Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Friends and Playboy Models Pay Tribute to Hugh Hefner

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Friends and Playboy Models Pay Tribute to Hugh Hefner

Article excerpt

Canadian Playboy models pay tribute to Hefner

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MONTREAL - Canadian models and friends of Hugh Hefner remembered the Playboy mogul Thursday as an "extraordinary" man whose legacy reached far beyond the magazine he founded.

Toronto filmmaker Brigitte Berman, who made a documentary about Hefner in 2009, said she was devastated to learn that he had died Wednesday night at the age of 91.

"He was a very funny man and very, very bright," she said in a phone interview.

"He knew everything that was going on, he was extraordinary and extremely loyal to all his friends."

She said Hefner granted her full access to his personal archives during the making of the film. He didn't try to interfere with what she was doing, she said.

When he saw the finished product for the first time at the premiere, Berman said a reporter asked Hefner to comment on some of the negative things that were said about him onscreen.

"Hef laughed and said 'I thought there would be more,'" Berman recalled with a laugh.

Berman, who described Hefner as a good friend, said she doesn't feel the Playboy brand was exploitative towards woman, although she concedes that some women see it that way.

But her film, "Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel," points out that Hefner also helped advance the civil rights movement by helping young African American entertainers break into show business and publishing controversial opinions nobody else would touch.

"He broke so many taboos, he did so much for civil rights," she said. "People who were branded communists and (that) nobody else would have on television, he had them on."

Anne-Krystel Goyer, a former model from Quebec who posed for Playboy in 2009, said she met Hefner on two occasions and remembers him as "classy. …

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