Marilyn Monroe’s nude image occupied the centerfold of the first ever edition of Playboy magazine in 1953. And now Hugh Hefner, the man who put it there, is going to be buried beside the Hollywood icon that jumpstarted his career.
But not everyone regards Hefner’s burial next to his first cover girl as sweet. While some Twitter users deemed it “the most badass thing” and “the right thing to do,” others have called have called it creepy and exploitative.
Hefner purchased the plot next to Monroe’s for $75,000 in 1992 and although he never met her in person, the two have considerable history. “I feel a double connection to her, because she was the launching key to the beginning of Playboy,” he told CBS Los Angeles in 2012. “We were born the same year.”
But according to author Sady Doyle, Monroe was embarrassed by the photos Playboy published without her consent. She received $50 for posing for the nudes a year before hitting the big time with The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve. When Hefner paid a Chicago calendar $500 for two pictures four years after the shoot and put them in the magazine, Monroe reportedly feared for her career.
“I never even received a thank-you from all those who made millions off a nude Marilyn photograph. I even had to buy a copy of the magazine to see myself in it,” the late actress wrote in Marilyn: Her Life in Her Own Words.