The Prince Of Porn

the films of Gerard Damiano Sr – Restored

Tag: Night Hunger

A divine appointment with Miss Sharon Mitchell on the streets of Scotts Valley, CA

Dr. Mitch

Dr. Mitch

Sharon Mitchell (known by her peers as “Mitch”), acted Off-Broadway, and toured with the Martha Graham Dance Company, before starring in her first adult film, “That Lady from Rio”, in 1976. During her career, she has appeared in more than 600 films, and directed 18. By the 1980s Sharon’s lifestyle had taken it’s toll on her. She became a heroin addict, and suffered from a number of STDs. in 1996, following a brutal assault, by a crazed stalker which nearly killed her, she quit drugs and went back to school. She earned both an MA and Phd, and in 1998, she founded the nonprofit Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM), which provided testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and drug and psychological counseling for porn actors. In 2011, an information leak led to a lawsuit, and the clinic’s closure.

Sharon Mitchell in “The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue” (1980)

Sharon Mitchell in “The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue” (1980)

Sharon had a powerful screen presence. She was one of my father’s favorite performers, and he used her in at least 6 of his films, including a non-sex role in “The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue”. When I first met Sharon Mitchell during the production of “Throat: 12 Years After”, I was only 19 years old, but well aware of who she was. She was not like any of the other porn stars of the day. I could relate to the street smart, Italian looking, Jersey girl, who was small in size, big on attitude, and totally HOT. In the film, she played a scene within a scene, in which she recounts one of her earliest sexual experiences, a kind of school yard fantasy. The performer playing opposite her, had never been in a porn film before, and was hired for his youthful appearance. He was not much older than me. His role required him to put his erect member through a chain link fence, while Sharon, on the other side (in a cheerleader outfit no less), gave him head. Later that night, after we had wrapped for the day, I joked with my father, telling him that whatever that kid was getting paid for the scene, I would have done it for half.

I had a very hard time tracking Sharon Mitchell down. Word in New York was that she had begun using again, and was living on the street. Knowing her checkered past, we feared the worst, and had all but given up on finding her. Once in Hollywood, I was given a cell number, from a mutual friend, but was cautioned that no one had seen or heard from her in weeks. When we finally connected by phone, Sharon sounded surprisingly well, and we made plans to meet outside of Santa Cruz. Days later, as we exited off Highway 17 to Scotts Valley, the phone rang. It was Sharon, who had called to say that she was out walking her dog, and wondered when we would be arriving. We were stopped at the first traffic light off the highway, and as I listened, I noticed a woman talking on the phone and walking a dog past our car. I rolled down the window and yelled out “Mitch?!”. The dashboard cam caught a glimpse of our divine appointment with Sharon, in the time-lapse video, shown below.

We were happy to find her in good health, perhaps a little worse for wear from a motorcycle accident she had recently suffered, when a deer darted out in front of her. Despite the knee brace, she appeared to be in remarkable physical shape. After catching up a bit, and confirming plans to film in the morning, we offered to drive her, and her dog, back home. After driving for miles, up and over a mountain, on a very steep, twisting road, I was amazed to think that she made this walk, down and back, at least once a day, everyday. Larry and I were tired out just from the drive. Once in front of the camera, we spoke about her experiences working with my father on films which include “Odyssey“, “Skin Flicks”, “Consenting Adults” and “Night Hunger”.

Today, “Dr. Mitch” works as an expert witness in H.I.V./A.I.D.S. criminal law. She is earning her certification as an EMT, so that she will be qualified to do disaster relief work.

with Miss Sharon Mitchell

The Crew of 2 with Miss Sharon Mitchell, Scotts Valley, Californian July 2015

In the San Emigdio Mountains with Nice Guy Porn Star Eric Edwards

Eric Edwards' headshot

Eric Edwards’ headshot from the 1970s

Known for his youthful charm and good looks, Eric Edwards was often cast as the “boy next door”, in a film career which has spanned 5 decades. His roles run the full spectrum, having appeared in high profile television commercials, as well as some of the most notorious XXX loops ever filmed.  While studying acting at Baylor College, he received a full scholarship to The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and moved to New York City. Upon graduation he signed with the William Morris agency, and for the next 8 years appeared in Regional Theater and Summer Stock, as well as national TV spots for Gillette, and Close-Up Toothpaste, among others. In the late 1960s he answered an ad in Screw Magazine, which led him to Bob Wolf’s infamous 14th St. studio, where he first met Larry Revene. Larry filmed Eric’s very first loops, and his career in adult film began. He went on to appear in more than 500 films. By 1985 he made the move from in front of the camera, to behind it, directing 50 films. He has worked in all aspects of film production, writing, producing, shooting, editing and everything in between.

Eric Edwards in

“This is my curse… and I will revel in it”  Eric Edwards as Lucien Blair in “Night Hunger” (1983)

Larry and I travelled north from LA, into the San Emigdio Mountains, where we found Eric, living in a small town, together with his 2 sons. He is truly one of the kindest, gentlest spirits, in the adult industry. Eric had first worked with my father on the 1974 classic, “Memories within Miss Aggie”, which is as much a psychological thriller as it is a sex film. We watched “Memories” together, and also spoke at length about his role in “Night Hunger” (1983), where he was cast against type, as the insatiable satyr, Lucien Blair. In this film, he performs a sex scene with no less than 5 women, and relies heavily on his acting ability to portray the dark and brooding character. The first time that I met Eric, was on the set of “Throat: 12 Years After”, a film which both Larry and I worked on, more than 30 years ago. He also worked for my father in “Who’s Fantasy is it Anyway?”(1983), and “Slightly Used” (1987).

Although plagued by tragedy in his personal life, and some health issues in recent years, Eric is now happily retired, and content to be a celebrity at his local duck pond, where his daily appearances draw crowds of waterfowl, who recognize the sound of his approaching vehicle, and literally flock to him. You won’t find Eric on Facebook or other social media. However, there is a 30 year old Eric Edwards on Facebook, who is probably wondering why so many “Porn Stars of the Golden Age” want to be his friend.

Next we head to Northern California in search of the elusive Sharon Mitchell…

1970s Close Up Toothpaste Commercial featuring Eric Edwards