Hello and Welcome:
If you were prompted to do a search on “Paige Young Playboy” after watching episode 8 of the recent A&E documentary series “Secrets of Playboy,” yes, you have come to the right place.
It’s now been 48 years since Paige Young committed suicide on April 7, 1974.
There is so much more information I learned about the life of a real human being, long forgotten and little known, than you saw in “Secrets of Playboy.”
Probably more information than the average person wants, so you can pick and choose what parts of her life you are most interested in and leave the rest.
(On http://paigeyoung1968.com Click on a chapter you want to read and scroll down.)
I’ve established a birth to death timeline of Paige Young who lived for 30 years: March 16, 1944 to April 7, 1974. I have a few missing years in the timeline.
All of her life was lived in Los Angeles as far as I can tell.
I’d like to corroborate the one public account about that day.
See chapter Paige suicide police report.
I’m looking for anyone may have heard their story. Someone could have shared their experience on Paige’s case.
Obviously you would need to have lived or known someone who did, in Los Angeles, 1974 in the LAPD.
It’s a long shot, I am aware. But I’ve decided to ask because:
I found someone’s account online that had a connection to the case.
The author posted the Dec. 2014 Daily Mail article about Paige Young and commented on her/his connection to it:
oped: I totally believe the accusations…being that I worked for LAPD VanNuys Divison 1971-1974 I remember one of my Sgts discussing this case…it was hushed up at the higher levels of management… speculation being a cover up on pressure from the entertainment moguls! And I can honestly say after dealing with the bookings of numerous celebrities during this period of time from DUI,Drugs,perversion,disturbing the peace on and on…oh the stories I could tell…maybe another time I will!Contact me for name of website
I can’t confirm independently that this person wrote the truth, but I don’t know why they would make it up.
Keep in mind, there was NO interest shown in 2014/2015 when the new information about Paige Young was published in the Daily Mail online.
*Please contact me if you knew or knew of, Paige Young or Diana Cotterell. If you prefer, you can remain anonymous. Thank you.
Many of the people in this story are forgotten individuals. Many were known only to a small segment of the population. Others had and have, mass public fame.
Half of my story is Paige’s background; her family and their seemingly anonymous and insignificant lives; yet they were part of a massive migration to Los Angeles during the first half of the 20th century and part of the post war population boom of the San Fernando Valley. Complete with horse ownership. I realize many readers will have no interest in this part. But it is part of her Los Angeles story.
Los Angeles locations and buildings is a long-standing interest of mine.
Many of the Playboy Magazine Playmates of the Month attempted to use what celebrity they gained from the title, for small parts in movies, TV, modeling, promotions for Playboy etc. Many of these women already had ambitions in the entertainment field.
Several became well-known (or little-known) “starlets” for a while before disappearing from public view.
Some women certainly grew beyond their descriptor Playboy Playmate: Jayne Mansfield, Stella Stevens from the 1950 and 60s. Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy and of course Anna Nicole Smith, in more recent times.
Others became housewives and mothers, some “marrying up” in economic terms.
There were several who went on to business, academic, real estate, political activism, art and other non-show business careers.
Many other Playmates have never been heard from again since their appearance in the magazine.
There is a list of those who have died tragic and young deaths as has been noted in the media.
There was an uptick of interest in this topic when 1993 Playmate of the Year Anna Nicole Smith, died of a drug overdose in 2007. As most of us know, Anna Nicole became a model beyond Playboy, famous for her curves and Marilyn Monroe style, Guess Jean ads and an early “Reality series.” Her personal life became infamous as a tabloid staple; marriage to the old, wealthy Texas oilman J. Howard Marshall. After Marshall’s death Anna Nicole was involved in a complicated legal battle trying to to claim something on the estate, Anna Nicole was not in Marshall’s will nor was one of his sons.
Tabloids and mainstream media covered her court appearances, but her death by overdose on February 7, 2007 eclipsed all news for a few days. Mainstream media covered her death as it would a major political event. 2007 was the last 2 years of George W. Bush’s Presidency, still before the social media explosion.
And social media is what brought Bill Cosby down and then out in 2014–2015.
If it were not for Paige Young’s connection to (still living and released from prison) Bill Cosby, as told by friends and neighbors to Daily Mail reporter Ryan Parry in 2014, Paige may have remained relegated to these articles of Playboy Playmates who committed suicide or died in other tragic ways, made even more tragic by their young ages: murders, car wrecks, cancer and accidental drug overdoses.
In the fall of 2014, Hefner’s long time friend Bill Cosby’s long history of drugging and raping women, finally “caught on” with the public after the Hannibal Buress video went viral.
Cosby’s reputation has not recovered since that time, despite his rape conviction being overturned and his release from prison in 2021.
Included was an account from Tamara Green about an encounter she had with Paige and Bill in El Paso 1970.
Tamara had publicly claimed since 2005, that Bill Cosby drugged and assaulted her in the early 1970s.
The Daily Mail article quotes Tamara saying she knew Paige Young from LA where they ran into each other at modeling auditions.
(I write about this in the chapter Tamara El Paso).
My opinion is that when Parry interviewed Tamara and heard this story of El Paso, he thought he had a lead on a possible direct link between this long dead Playboy Playmate’s suicide and Bill Cosby.
Cosby’s reported rapes go back as far as 1965. One of these early drugging-assaults was aspiring singer Sunni Welles, 1965 Los Angeles, only 17 years old at the time.
For details and background on the 2005 Constand case against Cosby, Tamara Green, Sunni Welles and many of Cosby’s victims over the decades, see the book Chasing Cosby: The Downfall of America’s Dad by Nicole Weisensee Egan.
Parry follows up by interviewing a few other people who knew her back then.
One of them was Richard Sample whom I interviewed in May of 2021.
Parry’s reporting does not establish a direct link between Cosby and Young’s suicide in 1974.
However, I learned in 2021 that Bill Cosby did drug and rape Paige Young and “paid her off,” the same MO he used on literally dozens of women for decades. I spoke by telephone to an old friend of Paige Young’s who told me that Paige had told him about the rape.
Drug overdose as the reason for Paige’s death has been published in the “Playmate Book” for decades. It is probably the source of the “death lists” made for the internet.
(The PM Book is a compendium of all the women who were named Playmates from the year Playboy Magazine was introduced, 1953, up to the date of publication. The entries include a brief life update on each woman. )
Ryan Parry’s research does reveal that Paige’s suicide was by a gun. I confirmed this by purchasing her death certificate which is not included in the Daily Mail story.
What happened, to my surprise, is that Parry’s 2014 article about Paige Young was completely ignored by every media outlet. One reason, probably, is that they would lose credibility if they quoted the Daily Mail, considered a tabloid rag.
Still though, I found it odd that no independent journalist wanted to look into Paige’s story further, given the major celebrities named in the story. Only one named Mark Ebner ever mentioned Paige Young.
Where did Playboy get the information that it was a drug overdose that killed Paige?
Certainly not from Melanie M. who saw Paige both alive and dead the day she committed suicide, according to her account in the Daily Mail article. As did the police who were called to the scene, and as is recorded on Paige Young’s death certificate and police report.
The Daily Mail story has caught on primarily with the “conspiracy crowd.” Like MK Ultra.
As a Playboy Playmate, Paige Young experienced a minor type of celebrity status for a brief portion of her short life. And of course she was an actual human with a life besides her association with Playboy.
Paige associated with people who were much more famous than she was. Some are well known to the mass public, others famous to a smaller audience.
On this website I have written about these men and their connection Paige Young, someone basically forgotten and seemingly inconsequential. I also talk to those who knew her as Diana Cotterell.
This includes Hugh Hefner, John Huston, Andy Warhol, Bill Cosby; men who lived with massive fame which outlives them. Cosby is alive as of this writing.
The men famous to a more niche audience includes: Peter Gowland, an LA native like Paige, he and his wife Alice ran a successful pinup and commercial photography business from the late 1940s through the early 1990s. Paige Young was the team’s last contribution to Playboy magazine in 1968. (Paige had modeled for Gowland years before Playboy I found out.)
For a few years, Marvin M. Mitchelson represented Paige Young in her divorce against husband Mark F. Segal in 1964. Mitchelson, a Beverly Hills lawyer was a media personality in the 1970s and 80s and 90s. Mitchelson is credited for introducing this term “Palimony” into divorce court and to the general public when he represented Michelle Triola Marvin in her financial claim against actor Lee Marvin. Lee Marvin dumped live in lover Michelle without a penny and Marvin Mitchelson became famous representing her.
He’s all but forgotten in 2022.
The Hon. Desmond Guinness, is frequently how his name is written, is from the famous Irish beer brand of course but he and his family are a highly titled, wealthy and elite family. Desmond and his wife Mariga founded the architectural preservation group Irish Georgian Society. Legendary photographer Slim Aarons produced some iconic photos of Desmond Guinness, one in particular with his very young children. The photo has probably been seen by more people than know the identity of Desmond Guinness.
DeWain Valentine, Colorado born, Venice Beach based sculptor-artist, is one of the founding members of the “Light and Space movement” or “Finish Fetish” school which was born in Venice Beach in the 1960s.
These are the ones with definitive proof anyway. There are unconfirmed stories about an association with comedian Jonathan Winters.
Paige’s story is one small story encompassing the industry and town of Hollywood, WW2 and post war Los Angeles the city, growing up in the San Fernando Valley in the 1950s where you lived in the same neighborhoods with 1950s icons like Annette Funicello and Tony Dow and the singing King family.
It’s the old story of time and place and people.
My (ongoing) research consisted of obtaining various LA County public records like birth and death certificates, viewing City of LA building permit documents, (online), perusing telephone directories in the DTLA public library, looking through phone directories, voting records, marriage, divorce, and military records on ancestry.com.
I have spoken with a few first hand sources, there were several who refuse to speak with me, or I couldn’t locate. At this point, many are dead. And the living people who know, aren’t talking, with the exception of the few I have written about on this blog.
Newspapers.com continues to be an extremely helpful resource.
Social security information is published online and on ancestry.com.