Gay pornstar Erik Rhodes died this morning, June 14, after suffering a heart attack in his sleep.
Rhodes made his porn debut in 2004 before signing on as a lifetime exclusive with Falcon Studios, where he earned a devoted following. His performances were critically acclaimed, even earning an XBIZ Award in 2009 for GLBT performer of the year. He appeared in Bruce LaBruce’s film LA Zombie.
As lauded as Rhodes was, his career wasn't without controversy; he was known for expressing controversial opinions on his blogs. Like all of us, he had his demons and his problems, but he always seemed to soldier on regardless.
A blog site, attributed to Rhodes and entitled A Romance with Misery, contains posts about his battle with addictions and loneliness.
“My name is James . . . I have worked in the adult entertainment industry for the last 7 years of my life under the name Erik Rhodes. I'm not sure how I ended up here, and I don't know how i have survived this long . . . all i do know is that it can be a very lonely place and sometimes i need a blog to get shit off my chest. So take it or leave it . . . Here it is.”
There has been an outpouring of love for Rhodes today on blogs and social media. Despite what his detractors say, he touched the lives of many, and he was known by his family and friends as a kind-hearted, warm and funny man. The number of people grieving over this loss speaks volumes about his character.
Whether you knew him personally or as a fan, it’s important to remember that a human being has died today, someone with a family who loved him and friends who supported him.
Rest in peace, Erik Rhodes. You’re gone too soon.
Below is an interview Rhodes did with Eddie Stone and Sister Roma of HardTV at the Grabby Awards on May 26, 2012.