Joey Ray Dies by Suicide

MIAMI, Fla.—Veteran adult performer/director Joey Ray died Saturday evening by self-inflicted gunshot wound, AVN has confirmed with the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner. He was 51.

Longtime friend and fellow performer Seth Gamble told AVN that he learned of Ray's suicide early Tuesday morning from a party close to the situation. Gamble said he hadn't spoken with Ray "in a few years, because he was going down a bad path."

Gamble related how he was mentored in the early days of his career by Ray and fellow industry veteran Dale DaBone. "I met Joey when I was 18 years old, him and Dale were the first people to shoot me," he recalled. "It was kind of like, let's take this kid under our wing and show him what we know, good and bad. I was green when I met them, and they definitely showed me how to toughen up my skin for the industry that we're in."

Conceding that "anybody who knows [Ray] knows that he had some flaws," Gamble professed, "I only want to say what I knew about him that was good. He was one of the funniest guys I ever knew—he would have you just pissing in your pants. He was a creative guy, he loved being in the business, he had a heart of gold."

DaBone offered similar thoughts in a Facebook video he posted Tuesday morning, from which a number of industry members first learned of Ray's passing.

"He's just one of those guys that always screws up ... but I was not expecting this," DaBone said in the video, noting that he too had been out of touch with Ray for several years. "I don't even know what to think right now. It was easy when I kind of cut everything off, I was thinking of all the bad things that happened, but now the only thing I can think of is 25 years of all the fun, crazy, dumb shit that we used to do and all the silly shit that we used to do, and we always had each other's back. All those times ... that's all I can think about right now."

Earlier in the video, DaBone reflected, "We used to tell people we were brothers, because everybody believed it because we were such close friends. We did everything together." 

Ray entered adult as a performer in 2000 and racked up more than 700 credits over the course of his career. In the latter part of that decade, he also became a core director for Bang Bros, shooting all the content for more than a dozen sites within the brand's network, including several in its companion gay network In 2002, he won the AVN Award for Best Couples Sex Scene – Film for his performance with porn icon Taylor Hayes in Paul Thomas' Fade to Black from Vivid Entertainment.

Photo of Joey Ray from his Facebook page, by Csaba Fikker Photography