"Hugh M. Hefner, the American icon who in 1953 introduced the world to Playboy magazine and built the company into one of the most recognizable American global brands in history, peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones," a Playboy representative said.
Hefner was an American icon and became to figure for the Playboy brand and lifestyle. He was known for his swank parties and friendly attitudes towards his guests, and those friends are sharing their love for him.
Scroll through to see some of the first reactions to the passing.
Beloved singer and actress Nancy Sinatra was among the first to share a message about Hefner's passing.
She shared the below photo of the two together with a heartfelt caption.
"One of the nicest men I've ever known," she wrote. "Godspeed, Hugh Hefner."
One of the nicest men I've ever known. Godspeed, Hugh Hefner. pic.twitter.com/457cchqskO— Nancy Sinatra (@NancySinatra) September 28, 2017
Actor Mark Hamill was also among the first to react to the Playboy founder's death.
The Star Wars actor had known Hefner since the beginning of his career, and he and his wife, Marilou York, were longtime friends of Hefner's.
"First met him months (before Star Wars) opened," he wrote. "(I) expected stereotyped swinger/wildman, not the kind, thoughtful, loyal friend he always was to (Marilou) and me."
Actress Jenny McCarthy got her start as a Playboy model, so it's to be expected that she'd share a heartfelt tribute.
Along with a photo of one of her covers, she shared her admiration for the publishing legend.
"Thank you for being a revolutionary and changing so many people's lives, especially mine," she wrote. "I hope I made you proud."
Despite being known as the Playboy entrepreneur, Hefner was also a major advocate for civil rights.
Rev. Jesse Jackson made sure to praise this side of him with his own tribute, which was shared along with a photo.
"Hugh Hefner was a strong supporter of the civil rights movement," he wrote. "We shall never forget him. May he Rest In Peace."
Hugh Hefner was a strong supporter of the civil rights movement. We shall never forget him. May he Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/oL3lKLZRQ5— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) September 28, 2017
Actor Rob Lowe also shared a thoughtful and kind remark about the equally thoughtful man.
Lowe's thoughts on it being the "end of an era" echoed the sentiments of many of Hefner's admirers.
"I had a number of great conversations and with Hugh Hefner," he wrote. "(He) was such an interesting man. True legend. What an end of an era!"
I had a number of great conversations and with Hugh Hefner. Was such an interesting man. True legend. What an end of an era!— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) September 28, 2017
Tributes kept pouring in as the news spread.
Actors, media personalities, musicians, comedians and more chimed in with their thoughts on the legend.
See more reactions below.
Rest in peace #HughHefner - he will forever be remembered as the Hollywood legend who lived life to the fullest.— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) September 28, 2017
I met Hugh Hefner at the Playboy mansion. He was very nice to my mom. Don't ask. #RIPHef— Kat Dennings (@OfficialKat) September 28, 2017
As per his wishes, Hugh Hefner’s body will be left in a fort in the woods for other kids to find & pass around.— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) September 28, 2017
You lived a Hugh life. Rest in peace. And thanks for STAR 80 https://t.co/xQtLIzPP1i— Eric Roberts (@EricRoberts) September 28, 2017