Looking for a local playmate

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Dorothy Stratten was a teenager serving ice cream out of a Dairy Queen in VancouverCanada, when she caught the eye of Paul Snider, a local pimp with dreams of Hollywood fame. It was and, at the time, those who knew them said Snider saw an opportunity in Stratten and began grooming her. Eventually, he persuaded her to pose for a nude photo shoot, which could help launch her career in Los Angeles. Over the next two years, the feathered-hair blonde "girl next door" became a Playboy Playmate of the Year with a budding acting career.

But before Stratten could reach the heights of her stardom, she was pulled under -- brutally murdered by Snider, the same man who had first discovered her. She doesn't belong here. She's got a great figure, got a beautiful face and this town will destroy her. Stratten started working at Dairy Queen as a young teen to help her mother, who worked in a school cafeteria.

She had worked there for four years -- through all of high school -- when Snider walked in one day and saw her.

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He was called the Jewish pimp and he cultivated that. Several people in Stratten's orbit said they saw Snider as a predator who was looking for his golden ticket. Mariel Hemingway, who played Stratten in the Bob Fosse film about Stratten's life "Star 80," said that Snider took advantage of Stratten's insecurities.

Hemingway said Snider would compliment her on the things about which she felt most vulnerable. She said he would also shower her with expensive gifts, nice dinners and even a gown to wear when he took her to her senior prom.

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She was still a teen then, he was InPlayboy hosted the Great Playmate Hunt contest to scout for a new Playmate to be featured in the centerfold of its 25th anniversary issue the following year. Carpenter says Snider convinced thenyear-old Stratten to be photographed nude by a professional photographer, painting images in her head of a brighter future than the one she might had imagined for herself.

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It was her first time on an airplane and in a limo. I cannot remember another Playmate being that -- I don't want to say naive -- inexperienced, unused to her surroundings and not used to thinking that she was really beautiful. When Stratten arrived at the Playboy officesGrabowski said she explained to Stratten that they would take some test shots, send her home and then let her know if she made the cut. Had this statuesque look, but when you talked to her, she was still a little girl. The January centerfold ended up going to Candy Loving, who was then a senior at the University of Oklahoma.

Jeana Keough, Playmate of the Month for November who later appeared on "Real Housewives of Orange County," said that at the time Playboy thought Loving could better handle the spotlight that came with being named the magazine's 25th anniversary Playmate. Stephen Cushner, a close friend of Stratten's who was also her housemate shortly before her murder. Suddenly, Stratten found herself in the middle of some of Hollywood's most exclusive parties. It was all brand new to her and she was excited, Grabowski said, but she also seemed overwhelmed and scared.

So, she stayed close to the one person she knew from back home: Snider. She leaned on him. As Playboy continued to welcome Stratten into its world, Snider was left out more. Eric Roberts, who portrayed Snider in "Star 80," said Snider was "offensive" and that he looked and acted "small-time" -- the opposite of Hefner. Several people who were at the Playboy Mansion at the time said that almost everyone was turned off by Snider. Snider was eventually caught with another girl, according to former Playboy social secretary Alison Reynolds, who also did Stratten's make-up.

Reynolds said security kicked him off the property and that they would only allow him back if he came with Stratten. In Juneseveral months after Snider had ed Stratten in Los Angeles full-time, the couple got married. Grabowski said she and Hefner, as well as others, opposed the marriage.


But Stratten went through with it because she didn't think she could get out of it, according to Rosanne Katon-Walden, an actress and September Playmate of the Month. By the time they were married, Hefner had connected Stratten with a professional manager and a money manager, further relegating Snider to the sidelines. Inin addition to being named Playmate of the Year, she landed the title role in the sci-fi comedy "Galaxina.

That's when I think it was starting to change with Paul," said Cis Rundle, a former Playboy social secretary.

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He wanted to say that he owned something, that he did somethingā€¦ I think he thought he made her. Stratten was soon introduced to filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich who, fresh out of a relationship himself and looking for new projects, began spending time at the Playboy Mansion. It was supposed to be Stratten's big break. It was very autobiographical. In a interview with "Good Morning America," four years after Stratten was murdered, Bogdanovich said he and Stratten had fallen in love before he started making the movie.

As Snider's control over Stratten and her career rapidly unraveled, he started to become desperate. According to Carpenter, he tried to follow through on a project for a poster he had started with Stratten before they got married. When Stratten saw the poster de, though, she turned down the deal. Hugh Hefner's not going to call him backā€¦ and then this deep, deep, deep, freaky thing that was going on inside of him took control and he lost it. Around this time, Patti Laurman, a teenage grocery store clerk whom Snider was trying to turn into his next Playboy model, had moved into the West Los Angeles house Snider and Stratten had shared with their housemate, Stephen Cushner.

He was like, 'Gosh. She didn't even tell me she loved me or kiss me. He would sit on the couch and play his guitar, and he had wrote songs to Dorothy. Stratten moved in with Bogdanovich once they returned from filming in New York. During that time, she met with Snider and expressed wishes for an amicable separation. She also mentioned a settlement for Snider because he had helped get her to Hollywood, according to Larry Wilcox, executive producer of the film "Death of a Centerfold: the Dorothy Stratten Story.

It was also around this time that Snider tried to get a gun, according to former L. He borrowed a. Soon after, Snider's friend asked for the gun back, DeAnda said. Then, Snider bought a gauge shotgun from the classified. He picked it up on the night of Aug. On Aug. Those close to her are said to have expressed their concern with her going to see him alone. She had to sneak. She had to lie. She just had that little flaw that was her flaw: not being able to see the evil in people. Laurman said she was at the house on that morning but left because she knew Stratten was coming to visit Snider.

Cushner said he hadn't been home all day because he'd spent the night at a girlfriend's home and then gone to work in the morning. Cushner said Laurman was back at home when he arrived later that evening.

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Cushner and Laurman said they were watching TV upstairs, assuming that Snider and Stratten had reconciled and were downstairs together. Finally, after a few hours of silence, Cushner and Laurman said they decided to knock on Snider's bedroom door, but there was no answer. Then Cushner said he opened the door. Police later determined that Snider had raped Stratten and shot her in the face with a gauge shotgun before turning the gun on himself. Stratten was 20 years old. The horrific murder-suicide of the rising star and her husband sent shockwaves through Hollywood.

Part of him died. Part of all of us died because Dorothy was special to us," Rundle said. Stratten was buried in the same Los Angeles cemetery as Marilyn Monroe. Four years after Stratten's death, Bogdanovich published a book called "The Killing of The Unicorn" in which he blamed Hefner and the culture of Playboy for contributing to Stratten's death. He also accused Hefner of making unwanted advances on Stratten at the Playboy Mansion in And for the record, I never tried to. Bogdanovich went on to take care of Stratten's family for years after she died, including Stratten's younger sister, Louise Stratten.

So I wasn't going to stop being their family because she was dead,'" said Bonnie Fuller, the editor-in-chief of HollywoodLife. Bogdanovich and Louise Stratten's relationship later developed into a romance, and the two married eight years after Dorothy Stratten's murder. They divorced in but continue to work together on film projects, including the film "She's Funny That Way.

For those who were close to Dorothy Stratten, the horrible tragedy of her death is compounded by the fact that she was so young when she died. She would've been a Reese Witherspoon. Always will be. Even 39 years later. LOG IN. We'll notify you here with news about. Turn on desktop notifications for breaking stories about interest?

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Looking for a local playmate

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looking for a local playmate