“I'm a believer in things symbolic.”
Hugh Hefner was the face of America’s sexual revolution, and his bow-tied bunny was the official logo. He died Sept. 27 at the age of 91 from natural causes after living a robust life. While some may rightfully accuse him of objectifying women for profit, he was also an advocate for civil rights, freedom of speech, and the pursuit of pleasure.
And in the business world, Hefner was a world-class marketer. In fact, one of his last requests was so on-brand, it’s almost too obvious.
Hefner’s final resting place will be next to Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe at the Westwood Village Memorial Park cemetery in Los Angeles. Hefner purchased the crypt in 1992 for $75,000. It was originally owned by Monroe’s one-time husband, baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, who sent roses to her crypt for years after her passing from a drug overdose in 1962. “I’m a believer in things symbolic,” Hefner told the Los Angeles Times. “Spending eternity next to Marilyn is too sweet to pass up.”
Photo by Alan Light/Flickr.
Hefner’s career in publishing was launched thanks to Monroe. Before she starred in classics such as “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “Some Like It Hot,” she was a struggling actress and posed for nude photos in 1949 for $50. Hefner bought them five years later from Western Lithograph Company for $500 and published them in the first issue of Playboy. The magazine would go on to be a huge hit and kickstart one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Unfortunately, Hefner never paid Monroe directly, if at all, for the photos.
Monroe had been gone for 30 years by the time Hefner bought the crypt, so there’s no telling whether she approves of his new residence. The story picked up steam on social media this week, and Hefner is being applauded and derided for his decision to spend eternity next to the woman he called “the ultimate blonde.”
Hugh Hefner non-consensually published nudes that endangered Marilyn Monroe's career & then purchased the right to be buried with her corpse— Sady Doyle (@sadydoyle) September 28, 2017\n
I just hope that Hugh Hefner has to spend eternity next to Marilyn Monroe thanking her...— WhatserName™ (@IamEveryDayPpl) September 29, 2017\n
Since he never did in life.
Hugh Hefner is being laid next to Marilyn Monroe, the very first girl to be featured on the playboy magazine....it’s the right thing to do— Martha Salaya (@marthasxox) September 29, 2017\n
yes Hugh Hefner died but let's talk about how he bought the grave next to Marilyn Monroe's even tho he never met her..legend— sacco (@1800LAURASACCO) September 28, 2017\n
Fun/creepy fact: Hugh Hefner bought the burial plot next to Marilyn Monroe in 1992. Guessing he wanted to be next to his #1 forever. RIPic.twitter.com/SIA4wMaR16— Tiny Daniela (@tinydaniela) September 28, 2017\n