John C. Holmes, also known by various names though most famously as "Johnny Wadd," was an American actor in early pornographic feature films and regarded within his own industry as "the King." Endowed with a member variously described as being between eight and 13 inches in length -- an exact figure is not known, and highly disputed -- Holmes was the main male performer in adults-only features of the 1970s. Born in rural Ohio and raised in a string of abusive households, Holmes joined the U.S. Army, married upon discharge, and was a temporarily disabled forklift driver when he entered porn films in 1968. Through 1987 -- when full-blown AIDS began to take him apart physically -- Holmes made an estimated 2,300 films, although many of these were "loops" (short sex films designed for viewing in peepshow booths), and more than a thousand of them have been lost. Some features have Holmes in the cast only by virtue of recycled footage from Holmes' 8 mm loops, so an accurate count of his total film output will likely remain as elusive as the true dimensions of his most renowned body part.
Holmes didn't appear in "classic" '70s porn films -- Deep Throat, Behind the Green Door, and the like. Most of the films John Holmes appeared in were built around him, particularly the "Johnny Wadd" series of features, which began in 1971 and continued up to near the end of his life. "Wadd" was a private detective who became involved in a series of sexual adventures of various kinds; the series was so popular among adult moviegoers that the name "Johnny Wadd" became well known before Holmes' own name did. Toward the end of the 1970s, he appeared in adaptations of historic sex novels that had somewhat bigger budgets than his "Wadd" films, such as The Autobiography of a Flea (1976), Casanova (1977), and The Erotic Adventures of Candy (1979), but most of these projects lost money. Holmes' ordinary, run-of-the-mill features and loops were enormous moneymakers for the porn producers, an industry heavily dominated by figures from organized crime.