After Hugh Hefner's passing, questions are swirling around over who will inherit his fortune, estimated at $50 million. (Sources say most of it will go to his four children, as well as the University of California film school and various charities — but no one is sure who's getting how much.) But another question remains: What will happen to the storied Playboy Mansion, where he had lived since 1971?
Hefner actually hasn't owned the mansion since 2016, when he sold it to Daren Metropoulos, the heir to the Hostess fortune (yes, the snack cakes). Metropoulos, son of billionaire Dean Metropoulos and co-owner of Hostess Brands, is known for making the cool kids pay attention to brands like Pabst Blue Ribbon and Chef Boyardee — so maybe he can make the Playboy Mansion hip again, too, who knows.
Metropoulos first bought the residence next door to the mansion in 2009 for $18 million from Hefner and his ex-wife Kimberley Conrad. In 2016, he bought the Playboy Mansion, gargoyles and all, for $100 million, reported the Los Angeles Times. This was half the original asking price, but still the biggest sale ever recorded in Los Angeles County. It was also about 100 times the price Playboy Enterprises paid for it in 1971 ($1.1 million). Part of the agreement was that Hefner and his third wife Crystal Harris would live there until Hefner's death, paying $1 million a year in rent.
Last year, the Twinkie heir wrote in a statement on Metropoulos & Co's website that he plans to reconnect the two estates — the one he bought in 2009 and the Playboy Mansion — returning "the combined 7.3-acre compound to the original vision executed by noted architect Arthur R. Kelly and its first owner, Arthur Letts, Jr.," a department-store heir. The property was built in 1927.
He said he "looks forward to the opportunity to bring his passion and attention to detail to ultimately restore the grandeur of a historic property that has been recognized for its craftsmanship, architectural splendor, and magnificent detail." When the deal was announced, he told The Wall Street Journal: "The heritage of this property transcends its celebrity, and to have the opportunity to serve as its steward would be a true privilege."
He also said that he plans to use "this beautiful property as my private residence for years to come."
The 20,000-square-foot mansion has 12 bedrooms, multiple kitchens, a gym, a screening room, and a wine cellar. On the grounds, there's a tennis court, pool, guest house, and, of course, the grotto where all those famous parties happened. Oh, and there's a zoo with monkeys, exotic birds, and albino peacocks.