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Dorothy Stratten (February 28, 1960 – August 14, 1980)

Born Dorothy Ruth Hoogstraten in Vancouver, British Columbia, Stratten began dating Paul Snider, a small-time promoter. He encouraged the model to submit nude photos to the Playboy 25th Anniversary Playmate search in 1978. She didn’t win the contest, but became a Playmate in the August 1979 issue and became the Playmate of the Year in 1980.

Stratten was cast in the Peter Bogdanovich-directed 1981 movie They All Laughed. During filming, Bogdanovich and Stratten began an affair. Snider, suspicious, hired a private detective to follow her. Stratten and Snider soon separated and Stratten moved in with Bogdanovich and was planning to file for divorce. Before she could, on August 14, 1980, she visited Snider’s home in West Los Angeles. There, he shot and killed her before killing himself. Stratten’s life and death were depicted in the films Star 80 by Bob Fosse and the television movie Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story and in the book The Killing of the Unicorn – Dorothy Stratten 1960-1980 by Bogdanovich (who never got over Stratten’s murder and married Stratten’s sister in 1988).

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