Film/video director and producer Daddy Zeus passed away at his home in Cathedral City, CA on November 9, 2012.
Born Mikal Edward Bales on September 2, 1939 in Indiana, he moved to Pennsylvania and later settled with his mother in Southern California. Mikal served with distinction in the United States Air Force followed by service as a volunteer with The Peace Corps teaching English to the adult male villagers in the bush lands of Nigeria.
Mikal’s passion for rope first drew the public’s attention in his senior year of high school when he successfully tied up the football team’s captain and the quarterback, along with the remaining players on the offense’s starting line. During his Peace Corps service, he devised a game to be played by his students at recess: a ritualistic jungle pursuit, capture and interrogation based on the popular Nigerian comic book and masked hero, BOOM. His classes became very popular.
Returning to Los Angeles, Mikal pursued varied artistic and employment interests. He studied English and Design. He created the character Mama God Damn with the always-shocking and seasoned world traveling performance art group of the 1970s, the Cycle Sluts.
These experiences prepared Mikal for his greatest achievement as Daddy Zeus, director and producer of Zeus Studios. Founded in 1978 with the essential support of his business partner Jim Hawkins, and subsequently joined by business partner and friend Ron Sexton, Daddy Zeus’s creativity was unchained.
Zeus Studios was a pioneer enterprise, setting the standards of excellence for B&D, S/M and leather fetish performance art videos and for casting the hottest of men: International Mr. Leathers, International Mr. Drummers, regional leather titleholders, and a stable of bodybuilders and body beautiful muscle hunks.
Zeus Studios remains the oldest, largest and one of the most respected producers of safe, sane, consensual B&D performance art videos on the planet. Over 150 leather, rubber, all genre of fetish muscle bondage titles have been created for the entertainment of people everywhere.
In 2000, Daddy Zeus was inducted into the GayVN Awards Hall of Fame.
"We would have never been able to successfully launch our company had it not been for the guidance and insight of Daddy Zeus," said Anthony DeAngelo and Cameron Cruise in a prepared statement. "He shared every aspect and detail revealing his knowledge of the inner workings of the business. He never challenged our views or methods and helped to guide us down a safe, sane and consensual path to filmmaking for which we will be eternally grateful."
Always charismatic and fascinating, Daddy Zeus was most proud of the accomplishments made and being made by the directors and producers whom he mentored and who follow in his path today including Tony Buff, Van Darkholme and Brian Mills. DZ (as he was sometimes known) took great delight in correspondence with all of his fans and the fans of Zeus Studios across the world.
Daddy Zeus was a giving, kind and loving man. He is survived by his boys, his friends, his business and professional partners and colleagues, and most of all by his work. As it was his wish that there be no memorial, any donations made in his honor should be directed to your community’s animal care, rescue or no-kill shelter.
Pictured: Daddy Zeus (r) with Tim Brough of Tim Brough's Black Leather Bookshelf.