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A Playmate is a female model featured in Playboy magazine. The centerfold/gatefold Miss month is known as Playmate of the Month (or PMOM). The PMOM's pictorial includes nude photographs and a centerfold poster, as well as a short biography and the "Playmate Data Sheet", which lists her birthdate, measurements, turn-ons, and turn-offs. At the end of the year, one of the twelve Playmates of the Month is named Playmate of the Year (PMOY). Playmates of the Month are paid $25,000 USD and the Playmate of the Year receives an additional $100,000 USD plus a car and a motorcycle. In addition, Anniversary Playmates are usually chosen to celebrate a milestone year of the magazine. As of September 2006, 635 women have been Playmates of the Month.

Playboy encourages potential Playmates to send photos with "girl next door" appeal for consideration; others may submit photos of Playmate candidates, and are eligible for a $2,500 USD finder's fee if their model is selected. In addition, "casting calls" are held regularly in major U.S. cities to offer opportunities for women to test for Playboy. The Playboy photographers and Hugh Hefner then select which models become Playmates. The Playmate of the Year is chosen personally by Hugh Hefner, taking into account an annual readers' poll.

Usage note: According to Playboy, </ref> there is no such thing as a former Playmate, “Once a Playmate, always a Playmate”.


The first model called a Playmate of the Month was Margie Harrison, Miss January 1954 (the second issue of Playboy). (Marilyn Monroe, who was featured in the first issue, was "Sweetheart of the Month".) Generally a woman may only appear once as a Playmate, but in the early years of the magazine some models were featured multiple times. Marilyn Waltz (February 1954, April 1954, April 1955 — her first appearance was as Margaret Scott) and Janet Pilgrim (July 1955, December 1955, and October 1956) are tied for the most appearances. Margie Harrison (January 1954, June 1954) and Marguerite Empey (May 1955, February 1956) are the only other women to appear more than once as Playmates.

Under current law in most jurisdictions, publishing pornographic pictures of a child under 18 would be a felony. In the early years of the magazine, though, laws regarding corruption of a minor were less established. Several playmates - including Nancy Crawford (April 1959), Donna Michelle (December 1963), Linda Moon (October 1966), and Teddi Smith (July 1960) - posed when they were seventeen. Elizabeth Ann Roberts (January 1958) posed when she was sixteen. Hugh Hefner and Roberts' mother were arrested as a result but the case was subsequently dismissed because Roberts' mother had signed a statement that her daughter was eighteen before the photoshoot. In more recent years, Ursula Buchfellner posed for the German edition of Playboy when she was sixteen and subsequently posed for the American edition (October 1979) when she was eighteen.

Traditionally, PMOYs are announced in May of each year at a media luncheon at the Playboy Mansion. Each year's Playmate of the Year appears on the cover of her PMOY issue - the issue in which her PMOY pictorial is featured, usually the June issue of the next year after her first appearance in the magazine, sometimes the July issue. However, from 2003 to 2005, PMOYs did not appear on the covers of their PMOY issues. Instead, celebrities appearing in celebrity pictorials in the PMOY issues have appeared on the covers.

The first Playmate to show pubic hair was Liv Lindeland, Miss January 1971. An underwater photo by Russ Meyer taken of Marguerite Empey for her second appearance as a Playmate in February 1956 also showed pubic hair, but this photo did not attract public attention as much as Lindeland's centerfold appearance, perhaps because the magazine had a smaller circulation at that time. The trend of playmates showing pubic hair would continue in the 1970s and 1980s. Beginning in the mid- to late-1980s, the pubic hair of Playmates becomes increasingly well barbered, culminating in September 2001 when Dalene Kurtis became the first Playmate to appear without any pubic hair. Another trend started in the 1990s was the appearance of body piercing, such as navel piercing, and tattoos on the bodies of Playmates.

Famous Playmates

Playmates who became known for more than their Playboy appearance(s) include (with the date of their appearance):

  • Pamela Anderson (February 1990) actress, inadvertent pornstar, and celebrity icon
  • Marliece Andrada (March 1998) actress
  • Marina Baker (March 1987) journalist, children's book author, and mayoress of the town of Telscombe, East Sussex, England
  • Bebe Buell (November 1974) author and mother of Liv Tyler
  • Kimberley Conrad (January 1988) became Mrs. Hugh Hefner
  • Carmella DeCesare (April 2003) World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) RAW Diva Search 2004
  • Lisa Dergan (July 1998) spokesmodel for St. Pauli Girl and Guess? Jeans
  • Donna D'Errico (September 1995) actress/wife of Nikki Sixx
  • Daphnée Duplaix (July 1997) Actress on Passions
  • Barbara Edwards (September 1983) actress
  • Erika Eleniak (July 1989) actress
  • Victoria Fuller (January 1996) Half of infamous couple on The Amazing Race 6
  • Stephanie Heinrich (October 2001)'s first ever Cyber Girl of the Week
  • Lauren Michelle Hill (February 2001) winner of the Playmates edition of Fear Factor / Guess? model
  • Claudia Jennings (November 1969) B-movie actress; died in auto accident
  • Susan Kiger (January 1977) the only Playmate to do porn before she became a Playmate. Later 3 times on the cover
  • Connie Kreski (January 1968) actress
  • Pilar Lastra (August 2004) briefcase model on Deal or No Deal (US game show)|Deal or No Deal
  • Nicole Lenz (March 2000) catfight victim
  • Angela Little (August 1998) actress, appeared in the movie American Pie: Band Camp
  • Janet Lupo (November 1975) the largest breasts of any Playmate with a post-Playmate career. (Rosemarie Hillcrest, October 1964 holds the honor of largest bust measurement)
  • Jayne Mansfield (February 1955) singer and actress; killed in an auto accident; daughter is Mariska Hargitay
  • Jenny McCarthy (October 1993) actress, author, comedienne; MTV Singled Out
  • Karen McDougal (December 1997) fitness model, controversial XFL Cheerleader commercials in 2000
  • Shanna Moakler (December 2001) Ex-Wife of Travis Barker/co-star on Meet the Barkers
  • Kelly Marie Monaco (April 1997) actress; winner of Dancing with the Stars (USA)|Dancing with the Stars TV contest in 2005
  • Marilyn Monroe (December 1953) 50s silver screen icon
  • Barbara Moore (Playmate)|Barbara Moore (December 1992) almost married Lorenzo Lamas in 2005, but the wedding was cancelled under questionable circumstances at the last minute
  • Cynthia Myers (December 1968) who played the lead role in Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1969)
  • Bettie Page (January 1955) Sexual fetishism|fetishist icon;
  • Rebecca Anne Ramos (January 2003) At age 35, the oldest person to ever be a Playmate
  • Dolly Read (May 1966) actress and wife of comedian Dick Martin
  • Alicia Rickter (October 1995) Wife of Mike Piazza
  • Elizabeth Ann Roberts (January 1958) At age 18, the youngest person to ever be a Playmate
  • Brande Roderick (April 2000) Actress
  • Shauna Sand (May 1996) was married to B-actor Lorenzo Lamas at the time of her pictorial, divorced in 2002
  • Nikki Schieler (September 1997) actress
  • Anna Nicole Smith (May 1992) Guess? Jeans model, actress, and widow of an octogenarian billionaire. The lawsuit over his inheritance reached the United States Supreme Court
  • Martha Smith (July 1973) actress in National Lampoon's Animal House and Scarecrow and Mrs. King
  • Dorothy Stratten (August 1979) actress whose life and murder was portrayed in Star 80
  • Lynn Thomas (May 1997) the first model to appear as a centerfold in both Playboy and Penthouse (magazine)
  • Shannon Tweed (November 1981) B-Movies actress; companion of Gene Simmons
  • Roberta Vasquez (November 1984) Appeared in several action/sexploitation films in the early 1990s and in the 1990 Clint Eastwood film, The Rookie.
  • Jennifer Walcott (August 2001) Appeared in the movie American Pie: Band Camp
  • Teri Weigel (April 1986) actress in several hardcore porn movies
  • Julianna Young (November 1993) silicone breast implant icon
  • Cara Zavaleta (November 2004) Appeared on Road Rules (Prior to Playmate appearance)
  • Victoria Zdrok (October 1994); See bio for full summary

Anniversary Playmates

  • 50th Anniversary (January 2004): Colleen Shannon
  • 45th Anniversary (January 1999): Jaime Bergman
  • 40th Anniversary (January 1994): Anna-Marie Goddard
  • 35th Anniversary (January 1989): Fawna MacLaren
  • 30th Anniversary (January 1984): Penny Baker
  • 25th Anniversary (January 1979): Candy Loving
  • 20th Anniverary (January 1974): Nancy Cameron (Cameron is the only Playmate to have a double-sided, front-and-back centerfold photo.)
  • 15th Anniversary (January 1969): Leslie Bianchini
  • 10th Anniversary (December 1963): Donna Michelle
  • 5th Anniversary (December 1958): Joyce Nizzari

Playmate firsts

  • First Playmate to be chosen twice: Margie Harrison (Miss January 1954 and June 1954)
  • First Playmate to be chosen three times: Marilyn Waltz (Miss February 1954, April 1954, and April 1955 — her first appearance was as Margaret Scott)
  • First and only Playmate to be preceded and succeeded by the same woman (Marilyn Waltz / Margaret Scott: Dolores Del Monte (Miss March 1954)
  • First and only month in Playboy history to not have a Playmate - Miss March 1955 (no issue published)
  • First centerfold (two-page): Janet Pilgrim (Miss July 1955)
  • First fold-out centerfold (three-page): Marian Stafford (Miss March 1956)
  • First foreign-born Playmate: Elsa Sorensen (Miss September 1956) who was from Denmark
  • First Playmate twosome (two in the same month): Pat Sheehan and Mara Corday (Misses October 1958)
  • First Playmate to fill out a Playmate Data Sheet (not included): Marianne Gaba (Miss September 1959)
  • First African-American Playmate: Jennifer Jackson (Miss March 1965)
  • First Playmate to get breast implants: Sue Williams (Miss April 1965)[1].
  • First Playmate to commit suicide: Sue Williams (Miss April 1965)
  • First twins to be Playmates: Mary Collinson and Madeleine Collinson (Misses October 1970)
  • First Playmate to show pubic hair: Liv Lindeland (Miss January 1971)
  • First Playmate to be younger than Playboy: Monica Tidwell, Miss November 1973 (she was born in January 1954, when Playboy's second issue was on the newsstand)
  • First sisters to be Playmates in different months: Janice Pennington (Miss May 1971) and Ann Pennington (Miss March 1976)
  • First Playmate Data Sheet (included): Sondra Theodore (Miss July 1977)
  • First video playmate (1982): Lonny Chin (who was also the magazine centerfold in the January 1983 issue)
  • First mother and daughter to be Playmates: Carol Eden (Miss December 1960) and her daughter Simone Eden (Miss February 1989)
  • First triplets to be Playmates: Erica, Nicole and Jaclyn Dahm (Misses December 1998)
  • First Playmate without pubic hair (i.e. completely shaved): Dalene Kurtis (Miss September 2001)
  • First Playboy Cyber Girl to become Playmate: Stephanie Heinrich (Miss October 2001.) She's the first Cyber Girl of the Week (September 2000), as well as the first Cyber Girl of the Month (January 2001).
List of people in Playboy Magazine
1950-1959  •  1960-1969  •  1970-1979  •  1980-1989  •  1990-1999  •  2000-present

by Birthplace  •  1990-1999 by birthplace  •  NSS models  •  Special Editions


  • The Playmate Book: Five Decades of Centerfolds by Gretchen Edgren. Santa Monica, California: General Publishing Group, 1996, ISBN 1-57544-128-4
  • The Playmate Book: Six Decades of Centerfolds by Gretchen Edgren and Hugh M. Hefner. Taschen Books, 2005, ISBN 3-8228-4824-7

External links


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