Photos and biography reproduced with the kind permission of Kathryn at www.kathrynleighscott.com.
I am most famous for my role as Maggie Evans on the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. The first episode of that classic series was broadcast on ABC-TV, June 27, 1966 and launched my acting career. The role of "Maggie Evans" was my first professional acting job. I played the vampire's unwitting girlfriend who got bitten a lot and became his doomed bride, "Josette duPres."
Sixteen years ago I sat down to write a book about my memories of Dark Shadows. As I was writing about these experiences, it occurred to me to also publish the book. It was a crazy notion to start a publishing company: I had no business background whatsoever. Perhaps if I had, I would never have taken up the challenge of starting such an enterprise.
Pomegranate Press, specializing in non-fiction entertainment subjects, was launched with the publication of my first book, My Scrapbook Memories of Dark Shadows. The book was a tribute to the 20th anniversary of the show every kid "ran home from school to watch." Now, on the eve of the 35th anniversary of Dark Shadows, Pomegranate Press is publishing Dark Shadows Memories, with a Foreword by Alexandra Moltke Isles, who played governess "Victoria Winters." The book will be available in June 2001, and can be ordered now through the Pomegranate Press website.
In writing that first book, My Scrapbook Memories of Dark Shadows, I was compelled to delve into old journals and datebooks, confronting those early days when I was a struggling actress in New York. Before I became "Maggie Evans," a waitress at the Collinsport diner, on Dark Shadows, I had worked, among other things, as a Playboy Bunny.
Back in the Camelot days of President John F. Kennedy, I arrived in New York City full of dreams of becoming an actress. I had a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, but I needed a 'bread and butter' job. I saw an ad in the New York Times - Girls! Step into the Spotlight! Be a Playboy Bunny! Well, I went to the audition and got the job, and so did such other aspiring actresses as Susan Sullivan, Lauren Hutton, Deborah Harry, Jacklyn Zeman and Barbara Bosson.
I continued to work as a Playboy Bunny until I graduated from the AADA and was hired by Dan Curtis for the new ABC series, Dark Shadows. I called my mother in Robbinsdale, Minnesota to tell her my good news. She said, "Now listen young lady, you never know how long these shows will last so you better keep your Bunny job."
And I did, until a month later, when two customers in the Club recognized me as "Maggie Evans" and wondered what I was doing working as a Playboy Bunny. I had no answer, no excuse. That was my last night on the job. I turned in my satin ears and did not give the Playboy Club another thought until some 25 years later. Incidentally, while I think my mother gave me some splendid advice, I should point out that Dark Shadows has never been off the air in 35 years! Reruns of the original 1,225 episodes continue to air daily on the Sci-Fi Network.
In 1998 Pomegranate Press published my book, The Bunny Years, chronicling the 25 year history of Playboy Clubs from 1960-1985, an explosive period of social change, especially for women. All told there were 25 Clubs throughout the world, and I talked to more than 300 former Bunnies for the book, beginning with my closest friends from my own Bunny days. I tracked down the very first Bunny to greet keyholders on February 29, 1960 in Chicago and found the last Bunnies in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Writing the book was a glorious experience, not least because it's given me the chance to renew friendships with a remarkable range of wonderful women.
The Bunny Years, a two-hour Special based on the book, was produced for the A&E Network, and broadcast as well on BBC 1 in 1999. The Bunny Years is also in feature film development at Disney Studios. The Bunny Years, the books on Dark Shadows, as well as many other classic television series, and over forty other Pomegranate Press titles are available through the Pomegranate Press website.