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Hugh Hefner: Cultural revolution hero

Playboy of the Western World takes a look back on life

Ray Bradbury said a long time ago about Playboy that “people don’t see the forest for the cheese,” reminisces Hugh Hefner.

But the 84-year-old founding editor of the glossy men’s mag feels like he’s finally getting his due: He’s entering the phase of his career when people like him usually start getting lifetime achievement awards, and it’s forcing folks to take a look at his work that doesn’t involve naked women … and perhaps make a movie about it.

BBC Worldwide Prods. has optioned Steven Watts’ bio “Mr. Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream” for a potential TV miniseries, and Hefner says he’s talking with Brian Grazer about the feature project for which Grazer owns the option (Brett Ratner reportedly hopes to make the pic his follow-up to “Tower Heist”).

And Hef has upped his press-getting profile accordingly. If you feel like you’ve been seeing more of him than usual, you’re not alone. Larry King intervewed him, Brigitte Berman’s docu about him unspooled this summer, and “The Girls Next Door” repopularized the man in the silk pajamas. Plus “CNBC Titans” is profiling him this month.

“I would say that it, on many levels, makes this the nicest time of my life,” Hefner says. “It’s good to look back on a life well lived with this kind of recognition.”

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