According to sources, Dirk Shafer was found dead a few blocks from his home in West Hollywood. The cause of death is unknown.
Shafer, who was lately working as a pilates and fitness instructor, was best known as being 1992 "Man of the Year" in Playgirl, and then coming out as gay.
He later parodied the experience in Man of the Year, a 1995 mockumentary that he wrote, directed and in which he also starred. He continued directing and writing, creating Circuit, a film about gay circuit parties in 2001. Shafer was also a trainer in West Hollywood and was asked to do another Playgirl pictorial 20 years later, in 2012.