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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Lost Boys: Vintage Images of Sergio Canali

Lost Boys: 
Vintage Images of Sergio Canali

This week we have a cautionary tale. Yes, the life of a porn star is not all adulation, paychecks, complimentary butt plugs and fancy underwear. 

Sometimes... things can go wrong.

Very wrong.

The life and times of Sergio Canali? One such sad example.

Height: 5'8"
Weight: 110 
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Waist: 26" 
Years Active: 1981-1986
10 Films
6 Compilations

Born on May 9th, 1963, Paul Francis Sypek, at the age of 18, would first adopt the name Paul DiRosa in order to make his porn debut in a magazine called Stars (issue #12). He would appear in a number of similar spreads using that alias. 

By 1982, he graduated to film, making yet another name change... Sergio Canali. The name was chosen because of his (very) slight resemblance to porn star Giorgio Canali (along with the industries habit of creating 'family' names, in order to give the impression that the actors were 'brothers'). 

With his boyish, recognizable face and a headful of brown curls, Canali typified the waifish, vulnerable look that would soon fall by the wayside in the gym-obsessed 90's. During his brief film career he would work for William Higgins, Man-Age, Laguna Pacific, HIS, Catalina Video, Bijou, and L.A. Video, among others.

From 1983-1985, Canali would appear in only one or two films per year. But by 1986, the floodgates opened and he managed to appear in an astounding six films, seemingly cementing his place in the world of gay porn. Or... not. 

Oddly, that same year would also mark his departure from the industry. 

French Lieutenant's Boys

California Summer

Naked Lunch
Two By Ten

Desert Heat
Men on the Loose
Mikey Likes It
Play Safely
Spirit is Willing

His departure? Perhaps it was due to an increasing awareness of the affects of AIDS/HIV on the industry? Or? Maybe he'd just had enough.
Whatever the reason, off he went to live his life, leaving Paul DiRosa and Sergio Canali behind...

...or so he thought.

You know there's no escaping our pasts. Especially if you're an established porn star. Yes, it seems those images he left behind, on page and screen? Well, they lived on. Especially in the minds of his most ardent admirers. 

Pedro Almodóvar's 1990 madcap comedy classic Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! tells the tale of an obsessed fan kidnapping the object of his affection - a female porn star - in the hopes of winning her love. It's a lovely romp of a film. However, when such a scenario plays out in real life? 

Not so funny.

In 1992, Canali was busy seeing the world. While touring Florence, Italy, he was kidnapped by one such obsessed fan... Leonardo Vitti. Canali's disappearance was reported to the police, who undertook a thorough investigation which, sadly, yielded nothing. Canali had vanished. Without a trace. Vitti was considered a person of interest at the time, but no formal charges were ever brought against him.

And then the case went cold. 

That is until the fall of 1994, when workers, demolishing an abandoned home belonging to Vitti, would make a most gruesome discovery; the skeletal remains of two bodies in the basement - one belonging to Vitti. The other? 

Sergio Canali. 

Coroners would perform an autopsy, but no cause of death could be determined. People assumed it was a case of murder/suicide, but details of what may have happened remain the stuff of speculation. 

Canali's body was returned to Seattle, WA, where the official date of his death would be recorded as August 15, 1994. He was only 31 years old. 

--- ---

I have no personal recollection of Sergio Canali. Can't recall ever seeing any of his films. Details of his life were hard to come by, as were images from his films. I almost gave up, but happened to find a small treasure trove of images of him as Paul DiRosa. 

As to why I chose to share his story? I simply stumbled upon his name and story while researching his 'brother', Giorgio and thought it a fitting tale of the macabre to share for this, the month of Halloween. 

A very sad tale of a 'lost boy', indeed.

Until next time...

And as always, thank you for reading. 

I Want You - Madonna feat. Massive Attack

Every Breath You Take - The Police


Jimmy said...


Mistress Maddie said...

Im not famaliar with this one at all. He cute but not my usual type. He doesn't seem to have as many titles as past featured hunks of cheesecake.

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Those songs go perfectly with this post!
Every breath you take is the stalker song we love and fear.

That's such an incredibly sad story. Átame is one of my favorite Almodóvar movies but obsessions like that are terrible. So sad.


whkattk said...

That's a very sad ending.... Mainstream bio film, where are you?

SickoRicko said...

Such a tragic story.

FelchingPisser said...

I wonder if I still have a copy of French Lieutenant's Boys??