Almost four decades after Playmate of the Year, Dorothy Stratten was killed by her envious, alienated spouse; her memory lives on.
On Aug. 14, 1980, Stratten was assaulted and killed by Paul Snider, who, at that point, turned the firearm on himself in a homicide-suicide. She was 20 years of age.
Two years sooner, Snider had explored Stratten when she was an adolescent serving frozen yogurt at a Dairy Queen in Vancouver, Canada. Their gathering would be the start of the end for Stratten.
“She recently misconstrued that person so severely,” Jeana Keough, Playmate of the Month for November 1980, reveals to ABC’s 20/20. “She recently had that little defect … not having the option to see the insidiousness in individuals.”
In a two-hour TV occasion airing on Friday, 20/20 will disclose to Stratten’s biography with the assistance of the individuals who knew her best.
“She was simply amazingly lovely,” said on-screen character Colleen Camp, who featured nearby Stratten in the 1981 film “They All Laughed.” “There was something supernatural about being with her. … Time would stop, and you just felt [like] you were in a solidified minute.”
Yet, before Stratten could arrive at the statures of her fame, she was pulled under – ruthlessly killed by Snider, a similar man who had first found her.
“She didn’t accept that everyone lied, and every one of the liars came to [Los Angeles],” said entertainer Max Baer Jr., one of Snider’s companions, who is best known for playing Jethro Bodine on “The Beverly Hillbillies.” “I said [to Snider], ‘Do you care about her?’ And he stated, ‘Better believe it.’ I stated, ‘Well, in the event that you truly care about her…take her back to Vancouver. She doesn’t have a place here.’ I stated, ‘She’s decent. She has an extraordinary figure, got an excellent face and this town will decimate her.'”
In June 1979, as Stratten’s profession was taking off, she and Snider wedded — against the desires of the individuals who knew her, including Playboy’s Hugh Hefner.
Stratten’s companions tell 20/20 while the wonderful blonde wound up going to a portion of Hollywood’s most selective gatherings, Snider ended up left out. Nonetheless, new to the style, Stratten remained nearby to the one individual who knew her best.
“She was on the telephone with him day by day when we shot her,” Marilyn Grabowski, Playboy magazine’s previous West Coast photograph proofreader, tells 20/20. “She would call and reveal to him how extraordinary it was going… .She felt that whatever achievement she was having — and it was embryonic by then — was absolute because of Paul. She inclined toward him.”
“As she began to sneak away, [Snider] began to acknowledge he didn’t possess anything,” Mariel Hemingway, who played Stratten in the 1983 biopic Star 80, says in the scene.
Upon the arrival of her homicide, Stratten headed toward the home she and Snider once shared, in spite of companions’ notice her not to go over their separation understanding. She and Snider would later be discovered dead by companions, exposed in the room.
The 20-year-old’s sad demise stunned Hollywood and propelled books, TV shows, and movies.