How the Brutal Murder of a Playboy Centerfold Sent Shock Waves Through Hollywood

Dorothy Stratten had the world at her fingertips in 1980.

She had rocketed to fame as the Playboy Playmate of the Year. Now, Hollywood was calling. She landed guest roles on TV shows such as Buck Rodgers and Fantasy Island. 

Things got even better for her when she earned a substantial role in the movie They All Laughed, a comedy film starring Audrey Hepburn, Ben Gazzara  and John Ritter.

She maintained warm relationships with several Hollywood heavy hitters, including Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.

Hugh Hefner and Dorothy Stratten
Julian Wasser/Online USA Inc./Getty

But Stratton’s personal life was messy. Her marriage to her controlling small-time manager, Paul Snider, was on the rocks. Estranged from her husband, she started seeing director Peter Bogdanovich, who had recently split from Cybill Shepherd.


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