Fans flock to Playboy Mansion to honour Hugh Hefner
It took just minutes from the announcement of Hugh Hefner’s death for fans to line up outside the gates of his iconic Playboy Mansion in the Los Angeles hills.
One father brought his young children along on Wednesday night to the hedonistic home where men and women came to mourn the passing of a man they respected as a sexual liberator.
Construction worker Genaro Alcala, 40, said he brought his three children, aged between eight and 14, to appreciate “a god amongst gentlemen” who he was turned on to aged around 15 by his own father.
Pointing to his children, Mr Alcala said: “They never knew who the Playboy was because they are too young to know but later on in life they will know and I will show them the magazines.”
News crews also lined the discreet avenue leading up to the 22-room mansion in Charing Cross Road, Holmby Hills, where Hefner died at the age of 91.
Playboy Enterprises, announcing the publisher’s passing, said he succumbed to natural causes “surrounded by loved ones”.
Laura Oritz, who works in marketing, and a friend were among the first to make it to the scene.
“He broke everybody out of their shell, he made it okay to be sexual, he made it okay to be yourself, he made it okay to flaunt what you have and to be involved with multiple people,” said Ms Ortiz, 27.
“He made it part of our culture, that was a big part of the revolution.”
Footwear shop owner Davon Artis, 26, condoled the friends who appeared emotional at the front gate, where flowers had begun to gather.
“The king has passed away, Hugh Hefner, a real-life icon,” Mr Artis said.
“He already lived on heaven on earth, now he’s in heaven. He always said life is too short to be living someone else’s dream.”
The home was made famous by Hefner’s lavish parties after he purchased it in 1975.
Playboy sold the mansion last year for $100 million (£75 million) but there was one key condition: Hefner could rent it for as long as he desired.