CASEY DONOVAN, American Gay porn star, was born on this date nee John Calvin Culver (d: 1987); In 1971, Cal played a supporting role in a low budget sexploitation thriller film, Ginger. This in turn led to an offer to appear in Casey, a Gay porn film in which Cal played the title role, a Gay man who is visited by his fairy godmother Wanda (Cal playing a dual role in drag), and is granted a series of wishes which make him sexually irresistible to other men. Cal later took the character’s name, Casey, and that of the popular singer (Donovan) to create the pseudonym under which he would appear in all his other erotic roles.
Cal first appeared as Casey Donovan in Boys in the Sand, directed by Wakefield Poole, in 1972. The film was an instant success, with even big name mainstream celebrities going to the premiere. Today the film is considered one of the great classics of male erotic cinema, although stricter obscenity guidelines in some states forced a change of the title to Men in the Sand. He was also the star of Score (1972),The Back Row, with George Payne, LA Tool & Die, with Bob Blount and Richard Locke, The Other Side of Aspen, with Al Parker and Dick Fisk, Boys in the Sand II, and Inevitable Love, with jon King and Jamie Wingo. He also featured in a number of heterosexual porn films, notably The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1975).
Outside his adult film career, Casey Donovan had a successful off-Broadway run in the play Tubstrip, written and directed by director Jerry Douglas. He had an intimate relationship with actor/writer Tom Tryon. He also tried, unsuccessfully, to run a bed and breakfast, Casa Donovan, in Key West. By 1985, Casey had contracted HIV/AIDS. He worked with many HIV/AIDS charities and counseled his fans to practice safer sex and get tested for HIV. He performed in a safe sex film for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, although he himself lived in denial that he had the syndrome, even as his health got worse. Donovan died from an AIDS-related pulmonary infection in Inverness, Florida, aged 43.