RIP ERIK RHODES (1982-2012)

Posted June 14, 2012 9:59 AM by with 37 comments

Incredibly sad news comes today that Erik Rhodes died early this morning of a heart attack in his sleep. James was one of the sweetest, funniest people and best-loved people in the industry. He was also the most brutally honest. Our thoughts are with his family, porn and otherwise and his boyfriend Riccardo. He was 30.

Falcon, the studio for which he was an exclusive for almost the entirety of his career released the following statement:

“It is with utmost sadness that we make the announcement of Erik Rhodes’ passing. We offer our condolences to Erik’s family, friends and loved ones. He was a genuine and caring man with extraordinary attractiveness and a massive muscled frame. Erik was an equally beautiful human being who lit up a room, and brought fun and joy to our studio and his fans that was unparalleled. He was a giving person with a special wit, and he put his all into every performance. He wanted to give his fans the best he could every single time he stepped in front of the camera. Rest in peace, Erik and know that we are celebrating your life and your achievements, but we will miss you and all the special moments you have given us forever.”

Erik began as a Falcon Exclusive in 2004, and went on to become one of the biggest stars of the decade. He later went on to become a successful director, shooting eight movies for the studio.

Adam Q. Robinson, the VP of production who worked with Erik from the beginning of the careers writes, “He projected a man of steel on the outside, but he was as sweet as a teddy bear on the inside. He’s been a close friend for the past 8 years and will be deeply missed.”


We’ll update the page with tributes and more information as the day progresses.


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37 responses to RIP ERIK RHODES (1982-2012)

  1. kyle June 14th, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    This is sad. How could a 30 year old fit man drop dead of a heart attack? It’s rare without the use of years of chemical use. And chances are no one will take a lesson from this. So more dead people are coming. Sad and a waste.


    • Nancy Reagan June 14th, 2012 at 11:29 PM

      Hard to know when he was kidding vs not … The life of a porn actor / escort / DJ isn’t meant to last long


      • kyle June 16th, 2012 at 2:01 PM

        The porn industry generally cares about the money, not the health of the person. One producer will say “we use condoms” but accepts ass to mouth or verbal assaults like “I’m a pig, a fucking whore.” The sad part is gay porn is educational for so many gay men. This guy was PROBABLY in a group that promoted the physical. His hotness was his worth? When you escort/do porn, the person your fucking can disgust you. Over time this can fuck you up mentally and you feel like your a lifeless object alive.

        At least he’s no longer in pain.


    • lee June 18th, 2012 at 5:46 AM

      It’s probably not as rare as you think, for a young person to die from a heart attack. There are those with a (genetic and medical conditions) predisposition to heart attack/failure who are very young; even infants/toddlers.

      I don’t personally know Erik, but if he DID abuse steroids, then most likely the steroids (along with lifestyle….sleep, diet?, Rx/rec/OTC drugs) were the cause of his heart attack
      I don’t fully understand the need for guys to abuse anabolic steroids.

      I am a natural bodybuilder (over 25 years) who is nearing 50 years of age. I have never once used steroids, but I am consitant in my workouts (light, medium, and heavy weights and cardio). I look at myself and am very pleased with my resuls. So many of us want results fast/unrealistic, etc…. It frustrates me, at times, but I am not one to judge others.

      I am a fan of Erik Rhodes’ work and own one of his movies. I loved that he exuded a masculine image and was versatile. To me, there are few things (a sensual and romantic, being one exception) sexier than a good-looking, horny, masculine, well-built man who is naturally? versatile!

      RIP Erik.


  2. John June 14th, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Erik was one of my favorite porn stars. I was truly shocked when I saw this. I agree with Kyle that a 30 year old, very fit (appearing) man does not have a heart attack unless it’s drug related. What a shame, and a waste of a seemingly great guy. Rest in peace, big guy. You’ll be missed.


  3. Jason June 14th, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Sad, but that’s what years of steroid and drug use does to your body.


  4. Leo June 14th, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    One of his very last tweets, dated June 10, reads: ‘please I take an ambien, a konolopin, a cap of g, 9 OTC sleeping pills and still only got 3 hours of sleep. Still I am refreshed’. Is anyone surprised really?


  5. Leo June 14th, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Now everybody is his friend, everybody loved him and will miss him, everybody is releasing heartfelt statements on social media. Where where all these friends when he made his struggles with drug and depression public?, where were all his fellow porn star friends to help him get him out of drugs and loneliness?


  6. ne1butu June 14th, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Very sad. But not surprising, especially looking at his last blog post. What a waste.


  7. Jett Blakk June 14th, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    This is terrible news. I got to work with Eric during my brief stint at Falcon, first in DARE, then in OVERTIME, and he was gruff, sweet and funny. My two favorite Eric Rhodes stories:

    His scene with Tyler Riggz was the first day of the DARE shoot. I’m 6’2″ and it seemed as though he towered over me as he shook my hand and introduced himself. “We’ll give you a good scene,” he said. Walking onto the set, he noted, “A dirty men’s room. THAT’S original,” which made me a bit nervous, but he threw himself into the job. When it came time to do the anal and we were having difficulty figuring out how to stage it, he grabbed a nearby trash can, turned it on its side and bent over it. “How’s that?” he asked, and we shot it. After the scene was finished and the crew was wrapping for the day, I looked over to my left and saw Eric, naked, sitting on an apple box in the shadows against the wall, his eyes closed as he plowed himself with a thick dildo and furiously beat his meat. Suddenly, he noticed me watching him, and said, quite matter-of-factly, “I didn’t get enough.”

    But my favorite memory of him was at the 2008 GayVN awards. Falcon’s DARE and Oh Man! Studio’s UNSPEAKABLE had garnered me two nominations in the Best Screenplay category and I found myself sitting in front of Eric in the audience. As the nominations were read from the stage, Eric leaned forward and growled into my ear, “You were nominated TWICE in the same category?” I nodded, and he said, “Good job, man!” When the winner was revealed, and it turned out not to be me, I suddenly felt a meaty hand on my shoulder. I turned to see Eric nodding at me, saying “Sorry, dude. But it’s okay.” That small act of kindness from the gruff-acting Mr. Rhodes endeared him to me forever. Whenever I attended a porn function where he was also there, he made sure to come over and say hello. I know he had his demons and his dark side, but it’s Eric the Kind-Hearted that I will always remember.



    • Desslock June 14th, 2012 at 11:15 PM

      Jett Blakk: For your information, I have always thought that scene you directed in Dare with Erik Rhodes is one of his best.


  8. boyzzboy June 14th, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    hmmmm . . . wonder why this happened? i mean, he was a 30 y/o guy that looks like a mountain of muscle. price you pay i guess.


  9. David June 14th, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    This is sad, now I would feel weird seeing his videos. It makes you think. He was so young


  10. Dave Dale June 14th, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    He had done quite a few cycles of steroids for the past few years (if you haven’t noticed how huge he’s become in the last years). Most likely he hadn’t been doing any cardio, and hadn’t been monitoring his blood pressure, blood sugar, or other side-effects of the steroids, and being completely unmonitored by a Doctor on a VERY regular basis then he’s completely susceptible to heart issues, as well as many other types of side effects. It could also run in his family, there are many things that we don’t know. For all we know, he could have been hyped up on drugs* & from I heard he’s clean when it comes to those thing. But either way, we only know what was released by his family/friends, and we should respect that. James/Erik will be missed.


  11. Peter E June 14th, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    How very sad to die so young. RIP.


  12. Luke June 14th, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Dear GOD
    30 years old. He just got clean?
    All those roids do ruin the heart. And by his own admission, the meth use was incredible with injecting,etc.


  13. Pygar June 14th, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    The early reports are that it was a steroid-related death. But we don’t want to hear about that here, right?


  14. Slick June 14th, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    “even beauties don’t escape tragedy…” Such a shame. He was always such a beautiful, funny man, tho I actually preferred his look BEFORE he got all roided-out. I had no idea how unhappy he was til I read his blog- which was disturbing both in the comments AND his replies.


    • kyle June 16th, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      this is part of the problem…“even beauties don’t escape tragedy?????? We need to start redefining beauty outside the physical. Those steroids were probably for beauty, but then we age and then what? All those drugs were his attempt at trying to cope with not being good enough. Take care.


  15. hairystud June 14th, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Go back and read his tweets. It’s a recipie for dying at 30. I know porn stars think bigger sells, but I buy movies in spite of having huge overbloated steroid junkies in them. May he rest in peace.


  16. pete london June 14th, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Who gives a fuck why, this is desperately sad news and not an oppotunity to slate someone who was open, honest and completely entertaining.

    This news is hard to digent – you were so much more than porn – you were a one off legend and I salute you sir!!!


    • Al June 15th, 2012 at 9:33 AM

      Uh…I’m guessing his family, life partner and friends will want to know why; maybe for you he was a just source of entertainment, but he was much more for other people


  17. Mark F, June 14th, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    He was a very troubled young man. Very sad. I watched one of his last scenes this morning.


  18. Jason June 15th, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    If anyone found his blog entertaining then you are part of the reason he was how he was. Yes he was open and honest but there was NOTHING entertaining about his self destruction and the way he put it all out there for everyone to see. It’s sick and twisted and I feel horrible that his life ended this way. His behavior was celebrated and is still celebrated as being OPEN and HONEST. What he needed was help and this industry and all of his so called friends in it failed him. Knowing he was high on set and such he should have been fired. it’s completely unacceptable and NOT ok. This industry has changed drastically and not for the better. We all need to take a look around and stop promoting rampant steroid and drug use and get back to the beauty of men and the fantasy that porn was meant to portray. This is very sad! Everyone needs to take a look around and grow up.


    • Michael Australia June 18th, 2012 at 1:25 AM

      Jason I have depression and believe me no one can fix it but me. We could have helped him but that may not have changed the outcome. It also takes time and a constant search for good help. When you are depressed most even co workers, family and friends want to get away. It can be done I am better but it takes persistence and part of that is to tell the world to get lost. Maybe he would have asked but no doubt queens worldwide would have been criticising him if he said he was getting help. Sometimes you need the strength to start on a bumpy road to recovery and some can’t.


  19. Rich June 15th, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    I just saw Eric (James) in Time Square a few months ago. He looked sad. I did not approach him. I thought I would have been precieved as just another one of those bold annoying fans. Now I wish I had spoken, at least shared a kindness, let him know that he was thought of as more than just a piece of meat. We had chatted a time or two before and I hope that is how he regarded me. I can not help thinking that maybe one more conversation could have helped. Maybe I missed my last opportunity to share a moment with a friend. I could have been his time to leave us.


  20. Joe June 15th, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Is anyone surprised by this news? Sadly I have to say that I am not. I’ve read over the years about many porn stars who died too soon and I just had a feeling one day I would hear about his death. And so it has come. I read his blog for a couple of years when I discovered he had one and I was so saddened to read about his own self hatred. Many spoke harshly about him on his blog but none as harsh as he did himself. James/Erik could not be loved, not even by himself. Will anyone learn from this? Will they see themselves traveling down the same road as J/E and have the willpower to turn around and go back? One can only hope. J/E wrote that he did not believe in God but I hope if there is a God, He had pity on J/E and let him into heaven.


  21. Gerald Crawford June 15th, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    I hooked-up with Erik on several occasions five years ago in NYC. After he got me off and I thought we were finished, he turned to me and asked “Do you want to fist me?” But, first he excused himself to go into the bathroom. When he returned he was raring to go with a zoned-out look in his eye. Well, I went to town on his ass. On another occasion, I introduced him to Owen Hawk and we both fisted him. The guy couldn’t get enough and I remember thinking then that the guy had a death wish. So sad, I really liked him personally.


    • Jimmy July 14th, 2012 at 1:53 PM

      Thank you for your recollections,
      I’m sure his gramps would love to hear that.


  22. Rich Ghost Wolf June 15th, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Maybe, guys, just maybe…it’s time to end all this. Maybe it’s time we stopped ignoring the body count, stopped ignoring that the industry doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the boyz, only about the money…and stopped minting new pornstars.

    Let’s close the way that leads to this, at least through “official” channels. No, it won’t stop everyone with a death wish. There will always be those who slip through our fingers, the ones we couldn’t catch before darkness takes them…but we can close one more big, gaping chasm.

    It’s a radical thought. For the old-timers, probably a scary one. It’s probably been years since a lot of us thought we were sexy. But with this, and the one before him, and the one before him…haven’t we come full-circle? So what then are we waiting for? More proof that the industry is broken? That said,…why should we depend on it? Why should we need it? Because they said so? Psh…not if this is the result.

    I’m telling you, I’m 44, and I get requests from 20-somethings out there on my XTube channel. Fuck this, fuck the industry, FUCK THE GODDAMN BODY COUNT. Enough! I’m going to go out there and be the porn I want to see in the world.

    Last one with their cock out is a rotten egg :P


  23. Stevo June 17th, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Not everyone is meant to live forever. That’s just the way life is.


  24. Drew June 17th, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    It’s been a few days now and i still cant get over the shock!! in an industry filled with beautiful men Erik Rhodes truly stood out for me!! so to read that he died im honestly gutted i’ll never get to see him perform again or read one of his blog’s again it’s silly but im just so sad : (

    RIP Erik Rhodes


  25. Michael Australia June 18th, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    Rather than debate I just want to share my favourate scene. I think that person quoted who the co star was, but on my list of top scenes is overtime. He and the guy he bosses around such bad acting the way he shoved Tyler (?) over the desk saying forget about the fiancé pulls the pants and boxers down and starts to rimm. Super hot. Regardless of what is said and what your life path and choices all I say is thank you Erik.


  26. Franco June 18th, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    It’s clear to me that he was crying out for help for some time. Mental illness was the cause of his death, and the drugs were merely a symptom of a much larger problem. I hope he’s at peace now. Somewhere.


  27. Lukes June 18th, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Just to set things clear, steroids didn’t kill Eric Rhodes, depression did.


    • Al June 21st, 2012 at 5:36 PM

      Umm…nah, I’m pretty sure it was steroids.


  28. Antonio biaggi June 19th, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    he was a great guy its very sad


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