'Revolutionary' and 'legendary', celebrities pay tribute to Hugh Hefner

Celebrities and former Playboy bunnies have mourned the death of Hugh Hefner, who founded the magazine in 1953.

The 91-year-old died on Wednesday (local time), after reportedly battling cancer for several years.

Tributes are flowing online for the man remembered as an "American icon".

Former bunny-turned-reality TV star Kim Kardashian-West said the man was "legendary" in her tribute message.

"RIP to the legendary Hugh Hefner! I'm so honored to have been a part of the Playboy team! You will be greatly missed! Love you Hef! Xoxo," she wrote.

Paris Hilton included photos of their time together in her touching tribute.

"He was a legend, innovator and one of a kind. We had so many fun and incredible memories together. I will miss him dearly. Rest in peace my friend," she wrote.

Former Playboy bunny and actress Jenny McCarthy tweeted a photo of a cover alongside her message.

"Thank you for being a revolutionary and changing so many people's lives, especially mine. I hope I made you proud," she said.

Another former bunny, Donna D'Errico, said he would "forever live on as an icon of epic proportions".

"Hugh Hefner put me in Playboy & ignited my career. I am forever indebted, Hef," she wrote on Twitter.

Musician Gene Simmons also acknowledged Hefner's lasting legacy.

"A great man, entrepreneur and innovator. Your legacy lives on," he shared on Twitter.

Earlier in the year, a source told the National Enquirer the Playboy founder "epitomis[ed] the sexual prowess of a red-blooded male".

"He'd rather be remembered as the virile stud with millions of hot girlfriends," the source said.

Hefner's widow, Crystal Hefner, has made her tweets private after his death.

Newshub.