Gay Erotic Video Index
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Madd Coww's notes:
The son of Joseph and Mary Tiffenbach, who died a few years before him.
Joe enlisted in the Army Air Corps in July 1943. On returning to civilian life in 1946, Joe went to college, and while in college, a friend introduced him to Billy Haines, former film star and later an interior designer in Hollywood. At Billy's home one evening, Joe met John Darrow, a former film actor who became an agent, and John's lover Chuck Walters, choreographer and director of several film musicals (e.g., The Unsinkable Molly Brown, High Society, Good News). When Joe finished college, he began working in the 20th Century Fox mail room and eventually transitioned into producing travel films and handling various tasks on location shoots for major studio films.
Around 1950, Joe modeled for a number of physique photos: for Bruce of L.A., Dave Martin, and AMG. By the sixties, Joe was taking his own physique photos, and from there, went on to photographing and filming gay porn.
Joe was the cinematographer for Song of the Loon (1969), an ambitious softcore gay film, based on Richard Amory's "Loon" trilogy.
Joe is credited as photographer in many retro photo features, notably in In Touch and later in Inches and Uncut (Joe was the organizer of The Uncut Club). I believe that there is a large number of photo features and mags, which were photographed by Joe but which were not credited to him. I believe that much of the early Arena mags were photographed by Joe. I cannot prove this, but I find that Joe's outdoor shots are indistinguishable from many of the Arena outdoor shots.
In the early nineties, Joe began writing articles for Inches, dealing with gay life in Hollywood. Three articles were published, and they include anecdotes about Billy Haines and Jimmy Shields (a pair), John Darrow and Charles Walters (ditto), Debbie Reynolds, Doris Day, Steve Reeves and Dick Dubois, and many others.
Unfortunately for us and for the cause of history, Joe died of a heart attack at age 68, before he finished these memoirs.
Joe is buried in the Los Angeles National Cemetery.
Siebenand, Paul. The Beginnings of Gay Cinema in Los Angeles: The Industry and the Audience. Los Angles, CA: USC, 1975 pg. 42,75,104
"An Afternoon with Christopher Rage at the Chateau Marmont" Studflix Vol. 6 No. 6 Oct. 1988 pg. 6 (Essay)
Rolf Hardesty. "Reviewing the Troops Part II" Manshots Vol. 2 No. 6 Mar. 1990 pg. 19 (Essay)
"Final Focus" Gay Video Guide Vol. 1 No. 4 1991 pg. 96 (Obituary)
Jerry Douglas. "Jaguar Productions Part 2" Manshots Vol. 8 No. 7 Jul. 1996 pg. 10 (Essay)
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