Valentine Vixens: Miss February 1973, Cyndi Wood

Photographed by Pompeo Posar.

Miss February 1973 was the lovely and talented Cynthia Wood, a model and actress from an established Hollywood family.

Her mother was an actress, her father a recording-company executive and, as a Hollywood native to boot, Cyndi naturally gravitated to the entertainment world. “My parents’ friends were actors, producers and directors; my friends were their sons and daughters.”

“For as long as I can remember, my life was nothing but lessons.” Cyndi admits that there were times she felt pressured. “Whenever there was a school play, I’d try out for it. Whenever the chorus auditioned, I was there. Between those activities and my dance and music instruction, I had little time to think about what I wanted to do.” But she’s far from bitter about the experience. “I’ve always liked being in the spotlight,” says Cyndi.

No complaints from this corner. You keep on shining, kiddo. Psst. This playful shoot by Pompeo Posar has a fun theme that sends up Cyndi’s Beverly Hills background; see if you can guess it before the end when I display the spoiler picture.

(If this pictures does not asplode your brain with its cuteness, you have an old and joyless soul.)

For a while, our Playmate tried her hand at fashion designing (“just for myself”), songwriting and even sound engineering (“I do some great mixing and can work off any 16-track”).

Well, hey, Mr. Deejay. That is pretty cool shit. I do not imagine a lot of ladies were doing that, even by ’73. (Cue slew of vitriolic emails from the Historical Society of Female Deejays Against Boobies. It’s cool because I always wanted a reason to talk to Samantha Ronson.)

“I love being in front of people,” Cyndi says. “I suppose it appeals to the actress in me. In fact, much of my work in commercials calls for acting. Sometimes I even get a chance to sing and dance, too, and that’s great.” (“Class Act,” Playboy, February 1973)

Some of Cyndi’s credits include Warren Beatty’s Shampoo and, even more prestigiously, Apocalypse Now, in which she played the Playmate of the Year (breathtaking range, like, are you blown away?). You can check that out on the youtube. Her scenes in the 1979 theatrical release of Coppola’s masterpiece were brief though memorably jiggly, but in the 2001 Redux directors’ cut release, her part was expanded significantly.

IN MY SPARE TIME: I sew and design clothes and write and sing tunes.
GREAT FOODS: Spaghetti and stew.
I LOVE BEING A PLAYMATE: Because it pays well and it’s great publicity. I also have no hang-ups about nudity when it’s in the right place or situation.
(Playmate data sheet)

Heck, yeah, spaghetti and nudity. Ms. Wood, you have won my hard heart. You may slide on up to Northern California any ol’ time to hoark down some pasta and marinara with me while we sew and sing “Hello, Dolly!”

In some of these pictures she looks like Sharon Tate when she had her hair strawberry blonde for Polanski’s Fearless Vampire Killers (the picture they met making), and it’s kind of weirding me out. Is anyone else seeing it? Bueller? No? Just me, then? Cool.

According to the imdb, “Cynthia gave an especially lively and winning performance as sassy spitfire Moon in the enjoyable drive-in comedy romp Van Nuys Blvd.” I have not seen this 1979 film, so I cannot speak to claims of her lively winningness, but the imdb offers the following lines as “memorable quotes:”

Officer Albert Zass: Why won’t you help me?
Biker: Because you’re The Man, man.


Bobby: If we don’t get a doctor down here right now out I’m gonna shut your mouth permanently!
Nurse: You cant talk to me like that!
Bobby: Oh, I can’t, can’t I?
[slams fist down]
Nurse: Okay, okay! Stay right there.

This Bobby seems like a rough young customer. Nurses are nice people, mister. Show some respect — that woman went to school to help sick people. Sheesh. The description of the movie mentions “topless dancers,” so, two guesses what part Ms. Wood played.

Besides making appearances as herself on “The Sonny and Cher Show” (awesome) and “The Jim Stafford Show” (I’m too young to reckon at all what that was), Cyndi did CSA (that’s casting agent) work for Michael Lesner, which is either a typo or his completed projects have not made it on to imdb. A mystery.

That was the theme of the shoot. Go back and look at the pictures and see how the story comes together. Cute, right? I think it’s cute. I suppose I should be chagrined and outraged or whatever by the “Rich Bitch” slogan, but I think it’s funny. Besides, didn’t I hear that women had, like, reclaimed the word “bitch” or some such? I don’t remember, I was probably busy ironing and cooking a roast while serenely giving birth. All with a book balanced on my head to practice posture. That’s the kind of good old-fashioned second-class class I’m bringing to the picnic. Hope you can keep up.

These days, Ms. Wood is actually Doctor. Despite admitting to some aimless early-on academic meandering in her Playboy interview, it seems she finally found a true interest and pursued it with admirable tenacity, earning a Ph.D. in psychology. That should keep her in zebra-skin rugs and studded tank tops quite adequately. Rock on, gorgeous!

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26 Responses to “Valentine Vixens: Miss February 1973, Cyndi Wood”

  1. Leonard Says:

    Yeah, I’m going to join you in the In Love With Cyndi Wood club.

  2. Mermaid in Jeans Says:

    Cyndi didn’t play a topless dancer in “Van Nuys Blvd” — she was actually a female van drag racer. (Yes, you read that right.)

    • E. Says:

      Thank you for the correction! — And what a wonderful correction toimagine! (“And pulling past the mustang to win the race by a length is a chevy econoline…”)

  3. Everett Says:

    They just don’t make Playboy Playmates the way they used to. Sigh. Cyndi Wood rules! I love the 3rd pic (above), I want an 8 x 10 glossy version of that same pic with Cyndi’s autograph.

    Count me in as a member of the In Love with Cyndi Wood club. 😉

  4. Lynn Says:

    Lesner is a well known commercial director. Cyndi cast a number of Levi Strauss commercials for him.

  5. Grax Says:

    I always loved those shots on the zebra-skin rug. That is about as tastefully sexy as it gets.

  6. Neal O. Says:

    The zebra shots are some of the sexiest photos I have ever seen. They brought back good memories of buying Playboy as a teenager.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Is this where I join?!

    Cyndi is without a doubt the most perfect woman I have ever seen!

    I fell in love with her when I first saw the cover of her PMOY issue! And what was inside… especially the zebra pics and the soapy pics (you know the ones…),I can’t remember how many hours I spent just staring at her and dreaming I could find a girl like her!!!

    To this day I still haven’t seen a woman who comes close to her beauty!!!

  8. Eric Says:

    You know what’s the scary thing about Cyndi Wood? I thought I was seeing Twiggy or Olivia Newton-John naked than her! (she looked like what they were at that point in the early 70’s-and especially those 1972 test shots)

  9. John Sisti Says:

    I first met Cyndi before her playboy days, our paths would cross, for the next decade. I remember her as a sweet and gentle woman. She always struck me as very intelligent, I believe she did get her PHD, as well as humble. The modeling came easy for her sticking looks but I believe music was her first love.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Ah. Thank you for these photos. I was just trying to search on her playboy shots after seeing her (for the umpteenth time) in Apocalypse Now. I am always struck by how much she stood out compared to the other, quite beautiful, girls. An absolute fire cracker performance. Cyndi is indeed an intelligent woman, because to pull off such sexy moves as she did in that dance actually requires the number one sex organ in the body, the brain, to be working at full capacity. ;>

  11. Greg Peirce Says:

    Just like John, above, I met Cyndi before the Playboy days. I was a friend of hers in, believe it or not, Junior High School. I had a big crush on her then and we would talk on the phone after school. Somehow she just was not in to me as much as I was for her. I do wish I could write and tell her how proud of her I am. Still in love after 50 years. Love you Cin Cin Woo.

  12. John H. Holdcroft Says:

    I fondly remember Cyndi when I first when I first started to ” read ”
    Playboy. She had such a striking figure and the contrast of
    her beautiful Blonde, hair with her dark eyes reminded me of when
    a white – dove just looks perfect. Too much ? Since, I have seen
    girls/women in all sorts of poses yet models like Cyndi and those from that era will still have a special beauty, sexuality that to me is
    I have photos of Cyndi in magazines but I’m glad I’ve found this
    Website with some of my favourite photos of her.

  13. Roger Dubois Says:

    What a beauty she was! First heard of her in Van Nuys Blvd.Smart woman to have earned a Phd.

  14. mark roudebush Says:

    she is the most beutiful woman ever

  15. mark roudebush Says:

    if you’ve seen the pictures there is no need to reply just enjoy

  16. db Says:

    As the Anon above, I fell in love with that cover shot of her PMOY issue, too (and, yes, I know those soapy pics very well!). I also spent probably hundreds of hours staring entranced at that cover shot, hoping I could meet someone so beautiful some day! The “soapies” were probably my favorites after that incredible face portrait, too!

    To this day she remains my standard of beauty and my daydream fantasy girl. It’s not just her incredible physical gifts, but she also seems to radiate a sweetness and inner beauty. Also, as a musician myself, I’ve always loved women who can play!

    As many above have said, she is the most beautiful woman ever!

    (ps: Does anyone else see a resemblance to the gorgeous Shirley Jones? She was another crush of my youth and Cyndi seems to be a perfection of her type of beauty)

    • Greg Says:

      DB: I loved your post. So sincere and so loving of Cyndi. I don’t see a resemblance to Shirley Jones, but I do see a similarity to Kaley Cuoco of Big Bang Theory fame. Both are so beautiful.

  17. larry Says:

    what ever happen to cyndi wood dont here nothing about her like she disappear into thin air she is my all time favorite

  18. Matthew Campling Says:

    I grew up in South Africa under Apartheid. Playboys were banned and you were fined a considerable amount of money for having them. Nevertheless I used to get them from my father’s friends who had been out of the country. Cyndi Wood’s playmate photo was I think the supreme Playboy centrefold (although Marilyn Cole and Dianne Chandler were also fantastic). I actually became a gay man when I got myself sorted emotionally – but I still have copies of those years of Playboys and that’s how I came across this site. Thank you from Matthew in London

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