Houston-area Playboy Playmates and former Playboy employees are reflecting on the legacy of magazine mogul Hugh Hefner.
Playboy Enterprises announced Hefner died Wednesday night.
“I just want to reiterate how much of a great man he was and how much of a true gentleman and nice he was to everyone,” said Houston-area native and Playboy Playmate “Miss October 2004” Kimberly Holland. “He was very intelligent, well-spoken and very great at writing, especially at his passion in classic movies, music and history.”
Holland was discovered by Playboy scout and photographer Mikki Chernoff-Moore while she was still a student at the University of Houston. Chernoff-Moore passed the 20-something’s photos up the chain, and they ultimately landed on Hefner’s desk.
“I remember when I was in a mansion, he was such a creature of habit, he loved his Jack and Pepsi, he loves playing backgammon on the weekends with his friends, and he loved steak or sliders for dinner with sliced tomatoes and glass of whole milk,” Holland said. “He always was so happy. I always remember I him laughing.”
Chernoff-Moore reflects on her memories of the man whose company changed her life. She says she had three dreams for her life when she was a child living in Liverpool, England: join the circus, be in Playboy magazine and marry J.R. Ewing.
Chernoff-Moore says she achieved all three; the last goal she accomplished a few times, she jokes.
Chernoff-Moore says she was a married housewife living in Houston with a 1-year-old son 20 years ago.
“My husband at the time said, ‘Oh, you can kiss that nice body goodbye,” Chernoff-Moore said.
She says she did not let it get to her and instead sent selfie pics to a Playboy executive.
“I wrote a letter and sent in a couple of pictures,” Chernoff-Moore said. “And somehow that letter among thousands got found, and the rest is history.”
She stuck around with the company after her photos were printed in the magazine. Chernoff-Moore says she learned the photography and eventually had the images she shot printed on the cover of Playboy.
Chernoff-Moore is still a photographer shooting non-traditional pictures of everyday women, giving them what she calls the “Bunny Experience.” The women are treated like Playboy Playmates during the sexy shoots.
Chernoff-Moore attributes her new business and many of the dreams she has achieved to one man and his company.
“I thank Hef,” Chernoff-Moore said. “I know he’s a legend, and I know he’s going to live forever. Condolences to everyone in the world for losing the dude who had it all, because he did.”