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I remember being in Hawaii with my partner Peter Guber and Peter saying, “Have you ever been to the mansion?” I had met Hefner in the early days — I would do hair for people who were in the magazine when I was a hairdresser in the Valley. I would meet these gorgeous girls who just tested for Playboy and they’d come in my shop and I’d do their hair. But I had never been to the mansion. So Peter set it up.
I walked in and saw this little angel sitting at the bar. It was Pammy. She was like 19. I knew she would be a big star. We ended up living together. Of course, Hefner loved her and saw her beauty. Pamela was a girl who with no makeup was gorgeous. She was very smart and very talented. I tried to talk her out of doing Playboy. I said, “Don’t do Playboy. Focus on a serious career.” She said, “You’re nuts.” She wanted to do Playboy, and she went on to do 13 covers.
I had total respect for him. People don’t realize. They think he was a playboy. He was amazing with the magazine and Playboy After Dark. The way he handled himself, he was a man ahead of his time. I identified with him because I was a guy who worked out of my house in my pajamas too. He was brilliant and very socially conscious. The last time I saw him was years ago. Every time I had a movie like Flashdance, I’d give it to him and he’d screen it and invite all of his friends and invite me over. He liked all of my movies, and he’d ask me to get him a copy.
As for Pammy: If I find someone to be really special, like an actress, they usually become very famous. I have a great eye for beauty, specialness. Leslie Ann Warren. Barbra [Streisand]. All the different women I’ve been with. Pamela was amazingly ambitious, knew what she wanted to do, how she wanted to do it. She was like the early Kardashians. She’s very smart. She raised two kids on her own. She was beat up all the time by that guy Tommy-whatever-his-name-was. I picked her up many times from her lawyer’s office and flew her up with her kids and hid her out in Aspen for a month because the guy was beating her up.
She made it through. She raised the kids. She’s got money. She’s got a career. She’s living in Paris. She’s the modern-day Marilyn Monroe. She’s just unique. And I think that’s why Hefner gave her 13 covers. He really loved her. And that’s how we met. It’s a lost chapter in Hollywood. There are no more Hugh Hefners, believe me.
Peters is former Sony Pictures chairman.
A version of this story first appeared in the Oct. 4 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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