|rame.net : faq : dead porn stars : joey stefano|
Tim Evanson writes:
Joey Stefano (aka Nick Iacona) lived in Philadelphia, PA where he lived a blue-collar, Catholic, poor lifestyle that led him into drug (especially heroin) and alcohol abuse by the time he was 15. Stefano was largely unsure of his homosexuality until he was 15, according to reports. Gay porn actor Tony Davis (who also discovered many other gay stars as well) was approached by Stefano in a Philadelphia strip club in the mid 1980s and queried about how to become an exotic dancer. Davis soon brought him to West Hollywood to break into gay porn. Stefano was the consummate bottom boy, redefining a role that few actors wished to play and which had become lackluster ("most guys just lay there like a gunny sack" was a common comment!). Rarely fucking another man, Stefano became known for his aggressive bottoming, his sultry looks, his naturalness, and his intensity. He could deliver a line extremely well, and was known as a funny and intelligent actor. He was one of the hardest working actors in gay porn, often producing as many as 5 tapes a month at the height of his career--and often acting in as many as 3 or 5 scenes in a 7 scene tape.Stefano did some incredibly good and pioneering work in gay porn. His all-oral film BACKDROP was extremely well received and established a trend in the industry away from 'everything included' sex films and towards niche porn-making. His performance opposite Mike Henson in the safe-sex porn film MORE OF A MAN was highly acclaimed, and critics noted that his ability to make the putting on of a condom erotic and playful made significant strides in making condom use acceptable among gay porn stars and gays as a whole.
Stefano's work could be HORRIBLE at times, but on the whole his work was above average. His bottoming for Rod Philips (R.I.P.) in HARD STEAL showed that Stefano could take even the biggest cock--and make it look easy. His cock pump scene with Rick Donovan in MORE OF A MAN showed a kinky side that could excite an audience regardless of the sexual content involved. His all- oral session with Gary Dean in MY COUSIN DANNY was a masterpiece of seduction, oral teasing, touching, and plain old "I'M CUMMMMMMMING!" sexuality that never failed to amaze (the HUGE cumshot he has, and the way he has to PUSH Dean's mouth off of his spurting cock was on-the-edge performing that made the scene realistic...and I've seen men on the edge of their seats, wondering if the cumshot will fill Dean's mouth or not!).
Stefano got off the drugs while he was in the business, although he lapsed often (most especially when working for award-winning gay porn director and transvestite Chi Chi Larue whose own cocaine habits tended to drag Stefano down). Yet, Stefano refused to escort or move to Europe where his looks and gay porn past could have made him a fortune.
Stefano left gay porn in 1993, although his films continued to come out. His life quickly fell apart without the income (Stefano was only a high school graduate). Returning to drug use (primarily heroin again), Stefano turned to prostitution for income. He added a great deal of muscle and definition, at the same time losing a few pounds of baby fat that had made him appear "natural" in film. His hair grew down almost to his waist, giving him a "rocker boy" image that he began to pedal as he tried to return to gay porn in 1994 and 1995. Stefano made (I think) 3 comeback films before his death. Stefano's on-screen image changed from that of "hot bottom boy" to "scary kinky top man" and yet it was applauded by reviewers who recognized the work that had gone into such a makeover and by audiences happy to see their pretty Italian boy back in action.
Stefano died in his apartment with his dealer standing over him, letting him die. He died of a heroin overdose. Stefano had been late for a shoot, and producers who showed up found him comatose in his home. Paramedics were called, but they were unable to revive him. The Stefano's dealer managed to escape and is still at large, his identity not know or at least not made public yet. Although rumors bounded that Stefano was dying of AIDS, it is not clear whether he was in fact even HIV positive. Although (according to my own sources) Stefano had been looking very bad in real life (probably due to drug use, although others argued it was due to AIDS), there are conflicting media reports as to whether he was HIV-negative, HIV-positive, or had AIDS. At any rate, Stefano's drug use did not seem linked to his HIV status, whatever it was.