1974 #1. Death. Witness. Sex Tapes. Hefner. Questions. Cremation. Ocean burial. Documents. UPdated 6/13/22

March 16, 1974 is Paige’s 30th birthday.

April 7th 1974 is a Palm Sunday.

In her garage apartment, Paige Young commits suicide with a gunshot to her head.

During the weeks and months leading up to her suicide, Paige confided in Melanie that she was fearful of a “sex tape” that “a relative of a major celebrity had made of her.”

Below is the account neighbor Melanie gave to reporter Ryan Parry of the Daily Mail.

“She was terrified of it coming out, in that day you knew your career was going to be over once it got ‘round.”

“For weeks all she could think about was getting hold of that tape, she thought it was going to ruin her.”

Melanie

“Paige had the whole thing planned down to the last detail…  It was Palm Sunday and she came to tell me she was going to kill herself. She stayed in the back of the house where we (B.J.) lived and I was at the bathroom window. She comes up to the window and calls out to me “I want to show you something.” I couldn’t be bothered by any more of her drama. But she was like, “No, you’ve gotta come and see it.” So I go to her apartment and she gave me a guided tour …of her suicide scene in her bedroom….It was chilling..there was a large American flag draped across her bed and there was a pentagram laid out on the wooden floor…I remember her showing me around it because it was somehow important, but I didn’t know what it meant.”

But it was the bedroom was that shocked Myers the most.

“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.

Myers said that Young then calmly explained that she planned to kill herself.

She produced a gun and put it into her mouth…lay back on her bed and said, ‘this is how I’m going to do it.’

“It was chilling. We were friends but not the best of friends, I was always bitching about her and her dog, so I was scared.  I thought maybe she could shoot me, you know, take me with her, it was all so weird.  I thought, I’ve got to get out of here.”

“Myers quickly retreated to her apartment and called the police. LAPD officers arrived soon afterwards and cordoned of the whole of Eastbourne Ave.”

Myers said, “The cops didn’t want to go in her apartment first, so they asked me to go check on her, so I did.”

“I walked into her apartment and they were behind me. I walked into her bedroom and she was lying dead on the bed. She had shot herself in the head as she told me she would. There was a huge mass of blood, her whole bed was soaked red, it was shocking. But she looked happy and very peaceful, she didn’t look in distress.” 

“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 expressed anger to other Hollywood stars who had used her.

“I believe Paige was making a huge statement in a bid to get at the elite of Hollywood…She thought the story of her death would spark a big scandal, but it didn’t. Sadly no one cared.”

In the documentary Secrets of Playboy, Melanie says she was told by Paige Young that a member of Hefner’s entourage filmed her in a sexual situation at the Playboy mansion. And she was very afraid of it “getting out.”

Below is a photo of the death certificate copy I obtained. A partial autopsy/police report copy is included in the Daily Mail story, but not the death certificate.

Reporter Ryan Parry of the Daily Mail discovered that Paige did not die of a drug overdose as is stated in “The Playmate Book” and several websites, but actually committed suicide from a gunshot wound to the head, per an autopsy report and death certificate as one can see.

On April 9 Price-Daniel Mortuary handles Paige’s death services. Her cremation takes place at Roosevelt Memorial Park in Gardena. Burial of her ashes to take place at sea near Santa Monica shoreline.

Mother Donna Holroyd signs of with a shaky signature as “Donna Cotterell.”

It is unknown how the false story of Paige overdosing on drugs started to be written and repeated on the internet so much that it became her “official” means of suicide.

Is the Playmate Book the original source?

Paige’s suicide appears to have never been reported in the Los Angeles media, in 1974 or since.

I haven’t found any death, obituary or memorial announcement.

 In the weeks and months after the Daily Mail article was published, no one spoke out publicly about knowing or having met Paige Young. No one came forward on social or entertainment media to shed any more light on what could have driven or influenced her to take her own life.

This is one reason I was motivated to research more about Paige Young.

Back to 1974

And what about the alleged sex tape? Was Hugh Hefner or those close to him involved somehow?

It is well known that Hugh Hefner was fascinated by audio and video technology. He collected home video, film cameras and cutting edge stereo equipment before they were available to the mass consumer.

In the early decades of the magazine, Playboy magazine often featured a “bachelor pad” decked out with the finest stereo equipment and other electronic gadgets, sure to impress the ladies, like a Cadillac or Picasso might.

The A&E series Secrets of Playboy has revealed accounts of sex being filmed by Hugh Hefner at his mansion in Holmby Hills. See accounts by Sondra Theodore and Stefan Tetenbaum in Episode 8.

There are reports of video tapes of sexual encounters over the decades, with some involving celebrities.

Secrets of Playboy; see interview with former head of Playmate Promotions Miki Garcia showing notes about Tony Curtis. He and his lawyers were highly upset about Tony’s appearance in sex tapes filmed at Hefner’s mansion.

And there are reports of Hefner having the tapes and films destroyed before his death by sinking them in the ocean; he had become more fearful after friend and Playboy favorite Pamela Anderson had her and Tommy Lee’s sex tape stolen and released to the public.

Former Playboy employee Lisa Loving Barrett says in the documentary Secrets of Playboy, that she heard the the ocean burial story and has reason to believe it is true.

These stories of “sex tapes” going back to the Chicago Playboy mansion days: an ex- girlfriend of Hefner’s, with help from one of his secretaries, snuck in the mansion and retrieved “her” tape. This story is in the book Bunny, by Russell Miller.

One of the Secrets of Playboy series opening also shows a clip of Hugh Hefner talking about all the “electronic equipment in the mansion,” including cameras and that “sometimes stuff happens in the bedroom.”

Mother Mrs. Donna Holroyd signature.
Math figures determine Paige’s age.

Santa Monica Beach 2018

1973 #2: Santa Barbara. Who Is Hon. Desmond Guinness? Diana Mitford. Oswald Mosley. 1969 Flashback. Suzy Knickerbocker.

LAT Oct 10 1973. Paige is the date of Desmond Guinness from Ireland at a party given in his honor by Santa Barbara society.
October 10, 1973 LAT

Hard to believe Paige had only 6 more months to live after this article appeared.

I e-mailed with Beverley Jackson who is pictured to the left of Mrs. Louis-Dreyfuss above. Jackson was the new society writer for the Santa Barbara paper at that time. She remembered Desmond but not Paige.

She wrote that Desmond “was always very discreet in these matters.”

What you see in the third column above, is the only mention of Paige Young in this article, besides her photo.

The elderly Mrs. Louis-Dreyfuss is probably Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ grandmother. Julia is famously from a wealthy Santa Barbara family.

The rest of the article by Jody Jacobs, society writer for the LAT, discusses the Santa Barbara society and VIPs who attended this party for Desmond Guinness.

Page 3 coverage of the Desmond Guinness parties in Santa Barbara. Carmen Alexander grew up to be a beloved teacher at a Santa Barbara Open Alternative school. Tragically she died of a sudden bacterial infection in 2012.

Who is this Desmond Guinness, Paige’s date in Santa Barbara, Oct of 1973

? I find his name most often written as “the Hon. Desmond Guinness.”

Usually written with the Hon. before his well known last name.

Let’s start with his family of origin.

Desmond is, of course, an heir to the Guinness brewery fortune.

His father was Bryan Guinness, titled the 2nd Baron Moyne; also a poet and playwright.

His mother was the controversial Diana Mitford, from the equally controversial English society family with 6 eccentric and beautiful sisters, their parents and grandparents. There are several books published about the Mitford family, the sisters in particular.

Desmond and his brother didn’t grow up with their mother Diana Mitford; she left her sons and their father when the boys were toddlers. Her reason for this was to marry British politician turned extremist Oswald Mosley, in 1936.

Mosley founded the British Union of Fascists (BUF), after visiting both Mussolini and Hitler. Hitler attended the wedding of Mitford and Mosley and the reception took place at the home of Joseph Goebbels.

You can see why Diana Mitford is considered controversial, and she wasn’t the only Mitford sister acquainted with Hitler.

During WW 2, Mitford and Mosley were considered a threat and placed under British house arrest. 3 years in Holloway Prison.

I read that Desmond did visit his mother in prison, at least once.

Diana went on to have more children: two sons with Mosley.

The couple lived out their years in France after the war; they were highly disliked in England.

Desmond Guinness grows up and in 1954, married the beautiful Hermione Maria-Gabrielle Von Urach, who had German royalty and titles on her father’s side. Her English mother was institutionalized when “Gabrielle” was only 6 years old. At age 18, Gabrielle became known as “Mariga.

Evening Standard, London, Nov. 25, 1957 Body language!

This young and socially connected couple shared a love of architecture and history. They had no need to work for a living.

Desmond and Mariga purchased the decaying Leixlip castle of Ireland, restored it and made it their primary residence.

The couple founded the Irish Georgian Society in 1957/58, dedicated to preservation of Irish Georgian castles and Irish castles in general.

Mariga and Desmond restored several more historic castles in Ireland and published books on the topic.

The couple were known for giving fabulous high society parties in Leixlip Castle and produced two beautiful children: Marina and Patrick.

Slim Aarons has taken an iconic photo of Desmond Guinness with Marina and Patrick; all three share the same icy-blue gaze.

I found in my research that Desmond toured the US extensively to fundraise for the IGS from about the mid 1960s through the 1980s. I read dozens of articles about his visits in the newspaper archives.

Desmond was warmly welcomed at numerous US high society and historical gatherings; he would present lectures, slideshows and promote his books about Irish architecture, history and design. His visits were covered by local newspaper society columnists, who would write about the VIPs who attended the lecture/party/luncheon/cocktail party/dinner, in honor of the Hon. Desmond Guinness.

I’m including a only a few newspaper examples from 1969.

From the Palladium Item Richmond, Indiana March 16, 1969

I picked 1969 out of the many years Desmond travelled the US because it’s the same year Paige Young was touring the US for Playboy promotion.

March 25, 1969
the Miami-Herald April, 24, 1969

“Suzy” aka Suzy Knickerbocker, was a syndicated “society” columnist for over 50 years and worked for many different newspapers.

Top of the Suzy column. A classic of the era.

She clearly had a “specialty” for featuring European society types with titles. Suzy K. wrote adoringly about Desmond (mainly) and Mariga several times.

This is from the Suzy Gossip column in the NY Daily News Nov. 1969.

Here is an article about Suzy from March 15, 1969. Probably at the height of her influence (and salary) for writing about international high society’s activities.

November 11, Philadelphia Inquirer

More on Desmond Guinness in 1969

Ithaca, New York Feb. 21, 1969

Desmond visited towns one may not have expected him to, like Des Moines, Shreveport, and the Corning Glass Center in Ithaca, New York.

Desmond Guinness had a schedule of traveling to fundraise for IGS for decades.

Back to 1973 Santa Barbara

Desmond had already been the houseguest of Douglas Campbell in Los Angeles for 2 week of weeks when:

Paige appeared as the date of Desmond Guinness at a high society party in Santa Barbara. It was described as a season of cloudy, grey and rainy weather.

This Suzy nationally syndicated column below, appeared just 2 days later on October 12.

San Fran Examiner Oct. 12, 1973

It is quite interesting timing; Desmond is seen out with a date Paige, and his divorce is “announced” in these Suzy articles only two days later.

Philadelphia Inquirer OCT 12. 1973.

I conjecture that Desmond was “feeling free” that evening knowing his pending divorce would soon be out in the open.

1973 cont. Desmond was busy travelling the USA fundraising and promoting his latest book as we see from these two Suzy columns.

March 21, 1973 Suzy column NY Daily News. Mariga is mentioned. Before separation announcement
Suzy column April 13, 1973 NY Daily News
LAT Sept. 23, 1973 Desmond is a guest in the LA home of Douglas Campbell only two weeks before the Santa Barbara soiree. Did Desmond and Paige spend time in Los Angeles together at this time in Los Angeles?

See next chapter.

1972. 1973 # 1. John Huston. Celeste Shane. Ireland. St. Clerans. Columnist Jack Smith Sees Huston and Hefner at Trendy Backgammon Club. Modeling for Gowland.

1972 Paige appears in the ’72 edition of “Gowland’s Guide to Glamour Photography.”

Yet the photos were taken back in 68 /69, Paige’s most active modeling years.

The image on left looks is from the 69/70 Ridgid Tool company calendar photo session.

It’s her only appearance in any of the Gowland instructional books that I have seen, which is nearly all of them.

1972/73 cont...

Paige complains to neighbor Melanie about her relationship with famed film director John Huston.

From the Daily Mail Dec. 2014

“She (Paige) said she had an affair with John Huston, and that he had done things to her, abused her.  I remember one incident in which John hid her shoes to make her think she had gone crazy. It was a small thing, but she was really bothered by it.”

“I know she dated Huston for a while and had just gotten back from a trip to Ireland with him.”

John Huston owned and lived in an Irish estate named St. Clerans, located in Galway, Ireland, from 1953 to 1973.  His daughter, the actress and director Anjelica Huston, spent many years there as a child, which she discusses in detail in her memoirs.

Therefore:

Given what Melanie said about Paige having “just returned from Ireland” after a visit to Huston, Paige would necessarily have been one of Huston’s last guests, as the St. Clerans estate was sold sometime in 1973.

These are the years of John Huston’s marriage to Celeste Shane Green, 1972-1975. Huston’s 5th marriage and CiCi’s 2nd.

Celeste or Cici, spent time living (visiting really) St. Clerans during her marriage to Huston.

Celeste was (and is) involved with horses and boarded at least one at Sepulveda Stables in the early 60s. I talked with a woman who was 12 years old during these years and knew Paige and Celeste from Sepulveda Stables.

It’s another factor which places Celeste in the same world as Paige.

 Cici grew up in a wealthy Beverly Hills family with three brothers.  Her father owned a successful car leasing company and rented out his yacht to celebrities like Frank Sinatra. (See chapter: The Shanes of Beverly Hills)

Cici’s first husband is screenwriter Wally Green.  They have a son named Collin.

Cici visited Huston’s St. Clerans Ireland estate as a newlywed, it was August/September of 1972. She brought along her son Collin and his caregiver Maricella, who also acted as Cici’s “maid.” Wally Green also visited his son at the estate.

John Huston later said “Cici was as out of place at St. Clerans as anyone could possibly be.” 

Cici said “I wasn’t prepared for the eleven servants, the mistresses, Betty O’Kelly, Gladys.”

Celeste took an instant dislike to John Huston’s assistants, Betty O’Kelly and Gladys.   One of the women co-wrote scripts with Huston.

Cici felt the women, and several employees of the large staff, were taking advantage of Huston by overcharging him and using his money for their own personal shopping. Huston was frequently absent due to directing films all over the globe plus he was not a good manager of money.

This created a lot of tension at St. Clerans.

 Cici wanted most of the staff fired but Huston refused.

About St. Clerans’ horse caretaker Cici said “I caught him with quadruple charges for horseshoeing. I know about horses. He couldn’t screw me around.”

Cici was especially outraged by the visit of her husband’s young mistress, Zoe Sallis, who of course brought along her out-of-wedlock son by John Huston: Danny Huston.  Cici resented the monthly allowance (and breakfast in bed) afforded to Zoe.

Horsemanship was one thing Celeste, Huston and Paige all had in common.

Celeste and Paige both boarded horses at Sepulveda Stables. Celeste messaged me that she is the one told Paige about Sepulveda Stables. I happen to know that Paige had kept a horse there since grade school when she was Diana Cotterell. She gave her school photos to the owners and they were published on the website about SS, now taken down.

John Huston and Paige were also both painters, these factors may have played a role in their “connection”.

I have read several John Huston biographies.

He was a womanizer and had several marriages, flings, short and long-term affairs with numerous women over the decades and apparently of all ages.

I read that he wasn’t one to indulge in “one-night-stands.”

Also, from what I’ve read, Huston had a meanstreak in his personality that he would sometimes unleash on the ones most likely to be hurt by it.

Example is the story Melanie tells of Huston hiding Paige’s shoes.

Huston could also display great generosity.

Information and quotes from Lawrence Grobel’s book: “The Hustons” published by Scribner’s.

I also found information from Huston biography Courage and Art by Jeffrey Meyers.

Check these books out for a much more in-depth look at larger than life John Huston.

Given what Melanie said in the Daily Mail and the sale of St. Clerans, Paige’s visit likely was in 72-73. If so, she may have witnessed or even been involved in the drama between Cici, Betty, Gladys, and Zoe Sallis. According to Meyers, Huston enjoyed that kind of thing.

I had an email exchange with Celeste Shane Huston and she confirmed that she and Huston knew Paige and were only trying to help her. She denies that Huston and Paige had affair. She wrote that 2 prominent lawyers purchased Paige’s ticket to Ireland.

NEW. From the famous LA writer Jack Smith, he sees Huston and Hefner with others including an “unidentified sex object,” at a backgammon tournament, sometime in 1972. The observation by Smith happened around the time Cici and Huston were married.

Both Hefner and Huston were avid backgammon players. I have never seen a photo of the two men together or Huston at the Holmby Hills mansion.

Allegedly the cast and crew of Chinatown spent time at the mansion during the filming. That cast of course includes Huston.

And these were the last few years of Paige’s life.

This would have been the time that Paige had been hanging out with Hefner at the mansion “scene” such as it was, at least on an occasional if not regular basis.

More about John Huston ahead.

Paige appears in some Electrochemical Company photographs, credited to Peter Gowland, probably taken 72/73.

From a series of photos for Electrochemicals clients.

There is an association between Electrochemical Company and the Ridgid Tool Company, Gowland’s long time clients.

Paige was one model of a few featured in this series which looks like it was a gift for special clients. Ann Cushing and Brook Mills, two Gowland favorites, are the others. Plus one I don’t recognize.

The models all go uncredited including Paige, her “Playmate” status is not indicated.

1970/71 #1 Pasadena Art Museum With Warhol Wearing A Rudi Gernreich Dress. Artist DeWain Valentine. Venice Beach Studio. Update 3/7/22

Around May 15, 1970, A Paige Young appearance at the Pasadena Art Museum was recorded by LA gossip columnist Marvene Jones and her photographer.

The occasion was a gala for the new Andy Warhol exhibit, focusing on his use of repetition of images.

Warhol himself makes an appearance, obviously a big deal.

From the Los Angeles Evening Citizen 5/16/1970

Photo of Paige wearing her Rudi Gernreich dress with her date Bill Gardner. J Winters refers to Jonathan Winters, a show which Paige had appeared, according to some of her press.
Paige’s date Bill Gardner on the set of the Jonathan Winters Show 67-69 CBS. Paige Young said she was an extra on the Jonathan Winters show and Playboy After Dark. Both shows were filmed at CBS Television City in Fairfax section of Los Angeles.

More on Bill Gardner below.

William Louis Gardner

United States

William Louis Gardner was born in Minnesota and finished school there. He
joined the US Air Force and worked at the Pentagon in the Target Library of the world. Went on to the Pasadena Playhouse to learn television and movie making. He got a job with actress Marion Davies at her home. There He met a movie agent and started a career in Hollywood. William Louis Gardner has worked in Hollywood as the agent, personal secretary, PR advisor and manager for for Mickey Rooney, Jonathan Winters, Jill St.John, Bobby Van and director, John Huston. William Gardner is the author of two books, “Confessions of a Hollywood Agent,” and “The Games End.”

From Bill Gardner’s website.
Column #2 of article Richard Sample told me Paige was always barefoot. (And frequently topless)
LAT May 31, 1970

According to this article, Paige Young and Andy Warhol discuss a role for Paige in an upcoming Andy Warhol film.

Marvene Jones says that Mr. and Mrs. DeWain Valentine made up a foursome with Paige and Bill Gardner, former manager of Jonathan Winters.

DeWain Valentine was an emerging artist in the 1960s Venice art scene. He had an exhibit at PAM the same time as the Warhol exhibit. (see above)

Valentine played a major part in the “Light and Space” art movement, along with artists Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, Helen Pashgian, James Turrell, John McCracken and more.

Many of these artists lived in Venice Beach due to the cheap rent.

Background

Before the Light and Space artists, the Cool School or Ferus Gallery artists, had already established themselves in the early 1950s, many of them in Venice. This group includes: Ed Keinholz, Wally Berman, Billy Al Bengston, Ed Ruscha, Robert Irwin, Ed Moses, Craig Kauffman, and the curators and owners of the Ferus Gallery who helped bring them to renown, Walter Hopps and Irving Blum.

The Ferus Gallery gang famously interacted with Warhol during his well documented stay in Los Angeles in the early 1960s. Warhol drove with? from NYC to LA.

Picture

The Ferus ‘Studs’ the new generation of artists, young abstract painters, ceramicists and assemblage makers who had been flying under the wire now were the featured artists at the Ferus Gallery.The Gallery was ripe for the adventurous artists who would set the new bar in contemporary styles. The Ferus Gallery had belief in the performance of their work and was one of the first galleries to support it.

Ferusgallery.com

The Light and Space movement emerged from the Cool School in the mid-1960s. The art movement is also referred to as the “Finish Fetish School.”

DeWain Valentine developed a type of polyester resin that allowed him to make large scale pieces like the one below. Previously the material would crack when making a piece this size: approx: 17 1/4x 17/4 x 7/8.

Richard Sample told me that said after he moved to a studio-home in Venice (late 1960s) he invited Paige to move in with him there.

I asked Richard the location and he said he could not remember it, but that it was close to the ocean and his artist neighbors and friends were DeWain Valentine and Larry Bell. (See Chapter: Interview with Richard Sample)

Paige refers to her “new Venice art studio” in many interviews with Playboy magazine and US newspapers in 1969 and 1970. (See chapter: Most Public Year 1969)

Richard Sample and Paige Young joined the community of Venice artists but were “not working with the new materials” to quote Paige in a 1969 interview referring to Valentine, Bell and Irwin, not named.

I believe I have found location of this Venice studio: 62-68 Market St.

Research shows that Robert Irwin lived across the street from Valentine. This was not mentioned by Sample, I asked him if he knew Ruscha or Irwin and some others and he did not recognize those names, he was definitive about Bell and Valentine though.

Richard Sample’s niece Ellen remembers visiting her uncle and grandfather Charles Sample at the art studio/home in Venice. Charles also had a retail storefront in addition to his studio.

Richard and Ellen both recalled being able to see the beach from the studio. 62-68 Market St. is a large structure and was divided amongst many artists who rented their own studio according to Ellie This is why the address lists a range of numbers.

Richard Sample is listed with an address of 63 Market St. Venice, in a newspaper marriage announcement, 1968.

Venice Evening Vanguard. Aug. 21 1968

Ellen texted me a story: her Uncle Richard sublet the studio to Paige at one point. Ellen recalls tension with Paige and Ellen’s aunts, the wives of Charles Sample and his sons.

Ellen said her own mother was not bothered by Paige, but that she did “go with her sister-in-laws to see what was going on at the studio” about Paige. Ellen says the most tense time was when Paige’s Playboy issue was current.

DeWain Valentine has spoken about this Venice studio in several art magazine interviews; the influence on his art and his many artist neighbors and friends, including Larry Bell and Robert Irwin, particularly the early years of the 1960s and 70s.

Brooklyn Rail 2019 found online.
LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 2: Artist Judy Chicago (L) and De Wain Valentine (R) pose during the Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980 opening event held at the Getty Center on October 2, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ryan Miller/WireImage)

DeWain Valentine lived in and eventually purchased the 62 -65 Market St. building.

Several records with his signature and name can be seen in public building archives from LA County, now available online. Copy of one seen below.

61-65 is the address listed.

DeValentine spent a couple decades living in Hawaii as well.

I have attempted to interview DeWain Valentine, and ask about his evening at Pasadena Art Museum with Warhol, Paige, Bill Gardner and others. I’d also like to know what he remembers about Paige, Richard, Charlie Sample and their time living and painting in the Market St. studio.

I have left several phone messages and mailed him a copy of the Marvene Jones column but have not as of yet heard back.

1971

It was around this time that Paige moved into this garage apartment in Westwood after feeling “antsy” (as described by her friend Henry to me) living in the “isolated” Trancas/Broad Beach area of Malibu. This is the home where she would end her life in 1974.

Behind a duplex off of Santa Monica Blvd in Westwood. From a retail listing, 10 or more years ago. Painted a different color now and lawn not as green, it still looks like this now.
This garage apartment was built in 1941. Duplex in front built in 1938. Owner/Builder was silent film bit player Kathryn Eddy.

Playboy January 1969. PMOY Contest. Winner Connie Kreski. Gowland’s Ridgid Calendar 69/70. Playboy Calendar 1970. Updated 5/22/22

Paige’s photo appears in the January 1969 issue of Playboy magazine (it’s also the 15th anniversary issue) along with all 12 Playmates of 1968, a brief update accompanies each one.

The contestants are in the running for the soon-to-be-named Playmate of the Year 1969. The Playmate of the Year was a big deal. A higher status title than Playmate of the Month; more photos, more publicity, more money with a PMOY win.

Photo by Peter Gowland January 1969 Playboy magazine.
Update on Paige in the Playmate Roundup January 69 Playboy issue.
Paige Young appears in the 1970 Playboy wall calendar.

Connie Kreski

The winner was Connie Kreski: a Michigan nursing school graduate, Playmate in January of 1968 and quickly turned starlet owning a camera ready face. She appeared to look 16 but was in reality 21. Which is why Anthony Newley cast her in his 1969 released film “Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?” Connie plays Mercy, Anthony is Heironymus and his wife Joan Collins plays his wife in the film named Polyester Poontang. It was pretty much a flop and skewered by the critics.

January Playboy 1970
Playboy January 1969. Connie’s photo above goes with this update. The photo is an entire page in the magazine issue. Only 2 other Playmates in the PMOY contest were given that honor. Was this a way of indicating which Playmate was favored in the running? Maybe these 3 were the final 3.

Connie Kreski had gone to London and dated Hefner’s partner and close friend at Playboy: Victor Lownes. Lownes was head of the Playboy Club and casino in London during the Swinging Sixties.

Connie Kreski with Anthony Newley, famous singer, director and star of Can Hieronymus Find Happiness… Newley was married to Joan Collins at the time and was friends with Victor Lownes and Hugh Hefner. He appeared on Playboy After Dark at least once.

Famously, Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate had their wedding reception at the London Playboy Club in 1968; Lownes, Hefner and Polanski were close friends.

Connie and Victor are seen together with many mourners on youtube film footage of Sharon Tate’s funeral.

Victor Lownes is the person seen in a famous photo holding up a collapsing Roman Polanski at Sharon Tate’s funeral.

Connie has about 10 TV and film appearances after “Hieronymus.”

She appeared as a guest on the Merv Griffin and Joey Bishop talk shows.

She go-go danced on Laugh-In, was introduced on Playboy After Dark TV show by Hugh Hefner as “Connie Kreski, our Playmate of the Year.” Connie does not say one damn word the entire show.

Connie made several visible but non-speaking appearances on Playboy After Dark. Anthony Newley appeared on the show at least once and was known to hang around Mansion West.

Connie with Roman Polanski, Barbi Benton, Hugh Hefner, probably in Europe and likely a year or so after Sharon Tate and the others were murdered.
Connie Kreski with gloves, one of her prizes for winning PMOY.

Kreski’s newspaper press indicates she was signed to a 7 year contract with Universal Studios

Universal signed an extraordinary number of models, beauty contest winners and starlets in the 50s and 60s.

After a few years Connie’s contract with Universal was dropped which merited one sentence in a Hollywood gossip column.

Connie Kreski with her boyfriend of the 1970s, James Caan, at the premiere of The Godfather in NYC. March 12, 1972. Connie became involved with Caan after she was dumped by Victor Lownes for another PMOY: Marilyn Cole. Caan dumped Kreski to marry Elvis girlfriend and Playboy cover model Sheila Ryan in 1976. That marriage lasted about one year and produced Scott Caan.
Playboy Mansion regular James Caan speaks about girlfriend Connie Kreski in NY Daily News Oct. 8, 1972

Connie Kreski died of cirrhosis of the liver at age 48 in 1995.

Death Cert. Connie Kreski under her birth name: Constance Joanne Kornaki
Reason for death after autopsy

What happened in her life that it ended this way? I am beginning my research to answer this question. Like Paige, Connie’s cause of death is incorrectly listed on the internet. It usually says “blocked carotid artery” or “cancer.” I don’t know what cause of death is listed in “The Playmate Book,” on Connie’s entry, but I do know it does not say “Cirrhosis of the liver.”

One of the Gowlands long time employers, 1964-2002, was the Ohio-based Ridge Tool Company, a hand tool manufacturing company, using the “Ridgid” brand name.

Ridgid Tool Company became famous for its’  2-year calendars featuring images of bikini-clad models holding various tools made by Ridgid. I’m guessing Ridge sent these calendars every year to clients who purchased their tools.

Paige appears in the 69/70 edition, cover below.

Paige appeared in the 69/70 edition of the famous Rigdig Tool Calendar with fellow Playmates Reagan Wilson and Mercy Rooney (Merci Montello)below. The calendar does not identify them as Playmates. Collection of the author.
Playmate, model Reagan Wilson posed for Peter Gowland several times in the late 1960s.
Mercy Montello model/starlet was a favorite of the Gowlands and appeared in many of their instructional books, late 60s early 70s. She worked at the Los Angeles Playboy Club as a Bunny. She married Mickey Rooney Jr. and was Playboy Playmate in December of 1972 under the name Mercy Rooney.

Many more models, starlets and Playboy Playmates were unnamed models in these Ridgid Tool calendars over the decades. One did go on to great fame: Raquel Welch.

From 1964 until 2002, Peter and Alice photographed models for the Ridgid Tool Calendar (Ridge Tool Company). Some of the models who appeared in those calendars include Raquel Welch, Stephanie Drake, Kathy McCullen, Cindy Margolis, and several Playboy Playmates, including Renee Tenison, Nikki Schieler, Barbara Moore, Heidi Sorensen and Penny Baker.

from Michael at glamourphotographers.yolasite.com

November 1968 Playmate. 1969: Most Public Year. Playboy Tour. Lake Havasu City. Marina del Rey. LIsa Baker. Jonathan Winters. High School Info. (Long, Many Images, May take a while to appear) Updated 6/10/22

1968  November Paige Young  appears as Playboy Magazine’s Playmate of the Month.

November 1968 Playboy magazine.

 This will be her primary “claim to fame” in popular culture. Photography team, married couple and contributors to Playboy since the 1950s, Peter and Alice Gowland were the photographers.

The Playmate story of Paige Young is that of a full-time painter who admits to the difficulty of this endeavor, but loves the fact that “My time is my own.” Paige lives in Malibu, is a scuba diver and gourmet cook who loves to host beach cookouts for friends. She can often be seen running on the beach with her Weimaraner named Joshua. 

Paige hates the “9-5 doldrums.”  

This photo shows Paige with her painting of Truman Capote. She says he is her favorite author and hopes to gift with him with the portrait someday, eschewing many high offers to buy. Photo by Peter Gowland.


Maybe you already know that Paige Young’s other claim to fame is appearing on internet lists and articles about Playboy Playmates who died before their time. (See “About” page.)

1969 is clearly Paige’s most documented year: She travelled the US, Canada and Japan, as part of her contract with Playboy to make appearances and give interviews promoting the TV show Playboy After Dark (PAD). And basically function as a brand ambassador.

What follows are several articles I found from 1968 and 1969 on a newspaper archive website.

Take the time to read the articles, if you want a little insight into the person that was self-named Paige Young. I apologize for the quality of a few of them.

Some articles are revealing and appear to be truthful. Paige gives a few contradictory answers on the topic of weight gain/loss for centerfold approval.

The Target, Rock Island, Ill. Nov. 29, 1968
The Observer, Bossier City, Nov. 22, 1968

Boston Globe Oct. 27, 1968

A trip to the Boston Auto Show was likely her first stop on the tour, Oct. 26-Nov. 2, 1968. It makes Paige the Playmate of the current issue of Playboy magazine during the event.

“I met Paige when I was 14. She was signing autographs at the Boston car show in late 1968. We talked about art. She was intelligent, beautiful, and kind. I’m looking to find original art by her as I think she was a great artist who was hobbled by her beauty. “

Feedback left by reader Daniel.

 More from Daniel:

I vividly remember Paige. She was beautiful and intelligent.”

” I was 14 years old. My friend had dared me to ask her to sign the centerfold, but she politely demurred and signed the first page of her pictorial which was a headshot. She also gave me an autographed photo. Unfortunately, my grandmother was horrified and it was all confiscated and thrown away.I told her that I admired her portrait of Truman Capote and she immediately brightened. She said art was what she “really wanted to do.” 
I would love to find paintings by her to buy. But I imagine that not many survived

Daniel- Thank you for sharing your memory, very much appreciated!

A 5 by 7 autographed photo of Paige. Signed in 1969 at a “Battle of the Bands” contest I was told.

Detroit Free Press Nov. 9, 1968

ALSO in 1969...

Paige continued to battle ex- husband Mark F. Segal, who had yet to pay for 5 of the 6-months alimony he owed her and the lawyers fees owed to Marvin M. Mitchelson. Segal had made one payment to each in 1964 and that’s all.

By now Paige’s law firm was Silverton, Ruderman and Graf of Studio City.

Top right shows the date when the alimony was first ordered: 9-18-64. Near the bottom of right you can see current date: 2-20-69.
LAT December 1968, Paige lived in Malibu mid-to late 1960s, but it was not her “hometown.”
May in Cincinnati. Sorry for poor quality.

Paige visits NYC in June of 1969

Central New Jersey Home News June 6, 1969
Central New Jersey Home News June 8, 1969

Philadelphia

July 3rd From the TV section of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The show “Contact” was hosted by a then unknown Tom Snyder. Paige is incorrectly identified as a Playboy “Bunny.” “Bunny” is and has been the catchall word for women surrounding Hugh Hefner.

Charles Petzoid was a regular columnist for this Philly newspaper.

Minneapolis

Minneapolis visit in April of 69 . Paige had just turned 25. Hired by Hugh Hefner, Bob Sanders played the role of “press agent” for Paige on several of these trips. See chapter Nick Lees Bob Sanders
Left side of the above article from Minneapolis.April of 1969. Bob Sanders describes this outfit in his story about Paige. See chapter Nick Lees/ Bob Sanders.

Lake Havasu City, Arizona

1969 In March and April, images of Paige wearing a polka dot bikini appeared in dozens of USA newspapers; she was named “Queen of the Fleet” for the first annual Desert Sailboat Regatta, to take place in the fairly new city of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. (LHC)

I think some context is important, so briefly...

“Lake Havasu City is in western Arizona. It’s known as a base for trails in the nearby desert and water sports on Lake Havasu. London Bridge, relocated from England, links the mainland to marinas and a looped path in an area known as the Island.”

wikipedia definition

Lake Havasu City, Arizona was established in 1963 after businessman Robert McCulloch purchased the land in 1958.

McCulloch bought the London Bridge in 1968 when the City of London placed it for auction. He had an idea that it would be a successful lure for tourists and potential home buyers.

McCulloch bought 100s of ads in different newspapers across the US, from LA to Davenport, he promoted a vacation to LHC, and as a land investment. Just two examples below.

Detail from ad in the LAT June 6, 1968

From the Quad City Times Davenport Iowa. June 28. 1969

LHC placed the London bridge about 1 year after Paige appeared as “Queen of the Fleet.” McCulloch was advertising it way before.

Queen Paige Young and the Regatta Sailing event, were designed by McColloch to advertise the marvelous boating and water recreation activities available in LHC.

And hey, maybe you will enjoy yourself so much you will want to live in Lake Havasu City year round!

Edmonton
Newark New Jersey
Shreveport, Louisiana Journal March 27, 1969
Evening Post Reading, Berkshire,England April 12, 1969

This article (April 16, 1969) mentions Robert McCulloch as regatta chairman and details information about the boats entered. Probably because it’s in the “Outdoor” section of the paper.

Long Beach Independent April 10, 1969
Paige’s PR man and chaperone, Bob Sanders, recalls that Paige did not want to be an actress.

With the exception of the last, this next set of clippings refer to Paige as “graduating from Van Nuys High School.

I have researched classmates.com for many hours, in the years she would have attended and/or graduated: 1959-1962.

Hollywood Citizen-News April, 4, 1969

I have been unable to find any Paige Young or Diana Cotterell in the VNHS yearbook, nor can I find her class photo in yearbooks of Grant High School, North Hollywood High School or Birmingham High School, all high schools near VNHS.

Van Nuys News April 3, 1969
Valley Times April 4, 1969. Mentions graduating from VNHS and Jonathan Winters Show.

Evening Vanguard Venice California, April 5, 1969

Diana had a friend and fellow horse lover at Van Nuys Junior High.

Her name is Joan Edwards and she attended and graduated from Van Nuys High School in 1962. This should have been Diana/Paige’s graduation year also. She told me that she doesn’t remember seeing or talking to Diana after the end of their VNJH years, and that she only remembers her with the name Diana Cotterell.

It’s possible Paige dropped out of high school after the 9th grade, 1959. Her grandfather, Ned LaRocca, died in November of that year. Many of the interviews from 69 state she began painting professionally at age 16.

Could it be related? I don’t know. But possibly.

If she did attend or graduate from a high school, it definitely wasn’t Van Nuys High School.

The wire service photos never mention Paige’s title of Playboy Playmate, but the local Lake Havasu City paper does.

Lake Havasu City, Arizona 1969

Notice the references to Playboy “Bunny.”

Arizona Republic April 17, 1969

Lisa Baker, Jonathan Winters

Note the information of Paige’s appearance on the Jonathan Winters Show in the Lake Havasu article.

The terms Playmate and Bunny became interchangeable in the media very quickly. Here is another example; ad from a Fresno mall appearance with Paige and Playmate Lisa Baker.

Playmate of the Year 1967, Lisa Baker, was also supposedly on the Winters show.

Fresno Bee April 1969

Jonathan Winters Show connection

I’ve been unable to find any credits for Paige or Lisa on the Jonathan Winters Show 1967-1969. The show was filmed at CBS Television City on Fairfax, as was Playboy After Dark. PAD ran from 68-70.

Jonathan Winters, Mickey Rooney, and Bill Gardner on the set of the Jonathan Winters Show, 67-69, filmed at CBS Television City. Paige and Bill Gardner went on at least one date-See chapter Warhol Art Opening in a Rudi Gernreich Dress.

Paige and Lisa’s roles may have been as extras or “background décor.” I viewed several episodes of the show at the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles and I could not spot Paige Young.

I haven’t yet been able to find Paige as an extra on Playboy After Dark; I have not viewed every episode though.

(I did find images of a dancer on the Winters show that looked strikingly like Paige. It was eerie. The choreographer of the show was Robert Banas.)

The Paley Center does not own every episode of the Jonathan Winters Show and neither does UCLA.

Please see chapter Richard Sample interview for more on Jonathan Winters and a possible connection to Paige Young.

There have been several incarnations of Jonathan Winters show. The one from 67-69, had guests stars: The Doors, Barbara Eden, Vic Damone, Della Reese, The Smothers Brothers, Ray Charles, Nancy Sinatra, Tom Jones and many others.

1969 travels continued…

Miami Herald Sun 4/20/1969
Philadelphia Inquirer, June 27, 1969 Note the line “Many young artists work with the new materials…. Paige was referring to Light & Space artists DeWain Valentine, Larry Bell, and Robert Irwin.

Marina Del Rey

In the summer of 69, Paige is interviewed for an article in “West,” an LAT magazine, featuring a few young people who reside in the “geographically desirable” community of Marina Del Rey.

Close up of article index July 20th 69 issue West magazine.
July 20, 1969 LAT

Article tells about hip Marina Del Rey, considered “G.D.” It stands for “geographically desirable.

(As opposed to the SFV or Pasadena?)

Paige lives in a houseboat in Marina Del Rey.

Wait, doesn’t she live in Malibu!?

 This is the only reference to Paige living in Marina Del Rey that I found, so far. Update on May 19, 2021: Richard Sample told me that this is when he last saw Paige, living in her houseboat on the Marina. 69 or 70

1969 continued, still touring…..Montreal

Complimentary to Paige and disdainful of Hefner/Playboy was common among the write-ups I read while researching.

Akron

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is akron_beaconjournalsun_apr_13__1969_.jpeg
Akron Beacon Journal April 13, 1969
Part 2 of article.

Last sentence of article reads: “safe to assume she knew she was on a fools errand. One might also assume that puts her one up on the man from Playboy.”

Article says Paige met Hefner only once briefly at a stop at the Chicago mansion.

By the end of her life she knew Hefner more closely in her hometown of Los Angeles.

Shippy, long-time columnist, has a conversation with the chaperone and Playboy PR man accompanying Paige Young. We know it is Bob Sanders. Shippy derisively refers to Sanders as a “flack.” Not in person I presume.

During their conversation Shippey notices Paige “sitting there looking lovely and trying not to fall asleep. ” The attention goes back to Paige.

She says she is a self taught artist turned actress, with an art studio in Venice and drama lessons with Jeff Corey. So far though, she has only had a non-speaking role on the Jonathan Winters show and as an audience member on the set of PAD.

Montreal Star. July 2, 1969. More can be said about the unmentioned reference to Gowland.

.

Atlanta

August of 1969, this photo appeared one week after the Tate/LaBianca murders in Paige’s hometown of Los Angeles.

Many people, mainly celebrities, around at the time, have talked about the impact the murders had on the residents of Los Angeles. The fear. The Manson murders probably affected the whole vibe of that city and its’ citizens.

August 16, 1969 from the Atlanta Constitution. Paige also visited the Playboy Club in Atlanta as she did in NYC. Playboy Club Atlanta threw a party in honor of this new TV station Channel 36 per VIP magazine. The new station carried Playboy After Dark., a syndicated show.
VIP magazine for Playboy Club keyholders. Winter 1969. No photos of the event were carried in this issue of VIP.

September 1969: Japan

Paige Young visits troops in Japan. From Pacific Stars and Stripes, a newspaper for the US military. 9/21/69

September 1969 Edmonton

Several local ads announcing the first annual “Winter Fun and Snowmobile” show in Edmonton.

As you will see by the following news articles, the scheduled appearance by November 1968 Playmate Paige Young was publicized as a highlight of the show.

1969 Edmonton newspaper
September Edmonton Journal 1969.
Edmonton Journal Sept. 25, 1969

But when it gets to the big day……

Edmonton Journal Sept. 27, 1969

Devin Sheedy, women’s snowmobile speed record holder, steps in for an ailing Paige Young.

Edmonton Journal

*For more information a possible reason for Paige’s illness in Edmonton, see the chapter on Nick Lees”*

1969

The articles show us that most of Paige’s year is taken up with Playboy promotional traveling and appearances; autograph signings at car shows, Playboy Clubs, TV stations, Battle of the Bands, radio interviews, newspaper interviews, etc.

The Edmonton Winter Sports show in late September of 69 is the latest date I’ve have found for her promotional appearances. (So far.)

Boston Auto Show: late Oct. 1968 to the Edmonton show: late Sept. 1969, is just under one full year. Perhaps Paige completed the contracted one-year to Playboy. Seems like she had really “had it” by the end.

Or was it just a ruse to run off with Nick Lees?

Sad Headlines along with Paige’s Photo.

Pasadena Star-News 3/28/-1969

I don’t know how many people know that Sirhan-Sirhan’s hometown was Pasadena.

RFK, of course, had been assassinated in Los Angeles June of 1968. Location: the famous Ambassador Hotel at 3400 Wilshire Blvd.

1966: July Paige Transfers From Marvin M. Mitchelson To New Law Firm. Donna and Virginia New SFV Location.

July 1966

Paige gets transferred from the Marvin Mitchelson law firm of Beverly Hills, to the law firm of Silverton, Ruderman and Graf of Studio City. Her new law firm is located at 12345 Ventura Blvd.; a 5 minute drive from her childhood home at 13055 Moorpark St.

This may have happened because Marvin Michelson was busy climbing the ladder of success in 1966.

He continued to represent Hollywood and Beverly Hills “soon-to-be-divorced-wives.”

LA Herald-Examiner gossip columnist Harrison Carroll 1966.

(66 also brought Marvin international work in London from a rock band.)

Aldo Ray spoke bitterly about his ex-wives. I have several more articles about him not included here.

Marvin Michelson may have grown tired of Paige’s divorce case by 1966 and the non-payment. Her “interlocutory” ex-husband, Mark F. Segal hadn’t paid more than the one payment in 64, despite his legally being in contempt of court.

Any publicity for “weird headlines” (see chapter on Segal-Young Divorce Makes Headlines) had long since ceased to be of any benefit to MMM.

There are divorce documents dated all the way into 1969 showing Paige and her lawyers still trying to collect the unpaid, court ordered alimony and lawyer’s fees.

1966 Paige’s Mother, Donna Holroyd, and her grandmother, Virginia Young LaRocca, are listed in the phone directory at 5760 Hazeltine. It’s an apartment building on the corner of Hazeltine and Hatteras in Van Nuys. Jack Holroyd is not listed at this location.

Context: Photographer Peter Gowland and 1950s Pinup. Paige Young. Playboy. Under Construction.

Peter Gowland

Accompanying book to an exhibit in Germany by curator Thomas Shirmbock, a few years ago. Model is Venetia Stevenson aka Mrs. Russ Tamblyn.
San Francisco Examiner Aug. 18. 1957

1963-1965

It was around this time I think, Paige meets and models for famous photographer Peter Gowland.

By this time, Peter and Alice Gowland had already enjoyed a thriving photography business for over a decade. This includes many Playboy Playmates.

Richard Sample confirmed what I had suspected, that Paige had known and modeled for Gowland already several years before her Playboy centerfold issue, November of 1968. See chapter on Richard Sample interview.

In the 1950s:

The Gowlands were part of a larger group of mainly male glamour/pinup photographers, based in the LA area. Chapter coming soon.

From the book “Gowland’s Girls”
Petaluma newspaper July 25, 1957

The Gowlands were not unique in their husband and wife photography partnership: Another husband and wife photography team who also produced Playmate features: Bill and Melba Figge, based in Glendale.

The Figges were very busy with their wedding photography business, (500 per year) while living family life with four children.

They spotted or (scouted) many Playmates at weddings gigs, including Lisa Baker from Texas, Playmate of the Year, 1967. Lisa Baker and Paige would appear together in April of 1969 at a Fresno mall to sign autographs.

The two Playmates both supposedly appeared on the Jonathan Winters Show, probably as background decor. I’ve never found an actual credit for Paige or Lisa on the show.

Back to the 1950s: The “pin-up model” had been made into a mass media icon associated with patriotism during world war 2. She was evolving and keeping her mainstream status. This time coincided with advances in photography; cameras, lighting and other technology and increasing appeal as a popular hobby for the “average joe.”

glamourphotographers.yolasite.comsite.com Please checkout this website for an in-depth discussion of the Gowlands and other photographers from the classic era of postwar glamour/pinup photography.

Peter Gowland himself was often featured in magazines for amateur photographers, he not only built his own outdoor sets by hand at his Rustic Canyon home, he invented a large format 4×5 camera he named the Gowlandflex. Throughout the 50s and 60s,

Peter and Alice were at the forefront of the genre and the business and the technical side with Peter’s handbuilt sets and Gowlandflex camera.

Their specialty was selling these photos for use in different types of men’s magazines,  girlie calendars, mainstream commercial work and many photography instructional books.

Alice Gowland goes over a contract with model/starlet Mara Corday.

TV starlet Saundra Edwards is mentioned in the above article as a Gowland favorite model. She had several bit parts and uncredited appearances on TV and movies including Hawaiian Eye, 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick, Cheyenne and Troy Donahue starring movie Parrish.

Saundra was a Playmate for March 1957; photography by the Gowlands.

Popular cover girl and early Playboy Playmate Saundra Edwards.

Saundra killed her husband, actor Tom Gilson, in self-defense when he drunkenly approached Saundra during a separation, demanding to see his son. This happened in Oct. of 1962 in Van Nuys. Below is one of many articles on the incident. Saundra was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Ogden Standard-Examiner Oct. 11, 1962

Saundra Edwards had two children by a previous marriage. She also had a contract with Warner Bros. that she broke. The story goes the studio wanted Sandra to place her kids in a boarding school while they developed her star potential. She refused.

Other notable models or stars who worked for the Gowlands were model and swimsuit designer Barbara Osterman, mid-century pop culture phenomenon  Vicki “The Back” Dougan, Julie Newmar (pre-Cat Woman) Tina Louise (pre-Gilligan’s Island) cult movie actress Edy Williams, starlets Yvette Mimeux and Venetia Stevenson, Jayne Mansfield, famous men’s magazine and nudist model Diane Webber. Rosemarie Bowe and her husband Robert Stack, Rock Hudson and R. J. Wagner.

Rose Marie Bowe was hired many times by the Gowlands during the late 1950s.. From How To Take a Glamour Photo 1957. She appeared in the Golden Mistress with John Agar in 1954, The View From Pompey’s Head in 1955. In the 1960’s she appeared on Burke’s Law and several other TV shows. She married Robert Stack in 1956 and became a prominent Hollywood wife.

The Gowlands had a lucrative revenue stream with dozens of photography instruction manuals from the 50s through the 80s at least. Some were magazine format and others hardback books. 3 examples of magazine format below

1961 Meiling Gordon cover model
Interest in Figure or Artistic nude photography grew in the 1950s culture as did photography as a hobby for the masses. This edition is from 1961. Cover model is Colleen Whitman.

Many of these instruction manuals pushed boundaries for nudity (topless) standards or simulation or implied nudity, (naked back turned toward the camera, almost see-through garments etc.) for the times.

Alice Gowland wrote these books which include detailed instructions on lighting, camera settings, set design and construction, on location shooting and scouting, interviewing and signing contracts with models.

1969 No credit for cover model

Peter Gowland did publish photos with obvious frontal nudity in a small number of instructional books. (Later, Alice Gowland would say one reason they left Playboy, was the appearance of pubic hair in the early 70s.) Mainly though, it was swimsuit and beach attire.

FAME

Peter Gowland is well-known (Alice less so) for contributing to the Playboy Magazine Playmate feature in the 50s and 60s.

Most fans know Paige Young was the last of the Gowland’s Playmates with her feature in November of 1968.

Peter Gowland has a type of fame, both then and now, but not one that is mass fame. He has more of a cult status.

However, Gowland was more mainstream in the 50s and 60s when non-nude pinup models were used in a myriad of ways in mass media culture.

Pageant was not a “girlie magazine” but like many mainstream magazines in a flourishing 1950s publishing market, a pinup girl was on the cover. Model is Venetia Stevenson.

Part of the phenomena of the pinup cover model is the plethora of beauty contests, beauty contest winners and corresponding media coverage.

Southern California was a hub for all kinds of beauty contests and displays of physicality; for example the Venice Beach “muscle” scene also feature female beauty contests.

Lita Baron aka Mrs. Rory Calhoun and a commercial model, has a several page layout in Pageant magazine credited to Peter Gowland. Late 1950s.

This article was published around the time Paige met Peter and Alice Gowland.

1963 Marriage & 1964 Divorce to Mark F. Segal. Marvin M. Mitchelson Lawyer. Headlines.

1963 October 1st Paige Young marries Mark Frederick Segal in Las Vegas, per nearly impossible to read ledger records from Las Vegas. ancestry.com

Notice in the Valley News December 25, 1964

An elopement likely in one of those 24-hour Las Vegas wedding chapels.

The record shows only the date and names.

 Paige’s new husband Mark F. Segal, born in 1942, is the son of WW2 veteran Harold Segal and his wife. They resided in Sherman Oaks at 4518 Vista Del Monte, at one time.  Mark was a marine private who took combat training in 1961 at Camp Pendleton.

  Segal was also a car dealer at “Sea-Gull Motors,” a business started by his father according to newspaper ads in the late 1950s and Segal friend Rex Ramsey. Sea-Gull Motors moves locations several times in the Sherman Oaks/Van Nuys area in the 1960s, including 7211 Balboa Avenue, 4425 Van Nuys Blvd. and 6738 Sepulveda Blvd.

Ramsey told me that father Harold Segal also owned Fox Auto Service in the SFV and the Segal family had several brothers in addition to Mark. He also said the family was “pretty well-off.”

1963-1964 Paige and Mark live together as husband and wife at 4133 Crisp Canyon Road in Sherman Oaks, “South of Ventura.

Paige continues to board her horse Hamish at Sepulveda Stables.  A young friend at the stables emailed this information and wrote me about Paige’s connection to home on Crisp Canyon. It’s very close to the neighborhood where Diana Cotterell lived and attended elementary and junior high school.

This same young friend of Paige’s from Sepulveda Stables told me that when she was 12 years old, Paige (19/20 years old), drove her to the house on Crisp Canyon Rd. to hang out and drink lemonade.

1964

August 28, 11 months after her Las Vegas marriage, Paige and her attorney file for divorce from Mark F. Segal. Paige is represented by rising Beverly Hills attorney Marvin M. Mitchelson.

Below are just a few of the dozens of divorce documents I obtained from a records department in Downtown LA.

 The filing below states that Mark threatened Paige and her animals with bodily harm “on numerous occasions,” and on August 17, 1964, “brandished a knife in her presence,” and “Plaintiff’s profession is that of an artist and painter and on or about June 15, 1964, defendant maliciously and with intent to destroy plaintiff’s artwork drove nails through plaintiff’s prized paintings and further did mischievous damage by driving nails through plaintiff’s personal belongings including an expensive fur stole.”

Divorce document Declaration of husband to determine Mark’s income, shows address where Paige and Mark lived in Crisp Canyon south of Ventura. A small, rustic, weekend cabin for Hollywood types says Rex Ramsey, friend of Mark and Paige.

Paige requests and is granted a temporary restraining order from the court.

Mark quickly countersues and denies all of Paige’s claims of abuse. He claims that she is the one who caused him mental anguish and suffering.

Marvin Mitchelson, on behalf of client Paige, asks for alimony, lawyer’s fees and court costs: “Plaintiff is not employed and presently embarking on a career as a painter, therefore needs the money from Defendant who is able bodied and employed.”

 Marks balks at this request and states he can’t afford it.

(divorce documents in collection of author)

The divorce filing is a bit out-of-the-ordinary and was picked up by a wire service and appears in a handful of newspapers across the country.

Some examples below:

August 28, 1964 The Desert Sun-Palm Springs
South Bend Tribune Aug. 28, 1964
Los Angeles Evening-Citizen News Aug. 28, 1964 Only article I have found that mentions lawyer Marvin M. Mitchelson and the couple’s home address.
Dayton Daily News Aug. 28, 1964
Dayton Daily News. Here Paige is an “Artist’s Model” This may have added interest for local newspapers, when reading their wire service stories.
Cincinnati Post and Times. Aug. 28, 1964

There is a high probability that Marvin Mitchelson was behind the above stories.

NEW YORK, NY – CIRCA 1979: Marvin Mitchelson, Celebrity divorce lawyer circa 1979 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Platzer/IMAGES/Getty Images)

We might call these headlines “click-bait” today.

Apparently, early in his career, Marvin looked for ways to garner publicity for himself:

“..In the early days, when his client list was still thin, he could gin up publicity by filing an oddball lawsuit himself…this was 1964 and he had to work with what material was sent him.” From the book “Ladies Man, The Life and Trials of Marvin Mitchelson” by John A. Jenkins.

 This is likely the reason Mitchelson took Paige’s case despite her lack of ability to pay him any money upfront.  The case was unusual or “oddball” enough for it to be of use to him.

  

 Hollywood History/Celebrity Connections: Only a few days after Paige files for divorce,  news breaks that Beverly Hills society matron and LA talk show host, Pamela Mason, has won the unprecedented amount of 1 million dollars, for her divorce settlement from husband of 20 years: actor James Mason.

Her lawyer is Marvin Mitchelson.

Sept.1, 1964 Pasadena Independent, Pasadena, California.

Jenkins details the Mason case:

“Afterward in the courthouse corridor, “James (Mason) called the settlement ‘a flea bite.’ After all, he was getting off the hook without giving her any alimony at all. But Pamela was ecstatic. Her settlement was one of the first to break the magic million-dollar mark, and Mitchelson had gotten her, and himself, a ton of publicity about it.” “Pamela was so grateful she did everything she could to make Marvin Mitchelson a household name. Pamela introduced Mitchelson to her divorcing friends…she became his entrée to those rarefied upper brackets of Beverly Hills and Hollywood.”

The Mason case was a first as far as Hollywood divorces go, and a breakthrough for Marvin Mitchelson’s career.

Later this year, Michelson represents legendary lyricist Alan Lerner’s estranged wife, Micheline.

LAT Dec. 22, 1964

Mark F. Segal came from a fairly well off Sherman Oaks family. Father Harold Segal owned a thriving car business according to friend and possible car thief Rex Ramsey. Still he wasn’t in a league with rich and famous My Fair Lady composer Alan Lerner.

Both men did have a couple things in common: estranged wives represented by rising lawyer Marvin M. Michelson. The other is being found in contempt of court by failing to pay alimony to these estranged wives.

 Mark’s attorney is Bernard Echt from Sherman Oaks. Echt, a few years down the road, would represent the milkman who was being sued by Vincent Bugliosi for suspected impregnation of his wife. Strange yet true.

Mark’s attorney is Bernard Echt. Mark files a cross complaint about Paige and states that she is the one is abusive to him.

 An initial agreement is reached pretty quickly: Sept. 18,1964 . Mark is required to pay Paige alimony, but only for six months.

This would be about $1000 in 2017, so the equivalent of $6000 total in today’s money.

1964 November 24:  Paige and her grandmother Virginia LaRocca are sworn-in for testimony in a Los Angeles courthouse, probably 111 Hill Street, for the divorce trial; Mark is a no-show. Virginia LaRocca testifies for the plaintiff, her granddaughter Paige. An interlocutory decree of divorce is granted to Paige on grounds of extreme cruelty.

 Paige waives her right to any further alimony payments beyond the six months.  Mark is also ordered to pay Marvin Mitchelson $300 (about $2072 in 2017 dollars) and $15.00 in court costs around $100 today.   Paige is awarded a 1953 MG Roadster; Mark is ordered to sign the title over to her.  Paige gets to keep certain antiques and wedding gifts.  Mark gets to keep his home at 4133 Crisp Canyon in Sherman Oaks.

Both parties are ordered to not annoy, molest or harass the other.

1965

This year shows Mark has not been making his required alimony and lawyer’s fees since 1964.

Defendant Mark F. Segal is delinquent in alimony payments 64-65

Order to show cause that Mark is in contempt; alimony unpaid up to middle of 1965

1965-Marvin Michelson goes hard on Mark Segal this year. For every month Mark fails to make his monthly alimony payment to Paige and the lawyer’s fees, Michelson files a contempt suit in court.

And it turned out to be all 12 months.

1958-1962 Donna Cotterell remarries. Ned LaRocca dies. A New Decade.

Donna Virginia LaRocca Cotterell marries John “Jack” Holroyd in Las Vegas on October 3, 1958, per online Vegas wedding records difficult to decipher. Found on ancestry.com.

Patriarch Joseph Ned LaRocca dies of lung cancer towards the end of 1959.

LAT November 18, 1959.

Ned LaRocca’s grave is in Glen Haven Memorial Park in Sylmar.

Below are closeups of Ned LaRocca’s death certificate. It looks like he spent about a year in a sanitarium located on Foothill Blvd. in the Tujunga/Sunland area. I have been unable to learn if this was specifically a Christian Science sanitarium, (his wife was a CSP) but I have learned that the Tujunga area was considered to have cleaner air than other parts of the San Fernando Valley.

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 Note the name of last employer: Leith Stevens.

The 1960s Begin

In 1960 and 62, Virginia LaRocca is listed in the phone directory at 13204 Riverside Drive, about 2 miles from Grant High School (at 13000 Oxford Ave).  This is also the address listed on Joseph Ned LaRocca’s death cert. above, November 1958. I don’t know if he ever lived at this address or was in the sanitarium.

Donna and Jack Holroyd are registered Republicans in 1960 and 62 per ancestry.com voting records. Their listed address is an apartment -building on Oxford Ave. The building location is easy walking distance to Grant High School.