Celebrities pay their tributes to Hugh Hefner who has died aged 91
The silk-robed lothario, Hugh Hefner, not only made an indelible mark on popular culture but forever changed the way that pornography is consumed in the mainstream media. As famous for his larger-than-life lifestyle as his legendary men's magazine, Hefner found himself engulfed in an air of mystery and urban legend that not even a myriad of interviews and his own E! reality television show could shake.
Playing a pivotal role in the sexual revolution of the 60's, Hefner launched Playboy magazine in 1953 with only $600. The men's magazine eventually turned into a multimillion-dollar business venture which grew to include television shows and a chain of Playboy Clubs which featured cocktail waitresses adorned in the brand's synonymous cottontails and bunny ears.
In a statement released last night, Playboy Enterprises, Inc. announced that Hugh M. Hefner passed away at the age of 91 Wednesday from natural causes at his mansion in Los Angeles. He was surrounded by his loved ones.
Tributes are pouring out for the legendary publisher from the likes of Kim Kardashian, Gene Simmons and many others whose lives were touched by the legendary businessman.
Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton acknowledged the impact that Playboy had on their careers via Twitter. "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," Kardashian wrote while Hilton added that she was "so sad" to hear about the news.
Kardashian later tweeted that she and her estranged BFF, Hilton had been exchanging texts about Hefner's passing. "Paris & I are reminiscing about the Playboy parties at the mansion & how much we love Hef. She’s texts me the perfect Hef emojis", she tweeted.
Speaking to E! News, one of Hefner's ex-girlfriends and stars of his E! reality television show, The Girls Next Door, Kendra Leigh Baskett, issued the following statement:
"Hef changed my life. He made me the person I am today. I couldn’t be more thankful for our friendship and our time together."
Other models also took to social media to play their respects to the media mogul. Carmen Electra wrote: "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."
Heidi Montag and La Toya Jackson also thanked Hefner:
Larry King described Hefner as a "true original" while KISS frontman Gene Simmons referred to Hefner as a "a great man, entrepreneur and innovator".
Hugh Hefner truly embodied every adolescent boy's fantasy. And as ever, the old joke still holds true - it sure will be hard for heaven to top the life that Hefner lived on earth. Our thoughts remain with the Hefner family.