Nina Hartley is the ultimate MILF, a gal who was hot back in the 1970s and is still smokin’ hot today… and just as oversexed. She has won the most AVN awards of any star in history and was the first starlet to crossover to “real acting” with a part in Boogie Nights.
Nina Hartley, who starred in more than 1049 adult films and directed 19 films is the unquestioned authority for Americans in all that relates to sex.
Nina Hartley was born Marie Louise Hartman on March 11, 1959, in Berkeley, California. Her parents, Lutheran father and a Jewish mother whose family was from Alabama, were communists. They converted to Buddhism when Marie Louise was young. Her grandfather was one of the lawyers who defended the black teenagers accused (as it turned out, falsely) of raping a white woman in the infamous 1931 “Scottsboro Boys” case in Alabama.
Nina grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the youngest of four children, with an older sister and two older brothers. After graduating from Berkeley High School in 1977, she attended San Francisco State University’s undergraduate nursing school and graduated magna cum laude in 1985. She was a registered nurse per the California Board of Registered Nursing until her license expired in 1986. Switched from nursing to pornography because she couldn’t handle seeing people die.
Among the advantages of the profession porn actress Nina refers to a flexible work schedule, travelling around the world, a variety of love affairs and an opportunity to open their own business.
Adult film career
In 1982, during her sophomore year of nursing school, Nina started working as a stripper at the Sutter Cinema and later the Mitchell Brothers O’Farrell Theatre in San Francisco. She made her foray into the world of pornographic movies during her junior year in 1984.
She and her husband at the time moved to southern California from the San Francisco area specifically to break into the porn business. One day her husband ran into veteran porn star/producer Juliet Anderson in a market and told her about his wife. Anderson, better known as “Aunt Peg” said to send her a photo and when she saw it, she hired Hartley almost immediately.
Her debut performance was in the film Educating Nina (1984), which was produced and directed by Juliet.
Explaining in an interview how Marie Louise Hartman became Nina Hartley, she stated that name “Nina” was chosen because it was easy to pronounce for Japanese tourists. During the time she was a dancer in San Francisco they were the main of striptease connoisseurs. Future porn legend “wanted a name that sounded like that of a real person”. She liked the popular camera commercials Mariette Hartley was making with James Garner and it was close to her own real last name. That is how appeared “Hartley”.
Nina stated that when she got into the adult business, she was blessed with two popular fetish items: “big, baby-blue eyes and that round butt with a high, small waist“, with her buttocks becoming her trademark.
In the 1980s and early 1990s, she starred in several of the Debbie Does series, such as Debbie Does Dishes and Debbie Does Wall Street.
For many years, she also toured the United States and Canada as a stripper and made personal appearances at adult shops.
Hartley considers herself a liberal and an outspoken sex-positive feminist, although for a time she was a socialist activist. 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 serves on the Board of Directors of the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance, an organization whose mission is to affirm sexual freedom as a fundamental human right.
Hartley has been an advocate for the X-rated film industry’s right to exist, and, before the rise to stardom of Jenna Jameson, she had often been called on when television news programs and talk shows, including Oprah Winfrey and Phil Donahue, required an articulate, leading adult film actress to support the pro side. The two came under hard scrutiny from the mostly female audience, but they refused to back down and were outspoken in their support of the industry.
Nina stated “The idea that a woman could choose, on purpose, to perform in pornographic videos for her own reasons still goes deeply against the notion that women are somehow victims of male sexuality, that they’re delicate flowers who need the protection of a good man or the law.
If we accept that a young woman can consent to have an abortion or become a parent, then it stands to reason that we must accept that she can consent to make pornography. Of all the branches of sex work available porn is the safest, so it’s legal to make and we have an excellent testing program in place.”
She was also often asked to discuss alternative marriages such as her own open three-way marriage in which she, her husband and a third woman (to whom he had committed to prior to her) all share a home.
She and her co-star, lesbian Ona Zee spoke out strongly against illegal drugs in the industry.
According to their beliefs, Nina Hartley – a socialist, feminist and “sex educator”. She says that the lack of knowledge and experience in this area of life has brought her at the time a lot of unpleasant things, and now she wants to protect against such dangers and disappointments of other women.
Today porn star writes and publishes books on the subject. In 2006 she published her first book Nina Hartley’s Guide to Total Sex (ivbro). She would later co-author the book series “How to be Kinkier” beginning in 2012.
In 2010, she quipped, “Now I work with women who are younger than my breast implants.”
Hartley played the part of Hillary Clinton in the film Who’s Nailin’ Paylin? This was a pornographic parody of then Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, with Lisa Ann in the role of Palin.
Nina was also featured in the 2012 documentary After Porn Ends, which is about life after being a porn actor.
As of 2017, Hartley remained active in the industry. Appearing primarily in “mature”-themed pornography, she also has a line of instructional videos which are marketed under the Nina Hartley’s Guide brand covering subjects ranging from basic sexual intercourse and foreplay to anal sex and bondage.
Hartley had a role in the 1997 film Boogie Nights, playing William H. Macy’s serially unfaithful wife, and she appeared in the 1996 Canadian film Bubbles Galore. Hartley also starred in in the late rapper Tupac Shakur’s music video for his 1996 single, “How Do U Want It?”
Nina Hartley appears in the Amazon Award winning 2016 documentary Sticky: a (Self) Love Story in which she discusses her sex-positive views on self-love, with regards to education, the forced resignation of Dr. Joycelyn Elders, and her opinions on the blackballing of comedian Paul Reubens after his arrest for masturbating in a public theater. Nina Hartley attended a Las Vegas premiere of the documentary at the Erotic Heritage Museum on May 26, 2016, in which she sat on a Q&A panel with the writer/producer/director Nicholas Tana, and adult film actress Ginger Lynn.
Profiled in the book “Golden Goddesses: 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Cinema, 1968-1985” by Jill C. Nelson.
Profiled in “Dirty Talk: Conversations with Porn Stars” by Andrew Rausch and Chris Watson ([2012).
Appeared in an MTV documentary about the porn industry.
Personal life of Nina Hartley
Nina has described herself as an atheist, but when she was asked about this in a later interview, she corrected it to “a neo-pagan, with a Buddhist trait.” She also said that several of her siblings were observant Jews, and while she was a fan of Judaism, she also added she was not a Zionist.
Hartley is openly bisexual in her private life.
From 1981–2000, Hartley was involved in a relationship with a man and a woman. In 1986 she married David Arthur Carr; their divorce was finalized in 2003.
In the same year, Nina married Ernest Greene, who born as Ira Steven Levine. He is a director of porn films, particularly bondage, discipline, sadism, and/or masochism-oriented films. 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; she played supporting roles in both. The couple considers themselves polyamorous. Hartley has no children of her own.
Hartley has won numerous awards throughout her career, from various critic and fan organizations. Retired from eligibility to be named AVN (Adult Video News) star of the year following her third win, and is now in the AVN Hall of Fame.
Best Non-Sex Performance for Not Bewitched XXX (2009)
Best Specialty Tape – BDSM for Nina Hartley’s Private Sessions 13 (2005)
Best Specialty Tape – Spanking 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)
Lifetime Career Award – Ninfa Public (2006)
MILF Performer of the Year – XBIZ Award nomination (2013)
Best Non-Sex Acting Performance (The Truth About O) – XBIZ Award nomination (2013)
Fanny Lifetime Achievement Award (2014 )
Specialty Release of the Year for Nina Hartley’s Guide to Exploring Open Relationships (Adam & Eve) – XBIZ Award nomination (2017)