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I remember when my Playboy pictorial came out in 1983. Some folks in high places said, “I saw some beautiful pictures of you in — I think Vogue.” Of course, I knew I had not been in Vogue or any other fashion magazine at that time. I simply said, “No, that must have been Playboy.”
There were many people who still would not admit that they would occasionally, or on a monthly basis, look forward to popping open the pages of Playboy. The interviews were brilliant, and the women — well, what can I say!
I found there were many sides to him, but the Hugh Hefner I knew was a highly intelligent, sensitive, funny, caring and compassionate man. He loved animals and cherished his exotic bird menagerie, as I found out when he invited me to come over one afternoon to the mansion after he agreed to participate in a documentary that we were making on the illegal importation of exotic birds and macaws up through Mexico.
He was not only a fearless pioneer but a generous one who saw potential in girls like myself when the timing in their careers was perfect for that particular kind of exposure (pun intended) that was catapulting, not exploitative. I will always be thankful to Mr. Hefner and Playboy for helping me at a very crucial period of time in my life and career.
This story appears in the Oct. 4 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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