drug problem, which began to cause problems in relation to performing in adult films, which ended his career in film. His money ran out by the end of 1980 as most of the funds fueled his habit. He began to rob homes and steal cars to make money in addition to being a drug carrier for local dealers. It got worse for Holmes. He was implicated in four brutal, messy, drug-related murders on July 1, 1981, the murders on which the movie “Wonderland” was based.
The situation became notorious throughout Southern California and was dubbed ” The Wonderland Murders”, because they occurred on Wonderland Avenue in Los Angeles, California. Though Holmes was implicated in the crime, he refused to offer any information to law enforcement, but instead fled to Florida for almost six months with his teen mistress, Dawn Schiller (Misty Dawn, adult film star), before his arrested in Los Angeles. He was charged with all four murders, but after a three-week trial, was acquitted on June 26, 1982. He remained in jail for a time anyhow on charges that were unrelated. Misty Dawn later became his wife at some point prior to his death.
After being released, the former adult film star attempted to get clean and go back to working in adult film. He struggled with his addiction His drug addiction and continued work, though it was not as lucrative as it had once been for him due to the release of VHS and his absence from the industry in which he was no longer as popular. Another factor in his no longer making as much money in the industry was his 1985 diagnosis with AIDS. Although producers had no knowledge of this diagnosis, his appearance made it fairly obvious and he eventually no longer was able to find work in this capacity.
John Holmes met his end at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Sepulveda, California on March 13, 1988 due to AIDS-related complications when he was age 43. Boogie Nights, the 1997 film, was based on Holmes’ life. Misty Dawn, his second wife remained at his side until he died. Subsequent to his death, Mr. Holmes was the first inductee into the XRCO Hall of Fame on February 14, 1985 and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement – Male Performer in 2008 by XBIZ.
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