Became a mainstream American leading man in Italy from 1979-81 under his real name Robert Kerman. The Italian film industry was notified from the US that he was actually Richard Bolla, an adult film star from New York. He was quickly sent back to the US where he, as Richard Bolla, "performed" in the adult film industry for another four years.
Once said in a documentary interview that he got an agent and performed in mainstream productions during the mid-to-late 1980s, like No Way Out (1987). Then one day in 1988, the agent told him that she could not book him any more because of his past as a porn star, and dropped him as a client. He was devastated and struggled for nearly ten years to recover from that incident having not worked during the whole time.
Said that his first explicit role in a hardcore film was in Anyone But My Husband (1975).
Said that his last role in an explicit hardcore film was Corporate Assets (1985).
He got into adult films only after his mother died. He claimed that if his mother had been alive, he probably would not have entered adult films, since she had been very proud of his acting talent and it would've bothered her if he was in adult films.
In the 1980s he was happy getting steady work on mainstream television shows like Cagney & Lacey (1981), but then his agent dropped him abruptly. He went into a deep depression and abused drugs and alcohol. Eventually he became clean and sober, but never completely got over his agent's betrayal.
Regretted his adult film career. He said although he wasn't ashamed of it, it still made him lazy, and that he should have focused solely on his legitimate acting career, since he felt he was a really good actor.
His The Goodbye Girl (1977) co-star Richard Dreyfuss recognized him from adult films and was nice to him on the set.
He had never married or had children. When he was in his 40s he wanted to be a father, but his then-girlfriend suffered two miscarriages.
While in college, he began his acting career and appeared in numerous Off-Broadway plays.