Hugh Hefner, the man who created a magazine empire, died Wednesday at the age of 91 and his legacy includes some of the most famous Playboy playmates ever to grace the cover.


As word spread overnight of Hugh Hefner's death at age 91, celebrities praised the Playboy publishing icon for bringing sexual freedom to mainstream culture.

In an emotional note, accompanied by a tearful video, Pamela Anderson called him "the most important person in my life." She also said he suffered from back pain prior to his death.

Goodbye #Hef Mr Hefner I have so many thoughts, I have no brain n right now to edit I am me because of you You taught me everything important about freedom and respect. Outside of my family You were the most important person in my life. You gave me my life... People tell me all the time That I was your favorite... I'm in such deep shock. But you were old, your back hurt you so much. Last time I saw you You were using a walker. You didn't want me to see. You couldn't hear. You had a piece of paper in your pocket you showed me - with my name Pamela with a heart around it. Now, I'm falling apart. This feeling is so crazy. It's raining in Paris now. I'm by the window. Everything anyone loves about me is because you understood me. Accepted me and encouraged me to be myself. Love like no one else. Live recklessly With unfiltered abandon. You said the magazine was about a girl like me. That I embody the spirit you fantasized about. I was the one. You said. I can hear you say - Be brave. There are no rules. Live your life I'm proud of you. There are no mistakes. And with men - Enjoy ... (Your wonderful laugh) You have the world by the tail You are a good girl And you are so loved - You are not crazy. You are wild and free Stay strong, Stay vulnerable. ... "It's movie time" You loved my boys ... You were always, always there for us. With your love Your crazy wisdom. I will miss your everything. Thank you for making the world a better place. A freeer and sexier place. You were a gentleman charming, elegant, chivalrous And so much fun. Goodbye Hef ... Your Pamela 💋

A post shared by The Pamela Anderson Foundation (@pamelaanderson) on

Hustler founder and publisher Larry Flynt shared his "great admiration" for his longtime rival.

Hefner's ex-girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson (TV's The Girls Next Door) was at a loss for words.

Nancy Sinatra called him "one of the nicest men I've ever known."

Bob Saget quoted Hefner directly: “Racism, war, bigotry, but sex itself, no. What a sad cold world this would be if we weren’t sexual beings...I mean, that’s the heart of who we are.”


Former Playmate Jenny McCarthy saluted him as a "revolutionary" who changed lives, "especially mine. I hope I made you proud."

Larry King remembered Hefner as a "GIANT in publishing, journalism, free speech & civil rights."

NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman declared him an "Icon of all Icons" and a "#GameChanger."

Another trailblazer, Norman Lear, declared Hefner "a true explorer, a man who had a keen sense of the future."

Kim Kardashian said it was an honor to have been part of Team Playboy. "Love you Hef!" she added.

Filmmaker Joss Whedon tweeted the dichotomy that was Hugh Hefner. "Wait, is it possible that Hugh Hefner did good AND bad things?"

"Few did more for writers, (including) myself, breaking boundaries," comedian Richard Lewis wrote.

Actress Donna D'Errico, who credited Hefner with igniting her career by putting her in Playboy, saluted him as "an icon of epic proportions."

And Dennis Hof, star of HBO's Cathouse! and owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, hailed Hefner's "profound vision and enormous courage."


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