Forgotten Celebrity Playboy Spreads
Perhaps the closest parallel to Mr. Johnston is the case of Jessica Hahn, who vaulted to fame after a sexual encounter with television preacher Jim Bakker. While the nature of that encounter was disputed, the effect on her career was unquestionable: in addition to minor film and TV cameos, she went on to star in 'Playboy' several times beginning in 1987.
LaToya Jackson is still in the news even today every now and then, and just like 1989, when she graced the cover of 'Playboy', it's often because of her most famous and talented late brother, Michael.
Anyone out there remember Darva Conger? If not, you probably think we made that name up, but nope; Darva, an overnight reality sensation thanks to the Fox special 'Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?', ended up getting top billing with 'Playboy' back in 2000.
Talk about the feud that wouldn't die. When teen mall singers Debbie Gibson and Tiffany went head to head back in the mid-80's for the hearts of America's sap-loving youths, who could have guessed that they'd both end up in 'Playboy' nearly two decades later? But while Gibson's pictoral in 2005 was a class act (she's seen at the top of the article), we have to give the nod to the edgier Tiffany for her stand out work as a 2002 cover model. Your move, Gibson.
Katarina Witt was an icon of grace back in the 80's when she won two Olympic gold medals and four World Championships as a figure skater. She then skated in a different direction with her decision to headline the December, 1998 issue of 'Playboy.'
Original 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' heroine Kristy Swanson may have gotten the short end of the stick when Sarah Michelle Gellar took over the role and became world mega-famous for it, but we'd like to see Gellar try her hand at 'Playboy' like Swanson did in 2002. And ... actually, we're serious. Are you listening, Sarah?
For her cover shoot, old-school MTV veejay Downtown Julie Brown took her act uptown in 1998 -- all the way up to the Playboy Mansion. Hey, it was either her or Kennedy, right?
Robin Givens got her start on the middling sitcom 'Head of the Class' but became even more famous thanks to her unfortunate marriage to boxing champion Mike Tyson. Her 1994 cover appearance in 'Playboy' was just one more step in her effort to reclaim her self-esteem. You go, girl.
Lastly, Faye Resnick may be the ultimate standard when you talk about parlaying fame into a 'Playboy' gig; the designer, who appeared on the cover back in 1997, became a celebrity when she testified at the O. J. Simpson trial about the murder of her best friend Nicole Brown Simpson. What's the logical next step? Parlay it into a nude spread in 'Playboy'!
Sorry, Levi, but it looks like you still have a long way to go after all.
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