Birthday: March 11, 1959
Birthplace: Berkeley ,
Years Active: 1981- 2013
Hair Color: Blond
Frequent partners: Billy Dee, Joey Silvera, Mike Horner, Peter North, Tom Byron
Born Marie Louise Hartman
March 11, 1959 (age 55)
Berkeley, California, U.S.
Other names Nina Hartman, Nina Hartwell
Ethnicity German, Swiss, Jewish
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Weight 140 lb (64 kg; 10 st)
Spouse(s) David (surname unknown; 1983-2000; divorced)
Ernest Greene (2003-present)
No. of adult films 979 as actress, 18 as director (per IAFD)
Nina Hartley (born Marie Louise Hartman; March 11, 1959) is an American pornographic actress, pornographic film director, sex educator, sex-positive feminist, and author.
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 on April 30, 2001.
Adult film career
Hartley in an undated photo
In 1982, during her sophomore year of nursing school, she started working as a stripper at Mitchell Brothers O’Farrell Theater. 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.
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.
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, had often been called on when television news programs and talk shows required an articulate, leading adult film actress to support the pro side. She appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show with fellow porn actress Ona Zee. The two came under hard scrutiny from the mostly female audience, but 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. She 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.
As of 2014, Hartley remains 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.
In 2010, she quipped "Now I work with women who are younger than my breast implants".
Hartley played the part of Hillary Rodham Clinton in the film Who’s Nailin’ Paylin?, a pornographic parody of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin with Lisa Ann in the role of Palin.
Hartley was also in the 2010 documentary After Porn Ends, which is about life after being a porn actor.
Hartley is openly bisexual in her private life. She has described herself as an atheist, but when asked about this in an interview with The Young Turks, she corrected it to "a neo-pagan, with a Buddhist trait."
She married secondly to Ira Levine (aka Ernest Greene), a director of porn films, particularly BDSM 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. Hartley has no children.
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
1994 Legends of Erotica Hall of Fame
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)
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