Playboy magazine is famous for two things; Hugh Hefner and naked, stunning women. The first issue was published in 1953 and it was such a success that it sold out almost instantly. More than 1.5 million copies are sold a year and in 2010 the Playboy brand generated an annual revenue of $210 million.
During its vintage days, Marilyn Monroe even stripped down to nothing for a coveted spot in the magazine. By 1970, it had become the very first gentleman’s magazine to be printed in Braille.
The rabbit logo has become one of the most recognised icons and titles on top shelves around the world. Anyone who’s given the opportunity to appear will reap the benefits of instant fame and access to some of the biggest and loudest parties at the Playboy Mansion. The coveted title of Playmate Of The Year has been won by models ever since 1957. The tradition of Playboy has been called out-dated and past-it by some, but there are still plenty of young women throwing their clothes off for the chance to appear on it’s pages.
One thing for which Playboy is famous is convincing celebrities to, literally, reveal all. With names like Pamela Anderson, Carmen Electra, Kim Kardashian and Kate Moss gracing the front covers like goddesses, Playboy is well known for exclusive, erotic photo shoots.
Some other huge names attached to the publication are less widely remembered, most likely brushed under the carpet now and kept hush hush by their PR teams. These are 20 celebrities you may have forgotten graced the covers of the original top-shelf mag.
20. Eva Herzigova
The Czech born model and actress Eva Herzigova is most famous for her ‘Hello, Boys’ Wonderbra publicity campaign in 1994. It is more uncommonly known that the 5ft 11 inches beauty also got the cover and several pages in Playboy’s August 2004 issue, ten years after her famous campaign but still looking great and in shape.
Models are known best for being paid to wear clothes not necessarily take them off but with her estimated worth currently at over $8million it hasn’t done her career any known damage at all.
19. Marge Simpson
There have been cover girls for Playboy all different shapes and sizes, but when Marge Simpson graced the cover November 2009 and she featured in suggestive photos inside the issues. There were even doughnuts involved for the true The Simpsons but the majority of the pictures were safe for work as not even Marge would bare all for the issue.
She did, however, feature her measurements. With hair included she stands at 6′ 6″ and measures exactly 26″-26″-26″ and her turn offs include ‘slim men who work out regularly’. It’s safe to assume Homer breathed a sigh of relief at that.
18. Charisma Carpenter
Charisma Carpenter won fans worldwide when she appeared in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel. She wanted to make the transition from television to film but it wasn’t looking great, as no big Hollywood features were snapping her up from casting calls.
But her stunning looks did land her the cover of Playboy in 2004, and thanks to her role on Angel she was featured on many ‘hot babe’ lists, which really gave her the boost she was looking for.
17. Farrah Fawcett
Farrah Fawcett’s entire career was full of constant requests to do nudity, she didn’t give in and kept her body under wraps until the age of 48 when she decided that if she was finally going to get naked then it would be for Playboy.
In the December 1995 issue the Charlie’s Angels icon did the shoot. She had previously appeared on the cover 17 years earlier but she was not nude in the actual feature instead it was a ‘holiday pictorial’ and the star held onto her bikini top and bottoms.
16. Denise Richards
In December 2004 the Starship Troopers actress, Denise Richards, was in a turbulent relationship with Charlie Sheen and had a five-month-old daughter with the actor. Showing to the world that women can still have killer figures even after childbirth she took the self-esteem boosting step of shooting for Playboy magazine.
Her ten page spread of ‘erotic nudes’ was a far cry from her America’s sweetheart image. Showing off her full potential as a sex symbol strengthened her career and she became one of the world’s most desirable women.
15. Shannen Doherty
Shannen Doherty, who played Brenda Walsh in Beverly Hills 90210, appeared in Playboy magazine twice; once in 1994 and then again in 2003. She didn’t have the best of reputations, and constant arguments with other cast members saw her eventually booted off the show.
Her appearance in the Playboy magazine in December 2003 saw her featured in a 10-page nude pictorial. She played up to her ‘bad girl’ image both on-screen and off-screen.
14. Lizzy Jagger
Mick Jagger is one man you would not want to be upsetting, so looking at his daughter, Lizzy, fully exposed in Playboy may have disastrous consequences if he ever found out you had bought a copy of the June 2011 issue.
Perhaps it was a career boosting move, or a rebellion against her parents, but in this case it was like mother, like daughter: In 1985, Jerry Hall had her own spread in Playboy too. Could it be that grabbing a Playboy cover is a right of passage for any young model?
13. Daryl Hannah
In 2003 Daryl Hannah re-invented her career by taking the role of Elle Driver in Kill Bill, which was far from the image that kick-started her career as a mermaid in Splash. She also took to the front cover of Playboy in 2003, looking more elegant than even the sexiest assassin.
She didn’t have full faith that this role would resurrect her career so decided to go one step further and pose nude to get the world talking about her again. It certainly worked and Quentin Tarantino appeared in the same issue. His was an interview only, though – no pictures thankfully.
No woman on earth knows quite how to shock like Madonna; she has been the mastermind behind the iconic cone bra, sexually graphic performances and banned, erotic music videos. Despite all this everyone was still taken aback when she would be featured in Playboy magazine.
In 1985, Madonna was on the verge of becoming a huge celebrity when the magazine published some old nude photos of the star. The Like A Virgin singer graced the cover and celebrated the nude shots.
11. Tricia Helfer
In 2007 everyone’s favourite humanoid from Battlestar Galactica took to the front page of Playboy’s special Love Issue. Fans of the TV series everywhere rejoiced as she shed her Cylon Number 6 suit.
The Canadian model and actress won two Scream Awards for both Breakout Performance and Best Television Actress but she certainly had fans screaming for a whole different reason with this sizzling photo shoot.
10. Jenny McCarthy
When Jim Carrey first starting dating Jenny McCarthy in 2005 he probably couldn’t believe his luck. When McCarthy’s career was in its earlier years she posed for Playboy in America and Germany. This seemed to be an attempt to grow her profile throughout the world as one hot woman people should be paying attention to and it worked.
She isn’t known as a woman who really cares about the opinion of others and in her shoot this really showed in her, um, personality. Hair tossed back and allowing the camera to see all of her, it’s no wonder she rose to become a huge household name shortly afterwards.
9. Cindy Crawford
In July 1988 Cindy Crawford took to the front cover of Playboy, but not for the first time or just in the US as she graced the cover again in 1998. The 5 foot 9 inches model measured at 34″-25.5″-36″, and both of her pictorials were taken by American fashion photograph Herbert ‘Herb’ Ritts Jr.
She was once the highest paid supermodel on the planet and is now worth $18 million. In her hey-day Mens Health magazine also named her one of the 100 Hottest Women of All-Time. When she was still the hottest of hot property, this cover shoot was a serious coup for the men’s mag.
8. Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron is well known for her award winning role in Monster, going unkempt and make-up free as she portrayed serial killer Aileen Wuornos. This was a far cry from her stunning Playboy cover from 1999 when the then emerging actress posed nude for the magazine.
Not known to be a woman who hides her sexuality or is shy at the opportunity for a provocative photo shoot, she still turns some heads when people realise she once did Playboy. Sean Penn is Theron’s current beau; he’s one lucky man, as his ex-wife Madonna also appeared on this list, linking him romantically to two hot Playboy celebrity cover girls.
7. Elle Macpherson
In 1994 the stunning model Elle Macpherson went nude, apart from sheer tights, for the Playboy cover – with her arms suggestively covering her chest. She had already secured her place as one of the world’s most beautiful women and the shoot only served to backed this up.
The secret behind gaining a figure like Elle ‘The Body’ Macpherson? She enjoys a variety of sports including hiking, biking, swimming, waterskiing and Zumba. In European issues of the magazine she even went topless showing her chest completely, generously sharing her famous body with the world.
6. Anna Faris
Anna Faris is a rare breed of a woman; funny, beautiful, smart and filthy. When promoting the 2008 movie House Bunny, which saw her playing the sexy Playboy bunny who is thrown out the famous mansion by a jealous rival, she graced the cover of the magazine too. If she was going to act like a Playboy bunny then she might as well have become one.
She is now married to Chris Pratt and has a young son with the actor, but the funny lady was a choice for the cover that caught everyone by surprise. The blonde bombshell proved she’s the kind of person who is really up for just about anything.
5. Dita Von Teese
The world’s most famous burlesque dancer, Dita Von Teese, and former wife of Marilyn Manson has posed for Playboy several times. Known for her picture perfect pin-up physique, she has commented that she was inspired into a career of glamour modelling by looking at old issues of her Dad’s Playboy when she was younger.
Dita Von Teese actually got her name from the Playboy shoots; every model who poses for the magazine is required to have a surname, although at the time she was known only as Dita. She chose ‘Von Treese’ after picking it out from a phone book, but it was misspelled on the cover as Von Teese. It has been her chosen stage name ever since.
4. Lindsay Lohan
When Lindsay Lohan first announced that she would be appearing on the cover of Playboy for the January/February 2012 issue, there were comments around the world that she was causing even more damage to her flagging career which saw her constantly in trouble with the law for drink and drugs charges.
Her pictorial, however, was surprisingly classy. She did the shoot in the style of Marilyn Monroe’s The Last Sitting with a mop of blonde hair as tribute. The shoot was leaked online a month before the magazine was due on shelves and all the uncensored pictures went viral. Still waiting for a big movie comeback, Playboy didn’t harm Lohan’s career but it didn’t motivate the anticipated comeback.
3. Sharon Stone
In 1990, Sharon Stone became a household name for two reasons: She appeared in Total Recall, and she wore next to nothing in the July issue of Playboy. The timing of these two events was seen as a positive PR move for Stone and two years later she landed the role in Basic Instinct and performed ‘That Leg Crossing Scene.’
She had Hollywood hot under the collar, but this was not a one-off for Stone as she posed again for the Christmas Issue cover – timing it well with the release of Basic Instinct. So gracing the cover of Playboy was how she would promote her movies? As one of Hollywood’s most recognisable women, it worked.
2. Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell is one of the most well known models in the world, currently worth $48 million. But not even this Queen of Glamour could turn down the tempting offer to pose for Playboy. She was a regular at the notorious Playboy Mansion parties, so Hugh Hefner most likely propositioned the supermodel personally himself.
The 5ft 9inches beauty appeared in pure white gift wrap for the Christmas 1999 issue. During the 90’s she was every man’s dream girl and would definitely have sat high at the top of any wish list. The headline on the cover screamed out from the shelves ‘Naomi Campbell – completely nude’ which sent it flying off the shelves.
1. Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore’s career has been a roller coaster of highs and lows. From child star to tortured teen, the silver screen goddess to a rumoured has-been and now she has changed her life to become a devoted Mother. If there is one woman in Hollywood you could say has seen every side of fame then it would have to be Barrymore.
Many are unaware that she took her clothes off for the magazine back in 1995 when her career was moving back up into A-List territory: It was a tough job for her PR team to brush this event under the carpet. Still, the images endure and fans can still look back at the prolific, wealthy actress in her young, frivolous photoshoot.
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