Herschel Savage (born Herschel Cohen on November 25, 1952) is a former American pornographic actor, director and stage actor who has appeared in over 1,000 adult films. In 2002, AVN ranked him 46th on their list of The Top 50 Porn Stars of All Time. He has also been inducted into the AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame.
Savage in 2010
November 25, 1952
|Other names||Harvey Cowen, Harvey Joel Coen, Herschel Cohen, Jack Black, Max Cohen|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
Savage was born to Russian-Jewish parents on November 25, 1952 in New York City. His mother battled with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Growing up, he attended a conservative synagogue. Savage saw his first adult film The Nun's Bad Habit at a movie theater in Times Square.
Savage began studying acting under Broadway theatre actress Uta Hagen and renowned acting teacher Stella Adler. Savage initially sought a mainstream stage and screen career. However, he became disillusioned by the constant auditioning and competition for roles. He also worked for an exercise company.
Savage was introduced to the adult film industry via the actor R. Bolla in 1976, He went on to become one of the biggest stars of the "Golden Age of Porn" in the 1970s and 1980s. Savage appeared in the 1978 classic Debbie Does Dallas, for which he was paid about $150 a day. The film was a financial success, becoming one of the top five highest grossing adult films of all time. Some of the other films he has appeared in include Expose Me Now, Bodies in Heat, and Rambone Does Hollywood. 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.
During the mid-1980s, Savage helped to organize sex workers in San Francisco to fight for better wages. The initiative was ultimately abandoned after production studios threatened to blacklist performers. In 1986, Savage appeared in a cameo for the neo-noir crime film 52 Pick-Up starring Roy Scheider and Ann-Margret. He was credited as "Harvey Cowen". In 1988, Savage was inducted into the XRCO Hall of Fame. That same year, he left pornography to work in sales and video distribution. He returned to performing in 1997.
Savage appeared as a guest during the fifth season of the NBC sitcom Just Shoot Me, which aired on February 1, 2001. 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. He appeared alongside other adult performers in the documentary series After Porn Ends 3 in 2018. To date, Savage has appeared in more than 1000 adult films. He has also been inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame.
Savage performed under the name "Max Cohen" in a 2006 production of Neil Simon's The Prisoner of Second Avenue. 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." His performance drew positive reviews. Writing for The Los Angeles Times, Charlotte Stoudt called Savage's portrayal of Damiano "surprisingly cogent". Myron Meisel from The Hollywood Reporter remarked that he "engenders endearing empathy as the amiably deluded director Damiano." Steven Leigh Morris from LA Weekly deemed his performance "dramatic comedy terra firma". Savage credited the play with "renewing [his] love for performing on stage."
Savage appeared as himself in Pretty Filthy, a musical about the adult film industry. He also performed in the interactive dinner show Joni and Gina's Wedding. 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.
|Debbie Does Dallas||1978||Tim|||
|The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue||1980||Griffin|||
|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|
|The Texas Vibrator Massacre||2008||Detective Mike Roe|||
|30 Rock: A XXX Parody||2009||Jake|||
|After Porn Ends 3||2018||Himself||Documentary|||
|Sex Court||1999-00||Tommy Rawlings / Nick Palos / Tony Tornelli||3 episodes|
|Just Shoot Me!||2001||Ron||Episode: "The Proposal"|||
|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"|
|The Prisoner of Second Avenue||2006||Mel Edison||Lead role (credited as Max Cohen)|||
|The Deep Throat Sex Scandal||2013||Zephyr Theater||Gerard Damiano||Los Angeles run|||
|Pretty Filthy||2015||Abrons Arts Center||Himself||Musical|||
|Porn Star: My Life In The Sex Industry||2016||Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center||Himself||One-man show|||
|Year||Nominated work and artist||Category||Result||Ref.|
|1987||If Only Mother Knew||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|||
|1989||Amanda by Night II||Best Sex Scene - Feature Film (with Nina Hartley)||Won|||
|1992||Herschel Savage||AVN Hall of Fame Inductee||Won|||
|2000||The Devil Made Her Do It||Most Outrageous Sex Scene (with Mila & Dave Hardman)||Won|||
|Herschel Savage||Male Peformer of the Year||Nominated|||
|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|||
|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|||
|Infidelity||Best Supporting Actor - Video||Nominated|
|Mafioso||Best Actor - Film||Nominated|
|Pussy Face||Most Outrageous Sex Scene (with Kristen Kane and Rafe)||Won|||
|Succubus||Best Group Sex Scene - Video (with Ava Vincent, Bridgette Kerkove, Nikita Denise, and Trevor)||Won|
|Taken||Best Anal Sex Scene - Film||Nominated|||
|Best Supporting Actor - Film||Won|||
|2003||Big Bottom Sadie||Best Supporting Actor - Video||Nominated|||
|2004||Roommate From Hell||Best Actor - Video||Nominated|||
|The Contortionist||Best Supporting Actor - Video||Nominated|
|Love and Bullets||Best Actor - Video||Nominated|
|2006||Dark Side||Best Actor - Film||Nominated|||
|Best Couples Sex Scene - Film (with Penny Flame)||Won|||
|House of Ass||Best Three-Way Sex Scene (with Mari Possa & Barbara Summer)||Nominated|||
|2007||Butt Pirates of the Caribbean||Best Group Sex Scene - Video (with Mari Possa, Amber Peach, Samantha Ryan, and Kurt Lockwood)||Nominated|||
|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|||
|Spunk'd the Movie||Best Supporting Actor - Video||Nominated|
|2009||The Texas Vibrator Massacre||Best Non-Sex Performance||Nominated|||
|2010||30 Rock: A XXX Parody||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|2013||Dallas: A XXX Parody||Best Non-Sex Performance||Nominated|||
|2007||Herschel Savage||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|2010||30 Rock: A XXX Parody||Acting Performance of the Year - Male||Nominated|||
|2019||Fallen II: Angels & Demons||Best Non-Sex Performance||Nominated|||
|Year||Nominated work and artist||Category||Result||Ref.|
|1988||Herschel Savage||XRCO Hall of Fame Inductee||Won|||
|2000||Nothing to Hide 3 & 4||Actor (Single Performance)||Nominated|||
|2006||Dark Side (with Penny Flame)||Best Onscreen Couple||Won|||
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- Javors, Steve (July 4, 2007). "Nightmoves Announces 2007 Awards Finalists". XBIZ. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
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- "XRCO Nominations". AVN. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Rhett Pardon (21 April 2006). "Porn Industry Shows Up for XRCO Awards". XBIZ. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Herschel Savage.|
- Herschel Savage on IMDb
- Herschel Savage on Twitter
- Herschel Savage at the Internet Adult Film Database
- Herschel Savage at the Adult Film Database
- The Rialto Report, "Herschel Savage - The Evergreen Porn Star", November 3, 2013 - new audio podcast interview with Herschel Savage