Hot Video Magazine Founder Franck Vardon Passes Away

LOS ANGELES — Franck Vardon, the founder of France's leading adult industry publication, Hot Video Magazine, has passed away. He was 58.

"It is with great regret and sadness that we inform you that Franck Vardon, founder and owner of Hot Video magazine, passed away on Saturday, January 11th," Hot Video's Gerome Lorenzo confirmed Monday.

Vardon's monthly magazine, an internationally known brand, profiles top porn stars, producers and movies from both Europe and the U.S. Published in French, Hot Video features both consumer-driven and trade content.

Vardon's publication routinely features American porn stars and feature movies within its pages and is a fixture at U.S. adult industry trade events.

"I'm stunned. I liked Franck a lot, and considered him a friend," veteran director Eli Cross said via Twitter.

"Very sad day, Franck was a good man," said Stuart Wall, VP of Smash Pictures.

Industry photographer Rick Garcia tweeted, "So sad to hearing of the passing of Franck of Hot Video. Rest in peace my friend."

Born and raised in Paris, Vardon worked for Hachette Filipacchi Media before launching his first magazine in 1985, Projexion Privée, an adult magazine. In 1989, he stopped Projexion Privée and launched Hot Video Magazine. The idea behind Hot Video was to mix hardcore pictures with news and coverage on the adult industry all around the world, from LA to Tokyo, from Russia to Brazil. Quickly, Hot Video became the most sold adult magazine in Europe.

In 1992, inspired by AVN Awards, Vardon had the idea to create an award ceremony that would take place during Cannes Film Festival, the Hot d'Or, which earned international notoriety. Hot Vidéo awarded the Hot d'Or from 1992-2001, and again in 2009 on the 20th anniversary of the publication. Last year, in 2013, Vardon started a TV channel, Hot Video TV, broadcasted in France.

"Franck was a pioneer and a great professionnal, highly appreciated by his employees, always pushing them to give their best," Hot Video's Lorenzo said. "For him, adult industry deserved the same coverage and professionalism as any other industry. His motto was, 'Always one step ahead.'"