Hugh Hefner will be buried as he lived: admiring Marilyn Monroe.
Twenty-five years ago, the founder of Playboy bought the plot next to Marilyn Monroe’s grave in Los Angeles’s Westwood Village Memorial Park. After dying of natural causes at 91 on Wednesday, he will be buried there.
Hefner bought the crypt next to Monroe for a rumored $75,000 in 1992. The purchase came almost 40 years after he featured Monroe on the cover of the very first issue of Playboy. The issue sold out all of its copies (at least 50,000) and made Playboy an instant success.
Although Monroe was the first Playboy cover girl, she and Hefner never actually met.
“I talked to her once on the phone, but I never met her,” Hefner said in a 2011 interview with Piers Morgan. “She was gone, sadly, before I came out here.”
Hefner bought the nude images of Monroe from a Chicago calendar maker for $500 for the first issue of Playboy, released December 1953. The images were taken a few years prior, before she became a movie star. In an interview after the magazine’s publication, Monroe said that she agreed to the photographs because she was strapped for cash. The photographer paid her $50.
“To me there's something rather poetic in the fact that we'll be buried in the same place,” Hefner said in an interview with Playboy in 2000. “And that cemetery also has other meanings and connections for me. Friends like Buddy Rich and Mel Torme are buried there. So is Dorothy Stratten.”
Hefner’s body will be in company among other celebrity names. Dean Martin, Natalie Wood, Truman Capote, and Farah Fawcett are all also buried in Westwood.