Facts about Dorothy Stratten

Dorothy Stratten died at 20 years old
Best known as: Playboy model and girlfriend of director Peter Bogdanovich



Dorothy Stratten Biography

Name at birth: Dorothy Ruth Hoogstraten

Dorothy Stratten was murdered by her husband, Paul Snider, months after she was named the 1980 Playmate of the Year by Playboy magazine. She was just 20 years old.

Dorothy Stratten had moved to Los Angeles with Snider after his aggressive promotion helped land her (in the nude) in Playboy‘s August 1979 issue. The two married and Stratten used her break as a model to start a career as an actress. She landed a co-starring role in the Peter Bogdanovich film They All Laughed (released in 1981, after her death), and she and Bogdanovich began a love affair.

Having asked Snider for a divorce, Dorothy Stratten visited him at his home on August 14, 1980, where Snider shot her dead and then killed himself. Stratten’s story was told in the TV movie Death of a Centerfold (1981) and in Star 80 (1983), director Bob Fosse‘s last film. She was the source of a longstanding feud between Peter Bogdanovich and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, and the subject of Bogdanovich’s 1984 book The Killing of the Unicorn.

Extra credit

Dorothy Stratten and Paul Snider were played by Mariel Hemingway and Eric Roberts in Star 80 and by Jamie Lee Curtis and Bruce Weitz in Death of a Centerfold… Peter Bogdanovich married Dorothy Stratten’s half-sister, Louise Stratten, in 1988; they divorced in 2001.


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