Thursday, April 09, 2009

RIP-Jack Wrangler

I first saw Jack Wrangler in the XXX rated THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES PART TWO, the surprisngly comedic sequel to the notorious, morose original of the early seventies. A young lady I knew had a Beta copy but she and her boyfriend only had a VHS machine. They knew I had Beta so one saturday night we hooked up the two machines and dubbed her a copy. They left the original Beta copy with me. Wrangler played the Devil in the film. He's handsome, charismatic, charming and downright funny. He wasn't a great actor but compared with other porn actors of the period his performance was Oscar quality! He was gay and had been a star in gay films but then he added straight films and was discovered by a whole new audience. I next saw him, however, on an episode of DONAHUE (I believe) where he appeared as part of an unlikely pairing with 1940's singer (and former TV star) Margaret Whiting. He was gay (not bi he insisted), he was an adult film performer and she was a reknowned singer some 22 years his senior. Was there ever a more unlikely pair? It worked though as the two married and over the years since Jack moved into behind the scenes creative work in theater, often with Ms. Whiting. His autobiography came out in 1984 and was quite a good read as I recall although I apparently no longer have a copy. Jack Wrangler died of a lung ailment on Tuesday. Seen here is the trailer from a 2006 documentary about his life and career. To paraphrase a line he says in the trailer--no matter what I do in the theater or ballet, if a newspaper writes about it they always refer to me as Jack Wrangler, porn star. Jack Wrangler was survived by his wife of more than two decades, Margaret Whiting. Rest in peace, sir.

1 comment:

chuckj69 said...

I liked Jack's movies. They were always very well produced and had reasonable budgets by 70's and early 80's porno standards. He was a super actor as far as porn actors go. The dude had charisma and was handsome. For my money "The Devil in Miss Jones II" and "The Filthy Rich" were his best movies. I considered him an icon of the golden age of porn cinema. They just don't make movies like that anymore. Interesting fellow. Punch in Jack Wrangler Saugatuck on youtube for a good video of Jack making a public appearance. R.I.P. Jack