The cover of Playboy's April cover was fronted (perhaps that's not the right word in this case) by nineteen year old Atlanta born model Shari Shattuck whose splendid posterior was sculpted, according to Playboy, by years of competitive ice skating. She later used this skill in an appearance in the TV series Freddy's Nightmares.
Point of Seduction: Body Chemistry 3 (1994)
Shattuck was to prove that she was rather more than a here today gone tomorrow cover babe and began a successful acting career a few years later, appearing in many B movies, in which she had major roles rather than the usual "stripper" type cameos.
She also appeared in many top TV series including: Knight Rider, Matt Houston, Falcon Crest, Babylon 5 as well as five episodes of Dallas. Her biggest TV job was in over 90 episodes of The Young and the Restless from 1993 until 1996.
Since 2003 she has been a successful novelist having written seven books so far, the most recent of which was published this year. Now in her mid-fifties, she is still a very attractive woman.
Hefner with 11 of the 22 previous Playmates of the Year:
Top row (l to r): Connie Kreski (1969), Claudia Jennings (1970), Lillian Muller (1976), Jo Collins (1965), Allison Parks (1966), Lisa Baker (1967). Front row
(l to r): Cyndi Wood (1970), Monique St.Pierre (1979), Debra Jo Fondren (1978), Liv Lindeland (1972) and Linda Gamble (1961)
The first pictorial that month featured the day that Hugh Hefner invited 25 years worth of Playmates to his Mansion in California in September 1979. Amazingly, 135 out of the 310 Playmates attended the reunion. The next nine pages featured a mixture of photographs from the event together with older shots of the women from Playboy. Tragically, Claudia Jennings, pictured above, was to die in a car accident just a few weeks after the event.
Playmate of the Month was Liz Glazowski who was born in Poland but grew up in Playboy's home town of Chicago. She was one of the 14 Playmates discovered in the 25th Anniversary Playmate hunt. Although she had a small part in a film, The Happy Hooker goes Hollywood (1980) that year she essentially disappeared, becoming a secretary in the much warmer climes of Florida. For someone who was an avowed practising Catholic this rear end shot was quite revealing for early eighties Playboy.
The final pictorial would prove to be another controversial one for Playboy, although they must have had some idea of what was to come when they featured Women of the Armed Forces. Given the number of cheerleaders sacked when they appeared in Playboy the previous year, you would have thought that the women posing here would have some idea they might be in trouble. Airman First Class Cindy Lutz, however, was shocked when she was reprimanded, taken off intelligence work and made to do secretarial work instead, "I didn't know I was doing anything against military regulations," she wailed to the press, after her embarrassing demotion at Nevada's Nellis Airforce Base. The matter was made worse, of course, because she was shown wearing parts of her Air Force uniform.
Bambi Linn Finney
She got off comparatively lightly compared with the US Marine's Sergeant Bambi Linn Finney who was dishonourably discharged by the Corps in February because of her appearance in the feature, even before the issue came out. She later appeared on the Tonight Show to talk about it with Johnny Carson. Several other of the women appearing in the pictorial were disciplined as well.
Decorating the cover of Oui's April edition was the smiling face of British Page 3 model Lalla Dean who will feature in a pictorial in Oui the following month.
Oui had, by now, dropped its California girl-named lead-off pictorial but the feature in that place tended to be rather similar with mainly sunny, outdoors location photography. In fact they said that 20 year old Jeri Young was from California. Probably the dropping of the word California in the feature just gave them the flexibility to feature someone not from the state. Or maybe they were worried people from other states might complain! Jeff Dunas shot her in Monterey, catching her very eighties bikini bottom tan lines.
Centrefold girl was Jannie Nielsen from Copenhagen. Again, shot by Jeff Dunas in Europe, this elegantly reflective shot appeared elsewhere at the time as well.
The Sun April 1980
The Sun September 1980
The Daily Star October 1981
Dunas liked his Page 3 girls and Jannie would display her splendid bust regularly in a number of UK red top newspapers; as a Page 3 girl in The Sun and a Starbird in The Daily Star. She even appeared in The Sun the same month as this issue of Oui. Quite often she was dubbed Nielson rather than Neilsen, as Oui had her.
Fiesta May 1983
She appeared in many men's magazines in the late seventies and early eighties, both the well known big names and some of the smaller print run continental magazines.
Jannie also fronted some of those publications, which didn't really have an equivalent in Britain, which mixed celebrity interviews, news and naked pin ups; like Kwik in the Netherlands and Neue Revue in Germany. German magazines were always much more relaxed about nudity than their British equivalents and were quite happy to include pictures of naked women in magazines outside the ghetto of the top shelf. We remember when we were at school, in the late seventies, and the head of the new German department (the only female teacher at the school and incredibly foxy - wearing leather boots at a school of 880 boys was very brave!) asked the library to take the highly regarded Stern news magazine. She couldn't understand why it kept being stolen from the library but it was because of the regular appearance of pictures of naked German ladies. One issue in particular caused her to confine it to her office in the language department, as it featured an article on bestiality which had a very graphic photograph of an attractive lady being penetrated by a dog!
Most of her pictorials were, like the ones in Oui this month, at the softer end of the scale although she also posed for some rather more assertive shots too.
Jannie underneath Helle Kjaer in Penthouse August 1979
In fact, we have already seen her in the Pubic Wars because she appeared with Helle Kjaer in a Penthouse girl/girl set in August 1979. She did other soft girl sets with fellow Dane, Kjaer too.
More than just lesbian work Jannie also posed for hardcore pictures, especially for Danish quarterly magazine Color Climax, where she did everything that you might expect.
This hardcore magazine career actually predated her Oui and Page 3 work and she also appeared in a number of loop films too. You can see some of them on the internet if you search for "Jannie Nielson".
Even more extreme, she did a number of pictorials for Sex Bizarre magazine which featured continental people happily pissing, in a way that would take nearly twenty years to appear in mainstream (!) American magazines like Penthouse and Hustler.
Anyway, back to April's Oui and their final pictorial, which was quite unusual for them at the time in that it was a girl/girl (or, actually a girl.girl/girl) set. 3 Girls Kiss and Tell was written as a series of supposed confessionals from each of the models: Joli, Beth and Aurelia. They told of their experiences of doing the shoot in a country house in Devon in the West of England. Visually, it was like one of the early Penthouse girl/girl shoots from the early seventies but it contained some nicely romantic images by Jeff Dunas.
Club's cover girl was also their centrefold in the lissome shape of Collean, shot by Dwight Fox, who was shown displaying herself in typical Club style.
Also in that issue was the dark haired Bridgett, who we well remember from Men Only at the time. Bridgett sports one of the most untamed bushes seen at the time with a trail of hairs not only going up to her belly button but even beyond it. What a delightfully furry girl!
The Penthouse cover girl for April was their Pet of the Month, Annie Hockersmith, photographed by woman photographer Pat Hill.
For the last fifteen years or so many of the girls appearing in the pages of Penthouse have been porn stars but back in the seventies and eighties this was much less common. Sometimes a girl would appear and subsequently go on to a porn career and this was the case with the subject of Penthouse's first pictorial by Earl Miller in April, Loni Sanders, who was not doing hard core at this point.
The exotic looking Sanders' American father met her Japanese mother while he was serving as a pilot during the Koran War. Born Jennifer Lynn Wren she was 22 at the time of this pictorial.
Loni as Jo in Knave October 1980
In 1979 she was discovered by photographer Rupert Daines and started to do a lot of glamour modelling appearing in most of the top magazines of the time including Gallery, Swank, Genesis and UK magazines like Knave.
In 1980 she met porn star Mike Ranger on the set of a soft core film and soon she was appearing with him in the hardcore Sexboat (!980) as he had persuaded her to do hard core shoots. Initially only being photographed with Ranger or women, she soon started to be shot with other male stars too.
Loni in 2006 with some of the magazines she appeared in
Things were fine until she married Ranger and then he insisted on her stopping work, so they divorced. She then moved on to Steve Hirsch, the founder of the Vivid Pictures porn empire, who told her he wouldn't mind her carrying on working during their relationship. He then changed his mind and made her quit the business in the early mid-eighties and from then on she confined herself to non-sexual cameos for Vivid. She broke up with Hirsch in 1997.
Pet of the Month, covergirl Annie Hockersmith, unlike Sanders, was never seen again, either in Penthouse or elsewhere, and her shoot was rather less explicit than some other Penthouse ones of the period. This was the second of only two photographic pictorials in the April issue.
Hustler's April cover had a nice arrangement of girls photographed by Matti Klatt.
In previous years some of the stills Hustler had used for its annual Erotic Movie Awards feature had been some of the most explicit to appear in the magazine. They were less full-on for the fourth edition in 1980 but the pictorial still contained this shot of Jamie Gillis in patently penetrative action with Serena, from The Ecstasy Girls (1979).
The magazine's first pictorial that issue, by Matti Klatt, featured an Egyptologist discovering, in the Great Pyramid, that King Tut was actually a Queen (the pictorial was named, the wince-inducing, Queen Tit). Awakened after so long she, not surprisingly, only has one thing on her mind. The archaeological history is dubious but the tomb set was quite effective and the gentleman appeared to be suitably excited by his lovely discovery. She seemed pinkly pleased to see him, too.
Not quite penetrative but delvingly close was the opening spread of that month's Hustler's Honey, Paula, by Clive McLean. An actual faux masturbation shot rather than the usual curious labia spreading ones espoused by Suze Randall.
The second solo girl that month was the assertively anus-displaying Skipper, as shot by Suze Randall, who framed her model's nether regions with a lifebelt.
A second Randall pictorial and a second boy girl one or, in this case a boy/girl/girl/girl one. Gang Bang tells the story of a businessman who is set upon by three girls in an alley. Again, and in contrast to some recent boy/girl pictorials in the magazine, he seems appropriately excited by the prospect.
The cover of May's Playboy featured United Airlines stewardess Terri Knepper who as Terri Welles would become Playmate of the Month for December 1980, photographed by Arny Freytag.
The first pictorial was one of Playboy's arty ones, featuring Miss World 1978 Silvana Suarez, in a Magritte-inspired surrealist effort by Belgian fashion photographer Pierre Eggermont. Suarez, the daughter of two artists, was Miss Argentina when she won the competition at London's Albert Hall on 16th November 1978, at the age of twenty.
Miss World 1978
She was the second Argentinian to win the Miss World title but only got her chance to appear in the pageant because the original winner of Miss Argentina that year was underage for the Miss World contest.
Just over five years after her 1980 Playboy appearance she had a more conventional pictorial in the June 1985 issue of Playboy Argentina.
The next pictorial in May's issue was one of Playboy's regular looks at Sex in America, in this case Boston. Usually an excuse to feature small shots of strippers and partying coeds, this time they also ran this assertive shot of Ita Sider. the New England Patriots cheerleader fired for appearing in the magazine.
Martha's tail planes
Playmate of the Month was Martha Elizabeth Thomsen, photographed by Arny Freytag. As part of the stewardess theme, Eastern Airlines Stewardess Martha appeared in her uniform and out of it.
She had actually appeared in Playboy before, in the October 1978 Girls of the PAC 10 feature, although she was fully dressed. She claimed in her Playmate piece that this was because she had been very shy but later, in the Spokane Daily Chronicle (she had dropped out of her geology course at Washington State University), she admitted that it was because there "weren't enough incentives...monetarily" to pose naked for that pictorial. Thomsen later confirmed that she had not been fired by the airline as a result of posing. Shortly after her Playboy appearance, however, she left the airline behind, signed with the Elite Modelling agency and went to Europe for a modelling career that lasted ten years.
So, with a stewardess on the cover and one as Playmate it was on to the stewardess pictorial itself. Compared with the fate of the cheerleaders, from a couple of years before, there was less push back from their employers, although Delta stewardess Linda Jo Lehner, got sacked immediately. Maybe her pussy revealing shot had something to do with it and the fact that in another shot she was in uniform. Lehner took Delta to court, accusing them of sex discrimination in dismissing her, but the court threw her claim out.
TWA stewardess Nacy Nachtigal was also fired for appearing in the spread. Although her picture wasn't as revealing as Lehner's, she, too, made the mistake of being photographed in her uniform. Back as far as 1957, July Playmate Jean Jani had been fired from her job as a check-in clerk with an airline (although Playboy had described her as a stewardess) for appearing in the magazine. Perhaps the other airlines didn't discipline their staff because they liked the idea that one of their stewardesses had appeared in Playboy. Despite recent attempts to strengthen flight attendants position as regards employers, who seemed to value looks above all else, airlines were still using stewardesses as customer-enticing sex objects in their advertising.
Tori Braun, uniquely, posed with her boyfriend, David Cummings, also a flight attendant; both with American Airlines
Indeed, the biggest negative reaction came from other stewardesses who wrote into Playboy in letters which were published in the August issue. "Thanks for setting us back about 20 years and subjecting us to unnecessary ridicule, suspicion and degrading comments from our passengers," wrote an angry Joyce Buonfiglio from New York. Another agreed, although not by how far they had been set back (as Playboy gleefully picked up on). "The May issue of Playboy has set back the flight-attendant image by ten years," wrote Pamela Christen of Eastern Airlines. However, the views of the flight attendants were not all negative, with three attendants for Texas International moaning that they had not been approached to pose!
Oui, had been, for some time, featuring girls on the cover who did not appear inside the magazine but for May they actually had their centrefold girl, Corrine, fronting the issue.
Brigette Fry, Oui claimed, was from California and was photogreaphed by Brian Anderson, in the typically modest Oui style of the time. It even looks like they may have touched up (so to speak) Brigette's groin in this see-through knickers shot, as she seems to be as smooth and featureless as a Barbie between her legs.
Cover girl Corrine follows in the recent Oui tradition of having modest shots in her pictorial but a rather more revealing centrefold, as photographed here by chief photographer Jeff Dunas.
The final girl that month was Lalla Dean, an English model and Page 3 girl, as photographed by Geoffrey Ryan, a pseudonym for Jeff Dunas.
Lalla with photographer Jeff Dunas
This was an early shoot in her career. Unlike many Page 3 girls of the time it has been very difficult to find anything out about her.
Previously to her Oui pictorial she had appeared, as Debbie, in November 1979's Club International in the UK.
The Sun 19th September 1980
By September 1980 Lalla had started to appear as a Page 3 Girl for The Sun and she made many appearances there.
She also appeared for rival newspaper The Daily Star as one of their Starbirds.
Lalla was seen in a lot of men's magazines in the early eighties in the UK, US and Europe.
Unlike some Page 3 girls she was happy to pose for some of the more assertive shots such as this one which appeared in the US edition of Club magazine, using pictures taken from her 1979 Club International shoot.
For Your Eyes Only - Lalla is kneeling, right, in the black bikini
In 1982 Lalla was chosen as one of the uncredited background Bond girls used in For Your Eyes Only. As a result, a number of magazines, such as Penthouse Australia, put together pictorials of her using old pictures.
The last picture we can find of her is this one, where she appears as Valli, from the Spanish magazine Lib in September 1984 (and it was probably an old photo). What happened to her after that we do not know.
May's Penthouse was a special Caligula issue and featured the lissome form of Italian actress Mirella D'Angelo (or Dangelo as the credits had her) on the cover and a stallion called Davide, playing Caligula's horse Incitatus. It was the twenty year old D'Angelo's third film of what became a twenty year career but Caligula wasn't released until over three years after filming began in Rome in July 1976.
Inside, in the first of two long pictorial articles about the film, we saw stills of D'Angelo in the notorious scene where she is raped by Caligula immediately after her wedding. D'Angelo appeared in films as diverse as Dario Argento's cult horror film Tenebre (1982) and the far from cult The Pope Must Die (1991)
Penthouse had bought a cinema in New York and re-named it the Penthouse East Theatre just to show Caligula, which opened in the US on February 1st 1980. Despite a $7.50 ticket price (Guccione's rationale being that an expensive film should charge expensive ticket fees) the film broke box office records for the theatre. Overall in the US and Italy it took $20 million in its opening week (the film cost $17.5 million and was entirely funded by Guccione, personally) but was pulled from most screens after protests and so never reached its potential because of limited release. Despite it regularly being described as a box office flop, as the most expensive independent film to date, it more than made its cost back for Penthouse. The first pictorial consisted of 23 pages (Penthouse's longest ever pictorial by far) of stills from the film including several which clearly showed erections.
Pet of the Month Monika Kaelin was, again, photographed by Pat Hill in another rather less explicit than usual set. She only flashed her bits in her centrefold shot. Unlike many other Pets of the Month, Swiss-born Monika did not disappear back to obscurity after her appearance in the magazine.
Monika Kälin (to spell her name correctly) had already appeared in a number of films and would carry on doing so until the early nineties. Most did require her to artistically remove her clothes and fake sex, however.
Monika today. Still looking good!
She is still a well known figure in Switzerland where she describes herself as "presenter, singer, actor, composer, lyricist, theater, music producer and manager"
In 1978 she recorded her first CD as as a singer and has recorded a number of albums since. You can even get them on iTunes; although we wouldn't recommend it! One of her tracks is called Ai Wanna Bii Milking Yuu! In 1987 she represented Switzerland at the Grand Prix de Volksmusik (an annual folk song contest for Germany, Austria and the German speaking parts of Switzerland and Italy) yodelling away quite alarmingly. She also regularly tours and performs in clubs
The final pictorial consisted of ten pages of behind the scenes pictures from Caligula including this shot of an extra being fitted with an extra. The issue also featured a long interview with Bob Guccione, in an attempt to dispel some of the myths about the film that had already built up, including the difficult relationship between him, screenwriter Gore Vidal and, especially, director Tinto Brass.
Getting to grips with her very prominent bits was Adrienne, shot by Art Mancini for May's issue of Club.
May's Hustler cover girl was notable in that she clearly displayed her golden fluff, albeit visible through her see-through raincoat
There were no explicit shots in that month's X-Rated Reviews section although it did have this shot of Valerie Darlyn getting drilled by Cris Cassidy using a (not visible) strap-on. Still, the appearance of a strap-on at all on the pages of a newsstand magazine at the time was a rare one.
Darlyn straps it on and sticks it in in Screwples (1979)
The shot came from the film Screwples (1979) by female director Clare Dia. The story was about a TV reporter (played by Kandi Barbour) who would interview people on the San Francisco subway about their secret sexual fantasies. These would then be acted out and broadcast on TV. Although, in reality, cable TV had not yet started so, in a way, the premise of the film was science fiction.
Kassidy penetrates in return
This format, of course, enabled a number of different sexual episodes to be depicted with no need, other than the framing story, for a plot or, indeed a lot of acting. The photography was rather good and the lesbian sequence between Darlyn and Cassidy often used some clever Penthouse-style mirror shots. There was certainly no shortage of visible dildo penetration in the scene itself.
The first girl of the May issue was Louisa who displayed her petals for Suze Randall.
The second pictorial was more in the nature of an advertisement for Hustler's stablemate Chic, as it featured a number of pictures of girls who had previously appeared in the more 'upmarket" of Larry Flynt's magazine.
That month's Hustler's Honey, Madeleine, was unusual in that she had started in the magazine as one of the subjects of Beaver Hunt, where people sent in blurred Polaroids of their (usually unattractive) wives or girlfriends. Madeleine was selected from all of these as the Beaver Hunt winner and was scrubbed up and nicely lit by James Baes for her pictorial.
Hustler had caused controversy with its interracial boy/girl pictorials before, to the extent that Larry Flynt had actually been shot by an angry reader. This was the first time that they had had an interracial girl/girl shoot, although there was not really much in the way of racial liberation involved as the black girl was portrayed as the maid. It would have been more effective to do it the other way around, perhaps.
The final pictorial was entitled Checkmate by Clive McLean and featured a black knight and a white queen in its chess theme. The knight is not as rampant as he might have been but the queen's white gloves give this shot a nice tactile quality.
In May, Larry Flynt launched a new magazine, Gentleman's Companion. This first issue gave him a lot of grief as appearing in the swinger's classifieds at the back which said:
Tiny young girl 22 years old. 4 ft. 4 in. 82 lbs. I keep it shaved and when I wear size 8 clothes, I look 13 yrs. old. I will be your Lolita. Prefer men over 40. I am real small and cannot take a big man, except by mouth. Send all details. No answer without self-addressed, stamped envelope. I am over 21 years of age and give my permission to publish my ad above.
It gave a name and a town but the name given was the same as the maiden name of a woman who lived in that same small New York town. The ad had been posted by a fraudster but the woman sued the magazine for loss of reputation. Larry Flynt Publications lost the case in 1986 and appealed but lost the appeal too on the grounds, mainly, that they should have checked that the advertisement was genuine (a little harsh, I feel). It cost them more than $300,000 in damages.
Spreading it for the final pictorial in the premiere issue was Pat, in probably the first appearance of a model known as Jennifer Patterson but who appeared under a number of aliases in a lot of different magazines in the US and Europe over the next few years. We will see her a lot in the post covering July to September 1981.
As usual, Playboy's June issue featured the Playmate of the Year; in this case Dorothy Stratten, photographed by Mario Casilli in the grass in full girl-next-door mode. Nothing sleazy for Dorothy; Playboy's big hope for a crossover star.
The issue's first pictorial feature Federico Fellini's City of Women with stills and specially posed shots of some of the actresses involved. Here we have sisters Tatiana and Brigitte Petronio who play two leather-clad guards.
The Petronio sisters in City of Women
Brigitte had appeared in a number of films, including Joe D'Amato's Confessions of Emanuelle (1977) with Laura Gemser. She also appeared, naked, in La bella e la Bestia (1977), one of those films which consists of a number of individual episodes which were so popular in the seventies, rubbing herself against the arm of a chair. Her sister, Tatiana doesn't seem to have any other credits. City of Women is a strange fantasy about a womaniser trapped in a femininist convention in a city populated entirely by women.
Undoubtedly the best shot in the pictorial, however, was this one of magnificent Italian actress Donatella Damiani, a name, we admit, to having been previously unfamiliar with. The Neapolitan actress was appearing in only her second film after La liceale seduce i professor (1977).
Donatella (right) with Marcello Mastroianni in City of Women
Fellini's film helped make her something of a sex symbol but despite making another seven films in the next four years her career never took off and she disappeared back into obscurity.
Playboy Italia June 1980
Playboy Italia July 1983
Playboy Italia July 1983
She made several appearances in Playboy Italia, however, showing off her outrageously constructed figure in both the June 1980 issue and, later, appearing on the cover of and inside the July 1983 issue. Variants of this picture were also used as the February 1983 issue in the Netherlands and the October German Playboy.
Playmen August 1984
She appeared in Italian Playboy rip-off, Playmen, in 1984, 1985 and 1987 but by the latter date her film career was over. We'll put up some more pictures of her, in a separate post, shortly as she really is rather superb!
Playmate of the month was the petite but curvy Ola Ray who spent some of her teenage years in Japan, as her step father was in the US Air Force. There she was involved in a singing and dancing group with some of her eight siblings and also did some modelling, returning to the US when she was fifteen. She was nineteen when her Playboy pictorial appeared.
Despite a more than twenty-five year history, Ola was only the seventh black Playmate in Playboy. We tend to assume that, these days, there is one a year but, in fact, there are rather less than that with women of other ethnicities making up the numbers of what looks very much like a quota system.
Ola (right) in Body and Soul (1981)
Ray had a dozen small film roles in the eighties, on the back of her Playboy appearance, usually (as was often the way for Playmates and Pets) playing a hooker and having to take her clothes off. One of the avenues she explored as well as acting was submitting some pictures to Playboy's Los Angeles bureau.
However all these roles would be as nothing compared to being cast as Michael Jackson's girlfriend in John Landis' fourteen minute video for Thriller in 1982. "I had no idea it was going to be that big," she said "Every magazine in the world was calling me. People were knocking at my door. I freaked out. I hid." The girl who had been so desperate for fame couldn't cope with it when it arrived. Ray became addicted to drugs and had a series of unsatisfactory relationships. She claimed the acting work dried up because she refused to sleep with producers. After being arrested for cocaine possession in 1992 she spent nine months in a California treatment facility
In 10 to Midnight (1983)
When she got out she met ex-American football star turned actor Jim Brown at a Playboy Mansion party and moved in with him, They broke up after a few months because of her drugs habit, according to him, or the fact that he treated her badly, according to her. She filed a paternity suit on Brown in 1999 but the child concerned turned out to be the result of a one night stand with a friend.
Ola in the video for Remember (2013)
Meanwhile, Ray had been trying to get a percentage of the profits from Thriller. She received some in 1998 but claimed it wasn't enough. Ten years later she sued Jackson and his estate settled around $50,000 on her after his death. Latterly she has been living in Sacramento and earned money hostessing at Playboy Mansion parties. Two years ago, thirty years after Thriller, she recorded and shot a video for a song called Remember; her tribute to Jackson. Ray's is a typical story of a Playmate trying (and failing) to make it big in Hollywood.
June 1980 Playmate of the Year pictorial
The story of Playmate of the Year Dorothy Stratten, who featured in the final pictorial of the June issue, could have been rather more stellar, or at least that was what Hugh Hefner thought, if it hadn't been cut short by tragedy.
June 1980 pictorial
Dorothy Hoogstraten was the daughter of Dutch immigrants to Canada and was born in Vancouver. Her father left the family when she was three and she and her brother and sister were brought up by her mother, who struggled to make ends meet. At the age of fourteen Dorothy got a weekend job at a Dairy Queen fast food outlet. Teased at school, because of her beanpole figure and studiousness, the 5'9" tall Stratten filled out when she was sixteen and soon got her first boyfriend. One day, when she was eighteen a man called Paul Snider came into her branch of Dairy Queen. He was so struck by Stratten he later rang the manager to find out who she was and where she lived. He quickly insinuated himself into her life, despite her mother's objections and the fact that she had another boyfriend at the time.
Stratten with Snider
Snider was a small time pimp and car show promoter who saw Dorothy as his route into the big time. On the way to her graduation ceremony he had her pose for her first formal photographic portrait. Dorothy got a job as a typist at the British Colombia Telephone Company in the summer of 1978. That same summer Playboy's Great Anniversary Playmate Hunt, to find a girl for the 25th anniversary issue, was running. Snider persuaded Dorothy to pose naked for a photographer, promising her the $1000 Playmate finder's fee. It was typical of Snider that he reneged on the agreement and used the resulting photos to interest Ken Honey, a Vancouver based photographer who had already discovered several Canadian Playmates. When Honey's pictures arrived at Playboy's Los Angeles offices the staff thought they had a real candidate for anniversary Playmate. They told Honey she should come to Los Angeles for a proper shoot with Mario Casilli. Snider was furious he couldn't go, so Dorothy took her first ever flight on her own and was put up in the Playboy Mansion's guest house.
Dorothy in Vancouver for her original Playmate shoot
Casilli's shoot confirmed her Playmate potential but he told her he needed two weeks to shoot a full pictorial. When she flew back to Vancouver, BC Telephone would only give her one week's leave so she handed in her notice and flew back to Los Angeles. The final choice as to who would be anniversary Playmate was between Stratten and Candy Loving, who took the title due to her public relations training. Casilli shot part of Stratten's pictorial back in her home town of Vancouver. When the crew left, Snider, who had been getting annoyed at the amount of time Stratten had spent in Los Angeles, pressed her to get engaged which she reluctantly agreed to. They rented an apartment together in West Los Angeles. Snider didn't bother to get a job. He could see Dorothy being his meal ticket for life. They got married in June 1979 in Las Vegas while she was doing her first official Playboy promotion. The following month as a rare, at that time, Canadian Playmate she did a tour of Canada promoting her Playmate issue.
As a Bunny Girl
Playboy knew they had a special find in Dorothy and looked after her in the time leading up to her Playmate appearance in August 1979. Hefner employed her as a Bunny in the Los Angeles Playboy Club and personally sorted out a work permit issue. She got herself an agent, David Wilder, who had represented other Playmates. He got her a number of bit parts in films and TV shows including an appearance in Fantasy Island. However, Snider was taking all of the money she made and leaving her very little.
In November 1979 she appeared in a TV special called the Playboy Roller-disco and Pajama Party. Hefner gave her a bigger role in this than originally planned as she came across so well on screen. One person who was also impressed by her performance in the show was film director Peter Bogdanovich who was looking for an ingenue for his new film They all Laughed. He invited her to an audition. That same month she found out she would be Playmate of the Year.
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode Cruise Ship to the Stars
In late December Dorothy shot an episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, where she played Miss Cosmos, the most beautiful woman in the Galaxy. Agent Triple P well remembers watching this episode and being bowled over by her loveliness.
Another science fiction opportunity followed in January 1980 in that she was offered the lead in a big budget film called Galaxina. Having passed her third audition for Bogdanovich she started shooting They all Laughed in New York while Snider, back in Los Angeles fumed.
Playmate of the Year Announcement
In April, Hefner announced Stratten as the next Playmate of the Year at a press lunch held in a marquee on the Playboy Mansion lawn. She was the first Canadian Playmate of the Year. That same evening she gave a charming interview on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. By this time she was having an affair with Bogdanovich which both of them kept quiet although she asked Snider for a divorce. In July, after the film finished shooting, Bogdanovich took Stratten to London on Concorde for a short holiday. When they returned Snider drove his car to outside the director's house and sat there with a loaded gun, borrowed from a friend. Later he bought a shotgun.
On August 14th 1980 Stratten went to visit Snider in the house they had shared together to discuss their divorce. She had $1000 cash to give him. Just before midnight, one of the other residents of the house, worried about the fact Snider had been locked in his room since noon, broke down the door of his room and found both Snider and Stratten naked and shot to death by the shotgun. Snider had possibly bound Stratten, raped her, then shot her and then, possibly, raped her corpse before killing himself.
Hefner was thunderstruck and Playboy desperately tried to pull her pictures from the October issue of the magazine but it was too late. Oddly, Playboy went into something akin to ostrich mode about the affair and there was only a passing mention of her death in the December 1980 issue, despite it being front page news immediately. This may have been, partly, because Playboy was trying to avoid any untoward bad publicity as they struggled to get a licence for their new casino in Atlantic City. In the May 1981 issue the magazine carried a long piece on Dorothy's short life; she was just twenty when she was murdered. Before this, in November 1980 a writer called Teresa Carpenter had produced a piece for the Village Voice about the Dorothy story, laying blame on Snider, Hefner and Bogdanovich, saying they had all exploited her for their own ends. The piece won a Pullitzer Prize in 1981.
Jamie Lee Curtis as Dorothy
Later, her story was made into two cash-in films. Jamie Lee Curtis portrayed her in 1981's TV movie Death of Centrefold The Dorothy Stratten Story. Two years later, Mariel Hemmingway played Dorothy in the feature film Star 80, directed by Bob Fosse, in which, creepily, the death scene was shot in the actual house in which Dorothy was murdered. Even more creepily, Peter Bogdanovich then married Dorothy's younger sister.
Although a number of Playmates had died before their time by this point, Claudia Jennings being killed in a car crash in the autumn of 1979 for example, Stratten's death hit Hefner and Playboy particularly hard. Today the magazine treats her like a saintly martyr and you can't help thinking, as Carpenter suggested in her Village Voice piece, that this is because, partly, she was looking as if she could be the first Playmate to make it in Hollywood. Their first break-out star. The girl who would legitimise Playboy and Hefner in Tinseltown; something Hefner had been seeking for years.
June 1980 pictorial
When Triple P pulls these posts together it is surprising how many of these beautiful girls died before their time. Dorothy's tragedy was that there was no element of her being overwhelmed by her new celebrity and it dragging her down. No drink or drugs contributing to her untimely end. In fact, to the last she was trying to help Snider by giving him money. Whether Dorothy would have gone on to be Playboy's big star is unknown. Her Playmate of the Year pictorial shows that she could generate a number of different moods from raunchy to sweet as a model. Maybe she was just too sweet and trusting to have made it big in Hollywood.
Model Celebrities 15
Mayfair June 1981
Best of Harvey 1981
In fact she was Page 3 girl Kim Suzanne and appeared in a few magazines at the time, including the cover (but not inside, sadly) of Mayfair in 1981 but other than that we haven't been able to find out anything about her at all. This is a shame as she is quite lovely.
Oui's centrefold girl for June was Kerry Lou shot by Jess Dunas in increasingly covered up style. This was one of the very few pubic shots in her pictorial. It was almost as if Dunas was trying to see how little undress he could get away with.
Kerry Lou Bayliss was also British and appeared in a number of magazines in the UK and Germany in this period. She had, along with a lot of other glamour models at the time (Carolyn Evans, for example), a walk-on, decorative part in the film Flash Gordon (1980).
We can't remember where we first saw this shot of her, which we remember from our youth, but we do remember cutting it out from whichever magazine it appeared in. It is lovely to find it again!
The final pictorial wasn't really a pictorial at all but an essay on French women. What they were like, what they like, how to catch one etc. Having had a couple of French girlfriends in the past (the first girl who kissed Triple P was French - we were twelve she was fourteen) most of what the article says is true (especially about them being happy to have sex provided you provide sufficient gifts, meals out and holidays). One thing that it didn't say is that you can never feel secure in a relationship with a French woman (we may be being unfair as we have only known Parisian women and they may not be representative) because they are always looking for the next man. It doesn't matter if you are married to one either, they are looking to be a mistress to a more "interesting" (richer or younger) man. Fun but transient, like lovely ships that pass in the night. Anyway, this picture was one of those used to illustrate the piece. We would hope that she is French and not some Page 3 girl from Essex. You never knew with Oui.
Penthouse's cover girl for June 1980, Sharon Sorrentino, also appeared inside although the main tagline on the cover was a follow-up to the previous month's Caligula special.
John Copeland's pictorials were often at the more explicit end of what Penthouse was publishing at the time and, after a couple of less revealing centrefold pictorials by Pat Hill in the previous months, he got Danielle Deneux to really display herself. We'll see more of the gorgeous Danielle in 1981.
Sharon Sorrentino was photographed by Earl Miller. She appeared in a number of magazines in the late seventies and early eighties from Men Only in the UK to Club and Genesis in the US plus a number of German Magazines.
In Color Climax Cover Girls no 11, 1982
Finally, Penthouse lingered over no less than twelve pages of photographs from the lesbian love scene between Lori Wagner and Anneka di Lorenzo from Caligula. This was one of the extra scenes Bob Guccione shot when he realised that most of Tinto Brass' sex scenes for the film involved grotesque looking people and he hadn't used the Penthouse Pets at all.
Guccione, Wagner and di Lorenzo work out the scenes on set
Wagner and di Lorenzo certainly went for it in the scene, which took three days to shoot. This pictorial was the most explicit lesbian one in Penthouse to date and wan't published at all in the UK edition.
Fondling David Morris
Munched by Serena
Club's June issue had a pictorial on the new Marilyn Chambers film, Insatiable (1980) with lots of stills of Miss Chambers in action. Quite a graphic rug munching shot and an even racier picture of Miss Chambers fondling one of her co-stars erection. Triple P recently watched this film for the first time, with a lady friend, and we both found it very enjoyable and rather well made, for such a production.
Stranded in the dunes for Swank was the tiny-busted Lola Simmons, photographed by Alan Wash.
June's Hustler had an assertive looking bride on the cover dressed in exactly the way that bridegrooms want to see their brides on the big day.
The monthly look at X rated films featured a (not very positive) review of Olympic Fever (1979) brought out because of the impending Moscow Olympics of 1980. Despite their lukewarm review (Hustler indicated a film's rating by the angle of erectness of a penis graphic - this only got the middle rating). Despite this they featured no less than three stills from the film rather than the usual one, including this one of Seka doing some reverse cowgirl on a vile looking bed cover.
Seka in action in the same scene Olympic Fever (1979)
The eventual boycott of the games by the Americans and others, of course, managed to make a number of fictional treatments of the Moscow event even more unbelievable, not least of which was the 1979 film Golden Girl starring Susan Anton, based on Peter Lear's novel. Golden Girl was about women track sprinters whereas Olympic Fever was about American women swimmers who discover that their performance is enhanced by the special protein in their coach's sperm. Needless to say the Soviets are soon after it too and deploy Seka on the job.
First girl of the month Jan was a particularly lovely girl, photographed by James Baes, in classic black stockings and presenting her rear quite a lot.
Matti Klatt shot that month's Honey, Alicia, in the gym and had her nicely oiled up. It can't have been very comfortable lying along a weights bar, however. Alicia is, in fact, Sharon Sorrentino, who appeared in Penthouse the very same month. We will see more of her in Club, later in the year.
The best pictorial that month, however, was Space Probe by Matti Klatt. A parody of the original Star Trek. The feature film Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) had re-introduced the characters to the screen the previous year, after a ten year break.
It featured models who really did look like Lt Uhura and Mr Spock and the USS Enterprise set, as we can see from this outtake, was a wonder to behold and was a superb recreation of the bridge from the original series..
Finally, Suze Randall gave us Lonni, in split crotch knickers displaying herself from behind.
More revealed Venuses another time.