Like Marilyn Monroe. Blondes, charming essence and friendly eyes. Playboy star Dorothy Stratten was often compared to the legendary blonde just over 40 years ago, and not swampy. The Canadian beauty rose to world fame in 1979, when she was only 18 years old. In August, she appeared in the famous Playboy magazine as the Bunny Girl of the Month.
Later, she also reaped a reputation as the bunny girl of the year, and suddenly all the doors to the entertainment world were open to a neighbor girl who grew up in a family of three.
However, Stratten’s life ended in the darkest way possible just a year after it had all begun. The headlines had to be pressed into the news of a blatant tragedy: a husband blinded by jealousy had murdered the star and himself.
Only the brutal murder of 20-year-old Stratten shocked Hollywood all the way to its foundations.
Photo: Boris Spremo / Getty images
For two years of success, the Canadian beauty’s life revolved tightly around her husband Paul Snider. The nine-year-old Snider was, in fact, the one who originally winged Stratten Road to fame.
The duo’s roads first met at the Dairy Queen restaurant in British Columbia, Canada. The carefree and sweet Stratten, then still known as Dorothy Ruth Hoogstraten, who worked part-time in the restaurant, was like a magnet that attracted Snider.
Soon they began dating, and the relationship deepened at a rapid pace. Snider immediately noticed that Stratten had gifts as a photo model. Snider hired a photographer to take nude photos of the woman, which were sent to Playboy magazine in the summer of 1978. Although Stratten was inexperienced and shy, he had nothing against it. He dreamed of a movie star and didn’t want to stay in a fast food restaurant for the rest of his life.
Paul Snider and Dorothy Stratten.
Photo: Getty Images
By the end of the summer, Stratten was already packing his belongings and moving to Los Angeles. Playboy had sent a limousine to pick him up by the time the pictures arrived. It was the first time that Stratten, who grew up in modest conditions, even got on a plane.
Exactly a year later, the woman’s pictures adorned Playboy, the last name had been officially shortened to Stratten, and she was a familiar sight at the Playboy Club in the hustle and bustle of the City of Angels.
The relationship with Sniderink was sealed by marriage. Rumor has it that Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner had immediately taken Stratten under the protection of his wings so strongly that he opposed his marriage until the last. Stratten's friends also warned him about Snider. They thought the behavior of the man who had moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of the woman had become strange.
Stratten, for his part, felt indebted to Snider, but the more star dust hovered around him, the less he had time to spend his time with her husband.
Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner and Dorothy Stratten.
Photo: PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy / MVPhotos
The biggest dream came true when, with the Playboy reputation, Stratten began to rain on film work. In total, he starred in five films, the last of which was Directed by Peter Bogdanovich, Seekers on the Swing (1981). Bogdanovich met Stratten at Playboy Manor and saw the eyes of his soul on the woman's screens. After getting to know Stratten, he also fell in love fervently. The couple had a passionate secretion that began behind the scenes in New York.
It’s no surprise that the relationship with Snider would already staple in its joints at this point. Coworkers and loved ones had noticed the couple’s constant exchange of words and quarrels. Snider would have liked to fly to his wife in New York for filming, but Stratten refused.
Months later, Stratten returned to Los Angeles, his and Snider’s shared home, between Playboy and film work and a model tour. It felt completely foreign.
Canadian beauty Dorothy Stratten rose to world fame in 1979: in August, she appeared as the bunny girl of the month in the famous Playboy magazine.
Photo: Shutterstock / AOP
The career took on new rounds when Stratten was selected as Bunny Girl of the Year in April 1980. Handsome celebrations were held at Playboy Manor, and in her speech of thanks, Stratten praised Hefner for making her the happiest woman in the world. After flying back to New York, Stratten wrote to Snider that he wanted his own space.
Finally, in June, just a few weeks after the first wedding day, Stratten stated directly that they were now both financially and physically divorced. Snider became furious that he emptied the couple's shared bank account, jumped into bed with his ex-girlfriend, and hired a private detective to overshadow Stratten's movements.
To top it all off, the Canadian Snider was in Los Angeles without a work permit and no work, so he financed his jealous kidnappings by selling the prizes and property he received from his wife Playboy, including a $ 26,000 Jaguar.
Dorothy Stratten played the title role in sci-fi comedy Galaxina (1980).
Photo: MARIMARK PRODUCTIONS / Album
In July, filming for Detective on the Move had run out. Stratten had just spent a wonderful 10-day vacation with Bogdanovich. Lempi slipped, and on her return home she quietly moved to her new loved one's mansion in Bel Air.
However, Snider was aware of Stratten's new life with the help of a private detective. His morbid jealousy had shaken his mental health. One August evening, he left with a gun toward Bel Air Manor and hid on the outskirts of the plot with the intention of firing. After hours of silence, he handed over and drove his car to the hill where he could see the whole city. He later admitted to his friend that he was seriously considering suicide that night.
On August 8, Snider and Stratten quickly met at their former home together. Stratten, meanwhile, said she is in love with Bogdanovich and wants to formally file for divorce.
The revel plunged Snider deeper and deeper into the darkness. For the next few days, he searched for a new weapon in despair.
As a benevolent person, Stratten sincerely believed that he and Snider could still be friends, in spite of everything. Therefore, he agreed to meet with Snider once more so that the couple could agree on the practical arrangements for the separation. Stratten could have let the lawyer handle the final difference, but he thinks everything would have gone more easily if they spoke directly to each other.
Hefner and Bogdanovich saw it differently. They forbade Stratten from stepping near Snider. However, Stratten was stubborn and refused to think evil about the man.
The couple’s former shared home hummed its emptiness as Stratten stepped inside the apartment that fateful Thursday afternoon, August 14, 1980.
Stratten and Snider chatted in the tastefully decorated living room. After that, nothing was the same. Shortly after the encounter, Snider and Stratten ended up in the bedroom where Snider raped Stratten. He then shot his wife in the face with a shotgun. An hour later, he deprived himself of the spirit behind the closed door of the bedroom.
Snider was living at the time with a few roommates, one of whom was the young and beautiful Patti Laurman. For him, Snider wanted to make the next big Playboy star. Roommates arrived home in eight countries in the evening unaware of the shocking tragedy. They noticed Stratten in the yard of the car, and assumed the closed bedroom door meant the couple longed for privacy.
They sat in the living room watching TV for several hours without knowing that a trembling tragedy was waiting behind the door. At eleven o'clock in the evening, worried roommates opened the door. Naked Snider and Stratten lay dead on the floor, in a large pool of blood.
- It was so awful that it looked like a staged scene from a horror movie. They were like wax dolls in artificial blood. That picture will never disappear in my opinion, it has been drawn on my retinas forever, roommate Laurman has recalled the indescribable sight.
Dorothy Stratten's last resting place at Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles.
Photo: Mary Evans / Zuma / MVPhotos
The rising star had gone out as fast as it had ignited. Only the brutal murder of 20-year-old Stratten shocked Hollywood all the way to its foundations.
Hugh Hefner and Peter Bodganovich revolve in a deep swamp of self-accusations. Bogdanovich never recovered from Stratten’s horrible fate, his career as a director took a hit at a loss. He eventually wrote a book called Dorothy Stratten: The Death of a Unicorn, in which he accused Hefner and Playboy districts of Stratten’s fate.
Bodganovich was unable to let go of the love of his life and eventually drifted into a romance with Stratten’s little sister Louise. The couple married eight years after the murder. The union lasted more than 10 years.
Stratten got his last resting place at Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles. Under the same flat grass also rests another blond beauty, Marilyn Monroe, and Hugh Hefner.
Stratten’s tombstone is adorned with a quote chosen by Bodganovich for his beloved from Ernest Hemingway’s short story Farewell to Arms.
“If someone brings exceptional courage to this world, in order to break him, the world must take his life. So of course, it takes a breath. It kills all the kind, sensitive and brave, impartially. Even if you don’t belong to them, you can be sure that it will eventually kill you too. Then it just isn't in a special hurry. ”
Sources: Daily Mail, ABC News, IS Archives