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Hugh Hefner Donates $900,000 To Save Hollywood Sign

The famous Hollywood sign has been saved from property developers by a last-minute donation from 'Playboy' founder Hugh Hefner.

Hefner donated $900,000 to the Trust for Public Land to join the group's effort to raise the $12.5 million needed to purchase the 138 acres surrounding the Hollywood sign and prevent it from being developed.

The landmark had been at the centre of a campaign to stop it being torn down to make room for property development in the surrounding area. Ironically, the sign was originally created to advertise a new housing development in the hills above the Hollywood district of Los Angeles.

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger described the news as "the Hollywood ending we hoped for".

"It's a symbol of dreams and opportunity," he said. "The Hollywood sign will welcome dreamers, artists and Austrian bodybuilders for generations to come."

"My childhood dreams and fantasies came from the movies, and the images created in Hollywood had a major influence on my life and Playboy," said the 84-year-old Hefner. "As I've said before, the Hollywood sign is Hollywood's Eiffel Tower and I am pleased to help preserve such an important cultural landmark."

"I was aware of the fact that they were raising the money, but I only learned about a week ago that they were running out of time. They only had about a week and a half left to go."

"It would have been a real shame after having restored it if it wound up sold. It's become something iconic and represents not only the town but represents Hollywood dreams, and I think that's something worth preserving."

The world famous sign first read 'Hollywoodland', but the final four letters were removed in 1949 by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

April 27, 2010 |

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