Last night it was announced that Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner had passed away at the age of 91, sending the world of entertainment into mourning.
Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton have lead the celebrity tributes to the businessman, with many stars thanking Hef for kickstarting their careers in showbiz with features in his notorious Playboy magazine, which he founded in 1953.
Tweeting as the news broke, Kim wrote: “RIP to the legendary Hugh Hefner! I’m so honored to have been a part of the Playboy team! You will be greatly missed! Love you Hef!”
The reality star later added that she and Paris Hilton had been texting each other about Hefner’s death, writing: “Paris & I are reminiscing about the Playboy parties at the mansion & how much we love Hef. She’s texts me the perfect Hef emojis. [sic]”
Over on her own social media pages, Paris shared a host of photos of herself with Hefner, posting: “So sad to hear the news about @HughHefner. He was a #Legend, innovator, genius, one of a kind with a heart of gold.
“We had so many fun & incredible memories together. I will miss him dearly. Rest In Peace my friend.”
Playboy pin-up Pamela Anderson also shared an emotional tribute, posting a video of herself crying as she opened up about the last time she saw her former boss in the lengthy caption.
She explained that Hefner had been struggling with his hearing and was using a frame to walk, adding: “I am me because of you. You taught me everything important about freedom and respect.
“Outside of my family. You were the most important person in my life. You gave me my life… People tell me all the time that I was your favorite… I’m in such deep shock. But you were old, your back hurt you so much.
“Last time I saw you you were using a walker. You didn’t want me to see. You couldn’t hear… Now, I’m falling apart.” I will miss him dearly. Rest in peace my friend [sic].”
Model Carmen Electra revealed that she “can’t stop crying” as she honoured the mogul, writing: “I am so grateful I had the opportunity to shoot many Playboy celebrity pictorials with you Hef. Thank you for picking me and bringing me into the magical world of Playboy!
“I just can’t stop crying and I can’t imagine how many bunnies are crying for you too.
“You are a class act and I will always have gratitude for your kindness.”
Channing Tatum’s wife, actress Jenna Dewan Tatum, shared a photo of herself and her dad alongside Hef, writing: “Playing bunny Janie on The Playboy Club will always be such a positive memory for me. I made some of my dearest friends.
“Met Hugh while screening the pilot episode at the Playboy mansion with my dad and he couldn’t have been more lovely. RIP”.
Speaking in a statement, Hugh Hefner’s son, Cooper, also paid tribute to his father.
He said: “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.”