100 Heroes: Peter de Rome

The gay man who helped create the genre of erotic film.

100 Heroes: Peter de Rome

Peter de Rome was a writer, photographer, and director of erotic gay films.

He is one of the key influences in the development of erotic gay films as a genre.

Peter de Rome was born in 1924. Born in France, de Rome grew up in England.

De Rome served in the Royal Air Force during WWII, seeing action in France, Belgium, and Germany.

On his return to civilian life in 1947, he first worked as an actor before moving into film distribution and publicity.

In 1956, de Rome emigrated to the US. He became actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement in the early 60s.

Throughout this period, de Rome had been experimenting with film and creating short films that he would share with friends. De Rome’s reputation as an erotic film-maker began to grow.

In 1974, de Rome made his first full-length feature – Adam & Yves. This was followed by The Destroying Angel in 1976.

The British Film Institute now holds a selection of de Rome’s films in their archive. De Rome’s contribution to the genre of gay erotica is showcased by David McGillivray’s documentary – Peter de Rome: Grandfather of Gay Porn.

He died in 2014, aged 89.

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