One year after Hugh Hefner was born in 1926, the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles was the site of a luncheon at which the Academy Awards were hatched. Given Hefner’s love of movies and ongoing screening of old classics at the Mansion, it seems appropriate that this is where he will accept the L.A. Press Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award on Nov. 17. The hotel has also been used as a filming location for everything from Chinatown to Bugsy.
Even better, there will be a one-on-one interview conducted with Hefner at the 4th Annual National Entertainment Journalism Awards. At present, the L.A. Press Club has not yet decided who will get to moderate the Q&A.
Hefner’s illustrious lifetime arguably pivoted on the lack of a raise from Esquire magazine. Back in 1952, he was working for the publication as a copywriter and moved on to the founding of Playboy magazine when the publication turned down his request for a modest pay increase.
“Hefner’s footprint on American popular culture is huge,” says L.A. Press Club president Will Lewis. “For almost 60 years, Playboy has been on the leading edge in shaping positive attitudes on civil rights, gay rights—as well as human sexuality.” Hefner has also stepped in over the years to personally help save the Hollywood sign not once but twice. Hooray for Hef!
The L.A. Press Club Lifetime Achievement Award has previously been given to Wall Street Journal film critic Joe Morgenstern and KTLA man-about-town Sam Rubin.