News Brief: COLT Studio Founder, Jim French, Passes Away

by Aaron Shepard
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News Brief COLT Studio Founder Jim French Passes Away

News Brief COLT Studio Founder Jim French Passes Away

News Brief:  COLT Studio Founder, Jim French, Passes Away

Jim French, COLT Studio's founder and renowned male physique photographer and artist, passed away on Thursday at age 84.

In 1967 under the pseudonym “Rip Colt," French founded what would eventually become a gay porn empire.  As the San Fernando Valley, company grew, so did its number of products, as well as its stable of men.  COLT Studio later expanded to include under its umbrella the brands Buckshot Productions, Minute Men, Olympus Manpower, COLT Men, Spurs and COLT Studio Presents.

French managed the COLT Studio brand until 2003, when he sold the company to Prowest Media Corp.  He later, however, made an attempt to regain control of the company after Prowest defaulted on a $2.2 million promissory note, but the company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and his new production company, Jim French Studios, became a creditor owing approximately $1.49 million.

John Rutherford, the current president and creative director of COLT Studio Group, told XBIZ that French was "one of if not the most talented man in the all-male erotic industry’s history."

Building on the foundation that French had built, Rutherford expanded the COLT brand beyond mere film production and added an extensive line of branded products, including:  apparel, leather gear, and numerous novelties.

"We heard the news here…and are very saddened by Jim’s passing, just one month before his 85th birthday and COLT’s 50th year in business," Rutherford said.  "Many of fans will never forget him and his contribution to COLT’s successful brand is paramount.  We had our differences, but there wasn’t one day that went by that I didn’t look up to his talents and his body of work.  He will be forever remembered here at COLT Studio Group."