HOW HEF SAVED HOLLYWOOD

I’m very interested in the derivation of ideas and that takes me on some winding paths on which I invite you to join… I was scrounging around for images like these for… ah, tomorrow… you know, Valentine’s Day:Rita Hayworth Valentine

When I stumbled across this on IMDb – Movies, TV and Celebrities:

imdb Barbara Bates

When it occurred to me that the guy who lived in this historic home in Beverly Hills, which belonged (a long time ago) to one of the city’s developers, Arthur Letts:

arthur letts
The Playboy Mansion, designed by Arthur R. Kelly, photographed in the 1930’s

Was responsible for fixing up this:

Hollywood Sign August 8th, 1978. Photo credit Ken Papaleo
Hollywood Sign August 8th, 1978. Photo credit Ken Papaleo

Fast Facts | The Hollywood Sign

Years ago a friend told me about a screening of the restored silent film, “Chicago”. Seated behind him was Hugh, in all his glory, with Bunnies in tow – he has had a lifelong interest in preserving Hollywood history.

Here’s my theory and I’m stickin’ to it – old movies defined what was sexy for Hugh Hefner (i.e. the photo above) and magically cocktail waitresses were dressed as Bunnies twenty years later. If we dug deep I think we would find this is where his love of Hollywood sprang from, and his commitment to its legacy.

I’ve read the showgirl outfit of the Bunnies (satin corset, cuffs, bow tie ) was based on the uniform at Bunny’s Tavern, a place Hugh Hefner frequented as a student. The Playboy uniform was designed by Zelda Wynn Valdes and debuted in 1960. But, who added the ears and bunny tail? Readers?  Mr. Hefner, care to comment?

Hugh Hefner (hughhefner) on Twitter

2 Comments »

  1. No man or woman is ever the demon or airhead that they’re painted as (some exceptions step forward Adolf and Uncle Joe). Intriguing to hear about Hugh and is Hollywood heritage love affair.
    I just love these glimpses into the world behind the silver screen.
    Thank you again Ms Lester.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy.

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