WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. — Mr. Marcus used to call Sledge Hammer “Baby Huey,” after the classic cartoon character that was a giant, naïve duckling with superhuman strength. India Summer gave the 6-foot-1, 210-pound performer the nickname “Mighty Mouse,” and Tee Reel recalled that Sledge was “just a big teddy bear.”
They were among the dozens adult industry members who gathered on Sunday afternoon at a private residence in the San Fernando Valley to celebrate the life of the beloved Sledge Hammer, aka Marland Anderson, who passed way on April 13 at the age of 39.
Stoney Curtis, Anderson’s close friend of 20 years, hosted the gathering that brought out a mix of porn stars, producers, directors and various adult professionals who knew the popular performer who appeared in more than 800 adult movies during the past 18 years.
“He never realized how many friends he had,” said adult performer Alexa Cruz, who was Anderson’s fiancé. “He would probably be surprised that so many people cared and came out for this. Stoney organized most of it and I’m really grateful for that. I’ve seen so many people that I haven’t seen in years.”
Curtis displayed several personal photos of Anderson that he had collected over the years, including images of some of their lighter moments on the set, numerous parties and some of the holidays they spent together.
“We would have him over for Christmas,” Curtis said. Sledge's passion for all things comic-book related was also on display, as Curtis set up some of his action figures — Thor and Iron Man — still in their original boxes, and four different models of the classic Mach 5 Speed Racer car.
Mr. Marcus said that Sledge Hammer was one of porn’s most reliable performers, a major reason why he enjoyed longevity in the business. He did his first scene in 1995.
“He was someone I respected as a fellow performer and he was a good person on top of that,” Mr. Marcus told XBIZ. “I wish I would have been the one to say something to him to help him through this.”
Tee Reel recalled his early days in porn in 2003 and being part of "The Gangbang Squad” with Sledge.
“Sledge and I hit off," Reel said. "We both liked comic books. We were like big kids. When I was one of the contract guys at Red Light District I would always pull him into scenes. He was the sweetest guy, just a big teddy bear. To hear what happened to him breaks my heart. It’s a great reminder that we’re all human. In spite of what people think about our industry there are some amazing people in it.”
It turns out Sledge Hammer touched the lives of numerous performers early in their careers, such as India Summer, who recalled that Sledge actually shared his entire list of contacts with her six years ago on one of her first shoots.
“He just said ‘Here you go, get as much work as you can,’” said Summer, now a contract star for Girlfriends Films. “He was always so kind. We used to call him Mighty Mouse, because his voice was so tender and sweet, yet he was a big, giant man.”
Numerous others paid their respects to the humble Sledge Hammer on Sunday, including Sean Michaels, Jack Napier, Guy DiSilva, Richard Mann, Emy Reyes, Talon, Julius Ceazher, Chris Charming, Imani Rose, Derek Hay, Fran Amidor, Scott Preston, Mike Sullivan, Dan Diehl, Chucky Sleaze, Tod Hunter, Gram Ponante, Michael Whiteacre, Steve Nelson, Scott Lyons, Coach Cam, David “Pussyman” Christopher and dozens more.
For additional coverage, click here.