William Higgins, the founder of Catalina Video and the director of such gay adult film classics as Sailor in the Wild (1983), Pacific Coast Highway (1981), Pizza Boy: He Delivers (1985), Young and the Hung (1985) and many more, has died at the age of 77.
Higgins had been leaving in Amsterdam and Prague in recent years, according to the blog Back2Stonewall, where he had opened adult video shops and a gay nightclub called Drake’s, which was sold in 2013.
Writes Back2Stonewall: “Higgin’s first film, “A Married Man” starring Jack Wrangler, was produced in 1974. He had since produced over 140 internationally distributed titles. His films have won several Grabby Awards and he is in the GayVN Awards Hall of Fame.”
Adult film legend ChiChi LaRue, mourned Higgins on social media: “I’m so saddened to hear of the passing of the man who gave me my start in this business 35 years ago. Willam Higgins will be remembered as one of the greatest. RIP Bill”
LaRue told XBiz: “William Higgins gave me my start. He believed in me the second I walked in the door. I will never forget getting on the plane and flying to San Francisco for the first time to direct. He was very private and introverted but we had a bond, a special bond. He came to see my drag shows, and we’d talk to boys together; I’d ask them if they wanted to do porn movies. When I went to Prague, he would take us around to all these fabulous places. He started to look like Santa Claus in his later years but he was always fashionable and chic.”
Another adult film icon, Kristen Bjorn, posted to social media: “Bill has been a friend for over 30 years. He had a quick wit and a real gusto for life. I will miss my friend.”