This photo taken on March 24, 2010, shows the iconic Hollywood sign in the hills above Hollywood. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

Hef came through. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

By Mark Memmott

For the second time, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has come to the rescue of the world famous "Hollywood" sign in Los Angeles.

KTLA News reports that "Hefner donated $900,000 to complete the $12.5 million fund raising effort by conservation group 'Trust for Public Land' to protect the 138 acres behind the Hollywood sign."

Back in the late '70s, as Morning Edition has reported, Hefner held an auction at the Playboy Mansion to raise money for a new "Hollywood" sign after the original fell into disrepair.

The latest threat, KTLA adds, came from "a group of investors who acquired rights to build four luxury mansions along the ridgeline" above the sign. But now, the trust will "be able to buy the land from its Chicago area-based owners and give it to the city, so it can be incorporated into the adjacent 4,200-acre Griffith Park" and no buildings will be looming above the sign.

"Hef," by the way, just turned 84.


categories: History, National News

1:38 - April 26, 2010