Robin Leach looks back on Hugh Hefner’s time in Las Vegas

Updated September 28, 2017 - 6:03 pm

Playboy king Hugh Hefner always told me he expected to live to be 100 and more — mainly because his family all hit the century mark before passing on. He didn’t live to see the magical 100-year mark, dying of natural causes last night (Sept. 27) at the famed Playboy Mansion.

He was a regular visitor to Vegas. He was a regular at his Sky Villa atop the Palms and brought his Playboy model wife, Crystal, here when they became engaged to marry. I joined Hef at his villa birthday party when a 100 percent naked Pamela Anderson surprised him jumping from his birthday cake.

Jon Gray, general manager and vice president of the Palms Casino Resort said: “On behalf of the Palms family, we’d like to express our deepest condolences to the Hefner family and the team at Playboy Enterprises. Palms shares a special and unique history with Mr. Hefner and the Playboy brand. When we partnered with Hef to build the Playboy club and Hugh-Hefner Sky Villa atop the Fantasy Tower, we ventured on a journey to create a lifetime of lasting memories for our guests and forever change the Las Vegas party scene. Mission accomplished! His legacy will forever be a part of Palms history. Cheers to you Mr. Hefner may you rest in peace.”

I talked with Hef every time he came here whether it was on his dates with Holly Madison or his visits with Clare Sinclair to see her in the “Crazy Horse” Paris show at MGM or her “PinUp” production at the Stratosphere. Hef celebrated his 85th birthday here, too.

Here’s the YouTube video of my last interview with Hef celebrating his 85th birthday:

I once asked Hef about his many alleged affairs with a string of Playboy bunnies and cover girls. He told me: “Over the course of my life I’ve had more than my fair share of romantic relationships with wonderful women. Many moved on to live happy, healthy and productive lives and I’m pleased to say remain dear friends, today.”

At his birthday celebration at the Palms Place pool I asked Hef about age: “Some days I feel like 93, and some days I feel like 20. My new trio of girls is where the 20 part comes in! That’s the secret. Yeah, the absolute best part of my life is these romantic connections. I am very, very fortunate to have found such very lovely ladies at this point in my life.”

I asked Hef if he still had the empty tomb beside Marilyn Monroe’s resting place marked for his death. The actress appeared naked on the very first edition published in December 1953 and now worth $65,000 a copy on E-Bay.

What do you think you’ll put on your tombstone?

“It was Jimmy Stewart’s movie, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ … But I’d like to be remembered as somebody who played some part in changing our social sexual values. It was time, and I think my position in terms of that is secure.”

RL: So would it say: “He lived and he loved?”

HH: Yes, absolutely.

RL: And never lost.

HH: Well I wouldn’t say that.

RL: You wouldn’t? What did you lose?

HH: Well, I think that is the nature of love and life. You win a few. You lose a few.

RL: I think you’ve won!

HH: I agree!.

We’ll miss Hugh Hefner — the pipe smoking pajama-clad tycoon with his eye for blonde busty beauties. He was a unique part of 20th-century America. He sold his notorious 20,000-square-foot Holmby Hills estate with its Love Grotto in 2016 for about $100 million and new owner Darren Metropoulos agreed Hef could live there until he died. Now, after last night’s shock, the former CEO of Pabst Brewing will connect it to his adjoining mansion and we will remain with the memory of Hef’s legacy.

Spring Preserve kicks off its Holiday Express
Springs Preserve hosts its Holiday Express, which includes a train ride, visits with Santa, SNOW, and a village winter wonderland.
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas art exhibit
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas gallery exhibit
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with blooming jasmine tea
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with jasmine tea
Benny the Ice Skating Dog
Benny is a Las Vegas Labrador who was rescued by former pro skater Cheryl Del Sanyo, and trained to ice skate. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Nevada State Museum
The Nevada State Museum of Las Vegas, located at the Springs Preserve, covers all eras of the state, from prehistoric to today.
Throw a better dinner party
Cash appears at Baseball Winter Meetings
Lights FC mascot Cash plays the electronic drums at the EZ Inflatables’ booth on Tuesday at the Baseball Winter Meetings trade show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
5 albums to soundtrack your holiday gatherings in style
1. Various Artists, “Holidays Rule," with Rufus Wainwright, The Shins, Calexico and more. 2. Various Artists, “We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year," with Lemmy Kilmister, Alice Cooper, Chuck Billy and others. 3. Various Artists, “Christmas on Death Row," featuring Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg to name but a few. 4. Bright Eyes, “A Christmas Album.” 5. Various Artists, "The Motown Christmas Album." (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
WinterFest in Henderson.
Miss Rodeo America Fashion Show
The 28 women contestants of Miss Rodeo America compete in a fashion show at the Tropicana on Dec. 7, 2018.
Tournament Of Kings Holiday Show
Wizards and warriors are ready for the holidays at Excalibur's Tournament of Kings Holiday Dinner Show.
Take a dive with the Silverton mermaids
A visit to the Silverton Casino Hotel is not complete without taking in the popular, and very unique, mermaid show.
Cowboys and western aficionados can buy virtually anything at Cowboy Christmas
Vegas Golden Knights Christmas Display
In the Las Vegas Valley, the chances of getting a white Christmas are slim. But this year, you can have a “Knight” Christmas. A Henderson resident has a Christmas lights display that is synchronized to the entrance music for the Golden Knights. GG Misa’s Knights light show is played every 30 minutes from 5 to 10 nightly. His light show consists of two songs: Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and the entrance music, “Le Castle Vania,” from the movie “John Wick.” The display is located at 730 Bollons Island St. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Reivew-Journal)
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez is Just in Time For Repeal Day And Christmas
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez Is Just In Time For Repeal Day And Christmas. Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TV's LGBT superheroes
Green Valley Ranch's Winter's Village
The Mob Museum
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Quick Chat With Criss Angel
James D. Gish and Susan Anton rehearse
Susan Anton will be special guest at James D. Gish’s holiday concerts Dec. 7 at Summerlin Library and Dec. 9 at Clark County Library. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Winter Wonderland
"Majestic Holiday Magic" at the Bellagio Conservatory.
Underwater Santa At The Silverton
Santa takes a dive Sunday, December 2, at the Silverton Casino Hotel. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Cowabunga Bay Christmas Town
Las Vegas Natural History Museum
Las Vegas Natural History Museum, which opened in 1991, has exhibits of mechanical dinosaurs and taxidermied animals, along with live snakes, fish and sharks. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Magical Forest Lights
Cirque Du Soleil Performers Team Up For New Show "Kinekt"
Through dance, acrobatics and aerial arts, “Kinekt” tells a story all too familiar to modern families: how to maintain a human connection in the digital age. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden
The Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas
The Pinball Hall of Fame was created by Tim Arnold and opened in 2006. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like