1972 Gowland Book and Calendar 1973: # 1. John Huston. Celeste Shane. Ireland. St. Clerans. Jack Smith Sees Huston and Hefner at Trendy Backgammon Club.

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

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

This was one of a few photos from the same series for sale on e-bay a few years back.

Paige had appeared in the 69/70 edition of the Rigdig tool Company’s famous calendar.

Paige was one model of a few featured in the series which looks like it was for special clients, like a gratuity or gift. Ann Cushing and Brook Mills, two Gowland favorites are the others. Plus one unidentified. Due to the discreet yet not hidden pubic hair in some of the photos, Gowland knew which models would or wouldn’t be interested in this job.

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

From a series of photos for Electrochemicals clients.

1972/73) cont…

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, Dec. 2014:

Some essential context:

John Huston owned and lived part-time in an Irish estate, 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.

Given what Melanie said about Paige having “just returned from Ireland” to visit 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 5th and last marriage to Celeste Shane Green.

Celeste Shane Green, known as Cici, was married to John Huston from 72-75. She spent time living (visiting really) St. Clerans during her brief marriage to Huston.

Celeste was (and is) involved with horses and boarded at least one at Sepulveda Stables in the early 60s. 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 came to visit his son there at one point.

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 never 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. John Huston and Paige were both painters, these factors may have played a role in their connection.

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

I have read several biographies on John Huston that indicate he was a womanizer and had many marriages, flings, short-lived and long-term romances with numerous women over the decades and apparently of all ages.

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. (See Melanie’s recounting what Paige told her about John Huston hiding her shoes.)

Information and quotes from Lawrence Grobel’s book: “The Hustons” published by Scribner’s. Check this book out for a much more in-depth look at John Huston. I also found information from Huston biography Courage and Art by Jeffrey Meyers.

Huston was also displayed great generosity.

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.

I had an email exchange with Celeste Shane Huston and she confirmed knowing Paige and Huston knowing her as well. She denies that Huston and Paige had affair. She wrote that 2 well connected lawyers purchased her ticket to Ireland.

NEW. From the great 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.

More about John Huston ahead.

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

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

(These shots look like ones from 68 the Ridgid calendar photograph)

1970 #2 January Playboy 1969 PMOY Contest & Calendar. Gowland’s Rigdig Calendar.

Paige 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 title was a big deal. An even higher validation than Playmate of the Month.

Photo by Peter Gowland
Update on Paige in the “Playmate Roundup” January 69 Playboy issue.
Paige Young appears in the Playboy calendar for April of 1970. Photo by Gowland. Collection of author
A 5 by 7 autographed photo of Paige. Collection of the author. Probably signed in 1968-69.

The winner was Connie Kreski; a Michigan nursing school graduate turned starlet owning a camera ready face. She often 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.

Connie Kreski with gloves, possibly part her prizes for winning PMOY.

Connie Kreski went 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 and Victor are seen together on footage of Sharon Tate’s funeral. Roman Polanski and and Sharon were married at the Playboy Club in London, they were all friends. Victor Lownes is the person seen in a famous photo holding up Roman Polanski at Sharon Tate’s funeral.

Connie Kreski with her boyfriend of the 1970s James Caan. Connie became involved with Caan after she was dumped by Victor Lownes for another PMOY: Marilyn Cole. Connie was James Caan’s date for the premiere of the Godfather in NYC, Mar. 14, 1972.

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

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 Rigdig sent these calendars every year to clients who purchased their tools.

Paige appears in the 69/70 edition.

Paige appeared in the 69/70 edition of the famous Rigdig Tool Calendar with fellow Playmates Reagan Wilson and Mercy Rooney (Merci Montello) .The calendar does not identify them as Playmates. Collection of the author.

Many more models and starlets and Playboy Playmates were unnamed models in these calendars over the decades. Some went on to great fame, like Raquel Welch.

November 1968 Playmate. 1969: Most Public Year. PAD Tour. Lake Havasu City. Marina del Rey. LIsa Baker. Jonathan Winters. High School Info. (Long, Many Images, May take a while to appear) Updated 11/02/21

April of 1969. Bob Sanders describes this outfit in his story about Paige. See chapter Nick Lees/ Bob Sanders.

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. Well-known pin-up photography team and married couple Peter and Alice Gowland were the photographers. Alice has said she clicked the shutter on the “back-scratch” centerfold. (From Playboy interview with Alice Gowland)

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 young and/or committed suicide. (See my “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 to promote the TV show Playboy After Dark (PAD). And basically to 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 subject of her body and weight for centerfold “acceptability.”

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

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

Boston Globe Oct. 21, 1968

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 a reader, Daniel, he describes more details in the e-mail below:

 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, it’s very much appreciated!

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 Marvin M. Mitchelson since 1964. By now her 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.”

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

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

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

As you can see, this particular photograph of Paige as “Queen of the Fleet,” was a popular one.

Shreveport, Louisiana Journal March 27, 1969

This article (April 16, 2021) 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.

Van Nuys News April 3, 1969
Hollywood Citizen-News April, 4, 196
Valley Times April 4, 1969. Mentions graduating from VNHS and Jonathan Winters Show.
Evening Vanguard Venice California, April 5, 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.

These high schools were all very near where Paige was living, if she lived with Virginia or Donna and stepfather Jack Holroyd. And according to directories and voter registrations, they lived a few blocks from Grant High School on Oxford and then in Panorama City at 8533 Ventura Canyon Blvd. between 1960-1964.

Diana had a good 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.

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 UPI 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

ALSO Notice 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 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.

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 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.

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.

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

1969 travels continued…

Miami Herald Sun 4/20/1969
Philadelphia Inquirer 6/29/69 Her age is stated as 22 instead of 25. According to tour companion Bob Sanders, Paige was not interested in acting.

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

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Akron Beacon Journal April 13, 1969
Part 2 of article.

Article says she met Hefner only once briefly in response to the writer’s slightly provocative question.

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.

UPDATE May 19, 2021 Richard Sample (see my interview with him) told me that Paige knew Hefner while she worked at the Playboy Club on the Sunset Strip, mid to late 1960s. Hefner had not yet moved to LA full-time. When this article was published it was almost certainly her first time visiting the Chicago Playboy mansion.

Atlanta

August of 1969, this photo appeared one week after the Tate/LaBianca murders in Paige’s hometown of Los Angeles. Many people around at the time, have talked about the traumatic impact the murders had on the residents of Los Angeles.

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 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

Edmonton Journal

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

*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 3/39-1969

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.

1950s #2 SFV. Virginia Young LaRocca CSP. Family Life At 13055 Moorpark st. aka 4414 N. Ethel St.

Virginia Young LaRocca is Diana’s grandmother. She started out life as a Mormon in Utah, but somewhere along the way became a Christian Scientist. She is listed as “Chr. Sci.pr.” (Christian Science Practitioner) in Los Angeles telephone directories in the 40 and 50s, and listed with her own telephone line.

Christian Science practitioner is an individual who prays for others according to the teachings of Christian Science. Treatment is non-medical, rather it is based on the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (1875) by Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910), who said she discovered Christian Science in 1866 and founded the Christian Science church in 1879. According to the church, Christian Science practitioners address physical conditions, as well as relationship or financial difficulties and any other problem or crisis.

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A 1955, an LA telephone directory lists a Ned J. LaRocca at 4414 N. Ethel and a Virginia Young LaRocca with the same address.

Donna Cotterell is listed with the 13055 Moorpark address. 13055 Moorpark is on a corner with Ethel St.

4114 Ethel St. doesn’t seem to be an “real” address;  I don’t find a record of it anywhere besides the phone directory. This could be a result of the house modification for Donna, Diana and Constance.

1957 Virginia Young LaRocca is listed in the phone directory at 4414 N. Ethel State 4-7052 North Hollywood. Cr. Sci. Pr.

The Christian Science Church won the right to accept insurance for their practitioners, but I have been unable to find what year.

I can’t tell how much income Virginia made from her vocation as a CSP.

Evidence of 2 seperate address for what was really one house.
1950s directory. Notice Donna’s middle name Virginia is used. She still uses the name of ex-husband (common practice then as now.) who is listed right above her name, at a Canoga Park address where he lived with Mrs. Patricia Cotterell and their two children.

It is probable that grandfather Ned LaRocca was the primary breadwinner of the household.

I’m sure Donna received child support and likely alimony as this was the norm of the era.