Dorothy Stratten was born as Dorothy Ruth Hoogstraten on February 28, 1960 in a Salvation Army hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, to Simon and Nelly Hoogstraten, Dutch immigrants. Her parents had married in Holland in 1954. In 1961 her brother John Arthur was born, and sister Louise Beatrice was born in May 1968.
She grew up and attended Centennial High School in Coquitlam. In 1977, while working part-time in a local Dairy Queen, she met a Vancouver-area promoter named Paul Snider (then 26). After seeing an advertisement for Playboy's 25th Anniversary Playmate search in 1978, Snider convinced her to pose for photos for Playboy
. Stratten forged her mother's signature on the model release form.
In 1979, after changing her surname to Stratten, she became Playboy's Miss August. Soon after, she was pressured into marrying Snider, who still had a strong influence on her. In June, 1979, they married in Las Vegas, Nevada. She later found work as a Bunny at the Los Angeles Playboy Club. Also, after her centerfold came out, Stratten found work in a few movies, notably Americathon
and Skatetown, USA.
, as well as being the object of Richard Dawson's affection in an ABC-TV special shot at the Playboy
mansion. Clearly, her star was on the rise. In 1980, it was revealed that Stratten would be tabbed as the "Playmate of the Year" by Playboy
publisher and founder Hugh Hefner.
Meanwhile, things were not going well in her marriage to Snider. He became prone to fits of jealousy and bizarre, controlling behavior; he constantly took credit for Stratten's fame, stating that he was the reason for her success, and repeatedly attempted to usurp her fame when in the presence of celebrities. He also bothered her on the set of the movie Galaxina and he found out through a hired private detective that Dorothy was developing more than a friendly relationship with director Peter Bogdonavich.
Hugh Hefner reportedly encouraged Stratten to sever ties with Snider, calling him a "hustler and a pimp." Rosanne Katon and other friends warned Stratten about Snider's behavior. By August of 1980, Snider's personality had turned obsessive. Snider and Stratten separated and Stratten moved in with Bogdanovich. Stratten had also made plans to file for divorce from Snider.
On August 14, 1980, Snider and Stratten met at Snider's duplex, in which the couple had once lived along with their friend, Dr. Stephen Cushner. Cushner still lived in the home with his girlfriend and his girlfriend's best friend, but Cushner and the women were all out for the day when Stratten showed up at the home. What exactly transpired is unknown; at noon, Snider's private investigator called the apartment. He was aware that Stratten and Snider were meeting, and wanted to make sure that everything was going smoothly. Snider told the detective "Everything is going fine" and hung up.
At 5:00 p.m., Cushner's girlfriend and her friend arrived home to find Stratten's car in the driveway. The door to Snider's room was closed and Stratten was nowhere to be seen; the women assumed that the two were in the bedroom and wanted privacy. They stayed until 6:00 p.m. to watch the news, then left at 6:30.
At 7:00 p.m., Cushner arrived home and found Stratten's car in the driveway. He assumed that Snider and Stratten wanted privacy. One hour later, at 8:00 p.m., Cushner's girlfriend and her friend arrived back home from dinner. At 11:00 p.m., the private investigator called Cushner. According to the investigator, Snider had given him instructions to periodically check in over the course of the day, but Snider hadn't answered his private line for some time. The investigator told Cushner that he believed something was wrong and that someone needed to check on Snider and Stratten.
Shortly after 11:00 p.m., Cushner broke into Snider's room. There he discovered Stratten dead from a gunshot wound to the head and Snider from a self-inflicted gunshot.
Dorothy Stratten is buried at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.
From Wikepedia, the free encyclopedia and the IMDb.