Penthouse magazine founder Bob Guccione, who also dabbled in films, died Oct. 20 in Plano, Texas, of cancer. He was 79.
He owned General Media Intl., and produced pics including “Caligula,” which he also wrote and directed. Unfortunately the pic, which starred Malcolm McDowell and Helen Mirren, couldn’t find a distributor and he self-distribbed. Pic was a box office disappoinment. He exec produced “Low Ball” a couple of decades later.
The Brooklyn-born Guccione introduced Penthouse to the American public in 1969, at the height of the feminist movement and the sexual revolution.
The adult publication billed itself as “the magazine of sex, politics and protest,” and quickly challenged Playboy magazine by offering a mix of tabloid journalism and provocative photography. He resigned from the pub’s board in 2003.
Survivors include his wife, April; two sons, Bob Jr. and Nick; and two daughters.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)