Baby, it’s cold outside: Showdown! — The three faces of Miss October 1957, Colleen Farrington


Photographed by Peter Basch.

La donna é mobile. Women are changeable. The write-up for this lovely and talented Playmate of the Month (and surprise celebrity mother) featured her in three different hair colors: blonde, brunette, and redheaded. Browse through the spread and pick your poison!


Time was you could make a date with a brunette on Wednesday and, when you picked her up Saturday night, be certain a brunette would be waiting for you.

(“La Donna È Mobile.” Playboy, October 1957.


These days, thanks to quickie hair-dyes, your brunette may have metamorphosed into a redhead or a boysenberry blonde.

(Ibid.)


Click to enlarge any ol’ pic, any ol’ time, but I strongly recommend the one on the right up there. It’s great. She was a lovely ham in this spread.

And just what in the name of easter baskets would a boysenberry blonde look like? Did the person who wrote that ever even see a boysenberry? They’re so deep purple that they’re virtually black. Strawberry blonde is a shade, yes. Boysenberry blonde? Not so much. Those two things do not work together.

I find the pairing weird and it makes me curious to see such a thing in real life. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible outside of food coloring on a junior high girl. Back to the likely made-up story of quickie hair dyes and their metaphorical relationship with the vagaries of the vapid gender.


This sign of the times was dramatized for us recently when photographer Peter Basch sent us a test shot of prospective Playmate Colleen Farrington, a New York TV model*.

(Ibid.)

*In fact, Colleen was at this time modeling on television and doing high fashion on runways. She worked frequently with designer Oleg Cassini, who would go on to permanent international fame in about three years as Jacqueline Kennedy’s favorite designer and the architect of her “look” in the Camelot heyday.


My favorite shot of the spread.

We found her a pert, well-turned brunette, and we wired Pete to go ahead by all means. When the first Playmate photos arrived, however, Colleen (having dyed her crowning glory for a TV show) was a blonde.

(Ibid.)


We liked her better the other way, so she obliged by becoming a brunette again and Pete, in a puckish mood, persuaded her to try a temporary head of red, too, in the interest of utter confusion.

(Ibid.)


On these pages, therefore, Colleen is available in three smart decorator colors. Which do you prefer?

(Ibid.)

Red, over here. I’ll put the poll at the bottom for easy voting.

I’m curious to see how this one comes out. I think the red suits Ms. Farrington, who sometimes went by Ms. Prince, best, but then again, the pictures of her with red hair are the best done in my opinion, too, so that could be clouding my judgment. If she’d been blonde in the pink corset by the bar pictures, maybe my feelings would be different.

As far as that series of this shoot goes, I’d spotted and saved it a few years ago, just saving it as Colleen Farrington 1, 2, 3, etc. When I started putting together pictures and bios for these winter posts, I was pumped to see I’d be able to include her.

Then when I found her original spread, I was tickled by the prospect of a poll for which hair color was the most pleasing to readers. I’ve been meaning to return to the idea of regularly putting up Showdown!s and this was a perfect opportunity to get back in the swing. Not only that, but Ms. Farrington had one more surprise up her lovely sleeve —

— She is the mother of unbelievably beautiful and talented actress Diane Lane.

I’m sure you’re thinking what I’m thinking — this amazing fact means that Colleen Farrington was, at one time, the mother-in-law of The Highlander. I know, right? There can be only one! Amazing!

Just kidding. I realize not everyone’s life is built around tangentially relating the science fiction/fantasy films and television of their youth to everything they experience, and I’m trying to recover from that shock. I’m sure you were thinking how beautiful mother and daughter both are. And they are.

Ms. Farrington married acting coach, partner to John Cassavetes, and unlikely cabbie Burt Lane and the couple had Diane in 1964. They divorced when the baby was only 13 months old and Ms. Lane lived sometimes with her mother and sometimes with her father until she was 15, when she emancipated herself from her father having already sadly written her mother, living in Georgia at the time, off following some unfortunate family fallouts. They had kind of a bumpy period that I don’t think it’s fair to get in to, but they are reconciled and all is well.

So, back to the poll and how mobile we donnas are: Which of Colleen Farrington’s ‘do’s rocks your world?


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10 Responses to “Baby, it’s cold outside: Showdown! — The three faces of Miss October 1957, Colleen Farrington”

  1. Rincewind Says:

    just stunning…

  2. The three faces of Miss October 1957, Colleen Farrington « Erotixx photoblog Says:

    […] Read More… […]

  3. milo McMiloson Says:

    red for super sure!! the one behind the couch holding the glass…..wow!

  4. milo McMiloson Says:

    Oh wait maybe that is the blonde?? i don’t know, but that pic and the one at the bar are my favs!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    wavy blonde in the bath tub is my favorite

  6. Nancy Says:

    I KNOW COLLEEN I WAS BROUGHT UP IN THE SAME GA.TOWN. DIANE’S MOTHER CAME TO SEE ME A FEW TIMES. DIANE LOOKS A LOT LIKE HER MOTHER.COLLEEN IS A VERY SWEET AND CARING PERSON.

  7. Jed Leyland Says:

    Wow.

  8. Jim Says:

    Beautiful, no matter what color. They matched the eyebrows, wonder if they matched the rug? We will never know.

  9. Don Says:

    Bo Derek says this is her mother

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