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Porn star and movie icon Ron Jeremy hospitalized, in critical condition

Movie Talk

Porn star and movie icon Ron Jeremy hospitalized, in critical condition

Photo: Amanda Edwards/FilmMagic

Ron Jeremy, one of the best-known performers in adult entertainment, is in critical condition at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after being diagnosed with an aneurysm near his heart. As of this writing, the actor has come out of surgery and is currently recovering in intensive care.

According to statements from Jeremy's manager, Mike Esterman, the 59-year-old porn legend drove himself to the hospital on Tuesday after experiencing severe chest pains. As Jeremy's symptoms grew worse, doctors discovered the aneurysm, and he was admitted to the hospital's intensive care unit.

Nicknamed "The Hedgehog" for his stocky build and large amounts of body hair, Jeremy became an unlikely star on the adult film scene in the 1970s. Jeremy was discovered when a girlfriend sent a nude photo of him to Playgirl Magazine without his knowledge; they printed it, and a casting agent for a porn flick offered the aspiring actor a role. Jeremy soon became known for his credible acting skills and knack for comedy in a business where neither was common, and he became one of the most enduring figures in adult movies. Jeremy starred in over 2,000 XXX titles between 1978 and 2012, earning him a spot in The Guinness Book Of World Records. Jeremy has also enjoyed a successful career directing sex films, and he put his knowledge of the industry to work as a consultant on Paul Thomas Anderson's film "Boogie Nights."

While dwarfed by his career in adult films, Jeremy has also made a mark in mainstream cinema, appearing in over fifty non-porn titles, including "The Boondock Saints," "Detroit Rock City," "Crank: High Voltage," "Killing Zoe," "54," and "Orgazmo." (Keep you eyes peeled and you can spot him as an extra in "Ghostbusters.") Jeremy has also toured as a standup comic, appeared on the MTV reality series "The Surreal Life," guest starred in music videos for such artists as Kid Rock, Moby, LMFAO, Insane Clown Posse, and Sublime, and even cut a rap record with DJ Polo, "Freak Of The Week." Jeremy was also the subject of a 2001 documentary, "Porn Star: The Legend Of Ron Jeremy," and published his memoirs in 2007, "Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz."

A number of Jeremy's celebrity friends took to Twitter to offer words of support. Penn Jillette posted, "What a sweet funny man. Hang in brother." Vanilla Ice tweeted "Frightening news, About Ron Jeremy," and added "I have left several messages on his phone? No answer, I hope everything is alright?" Adult performer Raylene urged her followers, "Say a prayer for Ron Jeremy." Comedy writer Bill Dixon quipped, "Let us all wear the zipper of our pants at half-mast today.

Get well soon, buddy." And in an especially fitting tribute, comic Jim Norton tweeted, "Just heard Ron Jeremy is in the hospital. He's a great guy who arranged the best 3-some I ever had. Get well soon my friend!"