AMERICAN MASTERS DIGITAL ARCHIVE - Remembering Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner discusses his early childhood and how the lack of intimacy in his family inspired him to create the world of Playboy. He talks about his relationships with his friends and describes his final resting place – right next to Marilyn Monroe.


Interview outtake conducted for American Masters – Marilyn Monroe: Still Life (2006). Directed by Gail Levin. Conducted on 4/21/06 in L.A.

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You know, I was raised in a home in which there was not a great deal of - we knew we were loved, but my brother and I were - there were no hugs and kisses in our home. A very typical American Puritan phenomenon, and I think that my life without question and the magazine itself are a response to that. And at one point my mother apologized for her inability to show affection, later on when when I was grown and the magazine was famous, and and I said 'Mom you don't need to do that because things could not have worked out any better.' In other words, sometimes that - what was missing, and that inability to show affection took me on a road that gave me the greatest life in the world. I have said on a number of occasions that my life is like a Rorschach test. People project their own particular fantasies and prejudices onto my life and onto the magazine. Well that's also true for Marilyn Monroe. What what we are all doing is projecting onto the image of Marilyn Monroe - our own needs, yearnings, fantasies, prejudices, and that is one of the things remarkable about her - that the image permits that almost mirror-like projection of other other people's views. Our lives have been intimately interconnected and I'm even going to be spending eternity with her. I have - Westwood Cemetery is very close by here, and a number of dear friends - Mel Tormé, Buddy Rich, Dorothy Stratten and Marilyn Monroe - are buried there and I have managed to purchase the vault immediately next to her.