OK! Magazine : Gemma Atkinson by Tony Ward

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Hugh Hefner, Playboy Founder, Dies at 91

Hugh Hefner, American founder of the international adult magazine Playboy, has died at the age of 91.HUGH HEFNER

Playboy Enterprises Inc said he passed away peacefully at home in Los Angeles, from natural causes.

Hefner began publishing Playboy in his kitchen in 1953. It became the largest-selling men’s magazine in the world, shifting seven million copies a month at its peak.

Cooper Hefner, his son, said he would be “greatly missed by many”.

He paid tribute to his father’s “exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer,” and called him an advocate for free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom.

Hefner’s trailblazing magazine helped make nudity respectable in mainstream publications, despite emerging at a time when US states could legally ban contraceptives.

It also made him a multi-millionaire, spawning a business empire that included casinos and nightclubs.

The first edition featured a set of nude photographs of Marilyn Monroe originally shot for a 1949 calendar that Hefner had bought for $200.

The silk pyjama-clad mogul became famous for his hedonism, dating and marrying Playboy models, and throwing decadent parties at the luxurious Playboy mansion in Los Angeles.

Tony Booth, Cherie Blair’s father and Till Death Us Do Part actor, dies at 85

Actor Tony Booth, who starred in BBC sitcom Till Death Us Do Part, has died, his family have said.06039355

Booth, who was 85, had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for more than 10 years and had suffered heart problems.

He had a 50-year acting career and appeared in numerous TV shows including Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale and The Bill.

He was also a political activist and the father of Cherie Booth and father-in-law to ex-prime minister Tony Blair.

Booth was married four times – his third wife was Pat Phoenix who played Elsie Tanner in Coronation Street. She died a week after they married in 1986.

Booth also appeared in Coronation Street in two stints, in the 1960s and again in 1987.

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Liz Dawn Queen of Soaps : Coronation Street’s Vera Duckworth dies at 77

Coronation Street legend Liz Dawn, who played Vera Duckworth in the soap for more than 30 years, has died.

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Her family said they were “devastated” after the death of the “incredible” 77-year-old.

They added: “She has been the love, light and inspiration in our lives and we are bereft at her passing.”

Dawn died at her home, surrounded by her family, on Monday night. ITV said everyone at Coronation Street was “heartbroken” at the news.

They said in a statement: “We have been blessed to have Liz in our lives, as she was such a kind, considerate and caring friend and colleague.

“As Coronation Street’s Vera Duckworth for 34 years, Liz brought so much joy and happiness to so many. She was a wonderful actress who will forever be a true Coronation Street legend.”

06035135Vera was one of soap’s great matriarchs and her stormy relationship with husband Jack, played by Bill Tarmey, provided on-screen drama and humour for years. Her early years had also focused on her work at the factory with friends including Ivy Tilsley.

She played the role from 1974 until 2008, when an episode featuring Vera’s death attracted more than 12 million viewers. She had been in 2004.

Dawn said at the time of her exit from the show that she had a “marvellous” time playing Vera, and it had been “very emotional” filming her final scenes.

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