Nina Hartley

Nina Hartley

Birth name: Marie Louise Hartman
Born: March 11, 1959
Age: 59
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States
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Nina Hartley (born Marie Louise Hartman on March 11, 1959) is an American pornographic actress, pornographic film director, sex educator, sex-positive feminist, and author.


Early life

Marie Louise Hartman was born in Berkeley, California, to a Lutheran father and a Jewish mother (born 1926) whose family was from Alabama. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the youngest of four children, with an older sister and two older brothers. Her parents were communists who converted to Buddhism when she was young. 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.

Adult film career

In 1982, during her sophomore year of nursing school, she started working as a stripper at the Sutter Cinema and later the Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theatre. She made her foray into the world of pornographic movies during her junior year in 1984. Her debut performance was in the film Educating Nina, making her a protégée of Juliet Anderson.

Explaining how Marie Louise Hartman became Nina Hartley, she stated in an interview that she chose the name "Nina" because it was easy for Japanese tourists to say during the time she was a dancer in San Francisco; "Hartley" was chosen as it was close to her own real last name and because she "wanted a name that sounded like that of a real person". She 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.

Sex-positive activism

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 has been an advocate for the adult 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 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. She and Ona Zee spoke out strongly against illegal drugs in the industry.

Mainstream work

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 appeared in the late rapper Tupac Shakur's music video for his 1996 single, "How Do U Want It?"

Later career

As of 2015, 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.

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.

Hartley was also featured in the 2010 documentary After Porn Ends, which is about life after being a porn actor.

Personal life

Hartley is openly bisexual in her private life. She 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."

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.

From 1981-2000, Hartley was involved in a threesome with a man and a woman. She married her male partner in 1986; their divorce was finalized in 2003.

In 2003, the year her divorce was finalized, she married Ernest Greene, professional name Ira Levine, 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 consider themselves polyamorous. In spite of appearing as a mother in some of her films, Hartley has no children of her own.


AVN Awards

Hartley has won numerous awards throughout her career, from various critic and fan organizations. The following is a list of her Adult Video News Awards:

  • 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)

Other awards and nominations

  • 2006 Ninfa Public - Lifetime Career Award
  • 2013 XBIZ Award nomination - MILF Performer of the Year and Best Non-Sex Acting Performance (The Truth About O)
  • 2014 Fanny Lifetime Achievement Award


  • Nicolas Barbano: Verdens 25 hotteste pornostjerner (Rosinante, Denmark 1999) ISBN 87-7357-961-0; features a chapter on her.
  • Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Nina Hartley: XXX: 30 Porn-Star Portraits (Bulfinch, USA 2004) ISBN 0-8212-7754-5. (Features essay and introduction by Nina.)
  • Nina Hartley: Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex (Avery, USA 2006) ISBN 1-58333-263-4
  • Louis Marvin: The New Goddesses (AF Press, USA 1987): ISBN 0-912442-99-9 (features a chapter on her)
  • David McCumber: X-Raxploration of Sex from Celibacy to Polyamory and Everything in Between (2010, New World Library, ISBN 978-1-57731-910-8) features an interview with Hartley
  • Morpheous: How to Be Kinkier: More Adventures in Adult Playtime (2012, Green Candy Press, ISBN 1931160945). Introduction written by Hartley.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]