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Gay 'Playgirl' Man Of The Year Found Dead in West Hollywood Car -- Cause of Death Unknown

Playgirl Gay Model Dirk Shafer Found Dead

Mar. 6 2015, Published 7:57 p.m. ET

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A former Playgirl Man of the Year who came out as gay despite pressure to appear straight was found dead in his parked car in West Hollywood Thursday, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s spokesman tells RadarOnline.com.

Although it initially appears that Dirk Shafer, who had been working in recent years as a personal trainer, died of natural causes, an autopsy is pending to determine a cause of death, Assistant Chief Ed Winter says.

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Paramedics pronounced Shafer, 52, dead on the scene after he was found unresponsive in the car, Winter says.

Along with the 1992 nude centerfold, Shafer is known for starring in a mockumentary about the experience titled Man of the Year. He later revealed he was gay although he had been pressured to pretend to be straight during his reign.

Playgirl put Shafer back on its cover in 2012 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his original cover.

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