Herschel Savage

[3] Herschel Savage (born Harvey Cohen on November 25, 1952) is a former American pornographic actor, director and stage actor who has appeared in over 1,000 adult films.[4] In 2002, AVN ranked him 46th on their list of The Top 50 Porn Stars of All Time.[5] He has also been inducted into the AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame.[6][7]

Herschel Savage
Savage in 2010
Born
Harvey Cohen[1]

(1952-11-25) November 25, 1952[2]
ResidenceCalifornia
Other namesHarvey Cowen, Harvey Joel Coen, Herschel Cohen, Jack Black, Max Cohen
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)

Early life

Savage was born to Russian-Jewish parents on November 25, 1952 in New York City.[3][8] His mother battled with obsessive-compulsive disorder.[9] Growing up, he attended a conservative synagogue.[10] Savage saw his first adult film The Nun's Bad Habit at a movie theater in Times Square.[9]

Savage began studying acting under Broadway theatre actress Uta Hagen and renowned acting teacher Stella Adler.[11][12] Savage initially sought a mainstream stage and screen career.[8] However, he became disillusioned by the constant auditioning and competition for roles.[11] He also worked for an exercise company.[9]

Career

Savage was introduced to the adult film industry via the actor R. Bolla in 1976,[11] He went on to become one of the biggest stars of the "Golden Age of Porn" in the 1970s and 1980s.[11] Savage appeared in the 1978 classic Debbie Does Dallas, for which he was paid about $150 a day.[12] The film was a financial success, becoming one of the top five highest grossing adult films of all time.[3] Some of the other films he has appeared in include Expose Me Now, Bodies in Heat, and Rambone Does Hollywood.[12] He created the stage name "Herschel Savage" with adult actor Jamie Gillis in an attempt to combine a 'nerdy Jewish identity' with that of a stud.[11]

During the mid-1980s, Savage helped to organize sex workers in San Francisco to fight for better wages.[4] The initiative was ultimately abandoned after production studios threatened to blacklist performers.[4] In 1986, Savage appeared in a cameo for the neo-noir crime film 52 Pick-Up starring Roy Scheider and Ann-Margret.[2] He was credited as "Harvey Cowen". In 1988, Savage was inducted into the XRCO Hall of Fame.[7][13] That same year, he left pornography to work in sales and video distribution.[8] He returned to performing in 1997.[8]

Savage appeared as a guest during the fifth season of the NBC sitcom Just Shoot Me, which aired on February 1, 2001.[14] In 2003, he performed a stand-up routine on an episode of the reality television series Family Business. Savage portrayed a detective in the 2008 parody film The Texas Vibrator Massacre.[15] He appeared alongside other adult performers in the documentary series After Porn Ends 3 in 2018.[16] To date, Savage has appeared in more than 1000 adult films.[4] He has also been inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame.[6]

Stage

Savage performed under the name "Max Cohen" in a 2006 production of Neil Simon's The Prisoner of Second Avenue.[2][8] In January 2013, he portrayed pornographic film director Gerard Damiano in the Los Angeles production of The Deep Throat Sex Scandal, a play described as the "theatrical telling of the back story of Deep Throat."[10][17] His performance drew positive reviews.[18] Writing for The Los Angeles Times, Charlotte Stoudt called Savage's portrayal of Damiano "surprisingly cogent".[19] Myron Meisel from The Hollywood Reporter remarked that he "engenders endearing empathy as the amiably deluded director Damiano."[20] Steven Leigh Morris from LA Weekly deemed his performance "dramatic comedy terra firma".[21] Savage credited the play with "renewing [his] love for performing on stage."[9]

Savage appeared as himself in Pretty Filthy, a musical about the adult film industry.[22] He also performed in the interactive dinner show Joni and Gina's Wedding.[23] In July 2016, Savage premiered Porn Star: My Life In The Sex Industry, an autobiographical one-man show; he successfully funded the project through a Kickstarter campaign.[24]

Personal life

Savage is a practicing Buddhist.[18] He resides in California.[18]

Select performances

Film

Title Year Role Notes Ref.
Debbie Does Dallas 1978 Tim [3]
The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue 1980 Griffin [25]
Memphis Cathouse Blues 1982 Deacon Davis
What Gets Me Hot! 1984 Mrs. Radner's Boyfriend
52 Pick-Up 1986 Party Goer Credited as Harvey Cowen
Droid 1988 Turk
The Texas Vibrator Massacre 2008 Detective Mike Roe [26]
30 Rock: A XXX Parody 2009 Jake [27]
After Porn Ends 3 2018 Himself Documentary [28]

Television

Title Year Role Notes Ref.
Sex Court 1999-00 Tommy Rawlings / Nick Palos / Tony Tornelli 3 episodes
Just Shoot Me! 2001 Ron Episode: "The Proposal" [14]
Family Business 2003 Himself Episode: "Casa De Butts"
Are You There, Chelsea? 2012 Guard Episode: "Pilot" (credited as Harvey Joel Coen)
Dave's Old Porn 2012 Himself Episode: "Lisa Lampanelli / Herschel Savage"

Theater

Title Year Venue Role Notes Ref.
The Prisoner of Second Avenue 2006 Mel Edison Lead role (credited as Max Cohen) [8]
The Deep Throat Sex Scandal 2013 Zephyr Theater Gerard Damiano Los Angeles run [10]
Pretty Filthy 2015 Abrons Arts Center Himself Musical [22]
Porn Star: My Life In The Sex Industry 2016 Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center Himself One-man show [24]

Awards

List of accolades received by Herschel Savage
Total number of wins and nominations
Totals 9 40
AVN Awards
Year Nominated work and artist Category Result Ref.
1987 If Only Mother Knew Best Supporting Actor Nominated [29]
1989 Amanda by Night II Best Sex Scene - Feature Film (with Nina Hartley) Won [30]
1992 Herschel Savage AVN Hall of Fame Inductee Won [31]
2000 The Devil Made Her Do It Most Outrageous Sex Scene (with Mila & Dave Hardman) Won [32]
Herschel Savage Male Peformer of the Year Nominated [33]
The Kissing Game Best Couples Sex Scene - Video (with Missy) Nominated
Best Supporting Actor - Video Nominated
Nothing to Hide 3 & 4 Best Actor - Film Nominated
Trial by Copulation Best Group Sex Scene - Film (with Temptress, Azlea Antistia, and Chris Cannon) Nominated
The Trophy Best Supporting Actor - Film Nominated
Tushy Con Carne Best Anal Sex Scene - Video (with Alisha Klass) Nominated
2001 Dream Quest Best Actor - Film Nominated [34]
Exhibitionist Part 1 Best Supporting Actor - Video Nominated
The Gapes of Wrath Best Anal Sex Scene - Video (with McKayla Matthews, Tyce Bune, and Mark Davis) Nominated
Screamers Best Couples Sex Scene - Film (with Dee) Nominated
Best Supporting Actor - Film Nominated
Sodomania: Gangbang Edition Best Group Sex Scene - Video (with Sabrina Johnson, Tyce Bune, Lexington Steele, and Mark Anthony) Nominated
Spellbound Best Actor - Video Nominated
White Trash Whore 17 Best Anal Sex Scene - Video (with Allysin Embers & Dave Hardman) Nominated
2002 Bad Wives 2 Best Group Sex Scene - Film (with Kylie Ireland & Jason McCain) Nominated [35]
Infidelity Best Supporting Actor - Video Nominated
Mafioso Best Actor - Film Nominated
Pussy Face Most Outrageous Sex Scene (with Kristen Kane and Rafe) Won [36]
Succubus Best Group Sex Scene - Video (with Ava Vincent, Bridgette Kerkove, Nikita Denise, and Trevor) Won
Taken Best Anal Sex Scene - Film Nominated [35]
Best Supporting Actor - Film Won [36]
2003 Big Bottom Sadie Best Supporting Actor - Video Nominated [37]
2004 Roommate From Hell Best Actor - Video Nominated [38]
The Contortionist Best Supporting Actor - Video Nominated
2005 The Hitman Nominated [39]
Love and Bullets Best Actor - Video Nominated
2006 Dark Side Best Actor - Film Nominated [40]
Best Couples Sex Scene - Film (with Penny Flame) Won [41]
House of Ass Best Three-Way Sex Scene (with Mari Possa & Barbara Summer) Nominated [40]
2007 Butt Pirates of the Caribbean Best Group Sex Scene - Video (with Mari Possa, Amber Peach, Samantha Ryan, and Kurt Lockwood) Nominated [42]
ClusterFuck 5 Best Group Sex Scene - Video (with Mayhem, Tory Lane, Jay Lassiter, Dirty Harry, Scott Lyons, Jenner, Rick Masters, Chris Mountain, Steve james, Trevor Thompson, and Alec Knight) Nominated
Game Best Non-Sex Performance Nominated
Rumour Had 'Em Best Supporting Actor - Video Nominated
2008 Delilah Best Actor - Video Nominated [43]
Spunk'd the Movie Best Supporting Actor - Video Nominated
2009 The Texas Vibrator Massacre Best Non-Sex Performance Nominated [44]
2010 30 Rock: A XXX Parody Best Actor Nominated [45]
2013 Dallas: A XXX Parody Best Non-Sex Performance Nominated [46]
NightMoves Awards
Year Nominated artist Category Result Ref.
2007 Herschel Savage Best Actor Nominated [47]
XBIZ Awards
Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2010 30 Rock: A XXX Parody Acting Performance of the Year - Male Nominated [48]
2019 Fallen II: Angels & Demons Best Non-Sex Performance Nominated [49]
XRCO Awards
Year Nominated work and artist Category Result Ref.
1988 Herschel Savage XRCO Hall of Fame Inductee Won [13]
2000 Nothing to Hide 3 & 4 Actor (Single Performance) Nominated [50]
2006 Dark Side (with Penny Flame) Best Onscreen Couple Won [51]

References

  1. "Herschel Savage's 'Porn Star' Shows His Mainstream Acting Chops". Adult Video News. July 11, 2016. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  2. "Herschel Savage". British Film Institute. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  3. "The Curse of Debbie Does Dallas". The Sydney Morning Herald. August 19, 2005. Retrieved March 30, 2009.
  4. R. Berg, Heather (2016). "Porn Work: Adult Film at the Point of Production" (PhD). University of California, Santa Barbara. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  5. "AVN: The 50 Top Porn Stars of All Time". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
  6. "AVN Hall Of Fame". Archived from the original on April 15, 2009. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  7. "XRCO Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on October 7, 2007. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
  8. "Savage Stars In Neil Simon Play". AVN. Retrieved March 30, 2009.
  9. Kernes, Mark (July 11, 2016). "Herschel Savage's 'Porn Star' Shows His Mainstream Acting Chops". AVN. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  10. Pfefferman, Naomi (January 23, 2013). "Play reveals naked truth behind 'Deep Throat'". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
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  12. Savage, Herschel; Atell, Dave (2012). Dave's Old Porn (Television Production). Los Angeles: Showtime.
  13. "XRCO's Hot 'n' Horny Heart-On Awards!", Hustler Erotic Video Guide Vol. 3, No. 5, September 1988, pp. 8-9.
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  27. Delahaye, Gabe (August 21, 2009). "NSFW: 30 Rock Porno? 30 Rock Porno". Stereogum. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
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  31. "Vegas Sex-cess!". EFG Showcase (Hot Videos Illustrated). New York, New York: Eton Publishing Co. October 1992. pp. 34–37.
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