Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy, passed away from natural causes at the age of 91 on Wednesday. The multi-millionaire, who shot to fame when Playboy magazine first emerged in 1953, leaves behind four children and his third wife, 31-year-old Crystal Hefner.
Hefner, never the stranger to attention, bought himself a funeral plot next to Marilyn Monroe’s resting place at LA’s Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery back in 1992, reportedly for $75,000. Although he had never met her, “Spending eternity next to Marilyn is an opportunity too sweet to pass up,” Hefner told the Los Angeles Times in 2009.
Since Hefner’s passing at his Holmby Hills home in Los Angeles, tributes have been pouring in across social media from friends, family, and, of course, former Playboy models and bunnies. Jenny McCarthy, an actress and model, thanked the former Playboy editor-in-chief for “changing so many people’s lives, especially mine”.
Donna D’Errico, another actress, was grateful to Hefner for ‘igniting her career’, and added, “You will forever live on as an icon of epic proportions.”
Hugh Hefner put me in Playboy & ignited my career. I am forever indebted, Hef. You will forever live on as an icon of epic proportions. #RIP
— Donna D’Errico (@DonnaDErrico) September 28, 2017
Carmen Electra highlighted her gratitude at being chosen for a shoot: “I am so grateful I had the opportunity to shoot many Playboy celebrity pictorials with u Hef … thank u for picking me and bringing me into the magical world of Playboy!”
R.I.P. Hugh Hefner 😥 The American Icon who in 1953 introduced the world 2 Playboy mag and built the company into one of the most recognizable American Global brands in history , I am so grateful I had the opportunity to shoot many Playboy celebrity pictorials with u Hef❤️ thank u for picking me and Bringing me into the magical world of Playboy ! I just can’t stop crying and I can’t imagine how many bunnies are crying for u too. U are a class act and I will always have gratitude for your kindness 🙏🏼love u Hef #hughhefner #playboy #icon @playboy
Kim Kardashian, who appeared in the magazine in 2007 after her sex tape was leaked, wrote: “RIP to the legendary Hugh Hefner! I’m so honored to have been a part of the Playboy team! You will be greatly missed! Love you Hef! Xoxo”
RIP to the legendary Hugh Hefner! I’m so honored to have been a part of the Playboy team! You will be greatly missed! Love you Hef! Xoxo
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) September 28, 2017
And La Toya Jackson, who has posed for Playboy more than 20 times, offered a simple but heartfelt tribute:
“May you #RIP Hugh Hefner My condolences to the Hefner family!”
May you #RIP Hugh Hefner🙏
My condolences to the Hefner family!🙏
— La Toya Jackson (@latoyajackson) September 28, 2017
Others took a slightly more tongue-in-cheek approach to their tributes, playing on the old joke that people only bought Playboy ‘for the articles’:
RIP Hef. I always read it for the articles.
— Russ Bengtson (@russbengtson) September 28, 2017
Thank you Hugh Hefner for the articles
— Natalie Walker (@nwalks) September 28, 2017
I thought Hugh Hefner would never die. Total legend. Playboy not only featured beautiful women but truly did have the best articles. #RIPHef
— Andy Ruther (@AndyRuther) September 28, 2017
To find out more about the man who transformed the entertainment industry and ‘ushered in a sexual revolution’ during much more puritanical times, check out this news report from the day of his passing.