Jane Homlish, Bob Guccione's Right-Hand Woman at Penthouse, Passes

Jane Homlish, Bob Guccione's Right-Hand Woman at Penthouse, Passes

LOS ANGELES — Jane Homlish, Penthouse founder Bob Guccione's longtime assistant, has reportedly passed at 69.

Homlish, considered by many Penthouse Pets as a maternal figure within the company, served as Guccione's personal assistant for over 30 years, from 1971 until 2006. She was instrumental in chronicling her boss and mentor's life in the acclaimed 2013 documentary "Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story."

"I'm devastated," wrote veteran Penthouse model, brand ambassador and "Pet Manager" Sam Phillips on her Facebook page. "I just heard that longtime Penthouse matriarch Jane Homlish has passed away. My thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and the many Pets who she helped guide the careers of."

"Like my Pet sisters, I'm so grateful for how Jane always looked out for me and made me feel like I was family," Phillips added.

The Woman Behind the Porn Boss

The young Homlish, who shared the cultured Guccione's passion for travel and art, and also his deep Catholic background, answered a random help-wanted ad looking for a receptionist. Soon Homlish and Guccione became an inseparable work team.

At the time of the documentary's release, the New York Post devoted a feature to Homlish entitled "The Woman Behind the Porn Boss." The article, written by Chris Erikson, includes the following account of her beginnings at Penthouse:

A college dropout who had spent months traveling through Europe and Asia on “a bit of a spiritual journey,” [Homlish had] applied at an employment agency after coming to stay with a friend in New York City. They sent her to Penthouse to work as a receptionist.

Told she’d be working for a reclusive, brilliant man she might never meet, and learning Guccione was an artist, she was deeply curious, and her first day there, when Guccione called in to speak to someone in the office, she asked if she could meet him. He dodged the query, but later sent word that she should to come the next day to the Drake Hotel, where he was living temporarily.

When they met, there was no small talk: “His first question was, ‘Do you believe in God?'" recalls Homlish. "It was so many profound questions, and we spoke about our travels, this journey we were both on. I was insatiably curious, as was Bob. We just meshed.”

She started as his assistant the next day.

Homlish oversaw the entire magazine during its 1970s heyday, and she also served as Guccione's personal art curator. She kept a private suite in Guccione's fabled E. 67th Street townhouse in Manhattan so they could both work until late into the night.

"I spent more hours with Bob Guccione than anybody in his entire family including his wife," Homlish told an interviewer while promoting "Filthy Gorgeous." She also said that she maintained "a professional relationship with Guccione, developing a dear friendship, becoming his confidante over the years and also the keeper of his many secrets."

Guccione told her he believed they were "a priest and nun who knew each other in their past lives," Homlish recalled.

"In fact, if that's true I believe I will see Bob again," she said in 2013.

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