10:00 27 April 2010
The iconic Hollywood sign has been saved from demolition, thanks largely to a last-minute donation from soft-porn magnate Hugh Hefner.
The Playboy magazine mogul donated $900,000 to a fund which was set up to stop the Los Angeles site being developed.
The sign itself is owned by the city, but the 138-acre property around it belongs to a group of Chicago-based investors who had intended to use the property to build housing estates.
California Governor and former actor Arnold Schwarzenegger described the news as "the Hollywood ending we hoped for".
Governor Schwarzenegger said Mr Hefner's donation and a $500,000 matching grant signalled a triumphant end a $12.5m fundraising campaign.
"It's a symbol of dreams and opportunity," Gov Schwarzenegger said of the hillside text, which had been recently draped with a "Save the Peak" sign to raise awareness for the fund.
Mr Hefner, who likened the sign to "Hollywood's Eiffel Tower", said: "My childhood dreams and fantasies came from the movies, and the images created in Hollywood had a major influence on my life and Playboy."
Donations came from all 50 US states, 10 countries and celebrities, including Oscar winners Tom Hanks and director Steven Spielberg.
The Hollywood sign itself, which is set high up in the hills, was initially created in 1923 as an advert for a real estate development called Hollywoodland. The final four letters were later removed, making the sign state "Hollywood".
In September 1932, Broadway actress Peg Entwistle, committed suicide by jumping to her death from the letter H.
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