Ready For Prime Time Porn Star?

By Daniel B. Honigman

Published August 12, 2005, issue of August 12, 2005.

Adult film legend Ron Jeremy could be headed for prime-time major-network television.

Jeremy, who was born Ron Jeremy Hyatt, has starred in such films as “Pornstar: The Legend of Ron Jeremy” and “Terms of Endowment.” In July, ABC contacted him about starring in his own reality show.

“I was contacted by ABC about a month ago, and they were interested in doing a reality show with Ron, where they wanted to explore his other side,” said Steve Banan, Jeremy’s publicist. “For example, people did not know that the man has two master’s degrees and was a teacher of the mentally handicapped for eight years.”

A native of Queens’s Flushing area, Jeremy graduated from Benjamin N. Cardozo High School and earned a master’s degree in special education from Queens College. He then became a special education teacher in the New York public school system.

Jeremy achieved notoriety after his then-girlfriend sent in a nude photo of him to Playgirl magazine. Playgirl published the photo as part of a 1978 “Boy Next Door” feature. After being contacted by several adult film producers, Jeremy dropped the “Hyatt” from his name and launched his career in the porn industry.

In an industry in which Jews often have run the show off camera, Jeremy is arguably the most famous Jewish on-screen talent. Though he’s not religious, he has said that he wants to get married in a synagogue and raise Jewish children. According to the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, he came home from elementary school one day and insisted on receiving a Hebrew education after being told by classmates that he couldn’t be Jewish without a bar mitzvah.

Though Jeremy achieved legendary status in the porn industry quickly, the process of breaking into the mainstream entertainment culture has been slow but gradual.

The first step came in 2003, when he logged a stint as a regular on the second season of “The Surreal Life,” a reality show that features about a half-dozen C-list celebrities living together in a house. But with the feelers from ABC, which is owned by Disney, his big break could be coming soon.

“As far as adult film talent crossing over to mainstream culture,” Banan said, “it really hasn’t happened yet, but if it does, it should be Ron.”



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