A Celebration Of Dorothy Stratten… Her Legacy And Iconic Career…

The Legend Of Dorothy Stratten…

Dorothy Stratten was one of the most beautiful stars that Hollywood has ever known…and while she has a tragic story, my “2022 Sex Kitten Countdown” will celebrate her life – and the terrific films she left us with…

Dorothy Ruth Hoogstraten was born 61 years ago – on February 28 1960 in Canada.

She attended Centennial High School in Coquitlam, British Columbia. Her story has been documented in many different ways – the story of a beautiful young woman who is “discovered”, and finds fame in Hollywood…

While in high school in 1977, she was working part-time at a local Dairy Queen, where she met 26-year-old Vancouver-area club promoter Paul Snider.

Snider had big plans for her – and for himself as well. He had a photographer take professional nude photos of Dorothy, which were sent to Playboy magazine in the summer of 1978. 

Since she was under the legal age of 19 in British Columbia, she had to persuade her mother to sign the model release form. 

Those pictures made her a star…

The photos immediately caught the attention of Hugh Hefner, and the newly named “Dorothy Stratten” was soon on her way to Hollywood – and stardom.

Stratten became the Playboy Playmate of the Month for August 1979 and it was clear the camera loved her, with an innocence to the photos that captivated the world.

“Playmate of the Year!”

Stratten’s career continued to skyrocket – she was chosen as the 1980 Playmate Of The Year, and as you would expect, Hollywood came calling…but Snider was with her every step of the way…

Interestingly, Dorothy came in second in a huge Playboy honor….which went to Candy Loving instead:

This stunning beauty beat out Dorothy when she was named the 25th Anniversary Playmate, but then didn’t go on to have a career in entertainment at all – here is Candy’s fascinating story:

Still, Dorothy soon became a star – these photos capture her sensuality and innocence in equal measure…

As part of her career breakout, Dorothy began to get work in TV shows – appearing in a number of parts in shows such as “Buck Rogers” and “Fantasy Island.”

She also had small film roles in “Americathon” and the roller disco comedy “Skatetown, U.S.A.” before landing the lead role in the low-budget film “Autumn Born”, which made good use of her natural charms…

Dorothy Becomes “Galaxina!”

Stratten spent the first few months of 1980 shooting for Playboy – and taking a major step forward in her acting career with the cult film “Galaxina”.

Here’s the plot: the crew of the police cruiser Infinity is finally heading home after a long stay in deep space. Just when they think they are about to get some much needed rest and relaxation, the crew is given a new mission – journey to the alien world Altar One to find the Blue Star, a mystical gem that holds unlimited power.

Check out the trailer, which makes good use of Stratten’s popularity:

It was also at this time that she married Paul Snider, who also became his wife’s Manager, Acting Coach – and Chauffeur.

It was that controlling behavior that worried many.

Cult Actress Rosanne Katon was a friend of Dorothy’s, and reports say that she and other friends warned Stratten about Snider’s behavior. 

Clearly Stratten had bigger dreams than just cult films, because she next landed a part in the film “They All Laughed”, heading to New York to film with stars John Ritter, Audrey Hepburn and Ben Gazzara. The Director was Peter Bogdanovich, known for “The Last Picture Show”, “Paper Moon” and “What’s Up, Doc?”

Stratten and Bogdanovich began an affair during the making of the film.

I own this movie, and sadly Dorothy doesn’t have a ton to do in it, but the camera loves her and there is a gentle, honest sweetness about her that is infectious…

Sadly, the film was ultimately labelled as her final film role, making it feel like a cheap sales gimmick…

The film did show that she had the ability to command attention onscreen without disrobing, and there was so much ahead of her when tragedy struck.

Her Husband’s Horrific Crime…

By this time, Dorothy had decided to divorce Paul, but she agreed to meet with her estranged husband on August 14, 1980 in Los Angeles – a fatal mistake.

In a horrific act that he planned ahead of time, Snider murdered her…she was only 20 years old – and after brutally killing Dorothy, Snider then killed himself.

Dorothy Stratten’s murder was senseless and brutal…

There are documentaries that delve into the timeline in much more detail, as well as books and lengthy articles online. There were are also two films that dealt with the tragidy:

Her death inspired two motion pictures, the 1981 TV movie “Death of a Centerfold”, where she was played by Jamie Lee Curtis:

In 1983, legendary Director Bob Fosse made “Star 80”, with Marial Hemingway in the title role. For me, this film made the wrong decision to begin with her horrific murder, then flashback and forth to make the entire film unsettling and distasteful – the tragedy overshadows her bright, happy spirit shown in the rest of the film…

Peter Bogdanovich also wrote a book about Stratten as well:

Dorothy Stratten had her entire career ahead of her, and the murder was senseless and tragic…

As I mentioned earlier in my story, Stratten was friends with Cult Actress Rosanne Katon, who had a terrific career after appearing in Playboy as well:

Katon was a successful Actress and Comedienne, who appeared in a number of great cult films – you can see them all by clicking on my story here:

Katon and Stratten are just two of the many Playboy Playmates who had great careers in entertainment:

Here’s the story of a Playmate who acted in a few films before she became an acclaimed stunt woman!

Karen Price has a fascinating story and you can read all about it by clicking on my story here:

And here is another empowered Actress who appeared in Playboy and had a great career:

Erika Eleniak had a great career and you can see it all here:

If you like these stories, and don’t want to miss any of my “2021 Sex Kitten Countdown” as well, then go to my website’s front page and sign on to follow me – there are NO ads at all, just lots of stories to come about the wild world of exploitation and cult films!

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Categories: 70's Films, Artsploitation, Books / Media, Camp Cult Classics, JRsploitation, Nudity, sex kittens, Talent / Celebrites

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8 replies

  1. Apparently “Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story” (produced by Larry Wilcox from “CHiPs” of all people) is a lot more accurate than Bob Fosse’s version.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a damn shame. Such a beautiful woman cut down by a scumbag.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Even now after all of these untold years later on now, her murder still hurts a good deal or even a lot!! Interesting to find out that she had appeared on Fantasy Island, sure wish I had gotten to see that episode. But I did get to see her on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and enjoyed her a good deal if not a lot!! Greg D, you were also right to call him a scumbag but at the same time I would also say that he was a lot more then just that!! RIP even now Dorothy Stratten.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I do recall her murder being reported here, with a lot of emphasis on her Playboy/Hefner connection. But I have never seen any of her work.
    Best wishes, Pete.


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