Posted on July 30, 2020
The photo appears to be taken from the same photo session as the one used in the 69/70 Ridgid Tool Co. calendar.
It’s her only appearance in any of the Gowland instructional books that I have seen, which is nearly all of them.
It was around this time that Paige moved into a garage apartment in Westwood (below) after feeling “antsy.” This was told to me by her friend Henry. Paige felt isolated in Trancas Beach area off Broad Beach Rd. area of Malibu.
This is the home where she would end her life in 1974.
According to the Daily Mail report, Paige complains to neighbor Melanie about her relationship with famed film director John Huston:
“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.”Daily Mail 2014
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.
Because Melanie said Paige had “just returned from Ireland,” after a visit to Huston, Paige would necessarily have been one of Huston’s last guests; the St. Clerans estate was sold sometime in 1973.
This is the same time frame of John Huston’s marriage to Celeste Shane Green, 1972-1975. It was Huston’s 5th marriage and CiCi’s 2nd.
Celeste, known as 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 both Paige and Celeste at Sepulveda Stables.
It’s another factor which places Celeste in the same world as Paige.
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.
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.
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 Hill. Gladys 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 that interested in managing his 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 who told Paige about Sepulveda Stables.
I happen to have known that Paige boarded her a horse there since grade school when she was known as Diana Cotterell. She gave 2 school photos to the owners of the Stables which were published on a website about Sepulveda Stables. That would mean Cici knew Paige as Diana in grade school and I don’t see it. Diana lived closeby Sepulveda Stables and several of her classmates, like Joan Edwards, boarded a horse at that location. Cici was involved with high class elite level horse shows.
I have read several John Huston biographies.
John Huston and Paige were both painters in addition to being horse lovers, these factors may have played a role in their “connection”.
Huston 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: the story Melanie tells of Huston hiding Paige’s shoes. “It really bothered her,” even though “it was a little thing.”
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 more detailed look at one of our most legendary Hollywood figures.
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 biographer Jeffrey Meyers, Huston enjoyed women fighting over him.
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.
was a visitor to St. Clerans in the early 1970s? Bill Gardner. The same Bill Gardner from the Pasadena Art Museum chapter. He knew both John and Celeste Huston as did Paige.
The following paragraph is what Bill wrote about himself for online publicity including his author page on Amazon.
William Louis Gardner started his career getting a diploma from the Pasadena Play House in the fifties. The US Air sent him to Pasadena, California to learn film and television production. During his education at the Playhouse he was sent to do on-the-job-training at ABC, CBS and NBC. He spent time on the on the sets of Colgate Comedy Hour studying, observing and watching the process of television variety type shows. Bill became acquainted with the Martin & Lewis show, Jimmy Durante Show, Danny Thomas Show, Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Milton Berle Shows. After William left Hollywood he joined his squadron and wrote and produced films for the US Air Force. When he was discharged from the Air Force he returned to Hollywood and went to work for Mickey Rooney as his assistant and manager for ten years. After he joined Jonathan Winters as his manager. In 1965 William moved to Ireland and joined director, John Huston, as his assistant. He worked on John’s films in England and Morocco. John sent Bill to East Africa to do pre-production for a film Bill had written called “The Games End”. The film has yet to be made. William, left the industry in 1972 and came back to California and moved to Montecito and became a real estate broker. He formed a Real Estate office in Santa Barbara and retired thirty five years later to write a novel “Confession of a Hollywood Agent” and numerous screenplays. His novel “The End of the Game” struggles with Africanization, intrigue and murder to save the elephant. Present, Bill keeps on writing.scribd.com
Famous LA writer 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 relaxation time at the mansion; that cast, of course, includes Huston and Roman Polanski.
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. Paige was witnessed at the Playboy mansion near the end of her life as recounted by neighbor Melanie Myers, who herself was invited to the Mansion.
These were the very last years of Paige’s life.
More about John Huston ahead.
Paige appears in some Electrochemical Company photographs, credited to Peter Gowland, probably taken 72/73. NSFW
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.
Category: 1970s, LA Locations, Playboy, PMOM Tagged: #Paige Young, 1970sLA, Alice Gowland, Ann Cushing Brook Mills, Bill Gardner, Celeste Shane Huston, Cici Huston, Collin Green, Courage and Art, Daily Mail December 2014, Danny Huston, Electrochemicals, Galway, Gladys, Horses, Hugh Hefner, Ireland, Jack Smith, John Huston, Jonathan Winters, LA History, LAT, Modeling, Peter Gowland, Sepulveda Stables, St. Clerans, The Hustons, Vintage LA, Wally Green, William Louis Gardner, Zoe Sallis
Posted on July 21, 2020
The occasion was a gala for the new Andy Warhol exhibit.
Warhol himself makes an appearance, obviously a big deal.
From the Los Angeles Evening Citizen 5/16/1970
More on Paige’s date Bill Gardner.
William Louis Gardner was born in Minnesota and finished school there. HeFrom Bill Gardner’s website.
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.”
According to the article, Paige Young and Andy Warhol discuss a role for Paige in an upcoming Andy Warhol film.
Marvene Jones also says that Mr. and Mrs. DeWain Valentine made up a foursome with Paige and Bill Gardner. Valentine had an exhibit of his large size cast polyester resin pieces at the Pasadena Art Museum, right along with an exhibit of Warhol’s use of repetitive images.
DeWain Valentine was an on-fire rising artist in the 1960s Venice art scene.
He was a major player in the new “Light and Space” art movement, along with artists Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, Helen Pashgian, James Turrell, John McCracken, Fred Eversley, Doug Wheeler and more.
Many of these artists lived in Venice Beach due to the cheap rent.
Before the Light and Space artists emerged, the Cool School or Ferus Gallery artists, had already established themselves beginning in the early 1950s. Many of them lived in Venice Beach, a dilapidated beach town dotted with oil rigs and and trash. The rent was cheap. They were far away from the New York City “Art Scene” so they felt free to explore and experiment.
The Ferus Group, of (mainly) men, 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 “Beatnik Scene” was also flourishing in Venice Beach throughout the 1950s and early 60s, creating a new pop-cultural icon: The beret wearing, cigarette smoking, poetry spouting Beatnik.
The Ferus Gallery gang famously interacted with Warhol during his well documented stay in Los Angeles in the early 1960s. Warhol drove with Taylor Mead? from NYC to LA.
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.
For much more detail on this art movement which established the Los Angeles art scene as one on par with New York City or Europe, see the documentary “The Cool School,” available on Netflix.
The Light and Space movement emerged from the Cool School in the mid-1960s.
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.
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 several 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. She was referring to her neighbors and friends, Valentine, Bell and Irwin, not specifically 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.
Ellen also remembers much talk of someone named “Valentine.”
Richard Sample is listed with an address of 63 Market St. Venice, in a newspaper marriage announcement, 1968.
Ellen texted me a story: her Uncle Richard sublet the Venice 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 fellow famous artist neighbors/ friends, including Larry Bell and Robert Irwin, particularly the early years of the 1960s and 70s.
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.
DeWayne Valentine spent a couple decades living and creating art in Hawaii as well.
Valentine passed away on February 2, 2022.
From the Documentary “The Cool School.” Market St, where Valentine, Bell and Irwin had studios.
Category: 1970s, LA Locations, PMOM, Popular Culture Tagged: #Paige Young, 1970sfad, 1970sLA, 1972, Alice Gowland, Andy Warhol, Beatnik, Bill Gardner, Billy Al Bengston, Carolyn Rowan, Cool School, Dennis Hopper, DeWain Valentine, Ed Keinhoz, Ed Ruscha, Elsworth Kelly, Glamour Photography, Jonathan Winters, Larry Bell, Light and Space Art, Los Angeles architecture, Los Angeles History, Norton Simon, PAM, Pasadena, Pasadena Art Museum, Richard Sample, Robert Irwin, Robert Rowan, Rudi Gernriech, Santa Monica Blvd., Venice Art scence, Venice Beach, Venice Beach artists, Venice California, Wally Berman, Westwood
Posted on July 15, 2020
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.
The winner was Connie Kreski: a Michigan nursing school student, Playmate in January of 1968, quickly turned starlet owning a camera ready face. She appeared to look much younger than her 21 years. Which is why Anthony Newley cast her in his 1969 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.
Connie Kreski had gone to London in the last 2 years 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.
Famously to 1960s social history readers, 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 at Sharon Tate’s funeral on film footage seen on youtube.
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 word the entire show.
She did have more lines on other episodes of PAD, mostly the ones from 1970, the last year of the program.
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 1950s and 60s.
After a few years Connie’s contract with Universal was dropped which merited one sentence in a Hollywood gossip column.
Connie appeared on a memorable 1970 episode of Love American Style starring Kaye Ballard, Connie plays a topless waitress.
Her last credit is the mini-series Aspen from 1976.
Connie had a high profile romance with actor James Caan in the early and mid-1970s. She was identified in Hollywood news articles as his “girlfriend” and “ex-Playmate.” They got together fresh off Caan’s star making turn in the Godfather; he was much in demand by directors and studios. And by beautiful young women as well, according to several interviews at the time.
It was determined that Connie Kreski died of cirrhosis of the liver at age 48 in 1995. Laennec’s is a cirrhosis most associated with alcohol abuse over time. (See cause of death below)
What happened in her life that caused it to end this way at the age of 45?
What happened to her friendships with Hefner and Polanski and that crowd? And James Caan?
Connie Kreski is rarely mentioned in any pop culture forum. I find that strange given the people that she was seen hanging out with.
Many of these people continue to generate attention and conversation. Some are still alive, many dead. Most recently, Connie’s ex and Playboy mansion regular and good friend of Hefner, James Caan passed away on July 6, 2022. His death drew numerous accolades and a film festival is in the works.
Unusually, Caan lacks a dedicated biography. This will likely be forthcoming.
Caan hadn’t been asked about Connie since the 1970s.
is incorrectly identified 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,” for Connie’s entry, but I do know it does not say “Cirrhosis of the liver.”
Connie married Louis Edelman in New York in 1986 and they set up a marital home in Los Angeles/Beverly Hills.
I corresponded with Connie’s stepdaughter Barbara Cooper. She told me that Connie became pregnant and lost a baby boy (named Zachary) when she was 6 months along. This tragedy also occured in 1986.
Cooper told me that after the loss, Connie began an obsession with calorie counting and losing weight; she also abused alcohol.
It’s no wonder then, that she died so young; 10 years before her 12-years-older husband Louis.
Barbara told me how consistently kind and sweet Connie was to her daughters and to everybody.
She said that Connie never talked about Playboy, any of the Playmates, or her days in Hollywood.
More on Connie Kreski coming soon..…
Paige had some photo shoots published and distributed in 1970.
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 their tool purchasing clients.
Paige appears in the 69/70 edition, cover below.
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
Category: 1960s, 1970s, LA Locations, Playboy, PMOM, Popular Culture Tagged: 1960s Playmates, 1969, 1970, 1970sLA, Alice Gowland, Anthony Newley, Cheesy, Connie Kreski, Connie Kreski cause of death, Constance Joanne Kornaki, Daily Mail December 2014, Elvis, Girlie Calendar, James Caan, James Caan Connie Kreski., Joey Bishop, Laugh In, London Playboy Club & Casino, Los Angeles History, Marilyn Cole, Mercy Montello, Mercy Rooney, Merv Griffin, Paige Young, Peter Gowland, Playboy After Dark, Playboy Calendar, Playboy magazine, Playboy Playmate, Playmate of the Year, Playmate of the Year 1969, PMOY, Reagan Wilson, Ridge Tool Company Ohio, Ridgid Calendar, Ridgid Tool Calendar, Roman Polanski, Scott Caan, Sharon Tate, Sheila Ryan, Starlet, TV shows, Universal Studio, Universal Studios, Victor Lownes, Vintage LA, Vintage Playboy Playmate