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Nina Hartley
Nina Hartley Les Deux 2009.jpg
Nina Hartley attending the 'This Is Our Industry' A.I.M. Fundraiser Party at Les Deux, Hollywood, CA on Nov. 11, 2009
Birthdate March 11, 1959 (1959-03-11) (age 50)
Birth location Berkeley, California, U.S.
Birth name Marie Louise Hartman
Measurements 35C-24-38
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)[1]
Weight 140 lb (64 kg; 10 st)[1]
Eye colour Aquamarine blue
Hair colour Blonde
Ethnicity Jewish[1]
Alias(es) Nina Hartman, Nina Hartwell
No. of films 803 (per IAFD)
Official web site
Nina Hartley at IMDb
Nina Hartley at IAFD
Nina Hartley at AFDB
Nina Hartley presenting an award at the XRCO Awards, Hollywood, CA on April 16, 2009.

Nina Hartley (born Marie Louise Hartman;[2] March 11, 1959) is an American pornographic actress, pornographic film director and sex educator.


Early life

Hartley was born in Berkeley, California to a Jewish family and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.[3] She is the youngest of four children,[4] with an older sister and two older brothers.[1] Her parents converted to Buddhism when she was young.[5] After graduating high school in 1977,[4] she attended San Francisco State University's undergraduate nursing school and graduated magna cum laude in 1985. She is a registered nurse.[3]

Adult film career

In 1982, during her sophomore year of nursing school, she started working as a stripper at Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theater.[3]

She made her foray into the world of pornographic movies during her junior year, in 1984. Her debut performance was in the film Educating Nina, which was produced by the veteran porn star Juliet Anderson (better known as "Aunt Peg"), and this proved to be a massive hit. Since then she has gone on to feature in over 400 first-run adult films, and has become one of the most enduring and recognizable performers in the industry.

She said in an interview that she chose the name "Nina" because it was easy for Japanese tourists to say during the time she was a dancer in San Francisco. She chose "Hartley" because she liked the popular camera commercials Mariette Hartley was making with James Garner at the time.

Politically, Hartley considers herself a liberal and an outspoken sex-positive feminist.[6] Addressing other women, she said "Sex isn't something men do to you. It isn't something men get out of you. Sex is something you dive into with gusto and like it every bit as much as he does." Hartley has been an advocate for the adult film industry's right to exist, and, before the rise to stardom of Jenna Jameson, had often been called on when television news programs and talk shows required an articulate, leading adult film actress to support the pro side. She appeared most notably on The Oprah Winfrey Show with fellow porn actress Ona Zee. The two came under hard scrutiny from the mostly female audience, but refused to back down and were outspoken in their support of the industry. She and Ona Zee also spoke out strongly against illegal drugs in the industry.

She was interviewed for Wendy McElroy's 1995 book XXX: A Woman's Right to Pornography. She relates how she was arrested in 1993 in Las Vegas, along with 10 other adult stars (later known as the "Erotic Eleven"), for having performed a lesbian show at an adult video industry fundraiser; an undercover police officer was present in the audience. Threatened with six to 12 years in prison for felony lesbianism and pandering, she was eventually allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor.[7]

In addition to her more traditional roles in porn films, she has also produced, directed, and starred in a series of Guide to... films covering the entire sexual spectrum, from basic sexual intercourse and foreplay, to anal sex and bondage.

Hartley crossed over into mainstream Hollywood with an appearance in the 1997 film Boogie Nights, in which she played William H. Macy's serially unfaithful wife. She also appeared in the 1996 Canadian film Bubbles Galore.[8]

Hartley is openly bisexual in her private life,[9] and had what has been described as the longest stable relationship in the adult business, living in a ménage à trois with her husband Dave (whom she met when she was 19), and "wife" Bobby Lilly for 20 years. Hartley has since left that relationship, saying "I was too immature and he was too possessive. It didn't work... It ended up ending because it was the wrong three people involved."[10] She has since married Ira Levine (aka Ernest Greene), a director of porn films, particularly BDSM films.[11] They sometimes work together, as in The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women, directed by Tristan Taormino and Greene, and O: the Power of Submission, directed by Greene. In both of these films, Hartley plays supporting roles.

Hartley does not have any children due to a combination of a lack of interest and fibroid tumors,[4] though she does have eight nieces and nephews.[1]

Porn actor Lexington Steele stated in an interview in 2001 that sex with Nina Hartley was undoubtedly the best sex he has ever had.[12]

Hartley remains active as of 2010. Appearing primarily in "mature"-themed pornography, she also has a line of "instructional" videos which are marketed under the "Nina Hartley's Guide" brand.[13] In 2006 she published her first book Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex.[14]

Hartley played the part of Hillary Rodham Clinton in their film Who's Nailin' Paylin?, a pornographic parody of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin with Lisa Ann in the role of Palin.[15][16][17]

AVN Awards

Hartley has won numerous awards throughout her career, from various critic and fan organizations. The following is a list of her Adult Video News Awards.

  • Best Non-Sex Performance for Not Bewitched XXX (2009)[18]
  • Best Specialty TapeBDSM for Nina Hartley's Private Sessions 13 (2005)
  • Best Specialty TapeSpanking for Nina Hartley's Guide To Spanking (2005)
  • Best Supporting Actress – Video for The Last X-Rated Movie (1991)
  • Best Couples Sex Scene Film for Amanda By Night II (1987)
  • Best Couples Sex Scene – Video for Sensual Escape (1989)
  • Best Supporting Actress – Film for Portrait of an Affair (1989)
  • Best Actress – Video for Debbie Duz Dishes (1987)


  • Nicolas Barbano: Verdens 25 hotteste pornostjerner (Rosinante, Denmark 1999) ISBN 87-7357-961-0: Features a chapter on her.
  • Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Nina Hartley: XXX: 30 Porn-Star Portraits (Bulfinch, USA 2004) IBSN 0821277545. (Features essay and introduction by Nina.)
  • Nina Hartley: Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex (Avery, USA 2006) ISBN 1583332634
  • Louis Marvin: The New Goddesses (AF Press, USA 1987): ISBN 0-912442-99-9 (Features a chapter on her.)
  • David McCumber: X-Rated (Pinnacle Books, 1996) ISBN 0786011130. p139–149.


  1. ^ a b c d e Christina (2008-05-08). "Interview with Nina Hartley". AIPdaily. Retrieved 2008-05-18.  
  2. ^ "Adult Film Star Biographies and Their Take On The Naked Art Show". SearchYourLove. 2006-11-06. Retrieved 2007-11-09.  
  3. ^ a b c Sheldon Ranz (Spring 1989). "Interview: Nina Hartley". Shmate: A Magazine of Progressive Jewish Thought. Archived from the original on 2006-08-22. Retrieved 2008-05-18.  
  4. ^ a b c "There’s a Place in Porn Where the Naked Women Fornicate: Nina Hartley’s Guide to Life". Retrieved 2008-05-18.  
  5. ^ Stephanie Nolen (1999-04-24). "The thinking woman's porn star speaks out". Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 1999-04-25. Retrieved 2008-05-18.  
  6. ^ "About Nina Hartley". Retrieved 2009-05-03.  
  7. ^ Wendy McElroy. XXX: A Woman's Right to Pornography, 1995. Chapter 7.
  8. ^ Bubbles Galore (1996)
  9. ^ Mourra, Sarah (November 22, 2000), "Porn Star Talks Sex to Students", The Daily Californian,, retrieved 2007-11-14  
  10. ^ Gene Ross (2004-12-10). "Nina Hartley Interview". AdultFYI. Retrieved 2007-07-23.  
  11. ^ "Nina Hartley: Information & Biography". Retrieved 2008-08-12.  
  12. ^ Lexington Steele interview, Excaliburfilms
  13. ^ Nina Hartley's IAFD filmography, IAFD
  14. ^ "Amazon: Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex". Retrieved 2008-12-23.  
  15. ^ "Hustler Video Does It Again With Palin Parody". Hustler World. 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
  16. ^ "Nailin' Palin". Masturbation Invasion. 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
  17. ^ "Hustler Video Does It Again With Palin Parody". Hustler World. 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
  18. ^ David Sullivan (2009-01-11). "2009 AVN Award-Winners Announced". Retrieved 2009-01-11.  

External links

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