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Friday, September 29, 2017

Remembering Hugh Hefner 1926 - 2017

Hugh Hefner, who died Wednesday at age 91, was the founder and editor-in-chief of Playboy magazine, which published its first issue in December 1953.

In 1978, he helped launch a fund-raising campaign to restore the deteriorating Hollywood Sign, which overlooks Los Angeles. Nine donors (including Hefner, Andy Williams and Alice Cooper) each sponsored a replacement letter, and the new version of the sign was unveiled on November 11, 1978, on the live CBS special, Hollywood's Diamond Jubilee. In 2010, Hefner donated the final $900,000 needed to preserve the land behind the sign from developers. And on his 54th birthday on April 9, 1980, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Below I've selected some videos to celebrate Hugh Hefner's life and career.

He was the host of the 1959-61 syndicated variety/talk show, Playboy's Penthouse. Below is the first episode, which aired on October 24, 1959, with his guests Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, author Rona Jaffe, comedian Lenny Bruce and composer Cy Coleman (who wrote the show's theme).

The Most, a 1963 documentary short about Hefner, was featured as one of the Showtime Shorts on the cable network in 1981 (it features music composed by actor Dudley Moore).

He and actress Polly Bergen were the Mystery Guests on What's My Line? on January 9, 1966.

He was a guest on the syndicated public affairs show, Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr., on September 12, 1966.

He was the host of the 1969-70 syndicated series, Playboy After Dark. Below are two episodes from February 3, 1970 (with guests Patty Duke, Rex Reed and Ike & Tina Turner) and March 7, 1969 (with Sammy Davis Jr., Jerry Lewis and Anthony Newley).

He appeared on ABC's The Odd Couple on March 22, 1974.

He was a guest on the public television series, Day at Night (with host James Day), on April 25, 1974.

He was the host of Saturday Night Live on October 15, 1977.

On November 23, 1979, he appeared on the ABC special, Playboy's Roller Disco & Pajama Party, with host Richard Dawson and guests James Caan, Wayland Flowers and Madame, and the Village People.

On November 9, 1982, he appeared on ABC's Laverne & Shirley (with Penny Marshall and Carrie Fisher).

He was a guest on Late Night with David Letterman on May 15, 1985.

He was a guest on Late Show with David Letterman on April 30, 1998.

He and his live-in lovers, twins Sandy and Mandy Bentley (who were featured on Playboy's cover in May 2000), were guests on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on April 14, 2000. Actor Scott Thompson (Kids in the Hall) was also a guest.

He and the Bentley Twins appeared on HBO's Sex and the City on September 17, 2000.

He and his daughter (and Playboy chairman and CEO) Christie Hefner were guests on Charlie Rose on December 10, 2003.

He answered TIME's 10 Questions in January 2009.

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