Start Here. About Updated 5/15/2023.

Hello and Welcome:

By Peter Gowland

It’s been 49 years since the woman known as a “Playboy Playmate,” Paige Young committed suicide on April 7, 1974.

(On Click on a chapter you want to read and scroll way down.)

There is much more information I learned about the real life of a human being, long forgotten and little known, than you saw in “Secrets of Playboy,” an A&E channel series shown in January and February of 2022.

I was interviewed about Paige Young for the segment about the ending of her tragically short life, because I have been researching her entire life since 2015.

This endeavor came about after I read an article about Paige Young that was published in the, December of 2014. It was released in the wake of the public learning that legendary comedian and “America’s Dad,” Bill Cosby, had been a serial rapist since 1965.

I write much more about what I found and what I guess happened to Paige and who she was, in the chapters on this website.

Most readers will, not surprisingly, be most interested in Paige Young’s suicide and her connection to celebrities, and connection there may have been in her suicide.

But first some context is important so briefly a general introduction to:

Fame and the Playmates Lives after Playboy

Many of the people in this story are forgotten individuals.

A few of them were/are known, to only a small segment of the population.

Others in Paige Young’s story had and have, massive fame. Their fame outlasts their physical existence.

Others lived and died in complete anonymity.

Some of them have experienced a brief fame, or type of fame.

Paige Young was brought to a type of fame for her appearance in Playboy in 1968.

Many of Paige’s fellow Playboy Magazine Playmates of the Month attempted to use what celebrity they gained from the title, for access to parts in movies, TV and modeling.

Many of these young women were ambitious for Hollywood fame aka: a Hollywood acting career.

Some were indifferent and just at the right place at the right time.

Several became well-known (or little-known) “starlets” for a while before disappearing from public view. More on this later.

Examples of Playmates who went on to greater acclaim than merely a “Playboy Playmate” are: Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy and Anna Nicole Smith, in more recent times.

Jayne Mansfield, Stella Stevens, Claudia Jennings, from an earlier generation.

Jayne Mansfield’s Playmate feature in February of 1955.
Ambitious for fame, Jayne did become famous for staging events to promote herself. Also she appeared in Broadway plays, Movies, and was a “competitor” to Playboy’s first cover girl: Marilyn Monroe. Infamous for her death in a horrific car wreck in 1967. She lived a tabloid style life

1960 Playmate Stella Stevens in the 1972 disaster-film hit The Poseidon Adventure. She also co-starred in films with Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Elvis, Glenn Ford and many others. Stella passed away on Feb. 17, 2023 at the age of 84.

Stella with heavy eye makeup in the early 1960s. From Playboy?

1960 also saw Stevens become Playboy magazine’s Playmate of the Month – kicking off a partnership that spanned the decade as she appeared in numerous pictorials.

But the relationship was not a happy one, with Stella branding her work with Playboy as a ‘mistake’ in 2004 when she spoke with Bright Lights Film Journal.

First of all,’ she said, ‘they lied to me when they told me they would pay me $5,000. I had been dropped from my contract at 20th Century Fox, didn’t know a soul in Los Angeles, had a child to support…So I did it.’ 

Stella added: ‘I didn’t have any options at all. It was either make that $5,000 or starve. 

‘Then when I did it, they paid me half of the money, and if I wanted the other $2,500 I would have to work as a hostess for Playboy parties.

‘I said, “Shove it, I will not!” I truly hate that institution.’

From Obituary Daily Mail Feb. 17, 2023

Stella Stevens did attend a Playboy mansion party in 2007.

Nov. 1972 Sacramento Bee.

Claudia Jennings, Playmate of the Year 1970, one of Hollywood’s “Queen of the Bs” and aspiring serious actress. She died in a car accident on the Pacific Coast Highway in 1979.

Claudia appears on the famous Tonight Show couch in 1970, the year she was awarded Playmate of the Year.

Indianapolis Star May 3, 1974. Claudia is now considered a cult star of 1970s “exploitation” films.

Many Playmates went on to live normal, middle-class lives with careers and children.

Some Playmates married well in economic terms like Hope Dworaczyk to Robert Smith, famous athletes, Jo Collins and Bo Belinsky, Charlie Simmer and Terri Welles, Patti McGuire and Jimmy Connors, Glenn Cadrez and Brande Roderick. The list is a long one in the athlete category.

Of course the pop culture cliche of rock stars and Playmates: Shannon Tweed with Mansion regular Gene Simmons. Then the aforementioned Pamela Anderson had an infamous wedding and marriage to Tommy Lee. No telling how many rock stars dated Playmates and never married. Particularly the “hair bands” of the 1980s.

There were several who went on to business like Ruth Guerri, owner of an antique store, Julie Woodson in construction, real estate: Viki Peters, Melba Ogle, Miki Garcia and Martha Smith. Smith was also a movie and TV actor with a long resume. Victoria Vetri, Angela Dorian in Playboy, was for a while a popular B movie actress and appeared in the A picture Rosemary’s Baby. She has achieved cult status.

In the world of political activism, Gloria Root; her Playmate status was absent from her obituary. Interior design, Teddi Smith, journalism Kristine Hanson, art: Rachel Harris, Karla Conway, Gwen Wong, actress Victoria Vetri again.

Unfortunately, there are more than a few Playmates who have died tragic and young deaths, which is mentioned in the media from time to time.

There was a boost of interest in this very topic when 1993 Playmate of the Year Anna Nicole Smith, died of a drug overdose in 2007. This article by AP writer Jessica Gresko was seen across the USA.

Modesto Bee Feb. 19, 2007

Ventura County Star Feb. 19, 2007

As we all know, Anna Nicole became a model beyond Playboy, famous for her curvy Marilyn Monroe body, hair and sexy style, Guess Jean ads and prototype “Reality Series.”

Her personal life became a tabloid staple when her marriage to an old, wealthy Texas oilman named J. Howard Marshall provided much fodder.

After Marshall’s death Anna Nicole was involved in a complicated legal battle; Anna was not in the will nor was one of his sons.

The State , Columbia, SC 2/19/2007 Notice the mention of Paige Young. She did not die of a “drug overdose” as is often published.
Miami Herald

Tabloids and mainstream media had covered her court appearances over the will, but Anna’s death by overdose after years of drug abuse on February 7, 2007, eclipsed all other news for a few days.

Newspapers, magazines and cable TV, covered her death as it would a major political event from what I recall.

Notice in each article is a list of Playmates who died tragically and relatively young., this includes my subject Paige Young. .

If it were not for Paige Young’s connection to (still living and released from prison) 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.

I think there would not have been the same motivation to write about Paige, were she not connected to a legend in show business.

If you remember….

In October of 2014, the long time friend of Hugh Hefner, Bill Cosby had a long history of drugging and raping women. This was discovered by the public after the famous Hannibal Buress video went viral. This was followed by dozens of Cosby’s former victims coming forward publically.

In Dec. of 2014, Daily Mail online, published a long and “exclusive” piece of reportage about the long forgotten and little-known Playmate Paige Young and the day of her suicide in 1974, her association with Bill Cosby and other Hollywood elite including Hugh Hefner and director John Huston.

The reporter of the piece is Ryan Parry.

Included in the article is an account from Tamara Green; it’s about an encounter she experienced with Paige and Bill in El Paso 1970.

Green had already publicly claimed since 2005 that Bill Cosby drugged and assaulted her in the early 1970s. She discussed it in a now famous interview by Matt Lauer of the Today show which I viewed on youtube. It seems to have been “taken down.”

(See chapter on Tamara Green/El Paso).

The Daily Mail article quotes Tamara as saying she knew Paige Young from LA where they ran into each other at modeling auditions.

Cosby was in El Paso when Tamara Green says her encounter with him and Paige happened.

It’s my opinion that Parry thought he may have a lead on a direct link between Cosby and Paige Young’s suicide.

And this is the reason he pursued Paige’s backstory.

Parry follows this leads and interviews a few people who knew Paige Young in the 1960s and early 1970s.

One of them was Richard Sample whom I interviewed in May of 2021. Sample says he witnessed Bill Cosby visibly angry towards Paige near the Los Angeles Playboy Club.

Parry’s reporting does not establish a direct link between Cosby and Young’s suicide in 1974, which I am shown saying in Episode 8 of the Secrets of Playboy docu-series.

But Parry’s reporting does uncover heretofore unknown things, like Paige died by a gunshot to the head and not a drug overdose.

And, as was dramatized in the Secrets episode about Paige, there was a witness who saw a “mural” Paige had constructed in her apartment–consisting of photographic images and articles about Hugh Hefner upon which was written things like “Hugh Hefner is the Devil” and “I hate Hugh Hefner.”

What I learned in 2021 was that Bill Cosby actually did drug and rape Paige Young and “paid her off,” which was the same MO he used on several women for decades.

I learned this by a telephone conversation with an old friend of Paige’s. He told me the story that Paige had told him about the rape. See chapter on Henry/Malibu.

One of the earliest accounts of Cosby’s rapes dates to 1965: aspiring singer Sunni Welles, when Welles was only 17.

For further details and a thorough background of the 2005 Constand case against Cosby, with several accounts from 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.

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 on the internet.

The Playmate Book is a compendium of all the women who were named Playmates from the year Playboy Magazine was introduced in 1953, up to the date of publication. The entries include a brief life update on each woman.

AP story by Jessica Gresko about Anna Nicole Smith, shortly after her death in Feb. of 2007.

Gretchen Edgren has been the editor of the Playmate Book for a long time. I don’t know how long.

Parry’s 2014 article about Paige Young was completely ignored by every media outlet.

This surprised me but I quickly realized that the Daily Mail has a taint of “tabloid” attached to it, and was in legal hot water some years back for harassing celebrities and recording them illegally.

Many media outlets, including other tabloids, may be wary of quoting the Daily Mail.

Still, I did find it a bit odd that no independent journalist was interested enough to look into Paige’s story any further, given the major celebrities named in the story. And pop culture interest in 1960s/70s Hollywood and LA.

Only one named Mark Ebner has ever mentioned Paige Young, that I have seen or read.

The Daily Mail story has caught on primarily with the “conspiracy crowd.” Like MK Ultra.

Let me be clear: I am not a “conspiracy” person, nor am I implying a conspiracy with what I publish on this website.

Individuals with wealth, power and status within Hollywood the industry and Hollywood “the system,” and Los Angeles the city, or people in the general realm of “entertainment,” have condoned, allowed or participated in criminal, exploitative and abusive behavior.

That I do “believe in.”

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, Secrets of Playboy and me personally

As did the police who were called to the scene which is recorded on Paige Young’s death certificate and police report.

There are several chapters I have written on this topic.

Intro. to Players in this story

As a Playboy Playmate, Paige Young experienced a minor type of celebrity status for a brief portion of her short life.

And she was an actual human with a life besides her association with Playboy.

At times, Paige associated with people who were much more famous than she. Some are well known to the mass public, including Hugh Hefner, John Huston, Andy Warhol, Bill Cosby; men who lived with massive fame which outlives them.

Bill Cosby is still alive but seems to be in failing health.

Others were and are famous to a smaller audience.

The men famous to a more niche audience includes: Peter Gowland, son of English film actor Gibson Gowland, an LA native like Paige. Peter 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 have learned.)

On this website I have written about these men and Paige Young’s connection to them. Someone basically forgotten and seemingly inconsequential.

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 prominent media personality in the 1970s and 80s and 90s.

Mitchelson is credited for introducing the term “Palimony” into divorce court and to the general public when he represented Michelle Triola Marvin in a financial claim against actor Lee Marvin. Lee Marvin dumped live-in lover Michelle without a penny and Marvin Mitchelson became famous representing her when Michelle wanted compensation for the loss of her career as a singer.

M.M.M. is all but forgotten in 2022.

The Hon. Desmond Guinness, is frequently how his name is written, is from the famous Irish beer brand family but also a highly titled, wealthy, socially elite and sometimes controversial family. 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.

He died in August of 2020.

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, California in the 1960s.

Valentine died in February of 2022.

John Huston obviously needs no explanation. John Huston lived in Ireland and was acquainted with the aforementioned Desmond Guinness. Paige visited Ireland as a guest of Huston’s according to a witness.

Paige Young and her family’s journey encompass both the industry and town of Hollywood, WW2 Los Angeles and post-war Los Angeles, growing up in the San Fernando Valley in the 1950s where you lived in the same neighborhoods and went to school with your peers like 1950s icons Annette Funicello and Tony Dow and the singing King family 2nd generation.

It’s the old story of time and place and people.

Research Methods

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, voting records, marriage, divorce, and military records on

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.