Thalians Honor Hugh Hefner
Nearly five months before prime-time TV cast its spotlight on Hugh Hefner’s “Playboy Club” with a new NBC television series, the Thalians named the original playboy “Mr. Wonderful” at its 55th annual Gala.
The event took place Apr. 30 at the Playboy Mansion, where more than 500 guests paid tribute to the legendary founder of the Playboy empire for his lifetime of philanthropy.
During the cocktail hour, event chair Bob Lorsch correctly predicted that the affair would be the most successful in the history of the Thalians. And indeed, the event grossed more than $1 million with this year’s proceeds going toward Operation Mend, which treats wounded veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Hugh Hefner spans the generations,” said Lorsch. “His appeal is universal – to all age groups, all professions.”
Certainly I agree. For me, spending time with this American icon was something special. Inside the mansion, while Harris and one of her buddies chatted together in another corner of the room, Hefner and I spoke about Playboy’s current super-popularity.
“It’s amazing how the generations have embraced us,” he said. “It wasn’t always like this. I think there used to be a backlash of misunderstanding of what my life’s about.” He credited TV’s “The Girls Next Door” for much of the change, saying, “The show became instantly popular globally, and primarily with women.”
Spring 2011 Highlight: Thalians Honor Hugh Hefner
Published Sept. 19, 2011 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA