|After Esquire had a debacle with "The US Post Office", over its second-class mailing permit - which was central to it's business model, the art of Vargas was dropped. This being even though they had taken the objection The Feds had had to Alberto's work all the way to the US Supreme Court, and won. There then followed a legal dispute between Alberto and Esquire over the use of the name "Varga", which Alberto lost.
He then struggled financially until Hugh Hefner, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Playboy, who had previously worked for Esquire, began to use his work regularly from 1960. With this exposure to a new audience Alberto's career once again flourished. Major exhibitions of his work followed as did new patrons from the upper echelon of the USA's entertainment world of the time, the heads of every major film studio and Editors and Publishers from across the print media.
Devastated by the death, in 1974, of Anna Mae, his wife, muse, model and business manager he stopped painting. A renewed interest in his work in 1978, upon the publication of his autobiography, brought him partially out of his self-imposed retirement to do just a few more works
He died of a stroke on 30 December 1982, at the age of 86