Original 1960s Playboy Bunnies have revealed what it was really like to post for the famous magazine and work at the brand’s clubs, sharing everything from memories of Hugh Hefner to the strict grooming rules they were made to follow.
Revealing what it was really like during the early days of the brand, Kathryn Leigh Scott and Jaki Nett; Playmate Jeannie Bell and the daughter of the first Playboy centrefold have shared their experiences in a new podcast.
, explores how Janet Pilgrim, whose real name was Charlaine Edith Karalus, helped the Playboy founder create an empire worth millions – despite only being paid around $200.
Despite strict grooming rules and models pouring club soda inside their three-inch heels to numb the pain during eight-hour shifts, one of the models interviewed described working for the private members club as ‘nirvana’.
Meanwhile Bell, one of the first black women to appear in Playboy Magazine, said despite Hefner showing off his spinning, vibrating bed during a tour of the mansion, he was a ‘nice, great guy’.
The Power: Hugh Hefner, explores how Janet Pilgrim, whose real name was Charlaine Edith Karalus, helped the Playboy founder create an empire worth millions – despite only being paid around $200.Pictured, Pilgrim on the cover of Playboy in the 60s
Hugh Hefner is pictured surrounded by 50 Playboy Bunnies in 1966 who were set to work at his new club on Park Lane, London
At 22, Charlaine Karalus became the first centrefold and non-professional model to become Playmate of the Month after meeting Hefner while working at Playboy’s corporate office as a subscriptions manager.
‘She and Hef were very good friends, obviously more than friends,’ said Charlaine’s daughter Linda.
‘They were kind of hanging out and he looked over to her and said “Why don’t you be in the picture?”. This magazine became what it is because of her, I think’.
However, Linda said that Charlene needed some persuading, explaining: ‘This could take off or this could be really bad.Who knew what would happen with these pictures? I believe he had to convince her many times to do it’.
Revealing what it was really like during the early days of the brand, 1960s Playboy Bunny Kathryn Leigh Scott (left) and Playmate Jeannie Bell (right) have shared their experiences in a new Podcast
Hugh Hefner arrives at London Airport from Chicago with an entourage of Playboy Bunnies in June 1966 for the opening of the London Playboy Club on Park Lane
Rebranding as Janet Pilgrim, Charlaine became Playboy’s original ‘girl next door’ when photographs of her in Marilyn-style hair and make-up sitting at a typewriter were published in 1955.
‘Hef was there for moral support, he is in the background, leaning against the doorway.Obviously it shows her cleavage’, said Linda.
‘She became very famous in Chicago and everywhere she went people knew her. Men were constantly calling her and clips I know she liked the attention’.