Victor Lownes: Playboy executive dies aged 88
Victor Lownes, who helped establish Playboy and ran the magazine's clubs and casinos in the UK in the 1960s and '70s, has died at the age of 88.
Lownes met Playboy founder Hugh Hefner in 1954 and became the magazine's promotion director.
He suggested that Playboy set up a club and said he came up with the idea for hostesses to be Playboy bunnies.
Moving to London, he came to embody the Playboy lifestyle and set up a string of highly successful clubs and casinos.
He married a former Playmate of the Year, Marilyn Cole, and was known for throwing lavish star-studded parties at his Hertfordshire mansion.
For a time he was reputedly the highest paid executive in Britain, but was sacked by Playboy in 1981 when the gambling operation ran into problems with authorities.