To maintain the momentum of the year of the woman, we thought we'd get our May issue rolling by revisiting a trio of gorgeous females who have made their marks in the world. The first, March 1988 Playmate Susie Owens, is the superhero of her own comic book, Flaxen. The photos accompanying Susie's story are by Contributing Photographer Richard Fegley. Dian Parkinson, who graced our December 1991 cover, is a stunning hostess of TV's The Price Is Right. The pictorial by Contributing Photographer Stephen Wayda shows us why Dian's Back. Lastly, there's international model Elke Jeinsen, a familiar face to fans oft Playboy Germany and anyone in her hometown of Hanover, Germany. She's our Playmate of the Month.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478). May 1993. volume 40, number 5. published monthly By Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive Chicago. Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: $29,97 for 12 issues. U.S. Canada. $43.97 for 12 issues. All other foreighn, $45 U.S. currency only. For new and renewal orders and change of address. Send to Playboy subscriptions, P.O. Box 2007. Harlan. Iowa 51537-4007. Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing for change of address. Send new and old addresses and allow 45 days for change. Postmaster send form 3579 to Playboy. P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Advertising: New York: 747 third avenue, New York 10017, Chicago: 680 North Lake Shore Drive. Chicago 60611; West Coast: 8560 sunset boulevard West Hollywood. Ca 90059; metropolitan publishers representatives, Inc., Atlanta 3017 piedmont road ne, suite 100, Atlanta, Ga 30305; Miami: 2500 South Dixie Highway. Miami. Fl 33133: Tampa: 3016 mason place. Tampa. Fl 33629.
The lord and the Lewd Department: Jodeci hope they don't have a sophomore slump. First, they will release the follow-up album to Forever My Lady, described as more hip-hop, more underground. After that, they'll put out a gospel LP. But expect a delay between the two, because the fellows say they don't want "one album out there talking about sex while there is a gospel album out there." Amazed by their success, they say their original purpose was to make "songs that would help us get girls."
In the-early Eighties, pianist Oscar Peterson played on an LP titled Ain't But a Few of Us Left--a phrase that resonates more clearly in the Nineties. In fact, after the recent death of bebop's co-founder Dizzy Gillespie, there are only two left: Oscar and Ella Fitzgerald. All the other jazz stars who enjoyed first-name-only recognition from even casual jazz fans are gone, from Louis to Sarah, Dexter to the Count, Duke to Miles. For a variety of reasons, it will take at least another decade before their successors, the whiz kids of the Eighties, attain that stature.
Defining Normal seems to be the main issue of Benny & Joon (MGM), a fresh comedy about a worried big brother named Benny (Aidan Quinn) and his winsome, addled sister Joon Pearl (Mary Stuart Masterson), a young woman whose elevator doesn't go all the way to the top. Her erratic behavior puts a crimp in Benny's off-and-on relationship with a local waitress (Julianne Moore). Enter Sam, played with brio by Johnny Depp, here adding another dimension to his Edward Scissorhands stint. Sam is a true eccentric with a fondness for old movies and an uncanny ability to perform some comic stunts that he learned by studying Buster Keaton. Sam and Joon are instantly drawn to each other, and thereby hangs a tale that gradually becomes waggish, farfetched and quite appealing. Director Jeremiah Chechik maintains a light touch that skips right over a few semiprecious plot points while Masterson and Quinn do their sister-brother act with an unforced charm. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
She's her father's daughter, all right. Jennifer Lynch, whose dad is David--creator of Twin Peaks and other offbeat TV and film fare--was 22 when she wrote The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, a best-seller. Just 25, perhaps the youngest woman ever to write and direct a major feature, she takes full credit--or blame--for Boxing Helena. This erotic black comedy is the film both Madonna and Kim Basinger were scheduled to play. "I can't talk about that because the case is going to court," says Jennifer. Sherilyn Fenn took the role--a sexpot whose legs and arms are amputated by a love-crazed surgeon (Julian Sands) who wants to keep her to himself. At L.A. screenings and Sundance Festival previews, Helena has been a hot ticket as well as a conversation piece. "One L.A. critic asked if I was trying to say that all men ejaculate prematurely," says Lynch. "I told him, Jesus Christ, no." She also can't quite believe it when anyone calls the humor in her film unintentional. "I wanted to be lighthearted about love, and how we all make fools of ourselves."
"I suppose the greatest film of all time is Citizen Kane," says Charlton Heston. While the actor's actor deems the Orson Welles classic a must for the VCR, he becomes modest when it comes to home-viewing his own body of work. "I'm never content with any of my films," he says. "I always feel I could do it better if I could do it again." To what does the star of Ben-Hur and Planet of the Apes give his blessings? Laurence Olivier's Henry V and Merchant-Ivory's Howards End. "But basically," he says, "I recommend whatever good film I've just finished watching."
From the Mansion to your living room. This month Image Entertainment adds spice to its laser library with Hugh Hefner: Once Upon a Time, Lynch and Frost's vid bio of our main man. Program tracks Hef's fantastic journey from kitchen-table dreamer to king of the hutch. (Also available on tape from Uni).... MGM/UA's The Compleat Tex Avery offers every cartoon directed by the master of the surreal during his 13-year MGM stint. Bottom line: Five platters, 100 bucks.... Terry Gilliam should be pleased: Voyager's CAV transfer of his Adventures of Baron Munchausen is ultracrisp, letter-boxed and features tons of extras. Decent disc--but we still want Brazil.
As it celebrates its 25-year anniversary, TV's The Prisoner remains a cult hit--on tape. Futuristic, allegorical and often just weird, the series starred Patrick McGoohan (a creator of the show) as Number Six, retired spy and unwilling resident of a place called the Village. As various Number Twos pursue Six, the question remains: What does it all mean? Some landmark chapters are:
We've seen a boom in homemade porn and homemade videos. Now here come homemade features--tossed together by vanguard auteurs Matt Mitler, Jennifer and Robert Prichard and a wild cast of New York performance artists. Distributed under the banner "the Movie-of-the-Month Club," the low-budget vids (lowest: $200, highest: $2500) are shot in sequence--often in one day--with all dialog improvised by the actors.
The Road to Wellville (Viking) is a comic tour de force by T. Coraghessan Boyle that establishes him at the top of his literary game. In his fifth novel, Boyle takes us back to 1907--1908 to explore John Harvey Kellogg's world-famous Battle Creek Sanitarium--"bastion of right thinking, vegetarianism and self-improvement, citadel of temperance and dress reform and, not coincidentally, the single healthiest spot on the planet." As an offshoot of his health spa, Kellogg also became "the inventor of the corn flake and peanut butter, not to mention caramel-cereal coffee, Bromose, Nutolene and some 75 other gastrically correct foods." Thus, he turned Battle Creek, Michigan into the breakfast-food capital of the world.
"The women's movement has effectively encouraged women to contact and express rage. Men, on the other hand, are often told their anger is dangerous. We are encouraged by spiritual teachers and women to repress, give up or somehow transform it, without expressing it.
Radio call-ins are the worst, especially during drive time. Commuters sit gridlocked in traffic, their only way out by cellular phone to the local radio show. Some callers practically foam at the mouth, saying I deserve to die and my kind makes them want to puke. Usually, I've been talking about the skyrocketing rates of teen suicide, a third of which involve gays and lesbians. Or I'm describing the tyranny of the closet, the stunting of the heart by cruel stereotypes. "Excuse me," I said to the caller in Houston, "Do I make you want to puke because I'm gay or because I have Aids?"
One of my lovers has introduced me to an incredible technique--we call it echoes. He strokes my clitoris with a certain rhythm while fondling some other part of my body with the same rhythm. Whatever area he touches becomes as sensitive as my clitoris. It's like having two erogenous zones singing harmony. Have you heard of this technique?--J. P., Chicago, Illinois.
Dr. Judith Reisman is the ultimate renaissance woman: a former songwriter for Captain Kangaroo turned antiporn propagandist, a gay-bashing agent provocateur turned art critic. What a piece of work is Judith. Just when we thought we knew everything about her, a Freedom of Information Act inquiry turned up a gem.
Japanese performance artist Barae's work captivates the viewer because of its confrontational use of nudity. By featuring frontal nudity in some of her performances, Barae is breaking a long-standing Japanese taboo against exposing pubic hair. Recently, in response to her startling art, there has even been talk of rewriting some of Japan's more restrictive censorship laws.
Images flicker on a TV set: Intense white light floods an alley, scrapes across the brick walls. It leaves a dazzling sheen on the wet city street. Filmmakers use this kind of light to indicate the supernatural, the land beyond the end of the map. This is the realm of the mystic and the magical.
Charles Barkley is a human party. He lives in Hotel Barkley--that's what his wife, Maureen, calls their home. He answers the door himself; usually in a sweatsuit, holding a putter, inviting everybody to come inside to join in his favorite parlor game: What will I do next?
Wonder woman was the Amazon princess who left her cozy Paradise Island digs for America so that she could battle anyone and anything remotely wicked. We'd like to introduce the newest superhero on the block: Flaxen, the comic-book brainchild of Playboy veteran Susie Owens and Golden Apple comic guru Bill Liebowitz. Unlike Wonder Woman, Flaxen is humble, accessible, of this world (Dallas, specifically)--a user-friendly wonder gal for the Nineties. Curled up on her funky Melrose Avenue-import sofa as Leno yaks in the background, Susie explains: "There was no one in comics who was real, who had a story that was real." And she should know: Flaxen's life on the page mirrors Susie's life odyssey. In this comic book, a homely nurse named Cora is clumsy, fat and mistreated by her co-workers. When fate and nature do a little tango, Cora is zapped by voltage that magically yields Flaxen, a yellow-haired babe with justice on her agenda and not an ounce of fat under her belt. In the flesh, Susie is like two people as well. There's the I'm-beautiful-and-you-can't-touch-me side, attributable to her gorgeous looks. Then there's her accommodating side. This is a woman who would take me, a visiting stranger, out for dinner in her jet-black Bronco, then insist that I stay at her place. (Be real, we slept in separate rooms.) And yet the duality remains. Maybe that's because Susie used to be Cora, a registered nurse who tipped the scales at 150 pounds before she went through a Flaxen-like transformation, albeit using less supernatural means. With a determined attitude and some dietary guidance, Susie adopted a vigorous training program and even took up the game of squash. She continued to work on her appearance, reshaped her hair and redesigned her makeup. "I read Muscle & Fitness to learn how to develop abdominal definition, I read Vogue to learn about hair and makeup. And then there was Playboy." What's it like to have lived on both sides of the before-and-after photo? "My personality is exactly the same," Susie says in a Southern twang. "I'm simply a woman who tapped into a feminine part of herself and ran with it." Susie's also running with Flaxen, bent on making her a formidable opponent of the evils that taint our world. Take that, Wonder Woman.
For The Past two decades, most men have been hacking and slashing through the corporate rain forest on their way to financial success, rather than plunging through dense jungle on the way to perfect fly-fishing in Costa Rica. But now, out of the blue, scouting is hot. The New Man is a goner. The Man Jack is back. Books and magazines everywhere extol traditional masculine skills: hunting, fishing, rock-climbing and caving. When it comes to talking man stuff, you want to be a man among men--and, more important, a man among women. But one false step conversationally and you are up a creek without a kayak. Here's a guide t o talking the big outdoors without risking injury or death.
Hats Are great accessories: They add polish to an outfit, shield you from the sun and, in Woody Allen's case, provide refuge from a critical world. This summer's soft-edged, drapable suits and sports jackets call for something light and spiffy--a Panama fedora, for example, that's often handwoven in Ecuador from the straw of the jipijapa plant. But just as the wrong pair of shoes can create a bad first impression, so can a goofy hat. Since your face is the focal point of conversation, your hat shouldn't speak louder than your words. Another tip to the wise: Always store a hat upside down so that the weight falls on the crown, not the brim. The idea is to look like Harrison Ford, not Gomer Pyle.
No longer content with a PC on every desk, the electronic giants are ushering in a new generation of technology aimed at getting all of us to use computers--no matter who or where we are. Interestingly, the industry's secret weapon is older than medieval manuscripts or Egyptian scribbles: It is the pen. Instead of a keyboard, this breed of handheld computers uses a stylus (or pen) as an input device. Some of these computers serve as simple pocket appointment books, while others are sophisticated machines that will let you (continued on page 164)Write Stuff(continued from page 98) download information to your computer and receive and send faxes in the middle of nowhere through built-in wireless communications technology. All are extremely user-friendly.
Maybe in order to understand mankind we have to look at the word itself. Mankind. Basically, it's made up of two separate words-- "mank" and "ind." What do these words mean? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind.
Elke Jeinsen admits she is "a little bit famous" in Hanover, Germany. Which is like saying a BMW is fairly good on the autobahn. In both cases, of course, the secret is high performance. Through hard work and perseverance, Miss May translated her natural beauty into an international modeling career. Representing various German sportswear, swimwear and Unterwear companies, she has graced scenery from Mexico to the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, from Spain to Greece to Canada, where she worked in Calgary during the 1988 Olympics. Elke's first career move was a lark. When she was 15 years old, she entered a modeling contest sponsored by a German teen magazine. At the time, her main interests were horseback riding and boys. She thought she'd probably learn a profession one day, but she hadn't given it much thought. Then she won the contest. "They chose me out of five hundred girls for a photo shoot in Munich," she says. Two years later she landed a modeling job in New York. "That was the first time a photographer told me, 'Hey, you have talent.' So I thought, OK, I can do this." Tah-lent, as Elke charmingly pronounces it, earned her the title of Miss Hanover in 1985. She was working as a secretary--the profession she had trained for after graduating from high school. She quit. Soon after, she appeared as a Playmate in Playboy Germany. "The local newspaper devoted an entire page to me. So in Hanover I'm a little bit famous, you know?" In the media blitz that followed, Bunny Elke, as the papers dubbed her, posed with local notables and caught the eye of deutsch admen. As a result, she worked as much as she wanted. She lived in Milan for a year while starring in a variety show on Italian TV. While there, she learned Italian. Last summer, Elke came to America to model German sportswear in the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. When the job was done, she headed west. "I had five days free and I thought, Los Angeles is close to Las Vegas. Why not go and see?" Since then she has been back five times, spending most of the autumn and winter improving her English in the photo studios and nightclubs of L.A. "I learned formal English in school," she says. Elke hopes to pursue an acting career in a few years, after she perfects her English. "When I first came here, I didn't understand anything. Now I understand ninety percent. When I speak, maybe my grammar isn't correct, but everybody understands." The palmy West Coast welcomed Elke with an open checkbook. "I didn't know that Americans like European girls. That must be true because I get a lot of jobs here. Even though the money is better in Europe, I really enjoy working in the U.S. Everyone here is so friendly and free, and everything is so new. The only thing I don't like is that nightclubs close at two o'clock. In Spain they open at two A.M. and stay open until ten." Elke has kept a small apartment in Hanover, near the building where her parents, an auto mechanic and a secretary, live next door to her brother, who owns a tanning salon. When she's home, she likes to visit with her family and friends and to ride her two horses--she's been riding since she was 12--which she stables outside the city. Sound bucolic? Elke views her newly united homeland unsentimentally. "I miss my family and I miss my animals," she says, musically accenting ahn-ee-Mahls. "That's it." In Germany she zips around in her BMW cabriolet, topping 200 kilometers per hour on the autobahn. That's about 125 mph, sports fans. "Here you can't even drive a hundred." She means kilometers--that's more than 60 mph. No, you can't. Tooling the Los Angeles freeways, the fair-haired Fräulein squirms in her seat. "I have the feeling I could walk faster."
Ferrari. Maserati. Lamborghini. Armani. The last marque debuted in 1975, when Milan fashion designer Giorgio Armani introduced a new kind of men's jacket. Its hallmarks were relaxed tailoring and soft fabrics. Armani's wrinkle was to eliminate the canvas lining of the suit jacket so that it would drape the body more comfortably. The new jacket was designed for what Armani termed "less formal times." The traditional men's uniform--the three-button Ivy League suit--faced real competition.
Americans are a nostalgic lot. We build Fifties diners, restore classic cars and snap up vintage clothing. Just try to find one of these ties, for example. Designed in the Forties (above) and early Fifties (opposite page), they're called nudies and are among the hottest collectibles around. Tie procurer Ron Spark, who owns these and about 2000 other styles, co-wrote the book on the collectible-tie trend, Fit to Be Tied (Abbeville Press). "Ties are a way for men to express their state of mind," says Spark. "Optimism was in high gear when these models were designed and it is today, too." Beyond that, vintage neckties are fun--and often a profitable investment. A tie that cost $6 in 1940 sells for about $60 now, and rarer ones, such as those designed by Salvador Dali, are worth thousands.
The Horror! Somebody call 911. Baseball is a goner. The stitches are coming loose. The old pastime, clearly past its time, may limp through one more year, but that's about it. After this year, when television pulls the plug on $1.2 billion worth of life support, the future fades to black. The next TV deal will be far smaller, not nearly enough to keep the game alive.
California has almost 2 million vanity license plates registered with the state's motor-vehicles bureau. The explosion of words on wheels inspired Los Angeles commuter, writer and self-anointed platehead Daniel Nussbaum to fantasize about cars on the highways bearing readable tags forming sentences from famous stories. With California's mammoth three-volume directory of vanity tags as his thesaurus and using each plate only once, here's what Nussbaum imagines.
We Dine among the rustle of tailored jackets and the sculpted sheen of Cristophe-styled hair. Everyone within complimenting distance of the Paramount commissary is dressed to kill, everyone with the exception of Adrian Lyne, who dresses like a poet on a binge, in a pullover that looks as itchy as a coral reef. He is Lord Byron among the industry guerrillas, and he writes poetry this town loves: the highly profitable kind. Flashdance and Fatal Attraction were runaway hits. The director's eyes, cooked to the color of rhubarb by the nitrogen-dioxide-rich Los Angeles air and long days in the editing room, drift across the table to my plate.
Larry? Larry King? Don't tell me I finally got through? Hey Larry, Im a service man, and on your subject, "Gays in the military" I Wanna relate a personal experience, last night I pick up this girl in a bar. tall, the way I like'em. sum-hipped, the I like 'em. wide-shouldeced, the way I like'em. we own some brews go to a motel, I undress, she undresses. "surprise!" she says. she's got balls! "do you mind?" she/he says, larry, im a little surprised to admit, I don't. I actually find himy her attractive! after it's over im feeling great -- weird, but great. he/she goes to the john, comes out ten minutes later. in uniform! he's a corporal, Larry. in my own platoon! using the same toilets! the same shower! sleeping on the same sheets. . . . the thought of it made me Wanna Pukei I beat the shit out of him. so, what I menu, lar, is gays in the military just cant work. though it wouldn't bother me being quartered with Lesbians, I'd show 'em what a man can do!
Napkins, Napkins, Napkins. Dian Parkinson is being smothered in paper napkins by an overly attentive and possibly love-stricken waiter who keeps inventing reasons to return to her table. "Is he trying to tell me something? Does he think I'm eating sloppy?" she asks, laughing. "That's so cute." Later, the meal over, the waiter begs to interrupt just once more. He'd like to talk tickets with Dian, please. "Tickets for what?" she politely asks, prompting him with a bright white smile. "Oh, the show." No problem, she tells him. "Sometimes," Dian confides when the satisfied server walks away, "I forget who I am and what I do. I don't think of myself as anything but a girl making a living." Well, OK--but what a living. Dian, one of "Barker's Beauties" on TV's The Price Is Right since 1975, is the most popular hostess on that ratings smash. Cheers of "Dian!" greet her at the twice-daily tapings. A modest post-show saunter across the stage, albeit one in a lethal swimsuit, leads to a noisy eruption from the laggards in the audience, who stayed behind hoping for such an appearance. The result of her first Playboy cover and pictorial (December 1991) is a backlog of eight months' worth of mail. "I'm sorry," she pleads to her would-be correspondents. "I promise to answer it all." Being onstage has always been therapeutic for Dian. Her military-brat background--Dad was a Marine--left the North Carolina--born, Virginia-raised Dian with a regimented attitude toward life. "I started out as Miss World USA," she says. "That was a way of escaping a pretty tough childhood being the daughter of a drill instructor. Running away to a pageant was a way of leaving that behind. Miss World USA opened the doors." Past the threshold was a Bob Hope Vietnam USO tour and a fashion career in New York. Then, when her East Coast--based marriage ended and forced a move, she headed for Los Angeles and stardom. "I packed two pairs of jeans, three T-shirts and left everything else. I bought a $499 Dodge Dart and started over." She enlisted in 1975 to be the "wholesome and sexy one" for Price, which has been right for Dian for nearly two decades. "We really work," she stresses the next day, rehearsing on CBS' tiny Stage 33. "It's not like a movie set, where you stay in your trailer until your scene." About her popular and steady gig here--which is an intense combination of a revival meeting, a Beatles concert and an Herbalife convention--Dian says, "I love the audience. There's an excitement here you can't believe. Am I crazy in love with The Price Is Right? Yes. I'm crazy about it." It shows. Dian wears it well. And when this morning glory crouches and waves goodbye to viewers at the end of each taping, blowing kisses to all the overanxious restaurant servers in her future, you just know they're crazy about her, too.
The Caseys are dedicated to Charles Dillon Stengel, the Hall of Famer who coined the phrase "Good pitching will always stop good hitting, and vice versa." Stengel also foresaw Jose Lind's epic error in last season's National League playoffs, saying, "When a fielder gets the pitcher into trouble, the pitcher has to pitch himself out of a slump he isn't in." This year's Caseys:
Playboy expands your purchasing power by providing a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and equipment that are shown on pages 30, 32, 93, 98, 164--165 and 173, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
With Canon's new 35mm single-lens reflex, the EOSA2E, what you see is what you get--literally. No ordinary autofocus model, the supersmart A2E features a new optical system, called Eye Controlled Focus, that uses twin infrared beams aimed at your eye to determine the specific object you're looking at through the viewfinder. That means if there's a topless sunbather two towels down from a group of sun-worshiping dowagers, we know who you'll be focusing on--and the camera will, too. Sound super high-tech? Definitely, but the A2E is surprisingly easy to use. In fact, all you do is program your eye characteristics (i.e., if you wear contact lenses or you sometimes shoot with yout glasses on or off) and you're ready to go.