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Playboy Playmates: 25+ Most Famous Playboy Models of All Time

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Playboy Playmates: 25+ Most Famous Playboy Models of All Time

Playboy magazine, founded in 1953 by Hugh Hefner, has been more than just a publication; it has been a significant cultural force. Its Playmates often became overnight symbols of beauty and sensuality and carried out significant careers in various fields. Playboy magazine has been at the forefront of media and entertainment for decades, not just for its provocative articles and interviews but also for introducing some of the most iconic women to the public eye.

These women, known as Playboy Playmates, have often transcended their modeling careers to become influential figures in various industries. Here’s a look at over 25 of the most famous Playboy Playmates, their contributions to the magazine, and their subsequent careers beyond Playboy.

1. Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe - Film Niagara

Marilyn Monroe graced the first cover of Playboy in December 1953. Though the photos were taken before her fame, her appearance in Playboy cemented her status as a global sex symbol.

2. Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson - Baywatch

Pamela Anderson holds the record for the most Playboy covers by any model. Her multiple appearances began in 1990, launching her into stardom and a subsequent acting career on shows like “Baywatch.” Anderson’s relationship with the magazine spanned over two decades, making her one of its most enduring symbols.

3. Jenny McCarthy

Jenny McCarthy

Jenny McCarthy is another Playmate from the Playboy Playmates who had an incredible career. McCarthy began her career as a model and was featured on the cover of Playboy in 1993. Hugh Hefner selected her out of 10,000 applicants due to her “wholesome Catholic girl” look. Jenny’s career took off after she was named Playmate of the Year in 1994. Known for her bubbly personality and comedic flair, McCarthy transitioned into television and film, becoming a co-host on “The View” and an outspoken advocate for autism awareness and parenting.

4. Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith - Playboy Playmates

Anna Nicole Smith first appeared in Playboy in March 1992, quickly rising to fame as Playmate of the Year in 1993. Her high-profile life was filled with personal struggles and media scrutiny, marked by her marriage to an elderly billionaire and subsequent legal battles ending with her death in 2007.

5. Carmen Electra

Carmen Electra - best playboy playmates

Carmen Electra was featured in Playboy in 1996, during her time on “Baywatch.” Electra’s career includes modeling, acting, and singing, with multiple Playboy appearances that showcased her as a modern sex symbol.

6. Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian attends-the-2019-e-peoples-choice-awards-at-news-photo

Although not a traditional Playboy Playmate, Kim Kardashian’s appearance in the December 2007 issue was one of the most high-profile events for the magazine in the 2000s. Kardashian leveraged her media presence to build a business empire that includes reality TV, fashion, and beauty products. The 2007 Playboy appearance was pivotal in her rise to global fame as a reality TV star and businesswoman.

7. Betty Page

Betty Page - Queen of Pinups - Playboy Playmates

Though Bettie Page never held the title of Playmate, her 1955 appearance in Playboy solidified her status as a pin-up legend. Known for her distinctive hairstyle and fearless attitude, Page became one of the most famous models of the 1950s, she’s celebrated as a pioneer of the pin-up genre.

8. Jayne Mansfield

Portrait of Jayne Mansfield -born-vera-jayne-palmer-seated in a car

Jayne Mansfield, a major sex symbol of the 1950s and early 1960s, appeared in Playboy several times, her first being in February 1955. Mansfield’s career included film, television, and music until her untimely death in 1967.

9. Shannon Tweed

Shannon Tweed - Playboy Playmates

Shannon Tweed first appeared in Playboy as Miss November 1981 and became Playmate of the Year in 1982. She went on to have a successful acting career, particularly in the adult film genre.

10. Dorothy Stratten

Dorothy Stratten - Most tragic playmate model

Dorothy Stratten was Playmate of the Month in August 1979 and Playmate of the Year in 1980. Her promising career was tragically cut short when she was murdered by her estranged husband in 1980, a story that inspired films and documentaries.

11. Heather Rae Young

Heather Rae Young - best playboy playmate

From Playboy Playmate in February 2010 to a successful real estate career and starring role in Netflix’s “Selling Sunset,” Heather Rae Young has made a significant public impact.

12. Marilyn Cole

Marilyn Cole - best playboy playmates

Marilyn Cole is one of the most famous Playboy Playmates of all time. She was the Playmate of the Year in 1973, and was the first to pose in a full frontal nude pose for the magazine, marking a significant moment in Playboy history.

13. Victoria Silvstedt

Victoria Silvstedt - best playboy playmates

Playmate of the Year in 1997, Silvstedt has enjoyed a successful career in modeling, acting, and singing, both in the United States and Europe.

14. Lillian Müller

Lillian Müller - Norwegian Beauty - Playboy playmates

Lillian Müller, Playmate of the Year in 1976, went on to act in several films and television shows, maintaining a presence in Hollywood.

15. Crystal Hefner

Crystal Hefner - Playboy Playmates

Crystal Hefner, Playmate of the Month in December 2009, married Hugh Hefner and has since become a spokesperson for various causes and brands.

16. Julie McCullough

Julie McCullough - playboy playmates

Julie McCullough, Playmate of the Month in February 1986, transitioned to acting, appearing on shows like “Growing Pains.”

17. Donna D’Errico

Donna D'Errico - best playboy playmates

Donna D’Errico, Playmate of the Month in September 1995, joined the cast of “Baywatch” and has been active in film and television.

18. Barbi Benton

Barbi Benton - Best playboy playmates

Despite gracing the cover of Playboy four times, Barbi Benton was never actually crowned Playmate of the Month. Benton got her start as part of the entertainment show Playboy After Dark.

19. Kelly Monaco

Kelly Monaco - Playboy Playmates

Before her role on the hit series, Kelly Monaco was another Playmate who scored a role on Baywatch. Before all that, the model sent a photo to Playboy in 1996 and promptly found herself on the cover of the magazine.

20. Jennifer Jackson

Jennifer Jackson - Best playboy playmates

Jennifer Jackson is notable for being the first African American Playboy Playmate, featured as the centerfold of the 1965 edition of the magazine.

21. Kimberley Conrad

Kimberley Conrad

What makes Kimberley Conrad special is the fact that she ended up marrying Hugh Hefner. She was Playboy‘s Playmate of the Month in January 1988 and became Playmate of the Year in 1989.

22. Cindy Crawford

Cindy Crawford - Best playboy playmates

Cindy Crawford, featured in Playboy in 1988 and 1998, was already a supermodel and used the platform to enhance her global reputation.

23. Ines Rau

Ines Rau - First playmate playboy transgender model

Playboy broke down barriers with its November 2017 edition. The Playboy Playmate of the Month was Ines Rau, the magazine’s first openly transgender Playmate.

24. Teri Weigel

Teri Weigel - playboy playmates

Teri Weigel, the Playmate in April 1986, transitioned into adult film acting, making a name for herself beyond the magazine.

25. Sara Jean Underwood

Sara Jean Underwood

Sara Jean Underwood, Playmate of the Year in 2007, has become a social media influencer with a focus on travel and lifestyle.

26. Linda Gamble

Linda Gamble

Linda Gamble was known for her appearances in “Judd for the Defense” and “Real People,” but she began her public life as Playboy’s Miss April 1960.

FAQs

Who was the first ever Playboy Playmate? Marilyn Monroe was featured as the first Playmate in Playboy’s debut issue in December 1953.

How many times did Pamela Anderson appear in Playboy? Pamela Anderson has graced the Playboy cover a record 14 times.

What does being a Playboy Playmate involve? Being a Playboy Playmate typically involves appearing in the magazine’s centerfold, participating in promotional events, and often, engaging in charity work under the Playboy brand.

Can appearing in Playboy lead to a successful career? Yes, many Playboy Playmates have gone on to successful careers in entertainment, modeling, business, and other fields, with Playboy often serving as a launching pad.

What was Playboy’s impact on the sexual revolution? Playboy played a significant role in the sexual revolution, providing a platform for discussing taboo subjects and promoting liberal attitudes toward sex.

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