Dirk Shafer, a model, actor and fitness trainer who became a heartthrob to most straight women and gay men when he was named Playgirl‘s “Man of the Year in 1992, has been found dead at age 52 in West Hollywood, according to Richard Ayoub of RumorFix.
Yesterday website WeHoVille wrote that a 52-year-old man was found dead in his car Thursday afternoon in West Hollywood near his home and today confirmed it was Shafer.
Shafer made a 1995 film, Man of the Year, which was a fictional look at the experience of posing nude for Playgirl and how readers were shocked to learn he was gay. It was obviously a different era, folks.
Shafer also appeared on Will & Grace in 2001 as a character named Blaze. The same year he directed Circuit, which chronicled the gay party scene, played at numerous film festivals. In 2012, Shafer again posed nude for Playgirl to commemorate the 2oth anniversary of his first layout.
Ayoub writes that Shafer’s family says he “died peacefully” and is planning a memorial in West Hollywood at a later date. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death, but it’s believed he suffered a heart attack.