DOROTHY STRATTEN Biography - Craftmen, artisans and people from other Occupations


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Name: Dorothy Stratten                                                                 
Born: 28 February 1960 Vancouver, British Columbia                                     
Died: 14 August 1980                                                                   
Dorothy Stratten (born Dorothy Ruth Hoogstraten) (February 28, 1960 - August 14,       
1980) was a Canadian model and actress.                                               
She found fame as the Playboy magazine's Playmate of the Month for August 1979         
and Playmate of the Year for 1980. Stratten afterwards began a modestly               
successful acting career.                                                             
She was murdered at age 20 by her estranged husband, an act that was the basis         
of two motion pictures.                                                               
Stratten was born in a Salvation Army hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia,         
to Simon and Nelly Hoogstraten, Dutch immigrants. Her parents had married in           
Holland in 1954. In 1961 her brother John Arthur was born, and sister Louise           
Beatrice was born in May 1968.                                                         
She grew up and attended Centennial High School in Coquitlam. In 1977, while           
working part-time in a local Dairy Queen, she met a Vancouver-area promoter           
named Paul Snider (then 26), who coaxed her into sending photos to Playboy.           
Stratten forged her mother's signature on the model release form.                     
In 1979, after changing her surname to Stratten, she became Playboy's Miss             
August. She also found work as a Bunny at the Los Angeles Playboy Club. In 1980,       
she became Playboy's Playmate of the Year. Her original pictorial was                 
photographed by Mario Casilli.                                                         
In June, 1979, she married Snider in Las Vegas, Nevada. The couple's                   
relationship quickly deteriorated, as Snider became prone to fits of jealousy         
and bizarre, controlling behavior; he constantly took credit for Stratten's fame,     
stating that he was the reason for her success, and repeatedly attempted to           
usurp her fame when in the presence of celebrities.                                   
Hugh Hefner reportedly encouraged Stratten to sever ties with Snider, calling         
him a "hustler and a pimp." Rosanne Katon and other friends warned Stratten           
about Snider's behavior. By August of 1980, Snider's personality had turned           
obsessive. He hired a private detective to follow Stratten and report back to         
him everything she did. Stratten meanwhile developed a relationship with               
director Peter Bogdanovich, with whom she began having an affair. Snider and           
Stratten separated and Stratten moved in with Bogdanovich. Stratten had also           
made plans to file for divorce from Snider.                                           
On August 14, 1980, Snider and Stratten met at Snider's duplex, in which the           
couple had once lived along with their friend, Dr. Stephen Cushner. Cushner           
still lived in the home with his girlfriend and his girlfriend's best friend,         
but Cushner and the women were all out for the day when Stratten showed up at         
the home. What exactly transpired is unknown; at noon, Snider's private               
investigator called the apartment. He was aware that Stratten and Snider were         
meeting, and wanted to make sure that everything was going smoothly. Snider told       
the detective "Everything is going fine" and hung up.                                 
At 5:00 p.m., Cushner's girlfriend and her friend arrived home to find Stratten's     
car in the driveway. The door to Snider's room was closed and Stratten was             
nowhere to be seen; the women assumed that the two were in the bedroom and             
wanted privacy. They stayed until 6:00 p.m. to watch the news, then left at 6:30.     
At 7:00 p.m., Cushner arrived home and found Stratten's car in the driveway. He       
assumed that Snider and Stratten wanted privacy. One hour later, at 8:00 p.m.,         
Cushner's girlfriend and her friend arrived back home from dinner. At 11:00 p.m.,     
the private investigator called Cushner. According to the investigator, Snider         
had given him instructions to periodically check in over the course of the day,       
but Snider hadn't answered his private line for some time. The investigator told       
Cushner that he believed something was wrong and that someone needed to check on       
Snider and Stratten.                                                                   
Shortly after 11:00 p.m., Cushner entered Snider's room. There he discovered           
Stratten dead from a gunshot wound to the head and Snider from a self-inflicted       
Dorothy Stratten is buried at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.