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Death of a Starlet
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Death of a Starlet

Author: Wondery

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In August of 1980, Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten was found dead at just 20 years old. She was the girl next door with the shy smile and whispery voice who didn’t know her own beauty. To Hugh Hefner, she was his next Marilyn Monroe. To famed director Peter Bogdonovich, she was his muse. And to her husband, Paul Snider, she was his ticket to fame and fortune. All three ambitious men adored her. Only one of them murdered her. How did Dorothy’s Hollywood dreams lead to her death?

From Wondery, and the team behind the hit series Hollywood & Crime (The Dating Game Killer, The Wonderland Murders) comes a six-part series about love, sex and murder. Co-hosted by Tracy Pattin and Josh Lucas.

10 Episodes
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Nineteen eighty was going to be Dorothy Stratten’s year. Playboy’s Hugh Hefner thought it might even be her decade. She was just 20 years old, the girl next door with the shy smile and whispery voice who didn’t know her own beauty. But to the men in her life -- magazine mogul Hugh Hefner, director Peter Bogdanovich, and small time hustler Paul Snider -- Dorothy represented the promise of better things -- a centerfold on her way to movie stardom, a muse who could help revive a dying career, and a ticket to the Hollywood dream.  But who was Dorothy really? And how did her rise to fame ultimately lead to her death? This is a six-part series about love, sex and murder in 1970s Hollywood when glitter pants and roller skates were all the rage, and the Playboy mansion hosted the biggest party in town.
Seventeen-year-old Dorothy Stratten is working at Dairy Queen in East Vancouver when a man walks in who will change her life. His name is Paul Snider and around town he’s known as a hustler and a pimp. Paul sees Dorothy as his ticket to Hollywood. As their relationship progresses, Paul tries to convince Dorothy to pose nude to enter a Playboy 25th Anniversary playmate hunt.  Support us by supporting our sponsors!Talkspace - Use promo code STARLET to get $100 off your first month of Talkspace.Ritual - Visit Ritual.com/STARLET for 10% off your first three months of Ritual.Caliper CBD - Go to TryCaliper.com/STARLET30 and use promo code STARLET30 for 30% off flavored Swiftstick Variety Packs.
After seeing Dorothy’s photos, Playboy flies her to LA for a test shoot. At the Playboy mansion, Dorothy meets Hugh Hefner for the first time.  Back in Vancouver, Paul makes sure whatever fortune falls upon Dorothy benefits him as well. Support us by supporting our sponsors!Talkspace - Use promo code STARLET to get $100 off your first month of Talkspace.Ritual - Visit Ritual.com/STARLET for 10% off your first three months of Ritual.Caliper CBD - Go to TryCaliper.com/STARLET30 and use promo code STARLET30 for 30% off flavored Swiftstick Variety Packs.
Bunny Perfect | 3

Bunny Perfect | 3

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Dorothy and Paul move to LA where Dorothy starts shooting her centerfold pictorial. To make ends meet, she gets a job as a Bunny at the Playboy Club where she learns being a Bunny isn’t as glamorous as it seems.  Paul works his next hustle by convincing a club owner to try out a new idea -- male Chippendales dancers.  Support us by supporting our sponsors!Talkspace - Use promo code STARLET to get $100 off your first month of Talkspace.Ritual - Visit Ritual.com/STARLET for 10% off your first three months of Ritual.Caliper CBD - Go to TryCaliper.com/STARLET30 and use promo code STARLET30 for 30% off flavored Swiftstick Variety Packs.
Playmate of the Year | 4

Playmate of the Year | 4

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It’s the beginning of a new chapter when Dorothy meets director Peter Bogdanovich and he asks her to audition for a role in his new film.  Then when Dorothy’s Playboy centerfold issue comes out, it puts her on a path toward Playmate of the Year.  When she hires a business manager, it sets Paul off who vows to do whatever it takes to keep control of her career.   Support us by supporting our sponsors!Talkspace - Use promo code STARLET to get $100 off your first month of Talkspace.Ritual - Visit Ritual.com/STARLET for 10% off your first three months of Ritual.Caliper CBD - Go to TryCaliper.com/STARLET30 and use promo code STARLET30 for 30% off flavored Swiftstick Variety Packs.
Rising Star | 5

Rising Star | 5

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Dorothy heads to New York to start shooting with Peter on his film.  As the two grow closer, the crack starts to widen between her and Paul. In LA, Paul concocts a series of schemes to get a cut of Dorothy’s money.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Talkspace - Use promo code STARLET to get $100 off your first month of Talkspace.Ritual - Visit Ritual.com/STARLET for 10% off your first three months of Ritual.Caliper CBD - Go to TryCaliper.com/STARLET30 and use promo code STARLET30 for 30% off flavored Swiftstick Variety Packs.
Final Days | 6

Final Days | 6

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As Dorothy’s career continues to blossom, Paul’s life is falling apart.  He embarks on a series of desperate measures to win Dorothy back and hires a private investigator to follow her.  As Dorothy pulls farther away, Paul begins to lose control setting them on a catastrophic course. Support us by supporting our sponsors!Talkspace - Use promo code STARLET to get $100 off your first month of Talkspace.Ritual - Visit Ritual.com/STARLET for 10% off your first three months of Ritual.Caliper CBD - Go to TryCaliper.com/STARLET30 and use promo code STARLET30 for 30% off flavored Swiftstick Variety Packs.
Tracy speaks with Playboy’s veteran photo editor and close friend to Dorothy Stratten, Marilyn “Mo” Grabowski. Mo opens up about her 40 year career at Playboy, her friendships with Dorothy and Hugh Hefner, meeting the man who killed Dorothy, and why she thinks Dorothy’s story continues to captivate audiences to this day.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Talkspace - Use promo code STARLET to get $100 off your first month of Talkspace.Daily Harvest - Go to dailyharvest.com and enter promo code STARLET for $25 dollars off your first box.
In The Vanished podcast from Wondery, Host Marissa Jones explores the stories of those who have gone missing, going beyond conventional news reports to take a deep dive into the story of a different missing person each week. In one of the latest episodes, you’ll learn about the disappearance of Echo Lloyd. The last time her daughter Kelsey ever spoke to her was the day before Mother’s Day. She promised she’d be by the next day with flowers and a card. But when she got there, Echo and her car were nowhere to be found. Over the next several days, Kelsey kept trying to reach Echo, but her calls kept going straight to voicemail. Her concerns began to grow, and when she later made the trip back over to Echo’s home, Kelsey found the car was in the driveway, but there was no trace of Echo. Since that time, suspicions have focused on one person who lived near Echo’s home and had taken an unhealthy interest in her. Listen to the story of Echo Lloyd on The Vanished at wondery.fm/TheVanishedPod.
In July 2018, 12 youth soccer players and their coach found themselves trapped 6 miles deep in a cave with no food or water and depleting oxygen. The rock formed maze became almost completely submerged as the water rose to levels nearly impossible for survival. There was no light and no way to communicate with the outside world. The first season of Wondery’s new original series Against the Odds takes you into the incredible events of when an adventurous group of teens found themselves fighting to save their lives, and the brave heroes that gave them their only chance at survival. With step by step recounts, experience for yourself what it was like to be in their shoes, and how they survived against the odds. Listen to Against the Odds at wondery.fm/ATO.
Comments (13)

Nada Clontz

Why is it that so often no-good scumbag losers snuff out the life of beloved, good and talented people with so much promise? Another wonderful show from Wondery - excellent writing, as always, and brilliant delivery, especially by Josh Lucas. Can we please hear more from him??

Jan 28th
Reply

John Roby Morsberger

Very interesting and well produced.

Jan 28th
Reply

Teresa D M Smith

Thank you Mo

Jan 25th
Reply

Maurin Phillips

I left a flower on her grave last summer. I learned of her when the movie Star 80 came out and instantly loathed that scumbag. She had a life ahead of her that none could even imagine. This is beyond a tragic loss.

Jan 8th
Reply

Astrid Stansted

Such a sad and heartbreaking ending...

Jan 5th
Reply (1)

Johnnie Hannum

Love the show but can't get episode 6 to come up. Episode 5 finishes then it jumps back to episode 4. Please help...I have tried numerous times.

Jan 3rd
Reply (1)

Jonas Grumbie

dude sounds like Jimbo.

Dec 31st
Reply

James Michael Thaxton, CST

This show is absolutely fantastic! I literally just crushed four episodes, or four hours, in a row. You know when you are watching or listening to a great story and production when over three hours and fifty minutes seemingly fly by, in what feels like a mere moment (so to speak). After episode four wrapped up, I was literally hanging on the edge of my seat, and drooling for the last two parts of this series (episodes 5+6}. Great show, story and script. I highly recommend listening to this one. Especially if you're in a podcast rut and have no clue what to listen for/about next. WONDERY, they are masters of the Podcast craft. I realize that not everyone will like their entire catalog of products, but this series [storyline] is right up there with the top 10 of Wondery's collection of original production audio dramas.

Dec 26th
Reply

Pedram

Apart from the other thing.. makes wonderful imagination..

Dec 22nd
Reply

Melissa Paul

I'll listen just to hear josh lucas as narrator...

Dec 12th
Reply

Jessamy Maraden

Josh Lucas has the best voice!

Dec 11th
Reply
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