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Hugh Hefner

  • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
  • Birthday: April 09
Date of passing: 
September 27, 2017

Hugh Hefner was the creator and editor-in-chief of Playboy magazine, which he founded in 1953. He was as known for living the brand as he was for advertising it to others, famously throwing lavish parties and surrounding himself with the magazine’s “Playmates.”

Hefner also appeared as himself on multiple television series, including episodes of Burke’s Law, Get Smart, The Odd Couple, Laverne & Shirley, The Larry Sanders Show, Blossom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Roseanne, Sex and the City, Las Vegas, The Bernie Mac Show, Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm. And he voiced animated versions of himself on The Simpsons and Family Guy, and narrated the short-lived NBC series The Playboy Club.

Additionally, from 2005 to 2010, he appeared on the reality series The Girls Next Door, which followed Hefner and three of his girlfriends living in the Playboy Mansion. He later appeared on the spinoffs Kendra and Kendra on Top.

In the 1950s and 1960s he hosted Playboy’s Penthouse and Playboy After Dark, and later made appearances on The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, and variety and talk shows hosted by Merv Griffin, Jack Paar, Don Rickles, David Frost, Dick Cavett, Mike Douglas, Dean Martin, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Howard Stern, Charlie Rose, Ellen DeGeneres and Larry King.

Hugh Hefner was the creator and editor-in-chief of Playboy magazine, which he founded in 1953. He was as known for living the brand as he was for advertising it to others, famously throwing lavish parties and surrounding himself with the magazine’s “Playmates.”

Hefner also appeared as himself on multiple television series, including episodes of Burke’s Law, Get Smart, The Odd Couple, Laverne & Shirley, The Larry Sanders Show, Blossom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Roseanne, Sex and the City, Las Vegas, The Bernie Mac Show, Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm. And he voiced animated versions of himself on The Simpsons and Family Guy, and narrated the short-lived NBC series The Playboy Club.

Additionally, from 2005 to 2010, he appeared on the reality series The Girls Next Door, which followed Hefner and three of his girlfriends living in the Playboy Mansion. He later appeared on the spinoffs Kendra and Kendra on Top.

In the 1950s and 1960s he hosted Playboy’s Penthouse and Playboy After Dark, and later made appearances on The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, and variety and talk shows hosted by Merv Griffin, Jack Paar, Don Rickles, David Frost, Dick Cavett, Mike Douglas, Dean Martin, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Howard Stern, Charlie Rose, Ellen DeGeneres and Larry King.

Hefner also co-produced hundreds of Playboy-branded videos and a few feature films, including Roman Polanski’s Macbeth and Monty Python’s first film, And Now for Something Completely Different.

In 1971, Playboy Enterprises went public and quickly expanded. Today, the famous rabbit logo is one of the most widely recognized and popular corporate identifiers in the world. In 1982, Hefner further expanded the brand when he launched the Playboy Channel, a premium cable network that was sold and rebranded as Playboy TV.

In 2010, he was the subject of the documentary Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel.

Hefner died September 27, 2017, in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles. He was 91.

 

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Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner

Photo credit: 
Elayne Lodge