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'Your legacy lives on': Hugh Hefner is remembered as an innovator, friend and supporter of civil rights

Hugh Hefner and a bevy of playmates. (Carol Cheetham / Los Angeles Times)
Hugh Hefner and a bevy of playmates. (Carol Cheetham / Los Angeles Times)

Many admirers of Hugh Hefner and his Playboy empire paid their respects on social media after hearing of the impresario's death at 91 -- including those directly influenced by the magazine and its founder.

Jenny McCarthy, Playmate of the Year in 1994 who went on to host and star in numerous TV shows and movies, wrote: "RIP #Hef Thank you for being a revolutionary and changing so many people's lives, especially mine. I hope I made you proud."

Among the other tributes pouring in late Wednesday and early Thursday...

Two of the three original co-stars of Hefner's reality show, "The Girls Next Door," which aired on E! from 2005 to 2010, weighed in on the passing of their former beau.

Both Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson turned to Twitter to share their admiration for Hefner. 

Holly Madison, the third "Girl Next Door," had yet to comment by Thursday morning. Madison penned a 2015 memoir that alleged that life inside the Playboy Mansion wasn't as picture-perfect as it appeared.

Update, Sept. 28, 8:50 a.m.: This post was updated with additional reactions on social media.

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