Dorothy Stratten's story was brief, glorious and tragic. Born in
Vancouver, B.C. Canada. She grew up in a rough neighborhood in
Vancouver, but kept out of trouble and went through the motions of
school. While not a beauty as a child, nor early teen, Stratten
came into her own out of high school and attracted the attention of
Paul Snider, a promoter and wannabe star. He started dating her and
after seeing an advertisement for Playboy's 25th Anniversary
Playmate search in 1978, convinced her to pose for photos. Playboy
saw the potential in Stratten and flew her out to Los Angeles,
where she became a candidate. Although she lost out to Candy
Loving, Stratten was made a Playmate in the August, 1979 issue of
Playboy. Soon after, she was pressured into marrying Snider, who
had a Svengali-like influence on her. After her centerfold came
out, Stratten found work in a few movies, notably Americathon and
Skatetown, USA., as well as being the object of Richard Dawson's
affection in an ABC-TV special shot at the Playboy mansion.
Clearly, her star was on the rise. In 1980, it was revealed that
Stratten would be tabbed as the Playmate of the Year by Playboy
publisher and founder Hugh Hefner. While this was one of the
crowning achievements of her career, things were not going well in
her marriage to Snider. He bothered her on the set of the movie
Galaxina and when Snider found out she was developing more than a
friendly relationship with director Peter Bogdonavich, Snider grew
increasingly frustrated. After a separation, Snider bought a gun
and talked Stratten into coming to the apartment they used to share
in West Los Angeles. Snider tied her up, sexually assaulted her and
put the gun (a shotgun) next to her face and pulled the trigger.
Snider then turned the gun on himself to complete the
murder-suicide. Since her death, Stratten has become something of a
minor cult fixture, and has had two (one a television) movies a
song and a couple of books written about her. The last movie she
was in, "They All Laughed, " was released after her death.
Biography courtesy of the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com).