1954 was the first year that Playboy had centerfolds and playmates. December 1953 was when the first issue was released, featuring Marilyn Monroe. Meet the women who were the first playmates and centerfolds.
Margie Harrision January 1954 Playmate
Margie Harrison was actually the first Playmate of the month and the first centerfold ever. (Marilyn Monroe wasn't the centerfold in the first issue and she wasn't a "Playmate" either.) Margie is officially, the first Playmate. John Baumgarth Company sold specializing in calendars, sold the pictures to Playboy.
Margaret Scott - February 1954 Playmate
She's really also Marilyn Waltz but nobody knew about it at first. In the mid-1990s, she admitted to Playboy that she was in fact Margaret Scott. The pictures were bought from the Baumgarth calendar company. None of the photographers there knew any Margaret Scott and that name was never listed as one of the pin-up girls.
Even today, she is considered one of the prettiest faces of the 1950s playmates and her centerfold as Margaret Scott is now a classic. Marilyn Waltz received more fan mail as Margaret Scott than any of the playmates in 1954.
She's the first Playmate to appear three times as centerfold and cover.
Dolores Del Monte, March 1954 Playmate
Dolores Del Monte didn't even know that she was a Playmate until 1979. She used to pose for Bruno Bernard and Zoe Moezert. Dolores was glad she was being paid nicely posing for pictures. She received $50/hour.
Bruno sold some of her pictures to he Baumgarth Calendar Company, which in turn sold the pictures to a certain young man named Hugh Hefner.
It was Dolores's son, Steve who found out when he was browsing the contents of the 25th Anniversary issue of Playboy.
Get this: Dolores is the only playmate to be preceded and succeeded by the same peron, Margaret Scott/Marilyn Waltz.
Marilyn Waltz - April 1954 Playmate
Joanne Arnold - April 1954 Playmate
She appeared in several films but wasn't credited in most of them. The films she appeared in include:
- Son of Sinbad (1955) - She's a Raider in this film.
- The Adventures of Hajji Baba (1954) - Susu
- Girl Gang (1954) - as June
- Marry Me Again (1953)
- The Caddy (1953)
- I Love Melvin (1953)
- Stop, You're Killing Me (1952)
- You for Me (1952) as a Nurse
- Just This Once (1952)
- Ten Tall Men (1951)
Margie Harrison - June 1954 Playmate of the Month
Margie Harrison reappears as the Playmate of the month. She's also, technically, the first ever centerfold model and the first Playmate ever. You can see her picture at the top of this hub.
Neva Gilbert - August 1954 Playmate
Neva Gilbert reportedly did not know that she bacame a Playboy Playmate. Here's a reported quote according to Wikipedia:
"In those days, I was an aspiring actress. I'd go on assignments with Marilyn Monroe. We did some calendar shots for a photographer named Tom Kelley. A few months later, I heard the pictures had appeared in a new magazine called Playboy, but I couldn't find a copy. I didn't see my centerfold until this year (1979)."
Neva Gilbert appeared in Combat Squad (1953) and The Country Girl (1954) in minor roles. In the December 1979 issue of Playboy, she appeared in the feature "Playmates Forever!"
Arline Hunter - August 1954 Playmate
Arline Hunter is notable as a Playboy Playmate one reason being her centerfold picture was the first one not purchased from the Baumgarth calendar company. Her centerfold picture was taken by Ed DeLong.
Arline Hunter's fame is probably due to her striking resemblance to Marilyn Monroe. Her poses in Playboy reminds of the Marilyn Monroe pose in the very well-known calendar pictures. That resemblance was also played upon in the movie Apple Knockers and Coke. Some people who have seen that movie thought Marilyn Monroe starred in that movie while it was Arline Hunter.
Arline continued to star in B movies and made several sexy films in her career.
Jackie Rainbow - September 1954 Playmate
Madeline Castle - October 1954 Playmate
Diane Hunter - November 1954 Playmate
Diane Hunter was born Gale Rita Morin in Tacoma, Washington. Her centerfold picture for Playboy was shot by Bruno Bernard.
Before posing for Playboy, Diane Hunter was posing as a pin-up for photographers such as Russ Meyer, Peter Gowland and Andre De Dienes.
She resembles the striptease star Tempest Storm.
BIRTHPLACE: Tacoma, Washington USA
BUST: 34" D
HEIGHT: 5' 5 1/2"
WEIGHT: 125 lbs
Terry Ryan - Playmate of the Month - December 1954
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nick071438 from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines on June 29, 2015:
This article will never get old and never will be relegated to the background obviously because of the bevy of beauties whose aura and scents are still fresh in the memory of readers. My prayers for those who have passed away.
Leana Jo H. on April 25, 2012:
Gorgeous ladies of yesteryear! So classy (classy poses, which needs to come back), curvy, & natural...The true role models of beauty! God bless them all...
tobi on September 06, 2010:
my dad is turning 70 in November. He needs all of the 1954 playboys (except november) to complete his collection. Does anyone know where I can purchase one of these to help him complete his treasures? please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any to sell or know where to purchase.
Thanks a lot.
His middle daughter who is trying to become his favorite!!
iluvceleb on July 14, 2010:
Although I still admire Marilyn Monroe's beauty, the beauty of previous playmates are very classy and chic.
Phillyfreeze69 on July 14, 2010:
These Playmates captures the old "Hollyood Glamour" style of photography superbly. The biographical sketches gives these Playboy models a place in the glamour industry as pioneers in the genre of magazines for male consumption. Having been published for 57 years makes Playboy and the Playmates are american icons.
amandagab87 from Florida on December 26, 2009:
Very nice hub!
lowlycook from Deep Asia on November 05, 2009:
Jackie Rainbow looks the prettiest to me. Well..1933...that was too long ago. My late dad was just in college then.
MLB on October 12, 2009:
That is my grandmother. She past away almost 6 years ago.
Barry Rutherford from Queensland Australia on September 03, 2009:
My friend we thought they'd never end !
Ralph Deeds from Birmingham, Michigan on August 26, 2009:
Those were the days!