Dorothy Stratten (Dead Blondes Episode 13) / by Karina Longworth

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Our Dead Blondes season concludes with the story of Dorothy Stratten. Coaxed into nude modeling by Paul Snider, her sleazy boyfriend-turned-husband, 18 year-old Stratten was seized on by Playboy as the heir apparent to Marilyn Monroe. She ascended to the top of the Playboy firmament quickly, and just after Hugh Hefner decided to make her Playmate of the Year, she met filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, who fell in love with her and rewrote his upcoming film, They All Laughed, to give Dorothy a star-making role. After filming They All Laughed Dorothy planned to leave Snider and Playboy for life with Bogdanovich -- but her husband had other ideas. 



The documentary mentioned at the end of this episode is One Day Since Yesterday, directed by Bill Teck. The link above goes to the DVD on Amazon, but it's also available on Netflix and iTunes.

While I was doing the research for this episode, I was able to view many of the images of Dorothy that appeared in Playboy via a tumblr that has since been taken down. Many of these images are still viewable via Pinterest

Other sources:

"The Passions of Peter Bogdanovich", People, January 23, 1989

"The Death of a Playmate", Village Voice, November 5, 1980

"Hugh Hefner: Blows Against The Empire," Rolling Stone, March 27, 1986

"Peter Bogdanovich Doesn't Live Here Anymore," LA Weekly, March 27, 2002


"Behind the Scenes of the Last Picture Show," Entertainment Weekly, September 21, 1990

"Out to Lunch With Peter Bogdanovich," Vanity Fair, March 2014

"Director Bogdanovich Declares Bankruptcy" Los Angeles Times, June 4, 1997

"Peter Bogdanovich's Star Crossed Days," Washington Post, September 25, 1984


This episode was edited by Sam Dingman, and produced by Karina Longworth with the assistance of Lindsey D. Schoenholtz. Our logo was designed by Teddy Blanks.