I've reserved this page for those special people that were blessed by a unique and magical experience with Dorothy. These are people that usually met Dorothy only once but who's lives were drastically changed by that one meeting. If you are one of those individuals please share your story with us so we too can be touched. You need not give a name but can if you wish. Each of your stories is a living part of Dorothy's spirit that even today reaches down to touch us all with her kindness and beauty.
I have been in the magazine business for 40 years, after being a chef for 11 years and with all the famous people I've met and cooked for Dorothy was the most beautiful and nicest person I met. In the early years of my magazine career I was friends with a lot of the different publishers and magazine reps, which in turn got me invited to a lot of the parties, the most memorable one, was the day I met Dorothy at the signing of the August issue featuring her as the Playmate of the month. We quickly became friends, she was very pleasant to talk to, always smiling.
It was later at the Playmate of the year party that I met her husband Paul. He was selling her autographed pictures for $1.00, which absolutely infuriated me. If it wasn't for two other guys who I was friends with that also attended the party that night stopping me from throwing him off the balcony of the hotel, Dorothy may still be alive today.
During that party Dorothy and I snuck off for coffee at the Aristocrat restaurant which was at the corner of Broadway and Granville in Vancouver, BC. We had coffee and just talked, not about anything in particular just talk about our daily lives. She had put on a baseball cap and jacket I had to cover the gold dress she was wearing and maybe hide her identity so she wasn't disturbed while we had coffee. I think she was happy just to get away from the hustle and bustle of her very busy everyday life.
To this day I still miss her, and I always will. She was a fabulous lady.
PS. I wish I would have thrown him over the balcony.
Below are some pics that Skip sent me of he and Dorothy and some of the collectibles he has from that time.
There is one special thing I remember and that was the mother of pearl playboy pin she gave which I'm wearing in the pictures on my jacket. She also gave me a playboy necklace which I also still have.
Thank you for making such a caring venue with which to remember Dorothy.
It helps quite a bit.
I did know her for a short time.
A lot of people say they wish they could have met her, and in that I was blessed. Yet that pendulum swings from heaven to hell brought on by the actions of that slime named Snieder. I don't even care if I spell “its” name right.
There's much second guessing, and what ifs with the main theme being:
'Could I have saved her?'
It's been tearing me up lately, so I just had to get it off my chest a bit.
I knew Dorothy much as she was in that photo popping champagne with her 'early boyfriend'. The playmate everybody is familiar with was yet to blossom, but she had an unusual, and undeniable beauty.
Coupled with this, she was courteous, kind, and quite thoughtful in her answers, always showing serious consideration for anything anyone else said. She wasn't into cliques though they were forever trying to cling to her. She kind of side stepped all of it, showing consideration for the plain Jane's as well as anybody else.
Somehow we discovered a liking for talking to each other, but she could never get a moments peace. One of us; I think it was her, knew of a shop on the grounds abandoned during our free block.
An entire hour to 'do homework'.
So we hid ourselves there, and talked of all kinds of stuff, including plans for the future. That was our most animated topic, as we both planned on acting careers.
Once she surprised me by saying even if she had to go the route of Playboy, she would probably do it. Nobody else of course; but Playboy was different.
Still, the innocence, and wonder would likely have been there, as sensed by other people.
Even when she said she didn't come to Hollywood expecting to be a film star, I think she meant 'that quickly'. How automatic and swift it all was must have surprised her. But it does explain how she became mixed up with the creep.
I've heard he kind of sold himself as some kind of fast track to playboy. I didn't know her by then. She'd moved on along with brother John who had the unenviable task of keeping the chest pounding goons off of his sister.
Sometimes the 'gift' of great beauty can be a curse as well. This was Van Tech; 1976, and there were more than enough of those idiots either trying to bed her, or lying that they did.
I saw a bit of that, when we left that classroom once. A bunch of clowns (3 or 4) started giving her the gears, so that I was pissed off. She ended up saying, "Bill you should go. Don't worry, I know how to deal with guys like this."
Maybe she did, but that self-reliance may have ultimately killed her.
Meanwhile, there were more days than not when John strode the halls smoldering over that very problem, and glowering at any guy he saw.
I think such tension ultimately caused them to move on. One day, they just weren't there, neither one. The Vice Principal told me they'd transferred out.
I went into that shop once after that, and just sat on my usual worktable staring across to where she had been.
The silence was oppressive, and I started feeling foolish, so I said one last thing there: "I hope you make it Dorothy. I hope it's all you want."
I let my feet dangle for a few seconds more, then left the place for good.
That was my time with Dorothy. I found out later she'd posed for playboy, but never bought a copy.
I didn't recognize her like that either.
I agree she wasn't a vamp. Just an obsession for every warped mind around her.
I also knew trying to join with her would most likely screw things up, most likely for her.
Our paths had to be different.
I'd like to hear from John on this page, and get his story. Maybe we could go into some 'Anguish about Dorothy' therapy together. I guess her whole family could join in.
Guys who make slutty comments about her should consider her as that really decent, thoughtful, and kind person, and let silence rule the day.
Thanks for this outlet. It has helped a lot.
I'm not naming myself, because It's not about that - grabbing
And if that Luann ever decides to visit that grave, I'd be a ready escort. ;)
That's a bucket list thing for me now, though being on my own there is probably better.
My name is Ron Adams. I have a very special memory of Dorothy and I would like to share it with you. During 1979 and 1980 I was working in the West Hollywood area as a California Highway Patrol Officer. One day I was writing a parking ticket in front of Cyrano's on the Strip on Sunset Blvd. A man with a very attractive girl with him walked towards me as I was writing a citation for illegal parking, and the man (later identified as David Wilder, an agent with the Wilder Agency and the girl as Dorothy) said "officer, can you do something, this girl is following me!" My thought was, "here's just another West Hollywood weirdo" and I sort of shined them off. Later, I went into Cyrano's restaurant to get a cup of coffee and the couple were sitting at a table. I was in uniform and the man invited me to join them. That was when he introduced himself as David Wilder and the girl as Dorothy Stratten.
We talked for quite sometime and over the next few weeks I saw David and Dorothy several times. He was her agent while she was involved with Playboy. I had the pleasure of being invited to the Playboy Mansion West for the mid-summer nights party in August 1979 and it was there that I was introduced to and met Dr. Jerry H. Buss, the then new owner of the Forum in Inglewood, the Los Angeles Kings (hockey) and the Los Angeles Lakers (basketball). Later, which is another story in itself, I eventually resigned from the California Highway Patrol and went to work for Jerry Buss as his Executive Assistant.
Anyway, to get back to my memory of Dorothy, it was sometime in late 1979, after Dorothy had been named as the 1980 Playmate of the Year. We were talking one evening and 'out of the blue' I asked Dorothy if she would go with me to the Highway Patrol Christmas party in Glendale. I don't remember the exact date but it was in early December of 1979. Dorothy said, "Ron, I would love to go to the CHP party with you."
When I was asked later, in the CHP locker room, by my fellow officers about who I was bringing to the Christmas party, I non-chalantly said, "I was bringing the 1980 Playmate of the Year!!" Of course, all of the guys said, "oh, sure you are"....Obviously, they didn't believe me. In my wall locker at the CHP office I had hanging the center-fold of Dorothy, autographed by her, and she had written something like, [Ron, you wouldn't arrest me would you, Love, Dorothy].
David Wilder, and I agreed we would double-date to the Christmas Party and he arranged to have as his date another beautiful girl from the entertainment industry. I arranged to rent a Rolls Royce for the evening. David Wilder and his date, Dorothy and myself arrived just a little late too the party (on purpose) so we could make a grand entrance. I have to say, Dorothy looked absolutely "breathless". What a beautiful woman she was!!!!
When we walked into the main dining area where the party was being held, everyone just stopped and stared. I think you could have heard a pin drop. They couldn't believe I had actually brought the 1980 Playmate of the Year. It was a wonderful night and Dorothy was just wonderful. She had her picture taken with some of the officers and even danced with a couple of them. She later told me that she had one of the best times ever. And for me it was a night I will never, ever forget!
It was, of course, several months later, when it was discovered Dorothy Stratten had been killed by her estranged husband.
By the way, Steve, the Dorothy Stratten website looks terrific!! I didn't even know it existed until yesterday when I was messing around on the internet and just happened to stumble upon it. I must have spent at least an hour on the website reading all of the articles and looking at the photos. That was my inspiration to send you my memory with Dorothy.
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!!!! Please don't hesitate to contact me, at anytime, if I can be of any further assistance.
Ron was also very kind to send us these cool pictures of himself as a cop, having fun at the playboy parties, and a great picture of Dorothy that David Wilder gave him.
Thank you Ron!
I met Dorothy, so I've been around since then...and because of that, I've had the chance to see or meet quite a few "pretty" women. But only a handful have been truly "beautiful"...that comes from within. Dorothy was truly beautiful...it came through in every public appearance she made...and in our meeting.
As for that, I was pretty much speechless. This was some publicity thing for Playboy, and various playmates were touring across Canada, signing autographs for a company called Work Warehouse (I think). We went in two different cities, so I also remember meeting Heidi Sorenson...not sure who else...nobody as memorable, apparently.
There was major advertising of the event, so of course there was a big lineup when we got there...but we took our place in line. Due to the slow moving line, we got to watch her interact with many before us...and it was interesting that nobody could manage to strike up a dialog with her...like they were all tongue tied... It was obvious she was a star... She had an easy going confidence as she dealt with each fan, and looking back...she was very much like she was with Carson...if that helps paint the picture?
It was finally my turn...she asked my name for the autograph...I got my picture...I got my autograph... basked in her presence for a moment...and it got kind of blurry after that... After all...I was only 17ish at the time...and she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen... May have even passed out for a second... something like when the Beatles came to North America the first time...and then was forced to get out of the way for the next star-struck fan... I told my buddy I wanted to go through again, but he just said let's go...
I'm sure my situation is similar to most re: we all feel like we know her...at least somewhat...and that feeling is sooo strong with me....even from my limited experience. I feel like we could have been friends...she was like a little sister...a fellow Canadian...a hometown girl..."the girl next door"... ...something...can't even put my finger on it... She wasn't some untouchable superstar that was larger than life...I guess because we saw her...she was real... It feels like I have a part of her with me still...even after all these years... A bit sad...but a very special feeling...
And I lost everything I had collected up til then...in one of my many moves. I had pencil sketches that were pretty good, and I had never been moved to draw before her...or since. I wish I had them today. I've noticed some very similar ones on dorothystratten.com, and it really took me back. Obviously others were just as moved.
Thanks once again for this beautiful and extensive memorial tribute to our Dorothy. She was a gift from Canada to you...and to all of us. I've never seen a gift more appreciated...God bless.
Brett from Canada
My name is Gabriel. I am 42 years old (as of 2005). When I was around 14 years old, I had a brief encounter with Dorothy, her husband and a professional photographer. It was many years later, that I realized who these people were.
The driver of the corvette also parked his car with attitude. As soon as he got out of his car the film reel in my mind gets into high gear. I have never seen a man that dressed so well and carried himself with such confidence. He wore a very elegant, double breasted, dark gray pinstriped suit. He was tall, he had a dark complexion and he did not look like the type of guy that you would want to F*** with. There was something very brutal and evil about him like he was a mafia hit man, all kidding aside.
He walked around the front of the corvette to the passenger's door and
They then went into the office. The photographer went back to his car several times for photography equipment (cameras, large white canvas etc ...) and went back in the office. 10 minutes later I could see camera flashes coming from the office.
I then rode my bike back to my house to tell my Mother and my sister what I just saw. We all went back to the business park. The cars were still there, and they stayed there for a long time. We went back to my house and that was the end of my encounter.
I later saw one of Dorothy's layouts in Playboy without even knowing that she was the person I saw at the park. Only years later did I put the pieces together that the lady that I saw that day was Dorothy Stratten and her husband.
It was a brief encounter, but the image of Dorothy standing perfectly still while her husband gently took off her fur coat will forever be etched in my mind - I have never seen two people who's lives seemed so deeply intertwined from such a brief moment, and I am very sad that their fate ended in such a very, very sad, Shakespearean tragedy.
I was a cook, and the cooking station is an open area in front where people come in and wait in line for a table.
Most of the regulars that waited in line would start a conversation with me, or tell me what they where going to order.
The restaurant is called the Pancake Corral and is right around the corner of Northup Industrial Park.
Hi, I just stumbled upon your site, I too was a fan of DS. I met her at the PB club in Century City, Los Angeles in 1978. She was underage at the time and could only work the gift counter. She was a sweet beautiful girl who would steal your heart away with one look and she was so innocent she had no idea that she had that effect on men.
While I was standing at the counter, she got the call telling her she would be the next Miss August. She turned to her co-worker and they hugged and hopped around like a couple of "real" bunnies hugging all the while. On that up note and happy time, I tried asking her out. She was very polite and appreciative of the attention, but declined my invitation to dinner. I had dated a bunny out of the NYC club once, so I knew it could be done. I was really disappointed that time though.
A couple of years later, my mother called me and told me the news of DS's murder. I had a birthday party at the club once and had these pictures taken of DS and I as a souvenir. She posed with me and also with a group of bunnies as a gift. Real sweet girls, all of them.
Take care and God bless.
I met Dorothy on a business trip to Vancouver in the summer of 1978 or 1979. I was with a business associate named Art and she was with another girl. We met at a restaurant bar where my friend who was more outgoing than I started the conversation with them. Then it was easier for me to join in. I was about 37 years old and she was old enough to drink. Pretty soon I was fortunate enough to be left alone with Dorothy. We spent about three hours together and never ran out of things to talk about.
I was captivated to talk to such a beautiful girl with this wonderful personality. She was fun and it was easy for me to make her laugh. Because I traveled most of my time to foreign countries and lived overseas I guess she found my stories interesting. She particularly liked my many air travel scares I had in some of the South American countries. I am the kind of person that is easy to speak to and soon she was telling me about herself and her dreams.
We found that she was the same sign (Pisces) as my wife and I a Taurus. Pisces and Taurus are very compatible, proof of that is my wife and I have been married for 34 years. We found out that we both had worked at Dairy Queen while attending high school so we had some work stories to share. She told me about her boyfriend, her plans to go to Hollywood and join Playboy and become a Playboy Bunny. She knew who she was and what she wanted and she thought her boyfriend was going to help her.
She was the sweetest girl I had ever met since I met my wife. We said goodbye and I wished her good luck in reaching her dream. I didn't tell her but I was concerned for her well being and her safety. Her going to Los Angeles with her boyfriend made me uneasy and I felt sort of protective. It struck me that her boyfriend was trying to capitalize on Dorothy for himself and Dorothy was so innocent and naive.
The next day I told my friend Art all about Dorothy and he told me I had been smitten by her. I was. Art and I stayed in frequent contact although he had changed jobs. One day Art called me at my office and he said "Have you seen the new Playboy." I had put my new copy in my briefcase but I had not read it. I said "Yes" as I pulled it out. Art said "Look at the centerfold." My mouth fell open when I saw that beautiful sweet girl and I smiled thinking "She did it." In the centerfold her hair was about the same color but was longer and she looked more mature and sophisticated.
I followed her career as much as I could and was very sad when I heard about her death. Again, it was Art who gave me the sad news since I had been out of the country for a few weeks and I had not heard about it. Even today, I remember spending that time with her and listening to her dreams and her enthusiasm. I only wish she was still alive because I bet her career and success would have taken her to some of the wonderful places I told her about. Good luck on your site, I will visit it often.
Your web site on Dorothy Stratten is a loving and inspiring tribute. Thank you. Here is my encounter with the most beautiful Dorothy Stratten...
I was just seventeen, and I remember it was cool in New York City 1980, THEY ALL LAUGHED was filming, a closed set, yet, I was able to catch a glimpse of the cast when they broke. I live in L.A. now, but I am from New York City. My uncle was working on an Arthur Russell disco album release with David Byrne, Rhys Chatham, Jon Gibson...they were recording the orchestral composition "Kiss Me Again," under the name Dinasaur...It was the first disco single released to Sire Records, and the first of Arthur's disco dance tunes, (disco was hot back then). I loved Dorothy Parker and I made my uncle, Peter Z. take me to the Algonquin hotel. He knew some of the crew working on the set of THEY ALL LAUGHED. This is where I first saw the most beautiful girl in my life-Dorothy Stratten.
Later, Gayle and I snuck into the Algonquin hotel past the bellman, who in fact still remembers Dorothy and still works at the Algonquin--I was there two years ago in New York for the Emmy's. There is a secret room off the piano bar in the Algonquin that is basically an old, unkempt (and scary) area of the hotel, it looks like an old dungeon. Gayle and I were very curious, we had heard the hotel was haunted, so we went down into the basement and found all the old furniture and antique tableware. It is probably the only time I took something that wasn't mine, an old cigar case with a cigar in it that I still cherish till this day.
We both got lost in there while they filmed a segment of "They All Laughed," and we couldn't get out. Then the doorway out jammed, my friend Gayle freaked like a trapped animal...We practically broke that door down and caused a small ruckus...the hotel bellman and an assistant manager came and kicked us out of the room nearly dragging us out through another doorway so we would not disturb the shoot. We begged one of the burly crew men that kept everyone at bay to let us get a view of the filming...
Gayle gave her one of her cigar/cigarettes. As my friend rattled on about everything, Dorothy noticed the pouch I held tightly in my hand. Gayle told her about the hotel being haunted and that I'd stolen the leather cigar case and that it probably was cursed. Dorothy took the leather pouch from me that contained a cigar, she held it close to her and said, "It's not cursed," and handed it back to me and smiled. Back then everyone always asked, "What sign are you?" Gayle was a Scorpio, she asked Dorothy...Dorothy said, "I'm a Pisces." Gayle said that she got along with Pisces...then Dorothy looked over at me and asked me what sign I was, "I said, I was a Leo," Dorothy asked me when my birthday was, I told her, "July 30th." She said that was the same day as her boyfriends birthday!!!!
We told Dorothy where Arthur Russell was playing at a club in NYC and asked her if she would like to join us one evening. She scribbled on a piece of paper her hotel and address. I still have that paper. Then someone called out her name and she jumped off the back of the truck. Dorothy gave me a quick hug and smiled at Gayle and ran off waving. A few months later after meeting Dorothy she was murdered. I felt as if a family member had died, I was devastated. Nothing seemed right after that.
On March 22, 1980 I drove to New York City from Eastern Pennsylvania to visit my brother who was a student in law school at NYU. The day was perfect and warm (close to 65 degrees) and sunny without a cloud in the sky. My brother and I had lunch and then we decided to go for a walk in Central Park because the weather was magnificent.