Dirk Alan Shafer was an American model, actor, screenwriter and director. He was born at November 7th, 1962 in Carbondale, Illinois. Dirk Shafer, who gained fame as a Playgirl Man of the Year in the early 1990s and soon after he came out publicly, was found dead in West Hollywood Thursday. Shafer, 52, was found in his car. The cause of death is not yet known. An autopsy is pending, but it’s believed he may have had a heart attack.
He gained his greatest fame by writing, directing and starring in the 1995 mockumentary Man Of The Year about his struggle and experiences as a centerfold for the Playgirl magazine. Shafer related that he did Playgirl for “validation” as a model because he never believed himself to be attractive. He was pressured to present himself as straight during his reign. He appeared on a number of talk shows including Donahue and The Jerry Springer Show. Shafer struggled with balancing his professional obligation to appear to be straight for women with his homosexuality, finally coming out publicly toward the end of his reign. Shafer appeared on the magazine’s cover again in 2012 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his original cover.
Shafer also made the movie Circuit in 2001. A frank examination of the circuit party scene, Circuit won Best Film at the 2001 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. He was currently working as a fitness and Pilates trainer since 2008. He also had a guest role in the sitcom “Will & Grace” Episode “Cheaters” in 2001.
One of his friends wrote on Facebook: ‘For anyone looking for a little comfort right now, Dirk and I had dinner a couple of weeks ago. We went shopping for skinny jeans (which looked fabulous on him) and we dished. He was really happy. Excited to be alive, excited to seize the future. His passing is very sad, but he left, as we all hope to, feeling happy to be alive.’
Here is a a view of his photospreads thoughout the years as a remembrance of this great hunk: