Dorothy Stratten on the Tonight Show

There have been several Playboy Playmates who’ve met with untimely deaths, but none such as Dorothy Stratten, who was the reigning Playmate of the Year when she was murdered by her estranged husband in August of 1980. Here she is on the Tonight Show in April of that year, just after being crowned the 1980 Playmate of the Year and her career showing signs of really taking off.

During her very brief acting career, after her whirlwind ride to fame as a Playmate, she appeared in several TV shows and movies. Her most notable film, Galaxina, in which she played the title character, has since become sort of a cult favorite, and Dorothy; sort of a cult figure, due to the timing and manner of her demise 29 years ago today. For those wanting to know the sordid (but interesting) details of her murder, the guys at, who do some great research on these matters, have this on it.

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Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chris flirted with the music business there and in Nashville before joining the U.S. Army and serving in South Korea. He remained in Asia for several years afterwards, teaching English, traveling, and covering the regional entertainment scenes. Currently in a mindset between Seoul and San Francisco, besides Idol Features, you can also catch his writings in the print edition of the monthly magazine, Effective.


  1. I was searching for Playmate deaths and found this. I was only 8 years old when she was killed but I do remember my older brother being all broke up over it. Such a beauty taken from the world far too soon.

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