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 3/7/22

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

November 1968 Playboy magazine.
April of 1969. Bob Sanders describes this outfit in his story about Paige. See chapter Nick Lees/ Bob Sanders.

 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

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

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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.

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.

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.