Posts Tagged ‘playboy bunny’

Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Jean Cannon, Miss October 1961

February 5, 2011


Photographed by Ron Vogel.

The lovely and talented Jean Cannon was Playboy’s Miss October 1961. According to a source I trust from Kalamazoo, Ms. Cannon was enticed to pose partly out of pique with her husband, who said she was “too ugly” to be a Playmate.

The only thing about that story that doesn’t quite totally ring true for me is that she was already working as a Bunny and I think you must rate yourself at least decently attractive to apply for that job, don’t you? But maybe I’m way off base.

Besides the gorgeous photography by Ron Vogel, my favorite thing in this spread is the case of Jeannie’s disappearing, reappearing, cheek-switching beauty mark. In the above picture, the mole is on her right cheek (viewer’s left).

In the above picture, it has moved to her left cheek, or the cheek on our right as we look at the photograph. Is it a case of reversing the photograph? Or was makeup retouched and the mole accidentally moved to the opposite side? We’ll never know.

And here, in one of my favorite shots from the spread, she has no mole at all. At least that we can see. Much like the case with Miss July 1957, the lovely and talented Jean Jani, it’s really a tiny little continuity error but kind of fun to examine.

I like this shot best because it is not as posey as the others. I don’t know if Vogel caught her getting ready to pose, or in the middle of speech, or what, but it is for me the most natural expression of the bunch.

A gorgeous composition — and a wonderful addition to my ongoing series of Playmates topless in silly cropped pants (why are they so often red? I don’t know but I love it) — but a very tense expression from Ms. Cannon. Sad face. Then again, according to her write-up, she had a lot on her mind.


Nature-loving (and clearly loved by nature) Jean Cannon’s natural habitat is any reasonably shady glen, except when she’s water-skiing, showing her prize-winning pooches or boning up on the hippest way to crack the Hollywood enigma (she’s a stage-struck emigree from New York’s very “in” Neighborhood Playhouse).

(“Nature Girl.” Playboy, October 1961.)


While we’re not usually enthused over rambles through the greensward, the prospect of prospecting for dryadlike Jean would send us into the California woods faster than Apollo pursued Daphne.

(Ibid.)

Okay, so here’s that backstory since I know you’re dying to hear all about classic Greek mythology right now.

Apollo, who is roundly a dick in almost every story about him — ask Cassandra; I assure you she thinks he’s a real motherfucking asshole — mocked Eros, the tiny cherubic assistant of Aphrodite, for carrying a bow and arrows, since he wasn’t a warrior like Apollo (picture this as a Lucas type taunting exchange). Eros took offense and made two arrows, one of lead and one of gold.

The golden arrow strikes love in the heart of whoever it hits: the lead one does the opposite — it causes the stricken person to hate the object they see next.


The above shot is my favorite of the pictures from the standpoint of color and composition. And, holy cow, a ghost of a smile. It’s a Very Special nakey miracle!

Eros shot the nymph Daphne with the lead arrow and Apollo with the golden arrow. Apollo fell madly in love with her, but she despised him. Daphne already had many suitors but preferred not to get married at all, which makes me wonder if the original story didn’t have shit to do with arrows in the first telling, and was more in the vein of stories about Artemis or Atalanta.

In any case, they got in a race (like Atalanta) and as Apollo gained on her, Daphne begged her father, the river god Peneus, to save her from having to be with Apollo. So she changed in to a laurel tree. Apollo was still in love with Daphne depsite her transformation (those kinky greeks) and gave the tree his special protection and powers of eternal youth, which is why Bay laurel leaves stay green.

/backstory.


Jean as a Bunny at the L.A. club, right.

Doe-eyed Jean hasn’t met a satyr on her sylvan romps, instead speaks warmly of silver birches and her pet poodles (she brings out the beast in anyone). But the satyr’s loss is our gain, all 38-24-37 inches, so join us in a birthday toast to our sable-haired October Playmate, a tempting twenty this month.

(Ibid.)

According to the Playmate Book, Ms. Cannon was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2002. She passed away at the age of 64 in November, 2005. R.I.P.

Valentine Vixen: Laura Misch Owens, Miss February 1975

February 18, 2010

So many Valentine Vixens to post up in all their fun and special glory, so little time left in February all of a sudden! Yikes. As with the NSFW November project, I am once more faced with the question of whether I’ve bit off more than I can chew. It’s a challenge, but that’s all right: I was so selective with this month’s lonelyhearts ladies, handpicking only my tippy-toppy-bestest, most favoritest centerfolds, that there is literally not a single one that I am not totally psyched to share more about with you. So let’s do this!


Photographed by Richard Fegley.

The lovely and talented Laura Misch Owens was Playboy’s Miss February 1975. Those aren’t just pretty code words for taking it off on this one, dudes. Besides being beautiful, as evinced by these photographs, Ms. Owens is also a brilliant, witty, published author who happens to be forthright, charming, and absolutely-fall-down-freaking-hysterically funny. I’m going to let her talent speak for itself as I juxtapose the Playboy purple prose that accompanied her pictorial spread for them with her own take on the events, excerpted from an article she contributed to Salon.com about her time as a New Orleans bunny, written in 2005.

The headline and summary for Salon run, “When I was a Playboy Bunny in New Orleans: ‘I married a cop of easy virtue, posed nude in Hef’s magazine, drank all night at Lucky Pierre’s, and appeared in the worst movie ever made. It was Big and it was Easy, and now it’s gone.'” (“When I Was a Playboy Bunny,” Misch, Laura. 10 Sept 2005. Salon.com.)

Playboy sez: “Delta Lady: Meet Laura Misch, a New Orleans lovely who’s taken the Crescent City to her heart. Lucky New Orleans!” (“Delta Lady.” February, 1975. Playboy.)

Playboy sez:

Fresh out of high school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 18-year-old ex-cheerleader Laura Misch was confronted with that same question that has plagued most new high school graduates: What now? … She pictured herself with rabbit ears and a Bunny tail. She had an idea! “I dashed off a letter, enclosed a Polaroid of myself and sent it to the New Orleans Bunny Mother, since she was the closest to Tulsa,” Laura recalls. “The next thing I knew, I was in New Orleans with a new job.”


Laura writes:

I stepped off the Braniff flight from Tulsa, Okla., at Moisant Field on Jan. 12, 1973, with $34 in my pocket and the promise of a job as a Bunny at the New Orleans Playboy Club. I was 19, with big, proud titties suitable for framing, and wearing enough Maybelline to sink a barge in the Industrial Canal. I didn’t know it yet, but I would spend the next seven years in the City That Care Forgot. By the time I escaped its humid clutches, the Big Easy would fill me up and wring me dry.


On the subject of a career in moving pictures, Playboy quotes Laura and adds their own advertiser/biz-skewed copy to her youthful sentiments, saying,

“I adore everything about New Orleans. I’ll never leave.” This creates a conflict in her life, for she also wants to be a movie star (“Who doesn’t?”) and most stars have to emigrate to Hollywood sooner or later.

No longer a Bunny since the temporary closing of the New Orleans Club some months ago, Laura has just finished an on-location shooting as an extra in Dino De Laurentiis’ new film, Mandingo, starring James Mason and Susan George. In the movie, which is about life on a slave-breeding plantation in the pre-Civil War South, Laura plays one of the girls in a Mississippi delta whorehouse. This is how she describes her big scene: “A door opens and through the doorway you see me standing there, clutching my underwear. Then I blow a sensuous kiss to a satisfied customer.” Since it was her first scene in a movie, and she appeared seminude, to boot, Laura admits to having had a certain initial apprehension. “I thought it would be awful with all those people watching me,” she says. “But they were good about it and kept their eyes on my face.” If you say so, Laura. (Playboy, February 1975.)

I had lines in those movies but only walk-ons in Mandingo and Hard Times. Strange; I always played a prostitute. Didn’t they see my shining thespian talents?

Oh, Laura. You had me at “Hello!”


This picture of Laura as a young bunny in N’Awlins is not from the Playboy pictorial spread. It accompanied her delightfully fun article for Salon.com.
For her part, the real, unvarnished, marvelously disingenous Laura says today,

I’m sure you’ve seen me in Mardi Gras Massacre, having my innards cut out by a guy wearing an Aztec mask. One Web site lists this gem as one of the worst movies ever, ever made. I’m proud. And remember “French Quarter,” with Bruce Davison and Virginia Mayo? You don’t?

That’s OK, Davison apparently doesn’t either, because he won’t list it among his credits. You can run but you can’t hide, Brucie. I was there. You were in it, pal!

Adorbably candid! Love it.

On the subject of her corrupt-cop, but seemingly loving, as much as he could be, given all time and circumstances, husband during those years, I think Ms. Misch Owens has a light and bittersweet touch, appropriately appreciative/critical/reflective (as all reviews of such relationships must always be) but not overly maudlin; a delicate balance to reach.

Somewhere along the way I had gotten married to Eddie, a cop in the French Quarter. … I thought he was terribly exciting. He’d bring me along to all-nighters at Benny’s, a joint on the levee. I was required to sit silently for hours while Eddie twirled his gold wedding band.


Benny was like 75 with about three teeth and had a 14-year-old girlfriend. This last fact struck no one but me as particularly odd or disgusting. Like everything else wild and evil in New Orleans, it was greeted with a shrug and a wink.

He introduced me to the shady characters, shady ladies and shady ways of the Crescent City that I never would have tapped into otherwise. Without him, I never would have had a private room with a private waiter — Joey Guera — at Antoine’s. Never would have had a real king cake at a family party, never would have gone fishing out of Empire, La., with so much beer aboard our little flotilla that we almost sank. And if we had, so what? There is nothing like a native New Orleanian.

I cannot, in my broken state, express strongly enough how much I aspire to acheive Ms. Misch’s disarmingly candid brand of levelheaded, logical but loving, analytical prose in regard to my own dissolving marriage some day.

We parted ways, eventually. I went down to Miami and he went back to being a bachelor. He retired from the force as a lieutenant and was freelancing as a security man at “tittie bars” and rich people’s houses Uptown on Audubon Place, last I heard.

Reporting on recent events, Ms. Misch adds the following epilogue to her relationship with her Big Easy first husband:

I phoned him just before the eye of Katrina must have passed very near his house. I got his answering machine. Some silly nonsense about how he wasn’t home, he was checking out the latest Saints trade. I said, Hey, you idiot, call me.


He hasn’t called, and now I just get static when I dial the number. C’mon, Eddie, check in. Check in, dammit.

New Orleans is gone.

Today, Ms. Misch Owens is a novelist under the name of Laura Watt and has written non-fiction for the Miami Herald, the Rocky Mountain News, and the Denver Post. Sardonic and enduringly adorable — thanks a mil for the inspiration, Ms. Misch!

NSFW November: Danielle de Vabre, Miss November 1971

November 19, 2009

Playboy’s Miss Novembrrrrr 1971, Danielle de Vabre, came from the frozen North of Canadialand, where she was a lovely and talented bunny at the Montreal club.


Photographed by Dwight Hooker

She grew up skiing in Canada, but, after graduating from high school, she and her parents agreed she could take a year off and go to Colorado to be a ski instructor there.

Danielle’s parents agreed that, before beginning her English-literature studies at a Montreal college, she should have her dream adventure in the Western U.S. “My parents knew that if I started school right away, I would resent being there and, consequently, my concentration would suffer.” There was one condition in their agreement, however: Danielle was to finance the trip herself (“Snow Job,” Playboy, November 1971).

Yes, it is so often the case that concentration in college suffers because all you can think about is skiing. Thank goodness her parents were aware of this educational pitfall.

Naturally, the next logical step was to become a Playboy bunny. Pfft — duh! Everyone knows that’s how you get money to go to Colorado and become a ski instructor. Story as old as time.

For the next few months, Danielle worked as a Bunny while waiting to hear from the Colorado resorts to which she’d applied. Finally, she received a positive reply from the Steamboat Springs ski school’s Skeeter Werner, sister of the late Olympic skier Bud Werner.

Oh, hey, aging rich plane passenger. Coffee, tea, or Danielle?

AMBITIONS
To become an airline stewardess. I’d also like to study interior design and fine arts.
MY IDEAL MAN
Age does not matter, as long as he has character.

I just kind of feel like those two statements are related.

Though I of course assume that all her dreams came true and she is doubtless skiing down some snowy slope in her airline stewardess uniform while sketching an interior design and dictating a novel into a tape recorder, I absolutely came up triple goose eggs on searches for what Ms. de Vabre is really up to these days. If you know, drop me a line!