Hefner will be buried next to the actress at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, People reports. (The cemetery is also the final resting place for stars like Natalie Wood, Dean Martin and Truman Capote.) The famous publisher purchased the vault next to Monroe back in 1992 for $75,000, according to The Guardian.
Details regarding Hefner’s memorial service have not been released at this time.
Monroe was laid to rest at the cemetery after she died at the age of 36 in 1962. The “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” star appeared on the cover of Playboy’s debut issue in 1953. As People notes, Hefner scrounged together enough money to purchase the photos of Monroe, which were originally taken for a calendar.
However, Hefner may have published the images of Monroe without her consent. In a 2012 article published by Vanity Fair, photographer Lawrence Schiller recalled asking the star about the images, for which she said she received no compensation. Monroe also told Schiller she had never met Hefner.
Hefner nonetheless was enamored of Monroe. During a 2012 interview with CBS Los Angeles, he admitted he would have loved to have dated her.
“I’m a sucker for blondes,” he said, “and she is the ultimate blonde.”
Hefner also said he felt a connection to Monroe, whose photos are partly responsible for Playboy’s early success, even though he never really knew her. He noted that his decision to be laid to rest beside the actress “has a completion notion to it.”
“I will be spending the rest of my eternity with Marilyn,” he said.
Hefner died of natural causes, surrounded by loved ones in his home, according to a statement released by Playboy Enterprises.
“My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom,” Hefner’s son Cooper, who serves as Playboy Enterprise’s Chief Creative Officer, said in a statement. “He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history. He will be greatly missed by many.”
Hefner is survived by his wife, Crystal Harris, and four children, Christie, David, Marston and Cooper.