‘Playboy’ founder Hugh Hefner dead at 91

Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 @ 11:23 PM

Five Fast Facts: Hugh Hefner

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has died at age 91. Playboy confirmed the news on Twitter.

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“Playboy” confirmed the death was of natural causes in a statement to E! News and other outlets:

“Hugh M. Hefner, the American icon who in 1952 introduced the world to “Playboy” magazine and built the company into one of the most recognizable American global brands in history, peacefully passed away today from natural causes in his home, surrounded by loved ones. He was 91 years old.”

Hugh Hefner poses at Playboy's 60th Anniversary special event on January 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Hefner died at age 91 in 2017.(Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Playboy/Getty Images for Playboy)

Hefner’s son and chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, Cooper Hefner, issued the following 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 defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history. 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.

Born in 1926 in Chicago, Hefner joined the Army as an infantry clerk after he graduated high school in 1944. He created cartoons for Army newspapers. After serving in World War II, he was honorably discharged in 1946.

Started in 1953, “Playboy” initially included short stories and cartoons, but eventually became famous and synonymous with nude centerfold photographs. Famously, the publication’s first centerfold was Marilyn Monroe.

The publication reached a height in the 1970s when it had more than 7 million readers. Its success made Hefner synonymous with silk robes, pipes and extravagant parties with women in bow-ties and bunny ears.

Although the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles is the most famous, the original mansion was bought in Chicago in 1960. 

Reactions to Hefner’s death have poured in on social media:

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George Harrison would have been 75 Sunday

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 12:16 PM

George Harrison was the lead guitarist for The Beatles and had a stellar solo career as well.
Getty Images/Getty Images
George Harrison was the lead guitarist for The Beatles and had a stellar solo career as well.(Getty Images/Getty Images)

The youngest Beatle would have been 75 Sunday.

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George Harrison was the lead guitarist for the Beatles and also had a successful solo career. He was born Feb. 25, 1943, in Liverpool, United Kingdom. Harrison was the second member of the band to die, when he passed away on Nov. 29, 2001, in Los Angeles.

Harrison’s official Twitter account marked the milestone birthday with a remastered video of “Blue Jay Way,” a song the guitarist wrote for the 1967 album and movie, “Magical Mystery Tour.”

Harrison brought a guitar-playing style that would influence 1960s groups like the Byrds, and he learned how to play the sitar under the tutelage of Ravi Shankar, an Indian musician. Shankar’s influence was apparent in Harrison songs like “Within You WIthout You,” and “The Inner Light,” and also in the group’s hit “Norwegian Wood.”

Harrison’s most notable song with the group was “Something,” which appeared on the “Abbey Road” album along with “Here Comes the Sun.” Other hits included “Taxman,” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” along with his first composition with the band, “Don’t Bother Me.”

Harrison also made his mark on the band outside of music. He studied Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and persuaded the other Beatles to visit the the Maharishi’s camp in India during 1968.

Harrison was the first member of the Beatles to record a solo album, releasing “Wonderwall Music” on Nov. 1, 1968. 

When he began his solo career, Harrison hit No. 1 with “My Sweet Lord” and organized a benefit called the Concert for Bangladesh, which included a surprise appearance by Bob Dylan.

Harrison ran into copyright problems with Bright Tunes, which alleged infringement of the Ronnie Mack song “He’s So Fine,” which was performed by the Chiffons. The courts ruled against Harrison and he was forced to pay royalties.

However, Harrison maintained his sense of humor, writing in his 1976 tune “This Song” that “This song, has nothing Bright about it.”

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‘Notting Hill’ actress Emma Chambers dead at 53

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 11:42 AM

Theater.
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
Theater.(Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

Actress Emma Chambers, who played Hugh Grant’s younger sister in the 1999 movie “Notting Hill,” died Wednesday, her agent told CNN. She was 53.

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Her agent, John Grant, said Chambers died of natural causes. The British actress is survived by her husband, actor Ian Dunn.

“Over the years, Emma, created a wealth of characters and an immense body of work. She brought laughter and joy to many, and will be greatly missed," John Grant said.

Hugh Grant tweeted that Chambers was “a hilarious and very warm person and of course a brilliant actress.”

In addition to “Notting Hill,” Chambers starred for more than a decade as Alice Tinker in the BBC comedy “The Vicar of Dibley,” CNN reported.

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Lisa Marie Presley sues ex-manager contending he lost her $100 million fortune

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 7:55 PM

Lisa Marie Presley Suing Ex-Manager

Lisa Marie Presley is suing her former manager, Barry Siegel, for “reckless and negligent mismanagement” of her inherited estate, but her estranged husband was quick to call her so-called mountain of debt a lie.

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Presley inherited $100 million from her rock ‘n’ roll father Elvis Presley back in 1993. Today, she said she only has $14,000 left, alleging that Siegel’s poor investment decisions whittled down her cash reserves. He sold off 85 percent of her share in the Elvis Presley Enterprises company in 2005, saying it “cleared up over $20 million in debts she had incurred and netted her over $40 million cash and a multi-million dollar income stream.”

 

Presley, however, said she lost millions in the deal. Siegel has counter sued, claiming she is to blame for squandering much of her own fortune, and he’s demanding $800,000 in damages for non-payment.

Presley is now $16 million in debt amid her ongoing divorce from estranged husband Michael Lockwood. That figure was revealed after a judge ordered her to pay $50,000 of Lockwood’s  $450,000 in attorney’s fees, which she claimed she could not afford. Lockwood, however, claimed Presley isn’t being truthful about her debt.

According to Lockwood, Presley claimed to be making $104,000 per month in 2016 and that she owed the IRS $1.67 million, which Lockwood says would mean she owes more than she made in income that year. Additionally, Presley did fudge the numbers when it comes to the English manor she owns, according to documents obtained by TMZ. While she has claimed to be way behind on mortgage payments for the property, Lockwood believes it’s still worth something and accused her of leaving that out of her calculations.

>> Related: Leah Remini’s attacks on Scientology put a strain on her friendship with Lisa Marie Presley

The pair married in 2006 and welcomed twin daughters two years later. In 2016, Presley filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences and claiming Lockwood was a bad father who “took advantage” of her financially.

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WATCH: 'Frozen' Broadway musical debuts new song for Elsa

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 6:22 AM

FILE - This image released by Disney shows Elsa the Snow Queen, voiced by Idina Menzel, in a scene from the animated feature
FILE - This image released by Disney shows Elsa the Snow Queen, voiced by Idina Menzel, in a scene from the animated feature "Frozen." The Walt Disney Co. has announced plans to make a sequel to the animated mega-hit “Frozen.” In the company’s annual shareholders meeting in San Francisco on Thursday, March 12, 2015, Disney executives officially announced plans for “Frozen 2.”(AP Photo/Disney)(daram/AP)

Just when you got “Let It Go” out of your head, there’s a new “Frozen” song to check out.

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Mashable reported that “Monster,” the first original song from the “Frozen” Broadway musical, was released on Friday, along with a music video featuring Caissie Levy, who’ll play Elsa on stage, belting out the tune.

The Broadway production of the beloved Disney movie will feature 12 new songs along with all the favorite tunes from the film. Just as they did for the movie, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez have brought their magic to the play, writing all the songs.

“Monster” comes into play during the second act when Elsa begins to wonder if she is a monster due to her magical abilities. Audience members also will get to hear several other new songs from Elsa, including “Dangerous to Dream.” Anna fans will be excited to hear that her character is getting her own new solo as well, “True Love,” and she’ll join Kristoff in a new duet called “What Do You Know About Love.”

“It’s a moment of anxiety where the freedom she found in ‘Let It Go’ is shaken, and she hears in the distance the voices of the men coming for her, and she realizes now is the time she has to decide what her next move is,” Lopez said of “Monster," according to the New York Times.

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“It’s full of conflicting emotions,” Anderson-Lopez added. “It’s got fear. It’s got rage. It’s got her self-flagellation. It’s someone who has been living a double life of secrets and shame that no one knows about, and this is the moment of reckoning with all the destruction that she left behind her.”

In addition to Levy, the “Frozen” cast includes Patti Murin as Anna, Jelani Alladin (Kristoff), Greg Hildreth (Olaf), John Riddle (Hans), Robert Creighton (Weselton), Kevin Del Aguila (Oaken), Timothy Hughes (Pabbie), Andrew Pirozzi (Sven), Audrey Bennett (Young Anna), Mattea Conforti (Young Anna), Brooklyn Nelson (Young Elsa), Ayla Schwartz (Young Elsa), Alyssa Fox (Elsa Standby), Aisha Jackson (Anna Standby), and Adam Jepsen (Sven Alternate).

“Frozen” will make its debut at New York’s St. James Theatre on March 22.

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