Lear, Gordy, Basinger offer Hefner tributes in special issue

FILE - In this April 7, 2006 file photo, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner poses at the Playboy Mansion in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles. Norman Lear, Cindy Crawford, Berry Gordy, Kim Basinger, Bill Maher and the Rev. Jesse Jackson are among the stars offering tributes to Hefner in a special edition of Playboy hitting newsstands this week. "Celebrating Hef" chronicles the Playboy magazine founder's life in words and photos, with the celebrity essays highlighting Hefner's support for civil rights and first-amendment freedoms. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)

Norman Lear, Cindy Crawford, Bill Maher and the Rev. Jesse Jackson are among the stars offering tributes to Hugh Hefner in a special edition of Playboy hitting newsstands this week

LOS ANGELES — Norman Lear, Cindy Crawford, Berry Gordy, Kim Basinger, Bill Maher and the Rev. Jesse Jackson are among the stars offering tributes to Hugh Hefner in a special edition of Playboy hitting newsstands this week.

"Celebrating Hef" chronicles the Playboy magazine founder's life in words and photos, with the celebrity essays highlighting Hefner's support for civil rights and First Amendment freedoms.

The Associated Press obtained an advance look at the issue this week.

Comedian Richard Lewis characterized Hefner's death in September at age 91 as leaving "an eternal flame for freedom of speech and resistance against the elements of our society that want to burn down the house."

Gordy called him "a true activist." Basinger wrote about the many animals he kept on his Playboy Mansion property, praising him as someone with "great compassion for all forms of life." Crawford and contributor Jenny McCarthy write about how posing for Playboy opened new doors in their careers.

The $17.99 special issue also contains a series of tribute cartoons and many previously unpublished photos from the Playboy archives — most of Hefner, though a few images show naked Playmates.

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