Phil Archbold He lived his life like there was no tomorrow, and on Sept. Hefner's journey to stardom began when he returned from military service during WWII to discover that his first wife, Mildred Williams, had allegedly cheated on him, which he later described as "the most devastating moment" in his life.
Hef as his many girlfriends would come to call him re-branded himself as his man-about-town, and as his popularity grew, so too did his magazine. His reputation as a ladies man preceded him, and the older he got, the more women he dated. Here's what some of those ladies look like today. Barbi Benton Getty Images Barbara Lynn Klein intended to become a veterinarian but soon realized that was a non-starter because she " couldn't stand the sight of blood.
It didn't take long for Hef to make his move. During that time she was featured on three covers as well as two spreads, one of which she went all the way for. Together they epitomized a swinging romance. She was featured as Miss August and named Playmate of the Year in , bringing her into direct contact with Hefner.
Then I'd move onto desserts: German chocolate cake, apple pie, strawberry shortcake, cookies and ice cream. Alas, she never achieved her dream of making it as an A-list actress. Nowadays, she's an outspoken advocate for healthy eating and healthy living. Conrad was an Alabama girl who was given the chance to take her modeling career to the next level in January when she debuted in the magazine.
In '89, she was crowned Playmate of the Year, though the real prize was taking Hefner off the market. It had nothing to do with me. I got their first names but not their last names or phone numbers, and suddenly they were gone. It took me a month to find them. One was studying in Las Vegas; the other home in Chicago.
As Hef tells it, all it took was a few phone calls, and the Bentley twins were getting ready for life at the mansion. According to CBS News , in the summer of '99, Sandy began seeing Wall Street multimillionaire Mark Yagalla, who reportedly showered her with waves of expensive jewelry. She was later ordered to return it all after Yagalla was exposed as a con artist, but before the handover, she and her new boyfriend, Michael Tardio, attempted to sell some of it.
There were no surprised faces in the mansion when Brande Roderick was named 's Playmate of the Year. Some of her interactions with then-host Donald Trump were seen as inappropriate by audiences, considering Trump was married to Melania. The blonde bombshell burned though numerous jobs after completing her studies and was in the process of transitioning into real estate when she met Hefner at Garden of Eden, one of his regular haunts.
I was a loan processor—boring! Soon after, she was featured as Miss March , and that same year, the magazine interviewed her about a relationship with its founder.
My year-old brother thinks I'm so cool now because he got to meet Fred Durst at Hef's birthday party. At 31, she was the oldest of his partners, and she reportedly began to worry about her future while filming the show. According to Us Weekly , Marquardt decided to freeze some of her eggs in hopes of making her dream of starting a family come true after leaving the mansion.
She called it an "insurance policy" she hoped she wouldn't have to use. When the couple failed to conceive via IVF treatment, the pair utilized her frozen eggs as a last hope. Marquardt said she had not seen him in years. The show made her famous, and by the time her seven-year relationship with Hefner came to an end in , she had enough star power to front her own show.
However, that wasn't the end for the former cover girl. She just needed to switch mediums. In the book, she revealed the reason she decided to leave Hefner: Whether this was an attempt at a pick-up or simply some honest advice isn't clear, but what is clear is that Wilkinson took the comments to heart.
She scored a gig as a Painted Lady at Hefner's 78th birthday bash, where she made quite the impression on the host. Within a matter of days, she was officially one of Hefner's girlfriends and had moved into the mansion to live with him, Madison, and Marquardt. Five years later, Wilkinson moved out on good terms. She actually held her wedding with former pro football star Hank Baskett at the mansion in June She's been very open about her time with Hefner and company, even with her son.
They lost the title to Ukrainian model Dasha Astafieva , but just getting there was enough to make an impression on Hefner. Smitten with the pair, he offered the girls a joint centerfold shoot and invited them to live at the mansion as new girlfriends, even reportedly giving them full use of his legendary circular bed to sweeten the deal. With media spotlight comes media scrutiny, and it wasn't long before the twins' past was being dredged up in the press. Their residency at Hefner's casa came to an end in , and things haven't exactly been going great for them since.
It was like we already knew each other. A year of wining and dining followed, before Hefner popped the question. She said yes, but nerves later got the better of her, and Harris called the whole thing off just days before the ceremony "I was overwhelmed," she told the magazine. It was too much for me. Following his death, Harris spoke to Us Weekly.
A kind and humble soul who opened up his life and home to the world. I felt how much he loved me. I loved him so much. I am so grateful. He gave me direction.
He taught me kindness. I will feel eternally grateful to have been by his side, holding his hand, and telling him how much I love him.
He changed my life, he saved my life. He made me feel loved every single day. He was a beacon to the world, a force unlike anything else.