Hugh Hefner, the man who built Playboy into a multimillion-dollar adult magazine and entertainment empire tied to a Lothario lifestyle of lavish parties and beautiful women, died on Wednesday at his home, the iconic Playboy Mansion in Hollywood. Hugh was 91 years old
Hefner’s magazine, Playboy, brought on a sexual revolution of the 1960s. His soirées at his exclusive Los Angeles pad became the stuff of legend, filled with many celebrity friends and scantily clad models.
Hefner often strutted around the room in a red smoking jacket with a pipe hanging from his mouth.
“In my wildest dreams, I could not have imagined a sweeter life,” he told The Hollywood Reporter back in 2011.
Hefner, known tas “Hef,” is survived by his wife, Crystal, and four grown children: Christie, who was chief executive of Playboy Enterprises for more than 20 years; David; Marston; and Cooper.
Cooper Hefner, chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, said on Wednesday night: “My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom.
“He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history,” the son said.
The famous Playboy Mansion reportedly was sold last year to Daren Metropoulos, the co-owner of Hostess Cakes — the manufacturer of Twinkies — but the sale included a provision allowing Hefner to spend the rest of his life there.
In retirement, Hefner had continued making cameos as himself in movies and also helped to save the iconic Hollywood sign.
Amazon last year announced a 13-episode docuseries, “American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story” — further proof that his legacy will certainly outlive the pages of his magazine.