Today is the 59th birthday of a girl that will always be only 20 years old: Dorothy Stratten. The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.
NAME: Dorothy Stratten
OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Model
BIRTH DATE: February 26, 1960
DEATH DATE: August 14, 1980
PLACE OF BIRTH: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
PLACE OF DEATH: West Los Angeles, California
CAUSE OF DEATH: Gunshot
REMAINS: Buried, Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles, CA
ORIGINALLY: Dorothy Ruth Hoogstraten
AKA: Dorothy Hoogstraten
HEIGHT: 5′ 9″
BEST KNOWN FOR: Dorothy Stratten was a Playboy model and actress before she was murdered at the age of 20.
Dorothy Stratten was born Dorothy Ruth Hoogstraten on February 26, 1960, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. After high school, Stratten began dating Paul Snider, a small-time promoter who encouraged her to take a few nude photos to enter Playboy’s 25th Anniversary Playmate search in 1978. Though she lost the Anniversary contest, Stratten did become a playmate for the magazine’s August 1979 issue. Stratten and Snider were soon married, and her career grew to include film offers and the coveted title of Playmate of the Year in 1980.
After being cast in Peter Bogdanovich’s They All Laughed, Stratten and the director began having an affair. As her fame grew, Snider became increasingly jealous and resentful. Shortly after Stratten and Snider separated, on August 14, 1980, she visited Snider at his home in West Los Angeles, California. There, Snider shot her to death before turning the gun on himself.
Stratten’s murder was depicted in two films. In 1981’s Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story, Jamie Lee Curtis portrayed Stratten and Bruce Weitz played Paul Snider. Bob Fosse‘s 1983 feature film, Star 80, starred Mariel Hemingway as Stratten and Eric Roberts as Snider.
In 1983 film critic Vincent Canby wrote, “Miss Stratten possessed a charming screen presence and might possibly have become a first-rate comedienne with time and work.”
Singer Bryan Adams’s 1983 single “The Best Was Yet To Come” was dedicated to Dorothy Stratten.
In 1984, Peter Bogdanovich’s book about Stratten was published, titled The Killing of the Unicorn. Four years later, at age 49, Bogdanovich married Stratten’s sister, Louise, who was 20. Bogdanovich had paid for Louise’s private schooling and modeling classes following Stratten’s death. They divorced in 2001 after being married for 13 years.
British band Bush dedicated the song “Dead Meat” on their album The Science of Things to Stratten.
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
They All Laughed (14-Aug-1981)
Skatetown, USA (Oct-1979)