American adult film actress, director, and activist/author Nina Hartley has a net worth of $6 million. There are 938 pornographic films in which she has appeared, and she has directed over a dozen more. Her career took off with the success of her first film, “Educating Nina.” She has also made appearances in commercially successful films including “Boogie Nights” and “Bubbles Galore.”
Marie Louise Hartman, the future Nina Hartley, was born on March 11, 1959, in Berkeley, California, to parents Louis Hartman and Blanch née Gelders. While she was still a child, her parents converted to Buddhism from being active members of the US Communist Party. Her dad was a communist and was banned in 1957. Nina graduated from Berkeley High School the same year (1977). In 1985, she received an A+ from the nursing school at San Francisco State University. Before her nursing license expired in 1986, she worked as a nurse.
Working Professionals in the Industrial Sector
Because of the movie “The Autobiography of a Flea,” which Nina Hartley watched during her sophomore year of college, she decided to start working as a stripper at the Sutter Cinema and then the Mitchell Brothers O’Farrell Theatre. Sharon McNight, the film’s director, made history by directing the first adult movie ever directed by a woman.
Soon after entering high school, she began appearing in adult-oriented projects, such as picture spreads for publications like High Society and Hustler. Hartley, a student of fellow adult film actress Juliet Anderson, made her début in the film Educating Nina. “it was simple for Japanese visitors to speak at the time she was a dancer in San Francisco; “Hartley” was picked since it was as similar to her true last name as possible, and she “wanted a name that sounded like that of a real person.”
Nina Hartley featured in several “Debbie Does Dallas” sequels and prequels in the ’80s and ’90s, including ‘Debbie Duz Dishes’ (1986) and ‘Debbie Does Wall Street (1991). In 1992, she directed her debut film, Nina Hartley’s Book of Love. Hartley was a stripper for many years and traveled the United States and Canada. In addition, she did in-person performances in bars and clubs for adults all around the nation.
In the 1997 blockbuster film “Boogie Nights,” Harley portrayed the unfaithful wife of William H. Macy’s character. Furthermore, she had an appearance in the Canadian film “Bubbles Galore” back in 1996. Also in 1996, Hartley had an appearance in a music video for Tupac Shakur’s song “How Do U Want It?”
Labor and Activism that Promotes Sexual Well-Being
In 1994, she launched a successful series of sex education DVDs under the Nina Hartley brand, and she is often invited to give talks and presentations on the adult film business with other prominent players like Jenna Jameson. Nina Hartley’s “Guide to Total Sex” was released in 2006. She co-authored the “How to be Kinkier” books in 2012. In the same year, she discussed her transition out of the adult film industry in the documentary “After Porn Ends.”
Featured in the 2016 Oscar-nominated film Sticky: A Self-Love Story, Nina received critical acclaim for her performance. At the documentary’s Las Vegas debut at the Erotic Heritage Museum, she participated in a Q&A session with Ginger Lynn, another adult film actress, and the film’s writer, producer, and director, Nicholas Tana. In the movie, Hartley testifies about her sex-affirming beliefs about self-love in the context of sex education.
Nina Hartley has been a staunch supporter of the adult film business for many years, and she now serves on the board of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation. Hartley has taught at several colleges, including her alma mater Berkeley and prestigious institutions like Dartmouth and Harvard. To compile his book “Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market,” author Eric Schlosser spoke with Hartley. In the interview, she was quite scathing about the hypocrisy of anti-porn measures and laws.
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Acknowledgments & Honors
Hartley has had a very successful career in the adult entertainment sector, and she has received several honors for her work. From Best Actress for Debbie Duz Dishes to Best Couples Sex Scene Film for Amanda By Night II in 1987 to Best Supporting Actress for The Last X-Rated Movie to Best Specialty DVD for “Nina Hartley’s Guide to Spanking,” she has received nine Adult Video News Awards. She has also received seven XRCO Awards. She was given the Free Speech Coalition’s Lifetime Achievement Award back in 1988.
She has won the FOXE Female Fan Favorite Award three years in a row (1990–1992). In 2014, she was honored with the Fanny Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2019, her performance in “Future Darkly: Artifamily” earned her the XBIZ Award for Best Non-Sex Acting Performance.
Intimate & Personal
Hartley identifies as bisexual in her personal life. From 1981 till 2000, she dated both men and women. They tied the knot in 1986, but by 2003 had separated due to marital strife. She married porn director Ira Levine a year after her divorce was completed, and the couple is still together in an open polyamorous relationship.