Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Remembering Dorothy Stratten February 28, 1960 - August 14, 1980

Born in a Salvation Army hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia to Dutch immigrants, Dorothy Hoogstraten was one of three children.

In 1977, while attending high school, Dorothy also worked at a Dairy Queen when one day she met a 26 year old club promoter by the name of Paul Snider.  They began to date and he convinced her that she was pretty enough to be a model in Playboy magazine.  He took nude photographs of her and forwarded them to the magazine.  At the time, she was under the age of 18 and her mother refused sign a model release and (someone) forged her mother's signature.

Paul and Dorothy's relationship continued and decided in 1978 to move to Los Angeles together.  After seeing the photos, Playboy hired her as a model for the magazine and Dorothy began working as a Playboy Bunny in the Century City Playboy Club.  During that time, she shortened her name to Stratten.  Playboy's Hugh Hefner felt that she could qualify for both a model and an actress.  She began getting film jobs having guest starred in the television series of Buck Rogers and Fantasy Island.  She also took a small role in the comedy "Skatetown, U.S.A."

In 1980, Stratten was voted Playmate of the Year and also earned a role in the film "Galaxina (a sci-fi movie).

Stratten and Snider's relationship became volatile.   Soon, Hefner encouraged Stratten to move on and referred to Snider as both a hustler and pimp.  Over a short period of time, Stratten had eyes for a film director by the name of Peter Bogdanovich during the filming of "They All Laughed."  The movie would become Stratten's only major film.  The two began an affair and, after leaving Snider, moved in with Bogdanovich.  Snider became both irrational and jealous.  He hired a private detective to follow Stratten everywhere.  She eventually filed for divorce.

Snider began sharing a home with their mutual friend, Dr. Stephen Cushner.  On the day of August 14, 1980, Snider convinced Stratten to come to his home to discuss the divorce and Stratten obliged. That evening, several hours had passed and Snider nor Stratten could be reached.  Cushner broke into the home and discovered both Snider and Stratten dead from apparent gunshot wounds.  It is believed that after raping Stratten, he murdered her and then took his own life with the same shotgun.

Since her death, she has been the subject of a number of movies and TV stories including two by Playboy, and one on" E! True Hollywood Stories."

Dorothy Stratten funeral folder
Dorothy Stratten was cremated. The Rev. Charles Poole officiated her funeral on August 27, 1980 in the Westwood Village Funeral Chapel (funeral folder pictured).  She was laid to rest in the Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

Dorothy Stratten's monument reads

 "If people bring so much courage to this world    The world has to kill them to break them.  So of course it kills them...It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.   If you are none of these you can be sure that it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.  We love you  D.R." ( I don't quite understand it but wanted to share it)

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