WEST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Former Playgirl centerfold Dirk Shafer, who came out as gay in the 1995 faux documentary “Man of the Year,” has died.
The 52-year-old model and celebrity fitness trainer was found dead in his car.
The cause of death will be determined pending an autopsy, but it is believed he suffered a heart attack.
“Man of the Year,” which Shafer wrote, directed and starred in, humorously poked fun at his life, being a then-closeted gay male and becoming a sex symbol to straight women when he became 1992’s most popular Playgirl model.
An icon in the gay community after he came out, Shafer also directed “Circuit” in 2001, a film about the West Hollywood party scene.
Shafer appeared in Playgirl again in 2012 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his first layout.
As an actor, Shafer also appeared in an episode of “Will & Grace” in 2001.
Most recently, Shafer concentrated on his fitness business. He created the Swapout Workout, which taught people to get fit regardless of whether they “were in a hotel room, an airplane, a prison cell or your own front yard.”
His clients included Eric McCormack, Katy Perry, Tiffani Theissen, Olympian Greg Louganis, James Garner and Richard Dreyfuss.