Valentine Vixen — Nancy Harwood, Miss February 1968

In her Playmate interview, the lovely and talented Nancy Harwood, Miss February 1968, states views on the diametrically opposite end of the spectrum from yesterday’s first Valentine Vixen L.F. (Miss February 1970, all posts with references to whom have been removed from this site at the request of a different LF), but they ended up in virtually identical fields, showing once again that it is possible and even perhaps God’s intention in creating a species of such diverse intellects to achieve goals of peace and harmony no matter if there are little areas of difference between people. We can walk parallel paths and reach the same destination, and not imagine ours to be the only way home. Does this make sense?


Photographed by Bill Figge and Ed De Long.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Indian mystic who has introduced the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Mia Farrow Sinatra, among others, to the joys of contemplation, can also count Nancy Harwood among his followers. When Miss February faces the “altar” in her bachelorette pad in Burbank — it’s adorned with artificial flowers of psychedelic intensity from Mexico — she forgets not only the cares of a part-time college student but also the care-nots of a 19-year-old coming of age in Southern California. (“The Girl From Inner Space,” Playboy, February 1968.)


“It’s like getting high without drugs,” explains the pharmacist’s daughter — who got the message when she and many others, including pop idol Donovan, meditated with Maharishi recently at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium: “You could actually feel your neighbors going up, up and away!” (Ibid.)


Like so many of her tuned-in generation, Nancy grooves to the varied sounds of today’s many-splendored pop musical world — Hugh Masekela, Wes Montgomery, the Beatles, the Stones and Ravi Shankar. She also enjoys fraternizing with a variety of people at school, at the beach (“I used to go in for a lot of surfing, but paddling out got to be a drag”) or on Sunset Strip. (Ibid.)



I have a lot of friends with long hair, though I wouldn’t necessarily call them hippies.” However, Nancy informed us that abrasive contact with the “real” world is taking its toll on the flower children: “The Strip now has a lot in common with skid row — everybody’s just milling around and most of them are up tight. Last spring, people were turned on to one another; now, everybody’s on his own trip.” (Ibid.)


There is an appropriately forlorn but determined quality to this unusually clothed picture.

In my opinion, Nancy accurately pegs here the increasingly dissident years in the aftermath of the Summer of Love, which was 1967. You will hear the same complaint from other people — it was like that time was a golden hour that was never successfully recaptured, perhaps inevitably leading to the narcissistic solo drug benders of the seventies and subsequent desperately empty materialism and casual sex of the 1980’s. I honestly think we almost brought it back around in the 1990’s as far as caring about one another and giving a shit about the environment once more, but we lost it again somehow … I apologize to my daughter’s generation in advance for whatever comes next.

Another very unusual shot. They followed Nancy around to school and some peace rallies protesting the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. It’s not an experiment they tried much with the playmates, showing the reality of their lives, but it pays off with an idealistic gal like Nancy because that is part of her dimply but flinty-blue-eyed charm — the tinfoil beneath the icing of what you think is a cupcake but is actually a very determined young woman.


The more conventional side of Nancy’s education includes psychology and business courses at Los Angeles City College, a school she likes because of the diverse origins and upbringings of its students. Her ambitions are to model — Vogue’s Veruschka is her ideal — and to dance, preferably in films. (Ibid.)


According to her biography on her official site, Nancy put her classes to good use, and then some.

Nancy has been involved in human potential work for more than 15 years and is available for a personal coach. She is sought after as a coach because of her own experience and professoinal success. In her coaching, she integrates her extensive knowledge of body mechanics, diet, vitamins, and goal setting.

Due to her combination of brains, beauty, and free-love-based idealism and spirituality, Nancy was a tremendously popular Playmate during this time, especially with soldiers serving overseas during the Vietnam War.

Her feature was so popular that she received nine duffel bags of mail from American troops fighting in Vietnam in the following months. (official bio.)

Also,

She has remained a serious physical fitness buff, and has the same body weight and figure today that she had 25 years ago. (Ibid.)

The proof is in the pudding: check out the shots below!


DIG THE FABULOSITY!! l to r: Wonderful Helena Antonaccio (Miss June 1969), nothing-less-than-legendary star of the burlesque stage Tempest Storm, and beautiful flower child Nancy at Los Angeles Glamourcon in November of 2003.

Special thanks forever and always to the graceful, fun, funny, and all-around cramazing Helena Antonaccio for the above and below smashing shots of playmates and stage stars of yore in current action.


l to r: Nancy, Helena, and lovely and talented Connie Mason (Miss June 1963), Glamourcon 2003.

You must rush, rush, rush to Helena’s website and flock to her booth at any convention you attend. I can always count on the one-of-a-kind Miz A to Bring It when it comes to wonderful pictures. Bella, if you did not exist, I would have to invent you. *Muah!* ♥ (I get mooshy.)

Final present shot of Nancy:

Picture of Nancy at Glamroucon 15 by wonderful and hilarious J Greely, photographer of beautiful women and more recently zoo animals, who says, “I have nothing against naked women but I do object to clothed animals, so it evens out.” Check him out.

As a final awesome note, per her official site,

Ms. Harwood is currently President of the “original” Centerfold Alumni Association, which is composed of past Playmates and Centerfolds of the Month. These models are featured Playmates, whose dates of appearance range from August 1956 through June 1997.

Keep on rockin’ in the free world, Ms. Harwood!

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10 Responses to “Valentine Vixen — Nancy Harwood, Miss February 1968”

  1. John Salisbury Says:

    At the time it just seemed so inevitable–we wouldn’t have to actually do anything to bring the Age of Aquarius into being, we had only to celebrate its arrival. We were wrong.
    More than the Maharishi, I blame Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert for distracting the hippies from collective action and promoting complacence. What we called The Establishment was ready for us, we didn’t stand a chance. It was over before it began.

    Consistently excellent stuff, E.

    • E. Says:

      Thanks! And you hit the nail on the head with the word “complacence.” Turning inward and maintaining the comfortable numbness instead of pursuing a galvanized course of action … that is exactly what happened.

  2. RC Says:

    Hello,

    Is there any way I can read your article on Linda Forsythe (Miss Feb 1970), which had been taken down for some reason? I too am very interested in the differences in perspective between she and Nancy Harwood. One was a California flower child, the other an East Coast pro-system girl. Fascinating that they both became Playmates.

    If you can email me, that would be great.

    Thanks!

    • E. Says:

      Sorry, RC, the old Linda post is permanently lost to the ages due to some legal stuff and requests from a different LF. But I agree, Ms. Harwood and Ms. Forsythe were very uniquely opposed in their political viewpoints and lifestyle — a true reflection of the divisive, rapidly a-changing times in which they lived. It’s interesting. You’ve probably already read Playboy‘s write-up on Ms. Forsythe, but here is a link in case you haven’t. http://www.playboy.co.uk/girl/407/linda-forsythe

  3. RC Says:

    Elizabeth,

    Thanks for the reply. Yes, I am indeed familiar with the article. And when you say their divergent viewpoints were a reflection of the changing times, I couldn’t agree more. Historical context is so key in appreciating the beauty, personalities, and politics of NH, LF, and other Playmates from that era.

    I have a couple of questions which I wanted to ask you offline. If you could send me an email when you get a chance (rcgirghan@yahoo.com), I’d deeply appreciate it.

    RC

  4. goodle@mgccomputers.com Says:

    Nancy is my favorite Playmate of all time. Would like to hear how she is doing

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Rest in peace beautiful

  6. JAMES Says:

    Sadly, Nancy Harwood has recently passed away. I met her once and she was lovely and charming.

  7. MadTom Says:

    Nancy was one of my favorites and a member of my Virgin Playmates List. She said on her Playboy Cyber Club biography page, “I was really inexperienced– still a virgin, in fact– when I posed for the magazine.” I always mused that my list had two Miss Februarys from the 1960s, both named Nancy H (the other being Nancy Jo Hooper, real name Nancy Ann Harrison, Miss February 1964), and now we’ve lost both of them within a year and a half. Both way too young.

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