The world just lost one of the pioneers of adult cinema…
It has been reported that Shaun Costello, one of the Porn industry’s pioneering directors, has died at the age of 79. Known for his daring and innovative approach to filmmaking, Costello left an indelible mark on the industry during the “Golden Age of Porn” in the 1970s. He passed away earlier this month at the age of 79, leaving behind a legacy of over 70 adult feature films.
News of Shaun’s passing comes just a few months after the death of Max Hardcore, another legendary (and infamous) XXX director.
A legendary talent across multiple industries…
A Queens native and armed forces veteran, Costello found his niche in the adult film industry after returning to New York. His directorial prowess shone through in films like Midnight Desires (Video X Pix), The Passions of Carol (Video X Pix), Waterpower (Historic Erotica), Beauty (TVX), and Fiona on Fire (TVX). He also directed several hit titles starring Vanessa del Rio, including Dracula Exotica (TVX), and That Lady from Rio (Video X Pix).
Costello was renowned for his audacious adaptations of mainstream narratives, transforming classics like Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol and Otto Preminger’s Laura into adult film masterpieces. His unique storytelling style brought a fresh perspective to the industry, challenging norms and pushing boundaries.
Despite his prolific career, Costello chose to work under various pseudonyms, maintaining a clear distinction between his personal life and his professional persona. His true identity was unfortunately revealed when a pirated collection of his films was released, but this did not overshadow his significant contributions to the industry.
After retiring from adult filmmaking, Costello embarked on a new journey in the world of commercials, earning recognition with a Clio award. He also showcased his directorial skills in the 1973 documentary Four Days at Troon, the award-winning 1990 short Writing for Time, and the 1991 cult horror movie Popcorn.
Beyond his work in film, Costello was a gifted writer. He penned several books about his experiences in the adult industry, providing a candid and insightful look into a world often misunderstood. His writings, like his films, will continue to inspire and educate.
In his later years, Costello faced numerous challenges, including losing his home. Yet, he remained resilient, navigating through adversity with unwavering determination. He openly shared his experiences, offering guidance and support to other veterans facing similar struggles.
Rest in peace, Shaun Costello…
The loss of Shaun Costello is a significant blow to the adult film industry. His creativity, tenacity, and dedication have left a lasting legacy that will continue to inspire future generations. As we remember his life and work, we echo the sentiments of Vanessa del Rio, who fondly remembered him as her first director and the ‘naked director’ known for his fun-filled orgy scenes.
Shaun Costello, your memory will live on in the industry you loved and the lives you touched. Rest in peace.