Sarah Weldon
September 28, 2017 AT 08:42 AM EDT

Former Playboy Playmate, actress, and animal rights activist Pamela Anderson paid emotional tribute to Hugh Hefner, the Playboy founder who died Wednesday at age 91 and helped launch Anderson to international stardom.

In a video posted to her Instagram page, Anderson is seen crying and wiping away tears as she lies in bed. “Goodbye Hef,” she says at the end of the short video.

To caption the clip, Anderson wrote a poem in memory of Hefner, whom she called “the most important person in my life” outside of her family.

“I am me because of you / You taught me everything important about freedom and respect. / Outside of my family / You were the most important person in my life.”

Anderson rose to fame in 1989 as the cover star in Playboy‘s October issue. Since then, she’s served as Playmate of the Month in the February 1990 issue and has appeared in the magazine several times since the ’90s. Her acting career spans famed roles on shows like Home Improvement and Baywatch.

“Thank you for making the world a better place. A freer and sexier place,” Anderson added on Instagram.

Hefner died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 91 on Wednesday.

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