Playboy has been the long-standing magazine of interest to many adolescent boys. The magazine has also been a staple in men’s restrooms for decades. Though it features many interesting articles, the crutch of the magazine are the pictures inside. And those pictures feature many beautiful naked women. Some of the women are up-and-coming actresses and models. Some of the women are unknown diamonds in the ruff hoping to make it big someday.
Playboy has long been the home of thousands of beautiful young women. The most breathtaking women in the world have dawned the pages of the magazine for many, many years. All of them wanted the attention and all of them thirsted for success. No matter who the women are, one thing is for certain, they are hopeful the exposure from being inside a Playboy magazine will help launch their careers.
This is a top 10 list of playmates who had careers beyond Playboy. Certainly, many can argue the placement and names of the list. A lot of this can be subjective. However, looking at the overall impact on not only their bank accounts, but on their successful runs in the public eye, this list of women highlights how Playboy impacted their careers. Not everyone on the list was a no-name prior to appearing in the magazine. Some shrewd actresses/models used the magazine as a catapult to their struggling careers. Either way, these playmates made the most of their appearances in the magazine. These are the top 10!
10. Olivia Munn – The Sexy Geek
Some people may not be aware of Olivia Munn just yet, but you will be. This playmate posed back in July/August issue in 2009 and has since been increasingly finding more and more success. After her appearance on Playboy, Munn landed a gig on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and landed film role after film role. She showed off her brain and acting chops in Aaron Sorkin’s TV show, The Newsroom. The talented, smart and sexy sell-professed geek, is about to explode with a line-up of feature films including Ride Along 2 and X-Men: Apocalypse, both scheduled for 2016 releases. Expect to see a lot more of Munn. She is a lot more than a pretty face…but we will definitely take the looks along with the skills.
9. Carmen Electra – Spoof Magnet
Carmen Electra, or Tara Leigh Patrick which was her given name, gained fame when she appeared in Playboy in May 1996. The exposure in the magazine got her work immediately which included Baywatch and MTV’s Singled Out. Electra would appear in Playboy four more times, proving she loved the attention and the men loved to look at her even more. Electra went on to be showcased on numerous MTV specials and awards shows as well as numerous roles in slapstick spoof movies. Although some of the roles weren’t exactly Shakespearean in nature, she has made appearances in countless films that has kept Electra very relevant.
8. Kim Kardashian – Internet Breaker
Okay, I know. Over-exposed! However, the combination of brilliant tactical play from using her 2007 leaked sex tape with Ray, J to her posing for Playboy at the end of that same year, helped launch the Kardashian Brand into hyper-drive. The extraordinary Internet coverage over the leaked sex tape was insane. It also helped Kardashian and the family position themselves with their own television show and we know the legacy after that. Many can argue it was the sex tape alone, but combined with KK showing up in the pages of Playboy on her terms, the social explosion occurred all over the world making her a sensation everywhere.
7. Kelly Monaco – Dancing Beauty
In April 1997, this insanely hot model, and now actress, dawned the pages of Playboy. From there, she went on to have successful roles on the ABC soap opera Port Charles from 1997 to 2003. Then she became Sam McCall on General Hospital, a role she remains in to this very day. In addition to her soap run, Monaco appeared on, and won, the first series of Dancing with the Stars back in 2005. Talent, good looks, dancing skills and a killer body – Monaco can do it all.
6. Jenny McCarthy – The MTV Trailblazer
In 1993, Jenny McCarthy posed for playboy and later that year won Playmate of the Year honors. From there, she catapulted a career in television, movies and has even become an author and activist for promoting research into issues surrounding autism. McCarthy was MTV’s it girl and appeared as host of the show Singled Out. She trailed the path which Carmen Electra would soon follow a few years later. McCarthy had a few spoof roles in movies before stepping out and contributing through her writing and activism. McCarthy still hosts big events and is still just as beautiful as she was years before. You go on with your bad self, Jenny!
5. Sharon Stone – Strategic Naked Strike
Playboy’s July 1990 edition featured a young actress by the name of Sharon Stone. Long before she appeared in the buff on the silver screen, she used a Playboy spread to coincide with the release of the film Total Recall. The brilliant move not only helped with the sci-fi Arnold Schwarzenegger film, but it also propelled Stone into the sexy vernacular. This led to Stone appearing in Basic Instinct (1992) and then Casino (1995). She was officially a superstar. Although Stone didn’t start out as a bunny, she used the magazine in a calculating fashion and brilliantly launched a successful career.
4. Farrah Fawcett – Favorite Angel
Mary Farrah Leni Fawcett first appeared in on the cover of Playboy in 1978. Much like Sharon Stone, Fawcett used the magazine spread as a catapult to bigger things. The talented actress already had some small roles and her career got a boost with a bathing suit photo shoot and a marriage to The Six Million Dollar Man, Lee Majors. She landed Charlies Angels and was on air for a year when she posed for Playboy. The end result drove men and fans insane, further cementing her image as a sex symbol. The actress went on to have a very successful career appearing in many TV shows and films. Unfortunately, in 2009, Fawcett lost her battle with cancer. Although gone, she will always be one of our most favorite Angels.
3. Anna Nicole Smith – Blonde Bombshell
Anna Nicole Smith, also known as Vickie Lynn Hogan, enjoyed a turbulent and successful career in Hollywood. She first gained popularity in 1993, winning Playmate of the Year. She had been a stripper prior to appearing in Playboy and started dating a wealthy man by the name of J. Howard Marshall. Shortly after appearing in Playboy, she married Marshall. Not coincidentally, her appearance in Playboy coincided with numerous TV and movie appearances beginning in 1994. She landed many modeling gigs, and during the course of her later years, the world was introduced to a heavily-medicated Smith live on television. It ended up being a sad end, as everyone had feared, when Smith passed away on February 8, 2007. Her death was ruled a drug overdose. Long compared to Marilyn Monroe for her looks and hefty attributes, the irony of their deaths overshadowed their moments in the sun.
2. Pamela Anderson – Slow-Mo Beach Queen
In October 1989, Pamela Denise Anderson first appeared in Playboy as a cover girl. A few months later, she was the Playmate of the Month in the February 1990 issue. Not just satisfied with being beautiful, she went big, as in 34D big (later she increased to 34DD again). Anderson went for the bigger assets through surgery and it paid off. After a few small roles resulting from her first Playboy shoot, Anderson landed her most iconic role in the television show, Baywatch, shortly after getting her new set of surgically-enhanced goods. Her new big breasts were filmed in the now iconic slow motion runs across the beach in her life guard swimsuit, catapulting her to international super-stardom. Anderson went on to appear in numerous TV shows and films as well as continuing her modeling career. She has dawned the covers of Playboy more than any other model and also fights for animal rights in her free time (interesting little fact I’d thought I’d sneak in there).
1. Marilyn Monroe – The First Playmate
In 1953, Hugh Hefner published the first ever Playboy magazine with Marilyn Monroe on the cover. Like Stone after her, Monroe had already established herself as a budding actress prior to her 1953 cover. But it wasn’t until 1953 when she appeared as the first-ever cover girl for Playboy’s inaugural magazine that Monroe’s career exploded. She had a big year in ’53, appearing in three successful movies including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes which got her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. Numerous successful film roles followed as the busty blonde was finally taken seriously for her talents. Monroe was the most bankable actress of her time from the mid to late 1950s. She also had well-publicized failed marriages with Yankees great Joe DiMaggio, writer Arthur Miller, and then a well-publicized affair with President Kennedy. Her mysterious death in which she was either poisoned or overdosed on drugs will forever remain a mystery. What wasn’t mysterious was her amazing sex appeal and great looks that stirred the hearts of men all over. She was Kim Kardashian and Pamela Anderson combined, with men lusting after her from around the world.