Thursday, September 28, 2017

Louise Brooks and Hugh Hefner

The silent film and Louise Brooks communities have lost a friend in the passing of Hugh Hefner. Best known as the founder of Playboy magazine, Hefner was also an ally of film preservation and film history.

I met him once, briefly, at a bookseller's convention. He was there to sign copies of his latest book. I got in line in order to introduce myself, and we chatted for a few minutes about Louise Brooks. It was loud inside the convention hall, but we both understood each's devotion to the silent film star.

Hefner was a devotee of a number of early films stars, among them Louise Brooks. He served as executive producer of the exceptional 1998 documentary, Louise Brooks: Looking for Lulu, as well as for documentaries about Clara Bow, Marion Davies, Theda Bara, Olive Thomas and others. Both of us appeared on the E! Entertainment show, Mysteries and Scandals, in the episode devoted to Brooks.

Hefner also helped underwrite a major restoration of Pandora's Box. To learn more about that project and his involvement in the film world, check out "The Preservationist and the Playboy: Restoring Pandora's Box."

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