NEW YORK — Director, playwright, editor and author Jerry Douglas, 84, passed Saturday afternoon in New York City. Douglas‘ acclaimed career as a filmmaker stretched back to the early ’70s with „The Back Row“ and Radley Metzger’s „Score,“ for which he wrote the script; both films starred legendary icon Casey Donovan.
After just two films in the 1970s, Douglas switched careers and spent several decades as a journalist and author, notably as the editor-in-chief of „Manshots,“ which famously published long, thoughtful interviews with gay adult filmmakers and performers and served as a scholarly chronicle of the industry; several collections of Douglas‘ classic „Manshots“ interviewed have recently been published in book form.
In the late ’80s, Douglas returned to filmmaking for All Worlds Video and for the next two decades embarked on an influential, awards-laden stretch. Such titles as „More of a Man,“ „Kiss-Off“ and „Honorable Discharge“ were known for lyrical plotlines and Douglas‘ ability to coax empathic, emotional performances from his leading men.
Douglas won numerous adult industry awards for his writing and directing; his later films for COLT Studio, including „BuckleRoos 1-2“ and what would be his final film, 2007’s „Brotherhood,“ were intricately plotted examples of the Golden Age era of adult filmmaking.
His career as a playwright includes a number of Broadway and off-Broadway productions, including „Tubstrip,“ which opened off-Broadway on 1973, toured nationally and eventually landed on Broadway in 1974.
The play was published for the first time in 2019 with a foreward by Jordan Schildcrout titled, „‚Tubstrip‘ and the Erotic Theatre of Gay Liberation.“
„The sexual exuberance and romantic longing that inform ‚Tubstrip‘ are evident in many of Douglas‘ films, which have maintained their popularity… Plays like ‚Tubstrip‘ are significant for their role in opening the theatre as a venue for the expression of gay romantic and sexual desire,“ Schildcrout wrote.
In 2010 and 2013, Douglas returned to the stage to direct the New York and Los Angeles stage productions of „The Deep Throat Sex Scandal,“ which followed the life and career of Harry Reems and the infamous „Deep Throat“ obscenity trial.
Douglas would go on to publish several novels over the past decade, but the successful Los Angeles production of „Deep Throat Sex Scandal,“ laden with weekly guest stars drawn from adult’s A-list, would be his final turn with blue movies.
Jerry Douglas — equally as notable for the ever-present cigarette between his fingers as for his art — served as a mentor to dozens of performers, filmmakers, authors and others throughout his career, including this writer. His influence on the industry was, and remains, indelible. He is survived by his partner of more than 40 years, whom he married in 2011.
XBIZ will update this story as more information becomes available.