‘Pioneering’ gay adult film producer David Hurles dies at 78

‘Pioneering’ gay pornographer David Hurles dies at 78

Pioneering gay pornographer David Hurles has died at the age of 78.

San Francisco legend Hurles reportedly died on Wednesday (12 April) due to complications from a stroke in 2008, with The Bay Reporter publishing his obituary. 

Hurles started his pornographic media company, Old Reliable, in the 1970s, in San Francisco, after working as a photographer. He reportedly focused his work on the “unsavoury dregs of society” in contrast to cleaner-cut models popular at the time. 

The Bob Mizer Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation “dedicated to the promotion and preservation of progressive and controversial photography”, paid tribute to Hurles and described his work as “pioneering”. 

“The Bob Mizer Foundation extends its condolences to Dian Hanson [friend and manager of Hurles’ estate], to David Hurles’ friends and family, and to his fans,” the foundation said in a statement.

“David’s work for Old Reliable exposed gay audiences to a sub-culture in which we found excitement and thrills, an encounter with the type of man we have always been told to avoid. His pioneering work in the field revolutionised the art of desire.”

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Hurles, who counted legendary filmmaker John Waters among his friends, was reportedly arrested on obscenity charges several times during his decades-long career.

“I certainly was not pleased to be locked up, but I did see lots of people [who] appealed to me when I was in jail. I made a few acquaintances to see later,” he reportedly said of his stint in jail in 1979.

Long-time friend Hanson said: “David realised early that he was sexually attracted to straight criminals, and all of his unique creative work, including photos, films, video and audiotapes, derived from this erotic obsession.

“The power emanating from his photos reflects the power his subjects held over him.”

An upcoming volume of the Bob Mizer Foundation’s publication, Physique Pictorial, will reportedly focus on Hurles’ life and career.