Was Dorothy Stratten involved in Chippendales?

By Ricky Valero
Published: November 24, 2022 (Last updated: November 25, 2022)
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Was Dorothy Stratten involved in Chippendales? We discuss the Playboy model after her fictional appearance in the Hulu series Welcome to Chippendales.

Hulu debuted their latest series Welcome to Chippendales, which tells the story of Somen Banerjee, who started Chippendales. We were introduced to the character Dorothy Stratten in the series’ first episode. Below we share who she was and what sort of involvement she had with the Chippendales.

Who is Dorothy Stratten?

Most people knew her as Dorothy Stratten, but she was born Dorothy Hoogstraten on February 28, 1960, in Vancouver, Canada. Simon and Nelly Hoogstraten were her parents. She had one brother, John, and one sister, Louise.

What did Dorothy Stratten do?

In the late 70s, while working, Dorothy Stratten met Paul Snider (who most people knew as a pimp). Shortly after meeting, Snider was the one that took the photos of her that were sent off to Playboy. After receiving them, Hugh Hefner called Dorothy Stratten to be in the magazine. Later, Stratten would go on to win Playmate of the Month in August 1979, followed by Playmate of the Year in 1980. These awards were huge achievements at the time and would only help propel her name in the entertainment world. 

She worked for a brief time at the Playboy Club in LA for Hugh Hefner as a Bunny. Of course, as she built more relationships, it led to her appearing on the TV shows Buck Rogers and Fantasy Island. It didn’t take her long to transition this success to appearing in the film Americathon, Skatetown, USAand landing the leading role in Autumn Born. 

Was Dorothy Stratten involved in Chippendales?

In the late 70s, Dorothy Stratten met Paul Snider, who ended up sending her photos to Playboy to get her in the magazine. The two begin dating, and her involvement with Chippendales comes when she is with Snider, and they walk into Destiny II, as it was called at the time, and suggest to Somen Banerjee that the dancers should have the Playboy Bunny look. Banerjee loved the idea, and of course, the rest is history.

What happened to Dorothy Stratten?

We saw in Welcome to Chippendales that one night, Dorothy Stratten and Paul Snider went home, and later that night, Paul shot and killed Dorothy and moments later took his own life. While the series gets what happened between the two, how it all lined up was different.

Stratten and Snider had a bit of a falling out, and Stratten had begun chasing the dream of being an actor. After a meeting with Peter Bogdanovich, she landed her lead role in the film, They All Laughed. It was a crowning achievement in the young actress’s life, and she was only on the way up from here. However, once she got to her home in LA after production was over, this is when Snider confronted her. Snider shot her with a shotgun, killing her and taking his own life moments later in a murder/suicide.

Her death sent shockwaves through the entertainment world because everyone knew Stratten had a bright future ahead of her. Since her passing, there have been several TV movies (Death of a Centerfold and Star 80), one book titled The Killing of a Unicorn, and a couple of songs that referenced her, including the hit by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, “Californication.”

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