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While he's certainly best-known for his Playboy empire and the world-famous Playboy Mansion, the media mogul was father to four children, has been married three times and, as most people know, has had quite a (Hef-ty) number of girlfriends. Oh, and he's a veteran of the Second World War.
As the godfather of glitz turns 91 this Sunday, a look at his Instagram account provides a few surprises into his character and lifestyle. Yes, those not keen on seeing women dressed up in swimsuits and wearing bunny ears will still find what they'd expect - and least want to see - but his feed also has a surprisingly diverse range of photos from across the eras, with pics ranging from the sweet to the sublime to the silly. One notable inclusion is a screenshot of the 'Playboy laboratory' during his classic 1993 appearance on an episode of The Simpsons, where he shows Bart Simpson around the Playboy Mansion.
Another sees him greeting boxing legend Muhammad Ali during a visit to the mansion, in a shot so grainy and technicolor it can only have been taken in the '70s.
While Hefner's polyamorous lifestyle might not be to everyone's taste, his Insta feed is a good reminder of his own open-minded, tolerant approach to the world at a time when many in his country weren't so forward-thinking (unlike, erm, now). He founded Playboy (with a loan from his mum) after WW2, in part because he felt 1950s America had become much too conservative. The Heff was heavily influenced by sexologist (yup, it's a real thing and it's not what you think) Alfred Kinsey, who reported in 1947 that what we said was okay sexually differed a great deal from what we actually did. No shit.
But going back to his feed, the Heff's Instagram account is proof that he's the friendly, welcoming sort, who knows how to make friends and have a good time. Scroll through and you'll generally find Hugh hanging out with people, having a helluva Heffing fun time. There's a pic of him posing with Will Smith (during his time on The Fresh Prince) and whatever the other two are called.
He's also chilling with Rod Stewart (who's wearing a god-awful dotted scarf).
And Woody Allen, The Shining's Jack Nicholson, many Playboy bunnies and a whole host of other friends.
However, for all the bunnies in his 'scrapbook', some of the most memorable pics are those of friends and family, including a shot of his folks, and one of him hugging his secretary of 40 years Mary O'Connor, who died in 2013.
Meanwhile, various photos show him in his trademark smoking jacket, spending time with his grown-up son, Cooper, and his third wife, Crystal Harris (who's just five years older than her stepson).
Yup, all in all, it's a pretty cool account. And if you want to get in on the action (not that kind of action) the hashtag's #scrapbooksaturday, by the way.
Words: Ronan O'Shea
Featured Image Credit: PA Images
Topics: Hugh Hefner
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