‘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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Irwin family returning to Animal Planet 20 years after ‘Crocodile Hunter’

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 8:52 PM

What You Need To Know About The Irwin Family

The Irwin family is returning to TV and Animal Planet 21 years after “The Crocodile Hunter” premiered in 1996.

In a Wednesday news release, Discovery Communications said Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin will be working on TV projects on Animal Planet, which is owned by Discovery Communications.

The Irwins are carrying on the legacy of their late patriarch, Steve Irwin, who spent his life learning about and educating others about wildlife, particularly reptiles. He died in 2006 when a stingray’s barb pierced his heart.

“Steve Irwin was a champion for all wildlife and he and Terri’s excitement and enthusiasm brought viewers from around the world in touch with nature,” Animal Planet general manager Patrice Andrews said in a statement. “Their passion for animals, love for their family, and leadership in conservation awareness left a strong legacy that continues today.”

Soul mates - in this life and every other. True love lasts always.

A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin) on

Terri Irwin, Steve Irwin’s widow and mother of Bindi, 19, and Robert, 13, said in a statement that she and her children are excited to be returning to the network.

“We look forward to the year ahead as we embark on new projects and adventures with Animal Planet,” she said.

“The Crocodile Hunter” aired from 1996-2007. Husband and wife Steve and Terri Irwin co-hosted and their two children frequently made appearances. Other shows the Irwins hosted included “Croc Files” and “New Breed Vets.”

In addition to TV projects, the Irwins will be global ambassadors for Discovery Communications.

Family forever❤️

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Playboy features first transgender Playmate

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 2:55 AM

French model Ines Rau is the first transgender Playmate in the history of Playboy magazine.
Nicholas Hunt
French model Ines Rau is the first transgender Playmate in the history of Playboy magazine.(Nicholas Hunt)

Ines Rau became the first transgender Playmate, as the French model is in a pictorial and centerfold for the magazine’s November/December issue, the magazine announced.

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Rau previously appeared in the magazine’s May 2014 A-Z issue.

“It’s how I celebrated my coming out, actually,” Rau told the magazine. “I took that chance, and then I signed with an agency.”

Although Rau is the first transgender Playmate, she isn’t Playboy’s first transgender model, Cosmopolitan reported. The first was Tula, who appeared in the September 1991 issue. 

Hugh Hefner, the founder and publisher of Playboy, died on Sept. 27. He becomes the first man to appear solo -- and 11th overall -- on the cover of the magazine. A 1965 photograph by Larry Gordon was used to pay tribute to Hefner, the magazine said. The first six pages of the November/December issue are dedicated to Hefner, who published the first issue of Playboy in December 1953..

In a tweet Wednesday, Hefner’s son Cooper Hefner, the magazine’s chief creative officer, said that the magazine and society “should be fighting for a more open world.”

Nickelodeon fires ‘The Loud House’ creator over sexual harassment allegations

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 6:44 AM

From left, producer Karen Malach, writer Karla Sakas Shropshire and executive producer Chris Savino speak during
From left, producer Karen Malach, writer Karla Sakas Shropshire and executive producer Chris Savino speak during "The Loud House" event presented by Nickelodeon n 2016. Savino was fired from the show after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced.(Vivien Killilea)

Nickelodeon fired the creator of its animated show “The Loud House” after he was accused of sexual harassment, CNN reported.

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Chris Savino was suspended earlier this week after several women came forward with allegations against the animator, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“Chris Savino is no longer working with Nickelodeon,” a network spokesman said in a statement late Thursday. “We take allegations of misconduct very seriously, and we are committed to fostering a safe and professional workplace environment that is free of harassment or other kinds of inappropriate conduct.”
A manager for Savino, Angela Cheng Caplan, did not respond to multiple requests for comment, CNN reported. A person who answered the phone at Caplan's office early Thursday told CNN they had "no comment" on the matter.
"The Loud House" is currently in its second season on Nickelodeon. The show revolves around the chaotic life of a young boy named Lincoln Loud, who is the middle child in a family of 11 children, CNN reported.
Cyma Zarghami, president of Viacom Inc.'s Nickelodeon Group, released a memo to staffers after Savino's firing, encouraging them to speak out if they experience or see mistreatment, CNN reported.
Nickelodeon said "The Loud House" will continue to air and proceed with production.
Season 3 is scheduled to premiere in early 2018.

Selena to receive Hollywood Walk of Fame Star on Nov. 3

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 12:46 PM

What You Need To Know: Selena Quintanilla

On the heels of a popular Google Doodle this week honoring Selena Quintanilla Pérez, the pop culture icon will now posthumously receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Nov. 3.

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“Before there was JLo, Shakira or Beyoncé, there was a transformative female artist called Selena,” said Otto Padron, president of Meruelo Media and sponsor of the tribute, in a statement. “Selena is one of the most influential music icons of the 20th century. Her music, style and smile are timeless, and now her star will grace (Hollywood, California) forever.”

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce last summer selected to honor Selena in its recording category, along with other performers including John Legend, Clarence Avant, Ice Cube, a posthumous honor for Jerry Goldsmith, Hall & Oates, *NSYNC and New Edition.

(PRNewsfoto/Meruelo Media)(PR NEWSWIRE)

On Selena’s Facebook fan page, music lovers expressed a similar sentiment that the honor was long overdue.

“A dream come true,” wrote fan Hadeer Sinawe. “She deserved this even before her death.”

Texas native Eva Longoria will join Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to proclaim Nov. 3 as official “Selena” Day in Los Angeles.

On March 31, 1995, Selena’s former fan club president Yolanda Saldivar fatally shot Selena at a Days Inn motel in Corpus Christi. But for many fans of the Tejano superstar, who was on the brink of crossing over to the English-language music market, Selena’s legacy lives on.

In honor of her Walk of Fame addition, check out our playlist of Selena songs: