October 20, 2015

RIP, Superstar Auteur Gino Colbert


It was just last week that we learned of the death of gay porn star Blue Blake in London at age 52. Now, we can confirm that legendary director Gino Colbert has also passed away. (The two men were frequent collaborators.) It’s been reported that Colbert, 58, had a heart attack at his home in Hollywood last August. This was a sad end for a man who spent many years in front of the camera as a model and then behind it as an award-winning writer, producer and director of films in the gay, straight, bisexual and trans genres.

Colbert helmed countless titles for numerous studios before starting his own Gino Pictures imprint. He had a hand in discovering Joey Stefano, the Rockland brothers and many other big-name porn stars. Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Colbert started as an assistant to straight porn director Joe Sarno (subject of the 2013 documentary A Life in Dirty Pictures) in the late 1970s in New York. Eventually he made his way to Los Angeles, where he worked for VCA/HIS, Leisure Time, Metro and New Age Pictures, creating classic movies such as Three Brothers, Porn Fiction, Men in Blue, Jeff Stryker’s Underground, Night Walk and The Matinee Idol (starring Ken Ryker). And who could forget 1994’s Tijuana Toilet Tramps (featuring Stefano)!? Colbert later turned his love for theater into a stage career, touring in Ronnie Larsen plays such as Scenes From My Love Life, 10 Naked Men, All-Male Peep Show and Shooting Porn: Live On Stage. He was also involved in Larsen’s 1997 film documentary Shooting Porn.

In recent years, Colbert oversaw the annual Hall of Fame induction presentation at the now-defunct GAYVN Awards and helped Robert Van Damme (below with Gino in 2009) with the launch of his RVD Productions. He was also a guest speaker at UC Santa Barbara graduate film program, and he was honored with an annual film festival dedicated to his work at the former Tomkat Theatre in West Hollywood. While he had stepped away from the business, Colbert remained a devoted movie buff and fan. He was also one of nicest and most thoughtful guys you could ever meet—in or out of the industry. RIP, sweet man.

7 comments:

Phillip Roth said...

Thank you for this beautiful tribute to a beautiful man.

Phillip Roth said...

Thank you for this beautiful tribute to a beautiful man.

Steve Cruz said...

He was kind and encouraging to me early in my directing career when others were either discouraging, jealous or even hateful. And he didn't have to be. When I met him at a bar I knew him by name and reputation but did not recognize him right away. He made a playful comment and I was snappy because I misunderstood. But we laughed about it after and he let it go like a gentleman, he never made me feel bad about it. In fact he was scouting for 'the Lair' and put me in one of the longer non acting segments with Robert Van Damme. The man got me a job! He had a lot of class. I am saddened to hear of his passing and I hope he's at peace. He was one of the good ones...

DeWayne In San Diego said...

Gino made his mark in so many ways but the measure of any man is how he is remembered. No worries there, he was a true gentleman and first class act.

Reading his many contributions and his early years in Gay Porn with Joey Stefano that seems so long ago. True passing of an icon in Gay Porn.



Larry said...

I met him once in a coffee shop. Very brief but utterly memorable. I found him sweet and just delectable. Told him I liked his movies, to which he replied, " My movies like you." He could have said thanks but said that instead and I wish I had spent more time talking with him. So special.

RIP

Larry Esposito

Ps. Your tribute is really special.

Fit Studs said...

RIP, stud.

Ariel Castillo said...

I'm so crushed, Gino was a friend of mine in my early career as a stripper /go go dancer, he introduced me to Johnny Knoxville whom he met through a friendship with John Waters, because of Gino Johnny hired twice for 2 bachelor parties in which Johnny was delightful and generous, as well as putting me in the shower the lair... All these things helped me immensely but that is not why I loved and morn Gino.. He was one the nicest, sweetest men you can ever know, he helped many with never asking for anything in return, what hurts the most is living in los angeles one can easily loose touch with the best of friends and before you know it years go by.. I'm guilty of this and not until this evening 3/4/2016 did I find out about his passing all by chance as his nephew recognized me from meeting me once at one of Gino's favorite bars in Hollywood "The Spotligt" which is no longer there..my heart sank and I'm still in shock... More than anything I wish I would have stayed in better touch with him... GINO dear friend I love you and thank you for being a part of my life! I'm so sorry I wasn't there for you as you we're for me.. May God keep you and love you as you kept alot of us you took under your wing.. I can't hold back the tears for your loss, I love you always and hope to see your beautiful smile again.. RIP