HOLMBY HILLS, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (SEPTEMBER 27, 2017) (NBC) –Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who helped usher in the 1960s sexual revolution with his groundbreaking men’s magazine and built a business empire around his libertine lifestyle, died on Wednesday (September 27) at the age of 91, Playboy Enterprises said.
Hefner, once called the “prophet of pop hedonism” by Time magazine, peacefully passed away at his home, Playboy Enterprises said in a statement.
A Star Track Tours tour group drove past Hefner’s Playboy Mansion in the ritzy Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles as the news broke. “I hoped it wasn’t going to happen for a while,” said tour owner Jeff Napshin, who made a special trip to the Playboy Mansion for his guests.
TV personality Bobby Trendy was among the first to pay respects to Hefner, laying flowers on the gate outside the Playboy Mansion.
“Anna Nicole Smith was discovered by Hugh Hefner, if it wasn’t for Hugh, there wouldn’t be Anna Nicole Smith,” Trendy told news crews.
Hefner was sometimes characterized as an oversexed Peter Pan as he kept a harem of young blondes that numbered as many as seven at his legendary Playboy Mansion. This was chronicled in “The Girls Next Door,” a TV reality show that aired from 2005 through 2010. He said that thanks to the impotency-fighting drug Viagra he continued exercising his libido into his 80s.