Biography courtesy and copyright of www.diannechandler.com.
Hi - yes it's me and I feel just like a '57 Chevy up here on the Internet, still in style after all this time! Never thought I'd have my own website www.diannechandler.com, but here I am and I intend to try to make my site one you'll want to return to time after time. I plan to keep my site interesting and change it often, have an opportunity to converse with you, invite my sister Playmates to contribute and even come up with some contests and fun games, including a "favorite fantasy" section. I'll be posting my snapshots of the Playboy and Playboy-related events I attend, as well as a few promoting the ASPCA. I'll also have some neat stuff for sale. Follow the links to my website to see what is new with me.
For starters, I'm told I should do a brief bio, so for those of you who aren't familiar with "The Illini Eyeful" as my Centerfold in the September 1966 issue of Playboy was titled, here's a quick background sketch.
I grew up in Oak Park, Illinois (the magazine got that part wrong!) a suburb of Chicago, and in high school was on the swim team, involved with the Drama Club and worked as a DJ on the school radio station, which was broadcast to the local hospital. Then I attended college at U of I in Champaign/Urbana, IL. I had been reading Playboy for years by then, and noticed an ad in the back of one of the Spring issues for Bunnies for the Chicago Playboy Club. Hmm, I thought, that has to pay WAY better than working at the Pancake House, like I did last summer! I had a friend take some bikini-shots, sent them in, and presto! I worked the lunches that summer at the Chicago Playboy Club, and occasionally at the Lake Geneva Club. One of the staff photographers in Chicago who was a regular luncheon customer kept asking me to take test shots. He said I was perfect for the "Girl Next Door" they were looking for. Tho' I never considered myself the glamorous type, I finally thought, "Why Not?" I will never forget shrieking with delight when the phone call came from Marilyn Grabowski (Photo Editor) telling me I'd been chosen to become a Playmate! I mean, this just didn't happen to college girls in the Midwest! This happened to golden girls living in LA!
Thence followed a year or so of an intense shooting schedule with the very famous and very wonderful Mr. Pompeo Posar, who to this day remains one of the neatest gentlemen I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. After the centerfold was chosen, Pompeo & I traveled to the U of I campus to shoot the rest of the story, and I even got to invite my real friends to be in the photo shoot! What a blast!
To accommodate my Playmate promotional schedule, I had to drop out of school for a while, because Playboy had me booked almost every weekend for about 5 years. That was a big benefit of living in Chicago; most of the Playmates live in LA, so there were a lot of appearances to be made and the few of us living in Chicago (Patty Reynolds, Linda Gamble, Eleanor Bradley) se we were were kept very busy.
It was a wild and crazy time – the 60's in all its glory, and I really did get into the whole scene. It was, like, "try everything, all experiences are cool". And so I did, and I'll never regret it. Sure, I did a lot of stuff I wouldn't do today, but so many things were very different then… think of the ubiquitous "sex & drugs & rock 'n roll" phrase. Well, in those days there was no AIDS, the drugs were for the most part what they were supposed to be, and the music, well, what can I say? I'm a Deadhead. I was totally into the music scene and fortunately, due to my Playmate status, actually got to meet many of the performers I so adored, and even party with them. The Blues Scene in Chicago, was really happenin', and the Chicago folk-rock scene was exceptional as well. I was so fortunate – I got to not only attend all those incredible parties at the Chicago Mansion, where Hef was kind enough to put me up while we were doing my shooting, but also to go to all sorts of "related" activities and meet lots of celebrities. The musicians were always the ones I got really excited about seeing. They were the ones most likely to be into the friendly herb, and many a concert was spent blissed-out and grooving till the wee hours, after which "the munchies' would set in and I'd find myself out for breakfast after an all-night jamming session with the band.
My folks were divorced and Mom wasn't too happy about my pin-up notoriety, and my younger sis was kinda embarrassed too, since she was still in high school. These are the kind of effects you never think about when, at 18, you sign a contract to be published. By now, my niece by that sister has already been approached by Playboy, but she has declined since she's in college to become a psychologist (yes, this has changed from wanting to be a criminal defense lawyer). Maybe my younger niece will allow me to use my "friends in high places" to get her some test shots – both of them are gorgeous (of course, I'm not prejudiced about this).
I have tons of stories about crazy things that happened to me during this time, and I'll keep the stories to short ones which I'll insert at my website, www.diannechandler.com, in the future. Living at Hef's Mansion and being a Hippie was an interesting combination of lifestyles to keep up. What a long strange trip it has been. A lot of what I'll talk about will be determined by what YOU want to hear.
© 2001 Dianne Chandler