Kim Kardashian and Nancy Sinatra pay tribute to Hugh Hefner

But detractors said his “version of sexual liberation of course was a con”.
But detractors said his “version of sexual liberation of course was a con”.

Tributes have been paid to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner following his death at the age of 91.

The tycoon, who brought sex and nudity into the mainstream, died “peacefully” and “surrounded by loved ones” at his famous Playboy Mansion.

Playboy posted on Twitter a black and white photo of its creator, who was known for his lavish parties, with his quote “Life is too short to be living somebody else’s dream”.

Reality TV star Kendra Wilkinson, who was 18 when she first moved into the Playboy Mansion with a then 78-year-old Hefner, paid tribute to her ex-boyfriend, calling him “an angel” in her life.

“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. I will miss him so much but he will be in my heart forever,” she said in a statement to People.

Hugh Hefner posing for a photo at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles (Damian Dovarganes/AP)

Singer and actress Nancy Sinatra, who posed for Playboy in her 50s, paid tribute to the publishing mogul as “one of the nicest men I’ve ever known”, adding: “Godspeed, Hugh Hefner.”

Kim Kardashian, who also stripped off for Playboy, wrote: “RIP to the legendary Hugh Hefner! I’m so honoured to have been a part of the Playboy team! You will be greatly missed! Love you Hef! Xoxo.”

And she added: “Paris (Hilton) and I are reminiscing about the Playboy parties at the mansion and how much we love Hef.”

Music star Azealia Banks wrote: “It was an absolute honour to be chosen as the first female rapper to make the cover of playboy magazine. May your legacy live on. Rest In Peace Hugh Hefner.”

Heiress and socialite Paris Hilton wrote: “So sad to hear the news about Hugh Hefner. He was a legend, innovator and one of a kind. We had so many fun and incredible memories together. I will miss him dearly. Rest In Peace my friend.”

Jenny McCarthy, a former Playmate of the Year,‏ wrote: “RIP Hef. Thank you for being a revolutionary and changing so many people’s lives, especially mine. I hope I made you proud.”

Hefner’s son Cooper Hefner, the chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, said in a statement: “My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom.

“He will be greatly missed by many, including his wife Crystal, my sister Christie and my brothers David and Marston and all of us at Playboy Enterprises.”

Actor Rob Lowe‏ tweeted: “I had a number of great conversations with Hugh Hefner. Was such an interesting man. True legend. What an end of an era!”

But Hefner’s attitude towards women divided opinion.

And Catherine Mayer‏, co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party, wrote: “His version of sexual liberation of course was a con… The only freedom was for men to exploit and commodify women.

He subverted “the struggle for equality into a male fantasy of the ever-ready female”, she said.

Hefner once said that he “invented” an “adolescent dream” of a “perfect” adult life for himself.

And one Twitter user, reflecting on Hefner’s life, wrote: “This is the only death in history where no one will say ‘he’s in a better place now'”.