Hugh Hefner Honored by The Erotic Museum

Gretchen Gallen
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Playboy icon and publisher Hugh Hefner has been tapped as the first official inductee into The Erotic Museum's Hall of Fame, the museum announced Monday.

Known worldwide as the founding father of Playboy magazine and one of the most prestigious producers of an early era of gentlemen's adult entertainment, Hefner's life will be celebrated in a private ceremony on Sept. 15.

The event will be hosted by talk show host Bill Maher, and according to Lisa Strouss, marketing director for the museum, Hefner is expected to attend the afternoon event in the company of his usual bevy of Playboy Bunnies.

Strouss told XBiz that The Erotic Museum Hall of Fame includes a list of key figures associated with sex in the American popular imagination.

Hefner's portrait will be hung in close proximity to Sigmund Freud, Alfred Kinsey, Woody Allen and Dr. Ruth.

"Hugh Hefner has become an icon of the American male fantasy world," Strouss told XBiz. "Outside Playboy, he's been working for sexual freedom for a long time. For mainstream people who are not familiar with the adult industry, they are more comfortable learning about sex through Hugh Hefner. He's someone you can talk about sex with at the dinner table without being embarrassed."

Strouss added that Larry Flynt, publisher of "Hustler," will be the next inductee into the Hall of Fame. Flynt will be honored at a future date for his hard work and contribution toward "clearing the path" when it comes sex and publications.

Hefner's induction will be accompanied by a collection of classic Playboy memorabilia, including several Victor Vargas watercolors, a pair of silk pajamas and a robe from his personal wardrobe, a pipe, and a slipper engraved with his name. A life-size mannequin of Hefner will be suspended from the ceiling for dramatic effect, Strouss said.

The Hefner exhibit will also include an original Playboy Bunny costume from the 1960s and some early editions of Playboy.

According to Strouss, the ceremony will take place on Sept. 15 at 1:30 p.m.

The Erotic Museum recently celebrated porn legend John Holmes' posthumous birthday party.