1970/71 #3 Tamara El Paso. Henry Malibu. Sample LA: Bill Cosby-Paige Young Stories.

One of the women who had spoken out about her drugging and assault by Cosby back in 2005 is Tamara Green. She testified behind closed doors on behalf of Andrea Constand in her case against Cosby. Green also gave a few media interviews at the time.

One of Green’s interviews was on the Today Show by host Matt Lauer. It made the social media rounds in more recent times after Lauer had his own sexual harassment/abuse of power “scandal.”

For much more detail on the 2005 Constand case, see the book Chasing Cosby by Nicole Weisensee Egan.

The accusations against Cosby in 2005 that received some media attention were quickly forgotten and did not harm his reputation in the slightest.

Until..

The fall of 2014, the Hannibal Buress video went viral and in the subsequent fall out, dozens of Cosby’s victims spoke out publicly for the first (or second ) time and many of these women were receiving media interview requests.

Tamara was interviewed by Daily Mail reporter Ryan Parry in Oct./Nov. 2014 She told him about an encounter with Paige Young and Bill Cosby that happened in El Paso in 1970.

Tamara says she was acquainted with Paige from modeling auditions around LA in the late 60s/early 70s.  

From the online Daily Mail article Dec. 2014:

“I was there (El Paso) seeing my boyfriend and Paige called me and said Bill was on tour and she was travelling with him.

El Paso Times, Feb. 22, 1970

They picked me up at my friend’s house and I remember sitting in the back of a stretched limo with them both and Bill wanted to score some drugs.  I called around and found a bag of pot some place on the edge of El Paso. Paige was into her drugs and Bill wanted to get her some, she was along on the trip like his pet dog, she was a very subdued person, more like moon on the water in terms of her personality.  They were clearly acquainted with each other; it didn’t seem like a new thing.  As far as I know they dated for a while.”

I located a friend of Paige’s from the Malibu days and we spoke twice on the phone. He said he was “just good friends” with Paige and remembers many hikes with her in Topanga Canyon.

Henry told me about a time they were together where Paige lived and she broke down crying. (Again, around 1970) When he asked her why, she told him Bill Cosby had raped her.

Henry worked in the TV business and “always thought Bill was a nice guy.” “No,” said Paige, “he’s not,” And “he is scum.” Also a “piece of shit” and a “bastard” and “don’t even get me started,” were said to Henry by Paige about Bill Cosby.

I asked Henry “did Paige say Cosby drugged her prior to the rape?” Henry said she “implied it” by saying she “came to” and “realized she’d been raped.”

Henry also said Paige motioned towards her dresser while telling Henry that Bill had made out a check to her, Henry glanced over and saw a check on the dresser. He said it had “several zeroes.”

I don’t know if it was during the El Paso trip witnessed by Tamara Green that Cosby drugged and raped Paige.

However I do think it’s possible if what Tamara said in Parry’s report is true, that Paige acted drugged, “very subdued” and “along like a pet” during the encounter.

I’ve talked with 2 people who told me they never saw Paige use drugs. Melanie to me and on the documentary Secrets of Playboy.

“Occasional grass” and alcohol at most, said Richard Sample. He was quite adamant on this point as I had pressed it; in the 1960s many people did not consider LSD a “drug” but a mind and spiritual exploration

1970/71 cont.. In the first and only social media message exchange I had with Henry, he said Paige stayed with him in his house, “right before she left Malibu.” And that he thought she was a good person who was traumatized by Bill Cosby.

On the phone Henry told me that Paige moved into his large house with others renters in the Trancas area of Malibu. The house was on Broad Beach. He said he let Paige live there rent free.

Henry said during her stay, he noticed that Paige started to act “antsy.” She expressed her feeling to him that this “isolated” location in Malibu was “blocking her ability to paint.”

Paige moved out after about 3 months Henry said.

This is very likely the time Paige moved to the Westwood apartment where she lived the 2-3 remaining years of her life and committed suicide. Melanie, witness and neighbor, told me her stay was longer than a few months and more like a few years.

I told Henry about Richard’s saying when he first met Paige, “she lived on the edge of Malibu in a converted chicken coop.” Henry responded “probably Topanga.

Henry doesn’t remember Paige ever living in a converted chicken coop but remembers visiting her in a cabin in Topanga.

Henry saw Paige infrequently the last 2 or so years of her life because she became reclusive, he said.

Backing up here in the timeline To Group all 3 Witness Accounts I have of Bill and Paige. Richard’s story probably took place approx 1965-67. It was before 70/71 as they were no longer seeing each other by then.

A frequent visitor and performer at many Playboy Clubs was Hugh Hefner’s good friend Bill Cosby, in the 60s and 70s. This is recorded in numerous newspapers articles and Playboy’s own VIP magazine for Playboy Club key holders.

Richard Sample said he would occasionally pick up Paige after her shift at the Sunset Strip Playboy Club. She worked at the club “for about 3 months.” He says he never saw her in a Bunny uniform.

“Bill Cosby was always trying to put the make on Paige. She didn’t want anything to do with him, she ignored him.”

Richard Sample.
Postcard with Playboy Building on the right with small blurry bunny image.
The Sunset Strip location opened December 31, 1964.

One of these times when Richard was at the club to pick up Paige, he witnessed Bill Cosby get “very angry” at Paige after she rebuffed another one of his advances.

(This account is also included in Richard Sample interview chapter.)

I need more information from another potential witness of Paige and Bill before I write and publish.

Context

There are many women from this particular era, late 60s/early 70s, who have publicly said they were drugged and assaulted by Bill Cosby including: Tamara Green, Sunni Welles (mid-60s), Joan Tarshis, Victoria Valentino, Linda Joy Traitz, Linda Brown, Louisa Moritz, Autumn Burns, Carla Ferrigno and Cindra Ladd.

This era seems to be the start of Cosby’s serial rapes which continued to at least 2008.

1974 #4 LAPD Report Paige Young Suicide. Updated 4/18/2022

I obtained a copy of the LAPD report on Paige Young’s suicide, I have transcribed below.

The report is difficult to read; it looks like a copy of a copy of a copy, several words are faded almost beyond recognition. Someone familiar with police codes and reports may understand it better.

I have placed ??? for words and codes I can’t decipher.

EDI (PDI?) is witness and neighbor Melanie. I/D is the Investigating Detective.

Page 1:

I/D responded to a D/5 call at the above location. Upon arrival at 1500 hrs. I/D was met by 8A53 Ofcc’s Sullivan FI5452 and Peckins #15665. Death was pronounced by CA#92 at 1431. 8A53 upon arrival at the scene were met by EDI, who stated that the deceased was upstairs with a gun and was going to shoot herself. 8A53 at this time phoned for a backup unit. 8L/??and 8L10 responded. Ofccs at this time spent approx. 2 hours attempting to contact the deceased via the telephone and by calling ?? HEC? Offcs during this period were informed that a “SWAT” team was enroute and to stand by for their arrival. While Ofccs. were waiting for “SWAT” EDI suddenly ran into deceased’s apt. Ofccs fearing for EDI safety also entered the apt. Offcs. at time obs. the deceased lying on the bed with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head. Ofccs at this time phoned for an ambulance.

Page 2

EDI stated that she last saw the Dec. alive on 4-7-74 at approx. 10:30. Deceased stated at this time that she was going to end her life. Dec. at this time placed the barrel of her gun in her mouth. EDI attempted to talk Dec. out of taking her life. Dec. asked EDI to phone the police because she wanted to kill herself in front of the police. EDI at this time left and returned to her apartment and started to call friends of the Dec. Approx. one hr. later (1130) EDI contacted the PD. EDI further stated that deceased had been in a constant state of deep depression for the last two years.

Wit-2 stated that on 4-7-74 at approx. 0930, he rec a phone call from Dec. who requested that he come to her and pick up her (Dec) dogs. Dec. also stated she would leave a note explaining about the dogs. Wit. went to the above location and obs. the dogs in their pen. Wit also obs what appeared to be a note which had been torn up ?? the dogs. Wit took the dogs and the note to his home. Once there Wit pieced the note together. The note instructed Wit. what to do with the dogs. At the bottom it read, “don’t come up call the police.” Wit at this time contacted the LAPD and then returned to the above location.

I/D obs. the deceased lying on her back in bed with her her feet resting on the ?? Dec. head was pointed in a S/E direction. I/D obs. no evid of foul play. An inspection of weapon showed it to be A 2? .38 caliber S/W B/S bed 5 shot chief. The weapon was fully loaded with one spent gund(?) directly under the hammer. This weapon was BKD? at ???? and rigor mortis were obs. I/D obs. no evid of an exit wound.

Page 3

2H22 of SID was at the scene and took photos.

It is the opinion of the I/D that the Dec. committed suicide by firing a single shot from the above described weapon. This opinion is based of the statement of the EDI, and lack of evid to indicate otherwise. This death will be ???? as a suicide pending the final result of the cor. invest. The shot was fired into Dec. mouth and did not exit.

Since there was noone to ??/Dec. Prod, ???sealed the location.

END.

Shown in the Daily Mail 2014 article but not transcribed.

“Decedent found in residence by friend Melanie Myers, decedent lying on bed w/38 revolver in rt. hand. Investigation by IHD. Possible Note at scene.” Brought in to Metro for recover of missile as requested by Dr. Mall. Signature.”

This corroborates Melanie’s story that she was read part of Paige’s suicide note by the police at the scene and that Paige wrote about Hollywood powerful men who used and abused her, including Huston and Hefner.

Suicide note not mentioned in LAPD report.

Top section of page 1 death report.
Removed by Tim Gee. Coroner’s office.

Occupation listed as “model” and reason for suicide “extreme depression.” Paige is listed as “artist” on her death certificate.

Officers called to Paige’s suicide scene: Sullivan and Perkins or Peckins

Investigating Detective I/D : Reddish, probably Richard M. Reddish who handled at least 2 other suicides in LA in his career per newspapers.com.

Police photographer on scene: Unknown

Coroner: Dr. Mall

Coroner’s office, removed Paige’s body from her home: Tim Gee.

2nd Witness: D DeWitt. Called by Paige on the 7th to take care of her dogs. According to this police report, this witness went to Paige’s house, retrieved the dogs and took the torn up note with with instructions for the dogs(?) Went to his house, pieced the note together. Note said “don’t come up call police.” Witness then returned to Paige’s house.

From there, nothing is said about witness DeWitt.

Members of SWAT team not recorded.

We can see what is not described in the report by Reddish: the suicide note and mural created by Paige Young about hatred towards Hugh Hefner. (This was what Melanie described to the Daily Mail Dec. 2014.)

Why not?

Both witnesses in the report corroborate Melanie’s statement in 2014: Paige wanted to make a statement about these men who abused her. This is emphasized further in the A&E documentary “Secrets of Playboy.” Episode 8.

Suicide note NOT mentioned in this police report.

Location of police photographs taken of Paige’s suicide scene is unknown. Destroyed?

PART 2: Richard Sample Interview

Close up of a small copy: Richard Sample as painted by Paige Young.

Richard shows me this photo of him painting with Paige’s portrait of him hanging prominently. It hangs along with some kind of a Paige Playboy plaque. 69/70.

To open our interview, I promised Richard we would end after one hour. It did end up being two.

I asked Richard if Paige ever used LSD, the drug that inspired the label “the Psychedelic Era.” Richard said no, not that he ever witnessed or heard.

Melanie Myers, neighbor who found Paige dead, said on the documentary Secrets of Playboy, that she never witnessed Paige using drugs; she was more into “clean living.”

I brought up the sex tape mentioned in the Daily Mail article, and I brought up David Shane, who was not mentioned in the article.

Richard said, “I think that that is something Dennis (from a Los Alamos, California art gallery) told me about Jonathan Winters. And that tape. I think Dennis knows something about that tape.”

Richard said this is all he can remember.

He has not heard of David Shane.

Richard again mentioned how he and Paige were regulars at Barney’s Beanery and added that they sometime socialized there with the Smothers Brothers.

Malibu Friends:

“In Malibu we hung out a lot with Don Dwiggens. He wrote the book ‘The Life and Loves of Frank Sinatra’. Another one was ‘The Bachelor.’ “Dwiggins took a lot of pictures of Paige.”

Richard does not know if these photos were were ever published. “His wife still lives in Malibu.”

“He was killed in a car accident.” (1988)

I had never heard of Don Dwiggins; it turns out he was a longtime LA reporter, prolific author, pilot, stunt pilot and aviation historian. And a man of numerous hobbies.

Dwiggins lived in Malibu for decades, well-known and admired in the community, and Los Angeles in general. There is an in depth tribute for Don Dwiggins that appeared in the LAT, at the bottom of this page. It is written by Jack Smith, one of Don’s good friends. Smith is a legendary Los Angeles columnist and writer.

More Malibu friends:

“I had my paintings in Jack Bailey’s (Queen for a Day host) gallery and many of my paintings sold when his gallery was shown on a TV show.”

Jack Bailey resided in Malibu during the mid-60s where he ran the Jack Bailey Gallery for about 2 years. There are articles in the Malibu newspapers to support this.

“He owned about 65 of my paintings.”

Vincent Price was another patron of Richard’s. Price is well-known for his art collection.

About the ending of his relationship with Paige: “I had moved out of the studio in Venice and moved to Solvang, and Paige stayed there. (Venice) She was supposed to pay me rent, but she never did. I went and asked her to leave.”

Paige had moved out and and at some point moved onto a houseboat in Marina Del Rey. (See chapter: Paige’s Most Public Year 1969)

“I only talked to her on her houseboat for about 10 minutes. I don’t know who owned it.”

I got the feeling it was an uncomfortable and sad conversation.

We again discussed Rex Ramsey, who tried to steal Richard’s Corvette and Paige’s Mustang.

The Corvette that Rex Ramsey tried to steal: His wife got a flat tire in the Corvette and was on the side of the freeway, when a semi-truck flattened it.

I have spoken to Rex Ramsey briefly on the phone. He said he does not remember Paige, but does remember her husband of one year, Mark F. Segal, his long time friend.

A SFV newspaper 1968. The address is the home of Mark F. Segal and Paige Young when she and Mark were married.

He hasn’t answered or returned any of my phone calls since that first one.

Richard brought up Hugh Hefner.

“Paige told me she overheard a conversation, with Hefner, about selling women to business men from a foreign country. They were talking about the money.”

Richard Sample

I responded “For what, like, sex or types of sexual favors, or….?”

Yes, he nodded without elaborating.

I prompted with “When Paige told you this, did she seem shocked, upset or…?”

“She said ‘I hope that doesn’t happen to me.'”

He added, “If I could I would shoot Hugh Hefner and probably get away with it.”

I pressed but he didn’t answer.

Sample just said “Hefner ruined a lot of good women.”

Anything else you can recall that Paige said about Hugh Hefner or anyone connected to him? “Not that I can remember.”

Richard said he never met Hefner nor hung out with any of his crowd.

Paige personality:

Did Paige have an opinion about the Vietnam war?

“She said ‘ They should just bomb it and get it over with.'”

Did she attend any anti-war demonstrations?

Richard shook his head no and kept shaking his head no as I asked, “So that wouldn’t have been something she would have ever done?

Because I have not found any voter registration records for Paige, but I have found many records for her family members, I asked if he ever knew Paige to have voted for President.

Several minutes long pause.

“Who is the president that had a brother who let that girl drown in Chappaquiddick?

“Teddy, brother of President John Kennedy.

“Well, we had a picture of Teddy Kennedy hanging up that we would throw darts at, Paige was there (visiting) and she said ‘I hope he gets what he deserves.'”

I looked around at Richard Sample’s art work. He showed me some of his paintings that are “copies” of famous artists like Picasso, Miro, Kandinsky. He said he paints these because it pays well.

I apologized to Richard if I told him any information about Paige that was upsetting. He said it didn’t.

For example, Richard did not know that Paige was born Diana Cotterell or anything at all about her childhood. (Everyone I have talked to was unaware that Paige was ever Diana Cotterell who grew up in the San Fernando Valley.)

Richard misses Idaho and wishes he were still living there.

He mentions John Chapman, President of the NEA.? “I worked for him. And he bought many of my paintings, He owned a mansion in Sun Valley.”

Info: Don Dwiggins. Paige and Richard’s Malibu friend. Richard says Paige modeled for him several times. It was hard to choose which article about Dwiggins to include, there were so many of them. Lots of reviews of his Hollywood aviation stunt pilot books.

Lower article by legendary LA writer Jack Smith.

Eagle Rock Sentinel OCT.31, 1968

Chilling the timing of his accident….

LAT March 29. 1989.

My Interview with Artist/Paige Young Friend Richard Sample. 1964-1969/70 Malibu. Venice. Celebrity Connections. Cult Characters. PART 1. Updated 3/8/2022

UPDATE: Richard L. Sample passed away on August 10, 2021

Recently, I interviewed Richard Sample, Paige’s ex-boyfriend and friend, painter, sculptor and assemblage artist.

He now lives in the Coachella Valley area of California.

Richard Sample was still living in Sun Valley, Idaho when he was interviewed by Daily Mail reporter Ryan Parry in 2014. He says he doesn’t know who gave his name to Parry in association with Paige Young.

I am thankful to Richard Sample for inviting me to interview him in person and taking the time and effort to talk about Paige Young. It was not always easy for him (or me).

Thanks also to his niece Ellen Sample who has been very helpful.

At the appointed time, I pulled up in my rental car and parked next to Richard’s house. There was a chainlink fence and gate that had a big padlock on it and the house was about 10 yards beyond it; I called out his name several times and did not get a response.

Luckily, Richard’s niece Ellie pulled up in her car, got out and told me Richard’s neighbor had called and told her that “there is woman in a red car was in front of her Uncle Richard’s house.”

Ellie said that she was aware of the interview, but “didn’t ask him any questions so that he feels he has his own life.” Ellie lives one street over and has been very involved with caring for Richard after he moved to the area.

Ellie unlocked the gate and as we walked toward the house, she told me that Richard doesn’t hear very well now.

Richard Sample gave me permission to publish what he said during our interview.

Richard warmly greeted me with a hug as did his dog Tolly. Ellie left us to the interview.

After we sat down to talk, Sample told me:

“In 2001 I got throat cancer. I got radiation that burned the lining of my throat and my whole body. I also had a surgery and they cut my throat, it left me hard to talk, hard to drink, hard to eat… I am dying.”

Richard Sample is now 84 years old and obviously does not hear well or speak easily. I strained to hear his whisper of a raspy voice to understand what he was saying, and I didn’t always understand right away. I got better at understanding pretty quickly as our conversation got going.

I will say Richard and I didn’t have a have a normal flowing conversation, but more of a question and answer session, and mostly the answers Richard gave took him a long time to say. I also got to know him as a person and shared my journey with researching Paige’s story.

This chapter and the next will be a mixture of exact quotes from my tape recorder as well as transcribed hand notes.

Background: Richard and Paige got together after the end of his relationship with Sylvia Nicolosi, daughter of famed LA based sculptor Joseph Nicolosi. She was one of three sisters. (confirmed independently)

Richard was in the military but he “Never made it to Vietnam, just Ft. Bragg North Carolina.” I saw his military ID.

Richard’s father was Charlie/Charles Sample, a well known artist, an eccentric Los Angeles and California character. Known as a talented goldsmith/jeweler to the “Stars.” Especially the Western ones. Charlie in more detail later. Many newspaper articles about him.

Richard Sample met Paige Young in the art world of Malibu in the 1960s.

He had several memories of Paige he wanted to tell me right away.

“Paige lived in a converted chicken coop on the edge of Malibu.

Richard doesn’t remember which edge.

For a dinner party, Paige had a different chair for each guest to use, not a matching (dining) set.

She would only eat salad if it was a day old.

“I never saw Paige with shoes on.” (see chapter 1970 Warhol, Paige appears with her date at the Warhol opening in Pasadena. She is photographed wearing a long Rudi Gernreich dress and is barefoot)

“She is the only person I’ve ever known who ate ice cream with a fork,”

I asked about Hamish the horse and Richard says she did not keep a horse in Malibu.

Paige would often strip down to her underwear and “run around topless or even nude.” Confirmed. Westwood neighbor Melanie told me that Paige often walked around nude in the shared backyard and it got on her nerves.

How Richard met Paige:

Paige was “going with a man named Harry Gesner. He was an architect who designed the Cooper house in Malibu. The house was on the cover of Life magazine. Harry Gesner was a client of my landlord. My landlord was Edward Ravick; he was involved with the Malibu Colony and maybe lived there at times.”

LAT July 19, 1964 the famous Cooper house by architect Harry Gesner

He sent Gesner and Paige to my studio in Malibu, “to see my art.”

(I found one mention of an Edward Ravick in a Malibu paper connected to real estate in the 1960s.)

Richard and Paige “immediately hit it off” and began dating.

Gallery Program from ebay confirms Sample knew Ed Ravick, Harry Gesner (misspelled) and Elaine deKooning, Vincent Price, all of whom he mentioned knowing these years.

Jonathan Winters:

Richard asked me why I asked him about Jonathan Winters, in one of my letters to him.

I told him about the newspaper interviews with Paige from 1969, for promoting Playboy around the country. Some of the articles mention that Paige has appeared “in many skits,” on The Jonathan Winters Show. (1967-1969 CBS) (See my chapter on Paige’s Most Public Year 1969).

I then asked Richard why he called Jonathan Winters an “asshole” in his letter back to me. His answer:

“Dennis, (does not remember his last name) was the owner of the Golden O Gallery, in Los Alamos, he told me that Jonathan Winters used to come and sit on the sidewalk at Dennis’ gallery and talk about Paige, and he had nothing good to say, it was always nasty or negative. I never met the man (Winters) but Dennis could tell you all about it. Dennis never met Paige, but he did know about her.”

Presumably because of Jonathan Winters.

Paige did not tell Richard anything about Jonathan Winters when they were together. He said he wasn’t aware of her appearing on the show during its run from 1967-1969. He said it is a possibility that she did and he didn’t know about it.

I have since learned 2 thing about Jonathan Winters: He painted as a hobby and even published a book of his paintings entitled “Hang-Ups.”

And he had a residence in Santa Barbara which is quite close to the “artsy” town of Los Alamos.

Bill Cosby: Richard said he would occasionally pick up Paige at the Sunset Strip Playboy Club, after her shift. She worked at the club “for about 3 months,” he said.

A frequent visitor and performer at many Playboy Clubs was Bill Cosby. As well as a close friend to Hugh Hefner.

“Bill Cosby was always trying to put the make on Paige. She didn’t want anything to do with him, she ignored him,” said Richard.

Richard then told me of one time when he was picking Paige up from the club after her shift. He saw Bill Cosby get angry at Paige after she rebuffed another one of his advances.

Vintage Postcard. Playboy building on the right. It had the club, offices and a suite on the top floor Hugh Hefner while he was in LA.
Back of postcard. Club was opened on New Year’s Eve 1964

Richard then asked me if I was sure that Paige committed suicide and was not murdered. I told him that I owned a copy of her death certificate with suicide by gun typed into the cause of death box. I brought it out and showed it to him.

“I wouldn’t ever think she would do that,” (suicide) he said shaking his head at the document.

I decided not to tell Richard that there is more proof of a suicide besides the death certificate: witnesses like neighbor Melanie, the man D. DeWitt listed as a “2nd witness” on the police report, the police at Paige’s house on that day. (See chapter on LAPD report) Plus the coroner’s report.

Celeste Huston to me in a facebook exchange.

Melanie is the only one of these people to have spoken out publicly about the day of Paige’s suicide.

“She was a good person. I really miss her.” Richard said about Paige a few times that afternoon.

Richard moved to Venice Beach, around 1966-67 motivated by the thriving art scene. His father artist Charlie Sample was already there. Paige joined Richard not too long after he moved.

Like many artists, his house doubled as his art studio.

I asked Richard if he encountered any of the many artists who became famous out of the Venice Beach art scene.

He said “De Wain Valentine had a studio next door to Paige and me.” (See chapter on Museum appearance with Warhol 1970)

“He was a friend of mine.”

“Another friend, Larry Bell, lived across the street from us, on Market.”

“We (Paige and I) all used to hang out a lot, with all these (Venice artists) at Barney’s Beanery.”

After I returned from my trip, I did some research and I found quotes from Bell and DeWain Valentine in art magazines.

Dec. 2019 by Desiree Milton in Whitewall: Beyond the Walls.

There were a lot of actors and writers. We all used to hang out at a place called Barney’s Beanery, which was in West Hollywood. It was a local bar, a funky little place right at the end of La Cienega Boulevard where all the galleries were. So after the Tuesday or Thursday night openings, everyone would go up to Barney’s and hang around—there was The Raincheck Room on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood as well.

Larry Bell

The Brooklyn Rail May 2019 Interview with DeWain Valentine

Detail of photo with artists Richard Sample, left, Paige Young and Rodney Rowland King mid 1960s. Sample and King had been part of the the long forgotten Chino Prison Project in the early 1960s. Art was used to rehabilitate prisoners by giving them art supplies, studio time and having gallery showings in the prison. Elaine DeKooning bought some of Richard’s art at one of these gallery showings. DeKooning remained a friend through letters Richard told me. Thank you to Ellen Sample for use of this photo.

Cars: Paige owned a yellow Mustang, a recent model and Richard owned a Corvette.

“A guy named Rex Ramsey stole our cars, but Paige got them back.”

I already knew about Rex Ramsey; he’s connected to Mark F. Segal through renting Segal’s (where Paige lived as his wife) house at 4144 Crisp Canyon in Sherman Oaks. Both men spent a career heavily involved with cars: sales, importing. racing. Ramsey designed a successful race car once. He did some stunt driving in Hollywood.

Rex Ramsey told me Mark’s family had a series of car dealerships and a towing service business. “They were quite well off,” Ramsey said. Otherwise he said he did not remember Paige Young but maybe he would later. I haven’t been able to reach him since the second phone call when he was unable to talk with me.

“My father (Charlie Sample) was a famous gold and silver smith. He made silver spurs for $8000 and made belt buckles and horse saddles for Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, John Wayne, Mae West, Tim Holt.

Richard shows me a recent catalog for a company producing high-end western gear using Charlie Sample designs: horse saddles and bridles, spurs, belt buckles, bolo ties, rings, bracelets etc.

“Paige liked my father, he made some jewelry for her.”

Richard shows me a picture of himself decked out head to toe in animal fur, looking like mountain man Jedidiah Smith.

Richard and his father were both quite handsome.

He says that “unfortunately” he has no photos of Paige or paintings by her; he has lost a lot of his possessions and paintings over the years but he is hoping to retrieve some of Paige’s paintings in Santa Maria.

“I never knew Paige to be involved with drugs, except an occasional use of grass.” Richard said that she did sometimes drink alcohol and occasionally went to clubs “in the Marina.”

And presumably the Raincheck Room, to be determined, per Larry Bell’s quote.

After I asked about something else and not hearing my question, Richard said “Paige was basically a very good person, until she got mixed up with Hefner. She went downhill then.”

“Lewis Beach Marvin the 3rd parents’ owned Green Stamps. He was a friend of Paige’s and mine. He introduced me to Robert Carl Cohen who put a lot of my sculptures in his movie Mondo Hollywood.

Lewis Beach Marvin and the amazing dwelling he put together in the hills of Malibu, is featured in Mondo Hollywood. The movie is a cult film known as an important document of counterculture LA/1960s history.

I did some research and one story says that Lewis Beach Marvin is the young man who gives Jim Morrison a lamb on stage in Miami on May 1st 1969. This can be seen on a video. I haven’t checked lately. It’s the concert that resulted in Morrison’s arrest due to alledgedly exposing his penis on stage.

Lewis Beach Marvin was an vegan activist WAY before it was a “thing.”

He does appear in a Miami article with a lamb around the time of the Doors concert. I also read it was a local Miami man who gave Morrison the lamb.

The arrest is supposedly one reason Morrison left for Paris.

Shortly after I returned from California, I rented Mondo Hollywood on Amazon. I was unable to spot Richard’s sculptures in the film–a sculptress named Valerie Porter is one of the “main characters” and the movie is heavy on a variety of her sculptures and many other sculptures and structures.

I did see his ending credit as:

Moonshadow sculpture: Richard Lauren Sample..

Famous pinup and 50s, 60s Playboy photographer Peter Gowland:

Peter Gowland called Richard (in 1974) looking for Paige because she hadn’t been seen for a while. He called Richard back some time later to tell him that Paige had committed suicide. Peter did not tell Richard the method that Paige used to kill herself.

According to Richard: Peter Gowland is the one who suggested and encouraged Paige to try out for Playboy. The two had met a few years previous, Paige had already modeled for Gowland several times.

Without mentioning his name, Paige said in a few 1969 interviews “my photographer friend” suggested the idea and submitted her photos to Playboy.

Richard opened Eros Gallery in Westwood in the late 60s. He can’t remember the location beyond that.

The next several photos are all from Playboy magazine November 1968, taken by Peter Gowland. I went through them with Richard.

Richard said this photo below shows him helping Paige carry one of her paintings into his Eros Gallery.

Richard says the seated woman on the left is “Mrs. Burke, my partner in Eros Gallery.” Mrs. Burke was a local patroness of the Arts. He said that Peter Gowland is the man in between Mrs. Burke and Paige.

Playboy magazine November 1968

If it is Gowland, I don’t know who took the shot; Richard said Peter’s wife and co-owner of their photography business, Alice Gowland, was not there that day and he never met her.

According to Richard, this photo of Paige running with her dog Joshua was taken at the Malibu Colony.

Richard said he has no idea who any of these people are at the cookout or in the room with Paige painting. He doesn’t recognize the location.

The painting looks like the start of a self portrait

Richard said that when he was living with Paige he “never questioned where she was going, what she was doing” or with whom she was doing it. “And she never questioned me. That is just the way the relationship was.”

Malibu fire: “Me and Harry Gesner went to Paige’s house during the Malibu fire (he’s not sure which year in the 1960s.) and hosed everything down. Paige’s house didn’t burn but everything around it did.”

I then asked a couple of my questions about Paige’s family.

Was there ever an indication that Paige had grown up with a grandmother (Virginia Young LaRocca) who was a Christian Science practitioner/ 1st Reader in the Church for decades? Richard answered, “Nope, nope, not at all.”

Richard said that Paige never talked about her childhood in the SFV, her family, that her birth name was Diana Cotterell, or her marriage to Mark F. Segal. She never said she used Marvin Mitchelson as her lawyer, Richard had never heard of Marvin Mitchelson anyway.

Richard said he met Paige’s sister (Constance/Connie) one time only, when Paige drove him to a visit with her. He said he doesn’t “think that they had a close relationship.”

Richard looked quite exhausted so I ended the interview for the day. I felt bad about telling him too much of Paige’s background that he never knew.

He said it didn’t bother him.

He remembered and shared one last thing:

“I introduced Paige to Tony Dow, a good friend of mine. He drove a Porsche. He liked my Vette. He lived in the Valley. “

Tony Dow purchased some of Richard’s art .

Part 2 of the interview is posted.

1960-1964. Paige Young “Miss Panorama City.” Robinson’s of the Valley. Childhood Home Razed.

1960-1961  I have not been able to locate where Diana/Paige was living at these years.

However, I do find some clues in a SFV phone directory where there is a Virginia Young LaRocca, (widowed in 1959) listed at 13204 Riverside Drive. A 6-plex (at that time) on the corner with Atoll Ave.   Diana could have lived here with her grandmother, as she was only 16 years old in 1960.

Josephine Young Harker, Virginia’s sister and Diana’s great aunt, is also listed with this address in a 1960 LA phone directory.

It’s also the address on Ned LaRocca’s death cert. 1959.

Diana’s mother Donna and stepfather Jack Holroyd, are listed at 12835 1/2 Oxford Ave., very near Grant High School in 1960, 61 and 62. Diana could have lived here as well.

12385 Oxford Ave. Van Nuys

Panorama City

From the Van Nuys News and Green Sheet., Feb. 6, 1962 There were big plans for the city of Panorama City at this time. It was to be a retail mecca.
Van Nuys News and Valley Green Sheet. Feb. 6, 1962

This was Robinson’s first store in the SFV and it opened June 27, 1961.

July 1961 LAT Where Paige would have worked if she worked in sales.

Close up on page 2

Van Nuys News and Valley Green Sheet Feb. 6, 1962 Entire article bottom of page.

This is the earliest date I have found of Paige’s usage of the name Paige Young: 1962 when she was 18.

The latest date I have seen Paige associated with her birth name, Diana Cotterell, is her 9th grade picture listing in the Van Nuys Jr. High yearbook, 1957, age 15 or 16.

Quite a bit of evidence that Paige, Virginia, Donna and Jack moved to this booming city in the Valley around 1962.

1963 and 1964 Both Virginia LaRocca and Jack Holroyd are in the phone directory with an address of 8533 Ventura Canyon, Van Nuys.  This address is also listed as Panorama City.

Virginia LaRocca listed at 8533 Ventura Canyon “VN for Van Nuys” At this point living with Jack and Donna.

Here you can see Donna’s Husband Jack Holroyd (H is cut off) listed at 8533 Ventura Canyon Sherman Oaks, but it’s really Panorama City

Donna Holroyd is not listed these years, only her husband.

Donna may have started her studies at UCLA around this time majoring in Early Childhood Education.

It is probable that Grandmother Virginia Young LaRocca, mother Donna Holroyd and stepfather Jack Holroyd, were living at 8533 Ventura Canyon Ave at this time-1962. If Paige was living with them, it would have been a very short drive to her job (as stated in above article) at the Panorama City location of J.W. Robinson’s, a legendary LA department store.

The article above states Paige is an “accomplished equestrienne,” and a model.

It is probably the only one I’ve read that doesn’t mention her devotion to oil painting.

I’ve seen dozens of newspaper photos accompanied with brief write-ups of model/starlets, beauty contest winners and runners up, from the 50s and 60s. Almost always it includes where the young women attended high school. Many times, they were still in high school. Note that in this write-up of Paige, no high school is mentioned. She has a “background in modelling and drama.”

In 1969 interviews, Paige told reporters she graduated from Van Nuys High School. I have found no school photos of Paige at VNHS. (see 1969: Most Public Year)

I’m really thinking now that Paige dropped out of high school after the 9th or 10th grade.

Paige would be married in Las Vegas 1 1/2 years (Oct. 1, 1963) after this article appeared. The marriage lasted for 11 months (Aug 27, 1964).

In 1964, Paige filled out a divorce questionnaire ( below) stating that she had moved out of the marital home and was “living with family”. Family would have been living at 8533 Ventura Canyon Ave. according to phone listings. Her answer to employment record says clerical-secretary.

Paige says clerical-secretary here–Was this at Robinson’s in the Valley or was she a salesgirl there? Unclear.

Some of Paige’s quotes from Playboy are about disliking the “9-5 doldrums” and her distaste “working for impersonal corporations.”

See chapter on Marriage and Divorce to Mark F. Segal 1963-1964.

 Meanwhile

by 1963, Diana’s childhood home on Moorpark had been razed.  Records show a city permit (below) requesting a 6-unit apartment to be built. Notice it says NONE (highlighted) for “existing buildings on lot.” I’m not sure when the house was actually torn down.

Did a developer make the LaRoccas an offer for the Moorpark house back in the late 50s when Ned was sick with lung cancer? Many older houses were now being razed for multi-unit housing to meet demand for higher density populations. If you can call a 6-plex multi-housing.

Nearby Ventura Blvd. continued to thrive with many businesses of all kinds.

 SFV continued to experience massive population growth and housing development throughout the 1960s and beyond.

 

Paige Young Images Used In Art and Merchandise. Paintings By Paige Young. (Updated 5/10/22) Previously Unseen slides.

From a Peter Gowland slide, never published previously.
From the same photo shoot session as photo seen in January 1968 Playboy
by artist Martha Rosler. Rosler created a series of collages appropriating images of Playmates from Playboy magazine. Rosler used this image of Paige from the January 1969 Playboy. Original image seen in chapter Playboy 1969.

By Mel Ramos. Ramos has painted many images based on Playmates and actresses, their bodies entwined or emerging out of consumer products with a brand label showing: soda bottles, candy bars, Velveeta cheese boxes, Chiquita bananas, cigarette packages, etc. Ramos is usually classified as a Pop Art artist.
From Peter Gowland’s photographs, Paige’s image on left is in an incomplete set of 4 “Sip and Strip” glasses, very popular in the 70s. You might have seen these on the shelves of a store like Spencer’s or perhaps in an ad from the back of a magazine There should be white painted negligee or bikini that covers the nudity until the user fills the glass with ice and liquid. On this set, the paint has been worn off. The Gowlands either sold the rights to these photos to the company who produced the novelty glasses OR he sold the rights to someone who then sold them to a production company.

November 1968. Paige Young was not the cover girl of her Playmate issue as some Playmates were. Instead it showed the Femlin character touting the Presidential election that month. Robert F. Kennedy, was the favorite for the Democratic ticket only 5 months previous, when he was assassinated in Los Angeles at the Ambassador Hotel. The Femlin was created and drawn by well known artist LeRoy Neiman, who had a long association with Hugh Hefner and the magazine. This cover is photo of a sculpted clay model of the character used in some issues. The term Femlin is a portmanteau of female and gremlin, and is likened to a 10 inch tall sprite. (Playboy’s Tinkerbell.)
Lid of Paige Young puzzle with “mini-centerfold.”

LA writer Duke Haney told me about the history of Playmate puzzles, one of them included the centerfold image of Paige Young.

“The successful Playmate puzzle series was released periodically, in groups of 4 Playmates at a time. Paige’s group included Cynthia Myers, Gwen Wong and DeDe Lind and was released in 70/71.

Haney describes the lid of the Playmate puzzle.

“The mini-centerfold measures 3×6.5 and two were two included with every puzzle. One was folded so that only the face of the girl was visible through the opaque cap on the can. This was so that the buyer knew which puzzle it was, which Playmate. There are four pictured on the can itself. Then there was another mini-centerfold inside the can. This one wasn’t creased like the one below the lid. These pictures were guides to be referenced while piecing together the puzzle. Only one would have been necessary but hey…”

Author Duke Haney
Finished puzzle of the Paige Young centerfold. Image courtesy of Duke Haney

Haney says Playmates “never received residuals, Playboy owned the photos outright.” and that “The last of the puzzles were released in 1973, so Paige would have certainly been alive when her puzzle was released.”

Thank you Duke for speaking with me, I appreciate it.

*NOTE* All of images of Paige’s paintings that follow, were publicly posted on Pinterest and Facebook.

“Monica and Gort” by Paige Young.
The Laundry Girl posted on Pinterest
By Paige Young

PETER GOWLAND’S GIRLS exhibit and book curated by Thom Schrimbock 2016

A Gowland favorite: starlet Venetia Stevenson

To mark the 100th birthday of Peter Gowland ZEPHYR – Space for Photography in Mannheim & Reiss-Engelhorn Museums curated “Peter Gowland’s Girls”, the first international exhibition of his lifework.  “Peter Gowland’s Girls” showcases some 200 works selected from Peter Gowland’s estate, which comprises tens of thousands of superb prints and slides, including the most sensational, most elegant and most daring pictures from his unparalleled career as a pin-up photographer. The exhibition displays his portraits of stars like Joan Collins and Jayne Mansfield, his work for “Playboy” and “Rolling Stone”, and his pictures for innumerable calendars and magazines from the 1940s to the 1970s. from petergowlandphotography.com

Photo below is from the book “Peter Gowland’s Girls.” Labeled “Unknown”

Outtake from a Gowland a Playboy session. Peter Gowland. Compare to “Unknown” photo above.
Another scuba photo not published. Paige’s published centerfold scuba photos show her in the water in full scuba gear while her companion spears a sea creature.
This is the cover of an art book featuring a Martha Rosler collage. Paige Young appears in the upper right corner, mirroring Sally Sheffield, May 1969. Image is distorted due to enlarging.

What happened to Paige’s family, ex Husband Mark F. Segal, Desmond Guinness and Marvin M. Mitchelson And More.

From the LAT Aug. 29, 1976

Paige’s grandmother Virginia Young LaRocca died in August of 1976 in the Studio City Convalescent Hospital located at 11429 Ventura Blvd.  

 She was a 1st Reader for the Church of Christ Science for 35 years according to her death certificate.

Virginia was cremated and her ashes were scattered in the ocean near the Santa Monica shoreline, just like granddaughter Paige’s ashes two years previous.

Her sister and former vaudeville partner, Josephine Young Harker, Paige Young’s great aunt, died in June of 1979 in the Jacksonville, Florida area.

Josephine’s daughter, former Warner Brothers starlet Mary Jane Harker Lanier died in 1986 in Jacksonville, Florida. Her husband Samuel Lefkovitz Lanier remarried and lived with his second wife for over 10 years until his death in 2007 at age 88, also in Florida. The oldest child of Jane and Samuel Lanier, Samuel Harker Lanier, passed away in 2018; he was only in his 60s. A lawyer, he had been disbarred in St. Augustine on a cocaine related arrest only a few years before.

Donna Virginia LaRocca Holroyd, moved sometime in the late 60s, with mother Virginia? and husband Jack, to the Simi Valley.

By 1970, Donna was the head supervisor for the Ocean View Children’s Center  (5201 Squires Dr.) in Port Hueneme  “for low income and welfare families…. so that the mothers (of the Valley Village neighborhood) could work or go to school.” Oxford News 1970.

Article mentions that Donna received a degree from UCLA in Early Childhood Education.

By the time of Paige;s suicide in April of 1974 Donna and Jack Holroyd were divorced and Donna was living with her mother Virginia back in Sherman Oaks, at the lovely Chase Knolls Apartment Community on Huston St.

Donna’s Chase Knolls address is on Paige’s death certificate as her next of kin.

This address is also on Virginia LaRocca‘s death cert. in 1976. Donna is listed as her mother’s next of kin.

In 1980 this address appears on Donna’s own death certificate.

Donna Holroyd is divorced and living at the Chase Knolls Apartment Community in Sherman Oaks according to this document.

She dies of a “hypertensive arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease,” in her Chase Knolls apartment at age 59 years. 

Donna outlives her mother by 4 years, and her daughter by 6.

Chase Knolls Apartments Sherman Oaks. Not Donna’s apartment which is located behind the locked gate.

Oldest daughter and Paige’s sister Constance Smashey is listed on the death certificate as next of kin with a Simi Valley address.

Constance and Smashey divorced and Connie would move to the Palm Desert area in the 1980s. She now lives in Banning, California. She turned down my request to ask her a few questions about her sister Paige and their family.

Paige’s father Robert Morgan Cotterell and his wife Pat, moved to Oregon in the 1970s after he retired from Douglas Air. They lived there until their deaths around 2010.

Bob Cotterell’s obituary is no longer online. When it was, there was no mention of his daughters by Donna LaRocca: Diana/Paige and Constance.

It appears that Connie has reunited with her half siblings.

Richard Sample told me that Paige drove him to meet her sister one time (only). He said he did not get the impression they were close.

Paige did not disclose her personal history or childhood, to anyone I’ve talked with who knew her.

Paige’s ex-husband Mark Frederick Segal married a woman named Denise in 1974 and a few years later they had a son: Ivan Mark Segal

1985/86 Mark F. Segal stayed in the car business:

Segal sold his home on Crisp Canyon Ave. to Rex Ramsey and later bought it back from him. He sold it again and moved to Portland in the late 80s? He died there on October 16, 2012.

4133 Crisp Canyon Ave. was razed and replaced with a really horrible McMansion.

His son Ivan Segal lives in Portland and Scottsdale.

Scroll WAY down for more.

Desmond Guinness married Penelope Cuthbertson in 1984.

She is his cousin according to “International Set” gossip writer Suzy Knickerbocker back in 1973. They were not couple at that time.

Desmond continued fundraising for his Irish Georgian Society well into old age. He died on August 20, 2020. I have read Desmond had some degree of dementia.

Ex-wife Mariga and co-founder of the IGS had died decades earlier.

There are numerous obituaries online for Hon. Desmond Guinness.

Desmond’s niece is fashion icon and socialite Daphne Guinness. His granddaughter is popular fashion model Jasmine Guinness.

How and where he became acquainted with Paige Young is a mystery. Possibly been through John and CiCi Huston in Ireland. But Desmond was well connected in Los Angeles and Southern California. He had a receptive audience in the area.

Paige’s divorce lawyer Marvin Mitchelson went from “Beverly Hills and LA famous” with some degree of national fame, to internationally famous, when he represented Michelle Triola Marvin in her lawsuit against live-in lover of 6 years, actor Lee Marvin. This in the late 1970s.

 Mitchelson introduced the term and concept of “palimony” into the courts.

Commonly known as Marvin vs. Marvin, the case received major publicity in the mass-media of the time. It’s something I personally remember as a young teenager. I call it “People magazine” famous.

I didn’t learn the back story in detail until I researched this project. I am condescing the details for this website.

Michelle Triola Marvin was a singer in Hollywood. She felt she was owed part of Lee Marvin’s $3.2 million fortune, as she had given up her own career, per his demand, to become his live-in lover, helpmate, career advisor, and even helped to raise his 4 children from first wife Betty.

Triola said Lee Marvin had promised her life-long financial support. Triola-Marvin was abruptly dumped when Lee Marvin suddenly married his high school sweetheart Pamela Feeney in 1970. Marvin kicked Triola-Marvin out of their Malibu home and cut her off financially.

 Because Michelle Triola Marvin was not legally married to Lee Marvin, she had no legal standing to demand any financial compensation.

Mitchelson saw an opportunity in California’s newly enacted “no-fault” divorce laws.

 Mitchelson filed a breach-of-contract suit against Lee Marvin in February of 1972 asking for 50% of his estate.

After being rejected by two lower courts, Mitchelson pushed the case to the California Supreme Court, where he won.

The Marvin vs. Marvin case finally reached trial in January of 1979 and it quickly became a mass-media event.

The judge in the case,  Judge Marshall, awarded about $100,000 to Triola-Marvin, for the salary she potentially lost giving up her career as a singer.

Lee Marvin’s attorneys appealed, and the decision was reversed, leaving Triola with nothing and Mitchelson with nothing.

 Mitchelson didn’t care though, because the fame the case brought him was worth millions of dollars in representing “wronged spouses,” mainly women.

The fact that in the end, Triola got nothing was not well publicized in the many media reports. It happened after the initial hoopala had died down.

Some of the women Marvin represented were celebrities like Bianca Jagger,  Zsa Zsa Gabor and Joan Collins ( a reverse of his norm as Collins was the one being sued by husband Peter Holm.) Mostly he took cases of non-celebrity live-in girlfriends or mistresses of rich celebrities: Sara Dylan (Bob), Anna Kashfi (Marlon Brando) Nancy Lee Andrews (Ringo Starr), Veronica Buss and Puppi Buss (girlfriends of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss) Soraya Khashoggi, Kayatana Harrison (Flip Wilson.)

Marvin represented a few men: Mark Christian, ex-lover of Rock Hudson, in his widely publicized case against Hudson’s estate for failing to disclose his AIDS status to Christian. Mel Torme, Carl Sagan and Sonny Bono were other clients.

Mitchelson was disbarred in 1988 for grossly overcharging clients and went to prison in 1993 for tax evasion.

Marvin Mitchelson was released from prison in 1998 and died in 2004.

Lee Marvin died in 1987 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Michelle Triola went on to have a long live-in relationship with actor- comedian Dick Van Dyke. She died of lung cancer in 2009.

Information from: Ladies’ Man: The Life & Trials of Marvin Mitchelson, by John A. Jenks. The only published biography of Marvin Mitchelson. It’ a fascinating look at an LA character of his time.

Which is all you can ever be right?

Nick Lees and Bob Sanders Reminisce about Paige Young.

Nick Lees, a writer for the Edmonton Journal, wrote the following article in 1981.   

Nick Lees returned to his job at the Edmonton Journal 7 years after he was fired for leaving on his unscheduled vacation with Paige.

Is Nick the reason Paige missed her contracted appearance at the winter sports show?  Did she make up this“sudden illness” excuse?

The part in Lees’ article about Paige Young being from Sacramento and a dental assistant, I don’t buy it. There is too much proof that she was born and lived in Los Angeles her entire life. Plus, I don’t see her going through the rigors of dental school and the “9-5 doldrums.” Paige may have told this fib to Lees or he remembers incorrectly.

Lees had a long career at the newspaper as a popular columnist.

The text at right is from an article about Lees, written by journalist Michael Hingston. The article appeared in Canadian Avenue magazine sometime in the early 2000s.

I thank Edmonton writer Michael Hingston for sending me this portion of his notes that were not included in his published story.

Lees’ opinion of Paige seems to have softened over the years. He sounds more resentful in 81.

Lees specifies the Colorado Rockies as the mountains he and Paige escaped to (Vale above actually spelled Vail) rather than the Canadian Rockies as he says in 81.

Nick doesn’t indicate any knowledge of Paige’s suicide in 1974, either in his 1981 column or his more recent interview with Michael Hingston.

 I have been unable to get in touch with Nick Lees.

Lees was in the hospital a few years ago per a facebook post.

Below is an entry from a blog of the late Bob Sanders who blogged about his lengthy and diverse career with mass-media companies and corporations.

There is some fascinating social history here, from a “regular American working man with a family,” whose employers included TV Guide and then Playboy, where he met Paige Young.

7/10/2009

Paige Young….by Bob Sanders

I never  learned her real name, but Paige Young, Playboy magazine’s “Miss November” of 1968, was absolutely perfect for a rather challenging assignment: Creating interest in a mediocre TV series.              

“Playboy After Dark,” was a follow-up to “Playboy’s Penthouse” which also starred Hugh Hefner, pipe in hand.  In both the original and the reincarnation, an elevator whisked viewers to a penthouse where host Hefner, his free arm wrapped around his then current squeeze as we called them, feigned surprise at another drop-in, finally announcing who was in the house to perform.  It was pretty awkward stuff.

I met Paige late in January, 1969.  That was three months after her appearance in the magazine; an illness had prevented what would have been a timely trip to Chicago.  Page was in town to collect $10,000 then awarded Playmates who now receive $25,000 with $100,000 going to the Playmate of the Year.  They got to stay a week or so at the Playboy Mansion, attend parties, make personal appearances and meet Hefner, a cultural summit for most.  One of my contributions to the process was to interview each of them to determine if they could be of promotional help.  Among a year’s monthly winners, you could count on two being particularly good or outstanding.  Paige was one of the latter and who could forget either her center-fold or the woman in person?  Peter Gowland did the photography in Los Angeles posing a prone Paige, back scratcher in hand.  The flashing brown eyes did no harm to the overall effect.

It was a few months before I met Paige that Hefner’s reclusive life style began undergoing a change.  The not-so-poor-man’s Howard Hughes had come out of his shell swearing off the uppers and downers that enabled him to stay awake editing his magazine three days at a time.  Not only had Hefner hit the streets to observe police outrage during the 1968 Democratic National Convention but he would soon return to the TV trough with “Playboy After Dark” scheduled for Screen Gems release.

Owned by Columbia Pictures, the first major studio to learn to live with the new medium through the creation of a subsidiary, Screen Gems not surprisingly realized the series was a tough sell.  They backed off midway through production refusing to promote the show for an additional good reason.  Screen Gems had a huge backlog of product including a boatload of Perry Masons–271 to be exact.  Up to that point, my involvement was little more than choosing pictures from contact sheets provided by a Hollywood photographer.  I soon learned Hefner had little use for black and white photography, perhaps because Playmates’ skin tones looked much more ravishing in color.  It was as though black and white was O.K. for Citizen Kane and little more in Hefner’s opinion.  I began to bootleg photography; pictures I used to promote the firm’s Lake Geneva resort via newspapers were actually shot by a Chicago Tribune snapper assigned to a narrowly focused feature about the hotel.  I paid him $100 after his gig to shoot what I needed: pictures that went beyond architectural renderings ordered by my predecessor.   I was never questioned by my management about the photos I used because it was assumed the pics were transferred from color to black and white.  Had I gone that route, the shots would have lost about 20% of their sharpness.

Corporate expenses will always be a subject of much conjecture.  During what turned out to be 40 years spending other people’s money, I was questioned but once.  That was while working for TV Guide in St. Louis, my first gig for the magazine.   The year was 1955, eight months after we opened; the office manager, a hopeful sort, had determined we should send parents of newborn children copies of the magazine.  Names and addresses of the parents were gleaned from pages of local newspapers and the copy, set in five point agate type, required a magnifying glass to determine accuracy.   It was regional manager Arthur Shulman who asked me what the hell was I doing spending $1.99 of TV Guide’s money in such strange fashion?

Playboy was far and away the least concerned of my employers about spending money.  Hefner made it clear that he wanted things done in the best possible manner.  It was terrific working for a firm striving for promotion efforts done, as Hefner suggested,” first class.”  I never took advantage of the situation there or anywhere else.

That early contact sheet assignment for “Playboy After Dark” involved work by an independent photographer, a rather strange determination considering the number of excellent snappers on the payroll.  Admittedly, they were rather specialized. 

It was while looking at pictures of the fifth show that I found the best shots–maybe ever–of Hefner.  All of them found him next to one of the show’s chickie poos.  Soon my hunch was verified.  Barbie Benton, then a theater major at UCLA–had become a regular on the show eventually attaining status as Hef’s significant love of eight years.  I ordered a dozen of one picture of the adoring couple I had cropped from a group shot. 

On a trip to Los Angeles, promotion director Nelson Futch and I learned at a meeting called by Screen Gems that its management had determined a preference for releasing “Perry Mason” starring Raymond Burr, then successful in keeping quiet his homosexuality, over the ultimately virile Hefner.  It was regarded as a savage blow and Futch, unperturbed, turned the project over to me immediately following the meeting.  That was when I thought of Paige Young.

A couple of months passed during which I worked my ass off concentrating on the show.  One day Futch and I got a hurry up call to meet with Hefner at The Mansion.  Oh, yes.  Bring the promotion work.  After waiting four hours during which Futch put the Benton/Hefner photo on top the pile of my creativity, we finally entered his office.  Our meeting followed one between Hef and his editor-in-chief A.C. Spectorsky–the man who, among many things, coined the word “exurbanites.”  Moments later, Hefner spotted the photo, held it up to the light and did a series of gyrations reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin’s examination of the world in The Great Dictator.

“Where did you get this?” he asked–a pretty dumb question under the circumstances unless a UCLA photo-journalist had grabbed a shot of the Bunny King attired in a silly Edwardian suit while visiting one of Barbie’s acting classes.

“The fifth show,” I replied.

“Can I have one?” he asked in very boyish fashion as if I were the editor of the high school year book and he, infatuated by a photo of his best girl.

“Would you like six?  I can get you at least five more.”  That was it.  He never looked at any of the rest of my promotional efforts.  Apparently, he had decided the Hef/Barbie choice was sufficient.  The picture became paramount in the print promotion of the show.

The series played in something like 21 markets with the stations located north and south from Minneapolis to Miami and east to west from New York to Los Angeles.  Among them were two Lafayettes–Indiana and Louisiana–plus other locations across the fruited plain and Canada where the program was seen in Montreal.  The series had but one show worth viewing; it starred Sammy Davis, Jr., Anthony Newley, Jerry Lewis and Peter Lawford, the latter of unique adroitness: dressing up a set. 

Hefner’s published comments on the series and his host role give pause: “It’s better than the ‘Johnny Carson Show’ or the ‘Joey Bishop Show’ and I do a better job hosting than Ed Sullivan does.”

KTLA, the then Gene Autry-owned independent channel , bought the series and we scheduled a party for what was then called the Playboy Building at 8560 Sunset Boulevard.  Built in the early 1960s, it had a parking lot to the west set beneath 10 stories of reinforced concrete.  It is now part of the Sunset Millennium Project–three buildings totaling approximately 300,000 square feet of office space.

Back then, my attention was captivated by a huge windowless area of the building’s west façade.  Recalling all the “Playboy After Dark” color photos taken on the set, I wondered if we could project pictures on the wall in a rotating series of six or so with enticing copy to promote the show.  I found a Swedish company with equipment about the size of a small TV set which we secured at the entrance to the parking lot.

My idea had unusual origins.  Years before, comedian Red Skelton had a neighbor in Palm Springs he didn’t like or so the story went.  The guy, a moralistic type, had a white stucco home with a large wall visible to the street.  In reaction to the neighbor’s latest outrage, Skelton began showing adult movies on the fellow’s home.

In the fall of 1969, eastbound Sunset Blvd. motorists were confronted by color photos of scantily clad young ladies in addition to 30-ft pipe-clutching Hefs and bug cute Barbies.

We had a minor “Playboy After Dark” promotion problem which never surfaced.  Paige Young had not appeared in the series having turned down a request.  Thoughtful and intelligent, she had other things to do, notably painting.  Horses were a subject dear to her as I learned during time out on the north side of Phoenix where many Arabian thoroughbred farms used to exist.

Paige was a total delight.  One time she flew to Minneapolis where I met her at the airport before we moved on to newspaper, magazine and broadcast interviews.  After a couple of days, we flew to Miami for more of the same.  Phoenix was particularly productive offering a good example of the Playboy mystique.  Shortly after our arrival, I learned a local PR representative hired by us had not set up any interviews.  I made five phone calls to the TV stations then located in the area and placed Paige on each channel for interviews–mostly on news programs.  It may have been a very slow news day, but getting that kind of attention on such short notice with little going for us except the Playboy mystique was absolutely amazing; the series was about to be carried on one of those five stations.  The trick was to set up the interviews along different lines emphasizing such things as the magazine and Paige’s appearance in it, her life and travels, and what Hugh Hefner was really like.

During my Playboy Enterprises days there was a story, probably apocryphal,  told about Hefner by Victor Lownes  who was, in my opinion, a promotional genius responsible for a lot of the magazine’s (and later the clubs’) success.   Lownes had introduced a young woman to Hefner, referring to him as “a living legend.”  The couple wandered off to a nearby bedroom where, scant minutes later, the woman emerged commenting to Lownes: “And you call that a living legend?”   Hey, nobody bats 1.000.

It was no secret Lownes had been run out of Chicago after dallying with a teen-age TV star.  Adding to the speed of his departure was her being the daughter of a high profile newspaper columnist.  Lownes settled in London where he established the London Playboy Club, then gained a gambling permit.  It wasn’t long before he had created a lifestyle many thought at least the equivalent of Hefner’s; included was Stocks, an impressive manor house.  While Benny Dunn was dressing up Hefner’ Chicago Gold Coast home with people from the entertainment world, Lownes was attracting a much broader spectrum of notables.

Things went nicely for Lownes.  Treated as a company hero as Playboy Enterprises peaked during my years there, his short returns to Chicago were largely joyous occasions although Lownes could be a jerk.  Circulation of the magazine hit 6,000,000, the hotels were showing promise, and the clubs were doing well thanks to Victor’s London gambling license.  Suddenly, in 1981, England’s gaming commission yanked the permit.  Some Arabs, among the club’s highest rollers, had been given markers by Lownes and the license was pulled.  To this day, Lownes denies the charges.  No question the timing was dreadful.  Hefner was in the midst of what turned out to be an unsuccessful attempt to get a gambling permit for Atlantic City and the London catastrophe played a major role.  An earlier New York City liquor license obtained under questionable circumstances was another.

The relationship between old friends Hefner and Lownes cooled.  The latter eventually left the organization and wrote a tough but largely accurate book about his former pal and a public company having difficulty adjusting to a world enormously changed since Hefner planned the magazine in his kitchen nearly 30 years before.  The magazine business was undergoing upheavals of its own.   Penthouse, inspired by Hefner but tawdry by comparison, offered full frontal nudity and Playboy met the challenge.  Marilyn Cole, who later married Lownes, was the first Playmate to be so photographed.

While my association with Paige Young remained purely professional, I’m sure a lot of people in the home office and air travelers thought otherwise.  The airport scenes were rather wondrous.  Paige wore big floppy hats in a great variety of singular colors.  We arranged our airport meets so that scheduled arrivals in those halcyon days of dependability were very close.  I could spot her hat from impressive distances and she could do the same with me although I never wore a floppy hat.  The last half of our promotion tour found us running toward each other in airports and embracing in corny displays suggesting to many that we were something we weren’t.

So many memories remain including a rainy night in New Orleans during which we ran barefoot through the French  Quarter (she was a physical fitness nut) and were later entertained by the Playboy Club’s musical director, Al Belletto, one of the few non-Dixie musicians in town.   A Stan Kenton discovery, Belletto introduced us to such people as Al Hirt, Pete Fountain and Eddie Miller, the Fred Astaire of tenor saxophonists.  When I met Miller, I made the observation and he said: “I think that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me.”

Paige and I lost track of each other and I attempted to find her on the internet some five years ago.  I wish I hadn’t.  She had committed suicide at age 30, six years after we stopped promoting Hefner’s TV show.

I can’t recall a single clue that might have suggested such a splendid blithe spirit was capable of such a decision.

Paige Young is interviewed at a radio station and autographs her photo in a January 1969 Playboy magazine
Outtake from Playmate photo shoot. Peter Gowland photographer.

     A woman contacted me by e-mail about 4 years ago and said she was the daughter of the late Bob Sanders.

She told me that when the Daily Mail article was published, she was relieved that her father was not alive to learn that Paige’s method of suicide was a gunshot to head, not an overdose of drugs. She said learning that would have greatly upset him.

Bob’s daughter also wrote that she thinks despite what her father wrote in his blog post, there many have been a fling of sorts between Bob and Paige.

Because of the Nick Lees story, I don’t think Bob Sanders travelled with Paige to Edmonton, she was likely travelling on her own at this point.

If you read the chapter on 1969–there are several articles that mention Bob Sanders, not by name but by profession, as Paige’s “handler,” “assistant,” even “flack.”

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1974 #3 More on Desmond Guinness. John Huston. Ireland.

Miami Herald March 19, 1974. Paige Young would commit suicide 3 weeks later.

According to Melanie, Paige was afraid of a sex tape being seen by certain people or a certain person. (This was a non-consensual tape made of Paige and an unknown partner according to Melanie.)

I have to wonder if the person or persons in Paige’s mind was Desmond Guinness (and his crowd?)

It’s nothing I can confirm at this point but it is enough for a lead.

But it is interesting that Desmond was in Los Angeles again rather soon after October 73; he was back in March of 1974 .

The following Suzy column was published 9 days before Paige’s suicide. Desmond in bold.

Suzy column Daily News March 28, 1974. Again Desmond is the houseguest of Douglas Campbell. This time his daughter Marina came along.

The article below is 7 days before Paige’s suicide.

Jody Jacobs column LAT March 31st 1974.

There is proof that Desmond and Marina were also in Raleigh, NC on or around March 28th, 1974. The next article is unusual in that it brings up the uncomfortable subject of his mother Diana Mitford and step-father Oswald Mosely.

Raleigh News and Observer March 29, 1974. Notice the comment and story about Stanley Kubrick.

Did John Huston and Desmond Guinness know each other?

Given how much Desmond traveled around Ireland meeting people, restoring castles and seeking funds for the Irish Georgian Society, almost certainly. Desmond’s obituary below says they did.

A renowned socialite, party animal and generous host, Guinness entertained the international jet set at his home, Leixlip Castle. Those who visited included British royalty Princess Margaret, her husband Lord Snowdon, and Lord Mountbatten, A-listers such as Jacqueline Kennedy, film director John HustonMick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, and his stepfather the British fascist leader Oswald Mosley, his mother Diana Mitford’s husband.

From a Guinesses obituary in The Irish Times August 29, 2020.

This also makes me think Desmond and Mariga knew Ricki Soma Huston, John Huston’s 4th wife and mother to Angelica and Tony.

Rikki lived in St. Clerans in the 50s and 60s and raised her children there until she moved to London sometime in the late 1960s.

Anjelica Huston wrote a memoir about growing up in the St. Clerans estate.

Did Paige meet Desmond Guinness when she stayed with John and Celeste Huston at St. Clerans in 72-73 ish?

Los Angeles Times Dec. 1, 1974 Hugh Hefner speaks at the Sportmen’s Lodge, a stone’s throw from the house where Paige Young grew up as Diana Cotterell, 13055 Moorpark St.

1974 #2. The Shanes Of Beverly Hills. Huston & Hefner.

Melanie from the Daily Mail article told me that the “brother of Cici Huston” had Paige’s “sex tape” in his possession and would not hand it over to Paige, despite her repeated requests.

She told me that Paige frequently expressed the serious mental anguish this was causing her.

The Daily Mail didn’t publish Shane’s name as he “wasn’t a big enough name” or close enough to a major celebrity.

…..fearful of a “sex tape” that “a relative of a major celebrity had made of her,” is how the Daily Mail phrased it.

CiCi Huston had three brothers.

One of the Shane brothers, David, is a major candidate as the one holding on to Paige’s sex tape; he was very active on the Sunset Strip social scene at the time: 1950s-1960-1970s, Shane owned businesses on the Strip. He was very attractive to women.

I asked Melanie and she does think the name David “sounds right.”.

LAT Oct. 28, 2016.

He started a popular car rental agency, Hav -A -Kar, in the heart of the Sunset Strip. Hav-A-Kar was later sold to Thrifty, and David, as the property owner, saw the space become a Kenneth Cole store for many years before its current iteration, the Eveleigh restaurant. In the early 1960s David, who loved to cook, opened a burger joint called Alfie’s. It was a colorful fixture on the Strip and a veritable celebrity magnet. David decided to eventually lease the space in 1971 to the new owners who created Mirabelle, which remained steadfast on the Strip for over 40 years…… David was a jet setter and an avid outdoorsman. He attended USC for two years before transferring to the University of Mexico, in Mexico City, where he befriended painter Diego Rivera.

Alfie’s on the Strip.

Bob Shane is the oldest brother, originally Myron Shane Jr. I know nothing about him but that he changed his first name.

The youngest Shane brother Stephan, not mentioned in the obituary above, moved out of Beverly Hills and lived further north in California. He married, divorced and died young, in the 1970s.

David and Celeste’s father was Myron Shane, already a wealthy business owner from Kansas City who moved his young family to Beverly Hills in the 1940s.

Myron Shane owned a yacht named the “Celeste.” He rented it out to wealthy celebrities including Frank Sinatra.

Independent Press Telegram Long Beach 1955 6/30/57

Myron Shane also used his yacht for charitable purposes.

LAT 11/24/1949

Myron started Hav-A-Kar per newspaper articles and apparently signed it over to his son David L. Shane.

Does anyone remember Hav-A-Kar on the Sunset Strip? It was run by David L Shane.
From the 1966 version of Ed Ruscha’s series “Every Building Sunset Blvd.”
Alfie’s on the Strip. 8768 Sunset Blvd. David Shane owned “burger joint.” Found on Pinterest. Originally from Alison Martino’s Vintage LA.

Melanie told the Daily Mail, and me personally, that Paige went out with several men. Paige told Melanie that some of boyfriends paid her living expenses including kitchen appliances and a dog run for her Akita.

( Don’t know what happened to Joshua the Weimaraner or Hamish the horse)

However much Paige expressed her distress over the Shane brother and his refusal to hand over the sex tape, ultimately she built a physical shrine of hatred and blame, towards Hugh Hefner.

From the Daily Mail:

“It was covered floor to ceiling with photos of Hugh Hefner, there were news clippings, magazine articles, everything you could think of. Written across it was something like ‘Hugh Hefner is the devil.” The whole wall was a shrine saying, ‘I hate Hugh Hefner,’ the crux of her anger was against him. That was the message she wanted to get across to me. She was pointing up at things, showing me around it.  She’s put a lot of work into this, it must have taken her days.”

According to Melanie, Hefner and John Huston were mentioned in the suicide note as well.

“The cops had Paige’s suicide note and read some of it to me…the whole thing was about her anger towards the men who she believed had chewed her up and spat her out.  The two men who got the most attention were Hugh Hefner and the director John Huston. I know she dated Huston for a while and had just gotten back from a trip to Ireland with him.”

“Paige also vented against other Hollywood stars who had used her, says Myers.”

From a Gowland slide sold on e-bay

To be continued.