Who hasn’t wondered what it would be like to wander the hallowed halls of Hugh Hefner’s fabled Playboy Mansion?
The Playboy Mansion in L.A. became Hugh Hefner’s central operating hive after he purchased the property in 1971 for an unheard-of at the time $1.1 million.
The mock-Tudor estate boasts 29 rooms, a separate games house, 12 guest rooms, an on-call kitchen staff and a rotating array of the world’s most glamorous guests. The Mansion staff, some of whom have been employed for decades, have seen it all. And like all families, ours has many a secret tucked away in sprawling hallways and secret passages. In anticipation of the Blu-ray™ release of We’re the Millers on November 19, here is a mere sprinkling of a few Mansion secrets to give you a taste of what unfolds behind the locked doors of America’s most adventurous address.
You must be invited in order to gain entry into the Mansion’s master bedroom. Those lucky enough to have slipped into Hef’s private quarters have spotted his giant chandelier decked out with the spoils of his game: Girls’ colorful underthings. Also on display? Hef’s rare collection of Universal monsters! And, of course, the showstopper: Hef’s behemoth bed. Hugh Hefner’s wood-carved bed took nine craftsmen five years to build. The carvings are, as might be expected, inspired by nature and…former flames. Busty women decorate the bed in all manner of cheeky poses.
During a party that may have gotten slightly out of hand, John Lennon, reportedly on a break from Yoko Ono at the time, stubbed the remains of his cigarette out on the wall. Unfortunately, hanging on that wall was an original Matisse drawing. Although the Matisse—a female nude, of course—has since been restored, careful inspection of the work of art does reveal the location where Lennon extinguished his smoke…
Many have tried to sneak into the Mansion in less than genius ways: In the trunk of a car, speeding through the gates behind a car on the list, dropping a celebrity name. But none were so outrageous than the son that wasn’t. When Hugh Hefner received a call from a former flame that he was the father to a now grown son, Hef invited the long-lost heir to the Mansion. A few days of quality father/son time and one blood test later, Hef found out the man was a fraud.
Tony Curtis, James Caan and Shel Silverstein all took up long-term residence at the Mansion. And who can blame them?
The Mansion was originally built in 1927, during Prohibition, when liquor was outlawed in America. The original, and very clever, inhabitants outsmarted authorities by creating a secret passageway to their wine cellar. To this day, only Hef himself has the key.
The Mansion residents have always been a family, and that includes the many pets over the years. While the Playboy Mansion does have its own pet cemetery, it is simply the final resting place for the dogs that lived and died at the Mansion, and a quiet spot to go to remember them.