Sick Celebrities


Penthouse creator Bob Guccione has died


Penthouse magazine founder Bob Guccione has died aged 79 at Plano Speciality Hospital, Dallas, after a long running battle with cancer.

Although Brooklyn-born, Guccione moved to England and he worked with Derek Jameson at The London American where he hatched the idea of Penthouse.  The magazine was first published in England in 1965 and tried successfully to grab a slice of Playboy’s market.  It went to print in America for the first time in 1969, coinciding with the peak of the feminist movement.

People thought Guccione was mad at first, pointing out that Playboy controlled the market to which he would reply, “If there’s room for one there’s room for two.”

He was proved to be right.  The adult publication which lauded itself as “the magazine of sex, politics and protest,” soon challenged Playboy with its tabloid style journalism and more graphic photographic content.

Guccione’s empire began to crumble in the mid 1990s.  He eventually resigned as editor and lived a solitary existence at his thirty bedroom townhouse in Manhatton.  He developed cancer on his tongue and in a n interview with New York Magazine he said, “My cancer was only a tiny tumor about the size of an almond at the base of my tongue.”

“The cure is probably every bit as bad as the disease. It’s affected my ability to swallow . . . the mobility of my tongue . . . it makes it very difficult for me to talk. I hope your machine understands me.”

The disease claimed his life last night.

Read about Simon McCorkindale, Tom Bosley and Stephen J. Cannell, who recently died after battling with cancer.


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