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Subject: Frank P. Austin, helped decorate the Playboy mansion

died Nov. 20
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Date Posted: November 27, 2002 10:03:14 EDT

Frank Parker Austin, 65, an interior designer and antique dealer who helped Hugh Hefner decorate the Playboy mansion, died Nov. 20 of cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

A native of Montclair, N.J., Austin earned a degree in design from the University of Cincinnati and worked briefly in Scottsdale, Ariz., before settling in Los Angeles in 1960. His first design firm, with Bill Lane, was Austin-Lane, with a showroom on La Cienega Boulevard.

In 1969, he formed F.P. Austin & Co., adding an antique shop to his design business. In 1993, he founded Hampshire House Fabrics & Furniture to market his original designs. His advice to his celebrity clients included the suggestion that they study fashion magazines to help decide what they wanted in color and design.

Austin helped locate the property to build Hefner's mansion three decades ago and designed the original decor. His clients also have included Diana Ross, A&M Records co-founder Jerry Moss, Phil Silvers, Nicky Hilton, Polly Bergen, Herb Alpert and David Geffen.

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