Vintage Adult Film Star Cole Tucker Has Died At 61

tucker02Cole Tucker, who became one of the most prominent adult film performers of the the 1990s, passed away June 7 in Palm Springs, reportedly from AIDS-related illness at age 61.

The death of Tucker, whose real name was Rick Karp, was confirmed by TitanMen’s Keith Webb, who writes on website Str8UpGayPorn (link NSFW):

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 13 at 11:00 a.m. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1020 East Ramon Road in Palm Springs. The family invites Rick’s friends and colleagues to join us.

Rick was one of the most iconic and beloved gay porn-stars of my generation. He won Gay Performer of the Year in 1998 from both GayVN and Grabbys. He was a legendary porn star, emphasis on star, that was one-of-a-kind…they don’t make them like him anymore.

Cole Tucker was a character that he created to entertain the world. Rick Karp was the sweet, funny, smart, generous and hardworking man I knew. Rick was not only an amazing performer, he was also a personal friend and our realtor in Palm Springs for the past seven years.

Related Article: Koh Masaki, Gay Porn Star, Dead At 29

Tucker’s family is asking for donations to the Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs in lieu of flowers.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #adultfilmactors #coletucker #titanmen stories and more


  • aliengod

    Shocking! Another porn “star” dying of AIDS.

  • buddy-x

    R.I.P. handsome.

  • Stache99

    @aliengod: Shocking! Queerty troll says something vile and mean. Sad that things like you get to carry on while this guy was actually a decent human being and had allot of fans from what I’m hearing.

    After he was diagnosed with Hiv he gave up his Corporate job and started his porn career in 1994. Probably a bucket list thing that he enjoyed enough to keep on doing till the end. That alone makes him stand out as not just another porn star.

  • Frank Croix

    Was a very handsome man.

  • Reniel N' Michael

    Sad news, I remember seeing him in some of the first gay porn mags I bought as a teenager.

  • Dieter Michaels

    a porn star? died of AIDS? shocking Maybe post this on Grindr or somewhere where all the new young elitist gays are hanging out.

  • Masc Pride

    @Stache99: A stand out human being because he got HIV and decided to do porn? That’s pretty much the average gay porn star today.

    AIDS still kills, guys!

  • Bobby Gaiti

    He was one of my favs back in the day.

  • Wil Chaney

    Rest in peace, sexy man.

  • Ricco Mashatt

    RIP: Sad thing is the porn industry is a dead end job. We all know statistics don’t lie.

  • Kangol


  • Ummmm Yeah

    Oh look AIDs will still kill you. Funny how fools have forgotten that and think they can just pop some pills and be fine. So that means passing it to someone else on purpose should be considered murder.

  • dvlaries

    I remember him :( I still have a lot of his stuff. Sad. R.I.P.

  • Dan Levin

    Why do these gay sites treat dead porn stars like its news? They’re all dying so young from drugs or AIDS. I have no sympathy for those who abuse their bodies.

  • Stache99

    @Masc Pride: I don’t know who this guy is but I’m not going to get all self righteous and smug like I see here in so many. The guy acquired it a long time ago. What’s the point of kicking him now?

  • Stache99

    At any rate, RIP Cole Tucker. You sound like someone I would’ve liked to know.

  • Timothy Warner

    This has been a bad year for adult film performers too many have died.

  • Finrod

    I worked with Rick in real estate and knew him socially. He was the sweetest guy in the world, nothing like his tough guy porn persona. He was the kind of guy that would straighten your collar or make sure that you wore a sweater out if it was cold.

    And to the haters, what makes you think that he acquired HIV in porn? Millions of people around the world have it without being porn stars. He had it for decades and stayed in enviably good health for most of that time.

  • avesraggiana

    “AIDS-related illness…” With the advent of ever more powerful ARV drugs, I would have thought that AIDS-related illnesses were a thing of the past. I’m so sorry to hear that in the end, nothing could be done to bring him back to health. Rest In Peace.

  • Dwight

    I seem to recall at one time he was caught in a sex scandal with an member of the European Union Parliament.

  • Clark35

    Rest in peace, a friend of mine liked him in porns.

    He was HIV+ long before he ever did porn, or hustled for cash on the side.

  • jason smeds

    Well, he lived to 61 so that’s not a bad innings for somebody in the porn biz. Porn performers usually have short life-spans because their lives are so screwed up and there is that ever-present stench of drugs. My condolences to Cole’s family.

  • Dan Knapper

    RIP. But this news I don’t care about

  • Rick Holtz

    R.I.P. One of my faves!

  • jwtraveler

    I was going to comment that this is a reminder that AIDS is still a deadly disease, but that’s been covered.

    Instead I’d like to ask how many of you hateful, judgmental, self-righteous, porn-star-hating queens have never watched any porn. Cause if you’re getting your rocks off to it, you’re nothing but big, fat hypocrites, or skinny, little hypocrites.

  • Saint Law

    @aliengod: You’ve no worries. You have to, you know, have actually had sex to run the risk of getting AIDS.

  • Saint Law

    @jason smeds: “Well he lived to be 61 and that’s not a bad innings for somebody in the porn biz.”

    says Queerty’s resident eight seven year old virgin.

  • Tobi

    @jason smeds: No, the majority don’t have “short life spans because their lives are so screwed up and there is that ever-present stench of drugs”. Do you wring your hands over the occasional movie star that dies young? I can hear you now, “Movie studios are wicked, wicked places, no one should even think of becoming a film actor, just look what happened to Judy Garland.” *sigh*

  • Keith Hughes

    No matter the reason no matter the profession. rest in peace sir, you were loved by many and shared afar.

  • Cobalt Blue

    He was a porn slut. This put a stain in his life and disclosed an awful aspect of his character. Gay guys deserve better standards to aspire in life than be a whore. Let’s hope for now on the youngers take other examples to emulate.

  • Clark35

    @jwtraveler: I don’t hate porn but the majority of people who do porn make their cash on the side by whoring as that pays more than videos do; but it’s been this way for decades. May he rest in peace.

  • Clark35

    @Keith Hughes: Well said.

    @Cobalt Blue: Why so judgmental? He was a nice guy, and I don’t care that he made the choice to do porn or do sex for pay on the side. If you ever saw the documentaries about the porn biz titled “SEX/LIFE IN L.A.” and “SEX/LIFE IN L.A. 2: Cycles of porn” Rick was in these documentaries and said how porn is not a life-long career, or a normal profession that you would have for decades. So he didn’t glamorize or pretend the many myths about the porn biz are true the way some people in porn do.

  • patricko

    Goodness. If this wasn’t “news” you wouldn’t have clicked. If it wasn’t of interest to you, you wouldn’t have clicked. And if you had any (true) decency you wouldn’t be making vile comments in the story of the death of a man who did no harm to you.

  • Saint Law

    @Cobalt Blue: And, um, what aspect of your character are you disclosing?

  • Stache99

    @Clark35: Fuk off with your oh so clever attacks disguised as sympathy.

    I just don’t understand why something that amounts to an obituary brings out the trolls or should I say troll with different names.

  • Clark35

    @Stache99: As if anyone’s supposed to take what you post seriously. I’m not attacking anyone and I’m not a troll, and I don’t post under other names.

  • lauraspencer

    61 is way too young to die in 2015. Just a reminder to everyone who thinks HIV/AIDS doesn’t kill. It does. It obviously lessened his life span by quite a few years.

    For everyone talking about Prep and barebacking this is an example of why you still should play safe. If you contract HIV today you won’t die in a few years like in the past, but certainly your quality of life and the length of life will be lessened.

  • Clark35

    @lauraspencer: Exactly. Meanwhile you have guys on Prep/Truvada thinking that it’s OK to bareback like it’s 1975, and that ‘nobody dies of AIDS anymore’, or ‘if I become HIV+ I’ll just go on meds’ *facepalm*

  • Kevin J Desmond

    I don’t know who he was because I never really got into watching gay porn, it’s sad that he died from this. I’ve had more friends die this way than I can remember. Rest In Peace Cole.

  • Masc Pride

    @Stache99: No one’s kicking him, at least I’m not. I’m sure his passing is sad to someone. I don’t think he should be shamed for doing porn, but let’s not act like he did something groundbreaking (because he didn’t). We all have sex.

  • Stache99

    @Masc Pride: Yes we all have sex but 95% of which we don’t ever want to see on film.

  • mastik8

    I first met him when he was a broker named Rick. Nice guy. RIP friend.

  • john.k

    @Dwight: You are correct. He had a brief affair with a married British MEP (whose name I’ve forgotten). The matter came to light after some gay porn was confiscated from the MEP when he was coming through Heathrow on his way back from Brussels. That was leaked to the tabloids who quickly did some digging and found out about the affair. They laid siege to his house and I’m sure the headlines had already been composed – “Gay porn shame of married MEP”. Alas for the tabloids the MEP was not a bit ashamed and his wife had known he was gay.

  • Masc Pride

    @Stache99: Porn has successfully sexualized and fetishized every type of person out there, from chubs to midgets to lesbian granny porn, and someone is getting off to it. Anyone can do it and gain a fanbase. Allowing it to be filmed and being financially compensated doesn’t make it special.

    @Clark35: I think anything that came before all the gay-for-pay studios is considered vintage now. LOL

  • Clark35

    @Masc Pride: “Gay for pay” is all just marketing about the pipe dream some bi and gay men have about being with a real hetero guy but it has been around since the 70s.

  • Stache99

    @Masc Pride: Well, I think it’s easier said then done though. Doing everything on cue in front of a camera, bright lights, and lots of background people takes a certain amount of ability that most of us don’t possess.

    At any rate, I’m not talking about amateur stuff. I’m talking veteran porn actors who have a good reputation and demand.

  • Stache99

    Believe me. I’ve done enough field research to know that most don’t have what it takes to be worth anything in front of the camera. Shit maybe I need to start charging. Lol

  • Finrod

    @Clark35: “Why is queerty claiming that this guy is “vintage”” I laughed at that. Rick was still doing films in 2006. Ledermeister, Moose and Erron from Colt films from the 1970s are vintage. And, over all, hotter than today’s stars.

  • jwtraveler

    When did gay men become such moralistic, judgmental prigs? Is this what gay marriage has done to us? So much for gay liberation. I miss the old days–good or bad, we had more respect for each other.

  • stevenbrice779

    Start making cash right n0w…. Get m0re t!me with your family by d0ing j0bs that 0nly require for y0u t0 have a computer and an internet access and y0u can have that at y0ur h0me. Start bringing up t0 $7424 a m0nth. I’ve started this j0b and I’ve never been happier and n0w I am [email protected] it with y0u, s0 y0u can try it t00. Y0u can check it 0ut here…

    ???????……………… http://www.navjob.tk

  • Clark35

    @jwtraveler: Actually no people did not have respect for each other back in the day.

  • Bob LaBlah

    Judging from these comments it is obvious many of you have never been in a situation where you had no other choice but to realize “I could have been killed” or worst yet “one day I am going to day”. People still day in car accidents, heart attacks, muggings, high blood pressure and not knowing it…all kinds of things.

    Back in the 1980’s there was nothing else one could do but stand at the bedside of friends we loved and comfort them while listening to their doctors do no more than tell them “there’s really nothing that we can do but provide you with a bed till the inevitable (death) comes”. I reported several doctors after my friends had passed on as to how callous they were toward them but had no other choice but to be silent while they were alive out of fear of retaliation by the doctor. If they cared less enough to actually stand at their death beds and talk to them like that imagine the things they probably would not have ordered for the already dying patient.

    The pain and suffering they were enduring made me leave out of the room and go to the visitors lounge and cry silently while a horde of people walked by and looked at me wondering if the teas were because I would soon be in the same situation. It was not unusual for them to be pushed down to the very last room to be spared people from looking in on them (karposi sarcoma was the dead give away). Many of you clandestine sanctimonious bastards have never thought that the only “mistake” many of them made was going out and meeting someone who probably didn’t know themselves they had it. Keep living. Your “day” may come too via being human. Those of you with blind faith in condoms hand me the biggest laugh.

  • SonOfKings

    This is news because the vast majority of porn models DON’T die prematurely. Most fade quietly back into civilian life and keep it moving. Enough with the moralizing. If you’ve ever watched and enjoyed porn, you gave no business sitting in judgment over the morals of the performers.

  • maxxbot

    @avesraggiana: People are forgetting that the ARVs are only a miracle drug if they’re taken properly, which is not a trivial thing. If you don’t start taking the drugs at the right time or if your adherence isn’t good enough they won’t work as well. I wouldn’t rush to say that he died because his treatment regimens all failed, usually there’s more to the story than that.

Comments are closed.