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

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.