Hugh Hefner has not only launched the careers of dozens, if not hundreds, of actresses and models, he also revolutionized the media landscape by fighting against censorship and giving women a platform to express their sexuality in an era when it was OK only for men to do so.
So when the iconic magazine editor, a sex icon in his own right, died at home in his famed Playboy Mansion on Wednesday night, celebrities from nearly every industry paid tribute to Hefner and his Playboy empire.
The outpouring of condolences included messages of gratitude from Playboy Bunnies, past and present, including the miles-long lineup of ex-girlfriends, and from many of the famous cover girls of his magazine.
Actress Jenny McCarthy, who was featured on Playboy’s cover multiple times, thanked Hefner for being a “revolutionary” and for changing “so many people’s lives, especially mine.”
“I hope I made you proud,” she tweeted, along with a photo of one of her covers.
Porn superstar Ron Jeremy shared a photo of the two friends partying at one of Hefner’s infamous soirees and noted that Hefner “started my career.”
“Today the world lost a legend,” Jeremy wrote. Hugh Hefner “started my career. For 22 yrs I got to wish him happy new year at his mansion. I’ll miss him.”
Hefner, always flanked by beautiful women, may have been a controversial figure for decades, but one thing is certain: He was a sex icon who, to many, was living a dream.
Below, see how his famous friends reacted to his death.