Mark Hundahl, the co-owner of Frontiers Magazine, has died after an extended illness, according to reports.
He was diagnosed earlier this year with melanoma of the lung, taking desperately ill in early November.
He passed away on December 26, 2012.
Mark Hundahl accepting the City of Los Angeles recognition of Fro ntiers Magazine's contributions to Southern California's LGBT community. At his side is LA City Council member Bill Rosendahl. Photo captured from video made by Renee Sotile & Mary Jo Godges.
Mr. Hundahl was one of the area’s foremost straight allies to the gay community.
Beginning in 1983, after moving to Los Angeles, he purchased a private Hollywood night club called Probe that, for the next 16 years, catered to luminaries from the entire entertainment industry, featured the West Coast debuts of many notable rock stars (including Madonna), and revolutionized the club scene by featuring a different musical format each night of the week.
According to Mr. Hundahl’s dear friend Dana Miller, “to an entire generation, Probe Nightclub was the greatest party palace of all time. Mark, along with business partner Jon Hirsh, created something that will never be duplicated. The gone-but-not-forgotten Probe at 836 Highland Avenue and its music, energy, spirit, tension, release and comfort carried an entire gaggle of gay geese through the best of times and the worst of times. This straight impresario kept the cutting edge sharp, and created rather than followed the chic of vogue."
He recalled that “Mega music artists hid in the shadows at Probe to watch the hot crowd's reaction to their latest creation. MTV beamed shows from Probe to capture what couldn't possibly be replicated on a soundstage. Mark's magic at Probe was constantly duplicated but never equaled. Forever the businessman, Mark loaned a struggling publication $5,000 in 1983 in a wickedly wise move, yielding two years of ads in Frontiers for his club.”
That move led him to be in at the start of Frontiers along with Bob Craig and David Stern. In 1997, the trio began IN Los Angeles magazine to provide a “softer side” of gay life to counterbalance Frontiers’ hard news style.
In 2007, several years after Mr. Craig’s death, Mr. Stern and Mr. Hundahl bought Frontiers.
Mr. Hundahl on a tour of China as part of his latest venture, Dynasty Visual Effects and Animation.
He founded Passport Consulting, Inc. in 2008 to explore business opportunities in China.
Dynasty Visual Effects and Animation LLC, a producer of CGI, visual effects and animation, is a direct result of his research, creativity and passion for bringing unique business ideas to the marketplace, according to that company's web site.
In 2010, Mr. Hundahl and Mr. Stern bought 50 percent of WeHo News. That partnership ended amicably after six months.
Reactions streamed into WeHo News’ office.
Jim Key, the Chief Public Affairs Officer at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center said, “We're mourning the loss of a man who was one of L.A.'s greatest straight allies to the LGBT community. As co-publisher with David Stern at IN, then at Frontiers, Mark was a smart, powerful and generous supporter of the Center and of many other local LGBT organizations."
“I'll miss his dry sense of humor, his keen insight and fresh perspective on local politics and his passion for the news business. This is a big and sad loss for our community and my heart goes out to his wife Bethany.”
Council member John Duran told WeHo News, “"I first met Mark when he was the owner of the Probe. He was a straight man who was very much part of West Hollywood life. He then went on to become one of the owners of Frontiers newsmagazine when Bob Craig passed away.
“He was an integral part of our community. He was cherished by so many and I am saddened and will miss him."
West Hollywood Mayor Jeff Prang told WeHo News that “Mark was a friend, an important leader in West Hollywood and the LGBT community, and even though he wasn’t gay himself he contributed more to the LGBT movement that most gays will ever do.
“He was a quiet doer – never sought the limelight, but made change happen from behind the scenes. He was a man of great personal and professional integrity. He has been everywhere and important to our community for so long, he will be sorely missed.”