WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
(Actress) - Hee Haw
Barbara Lynn Klein
January 28, 1950 in New York City, New York, USA
Claim To Fame:
Barbi Benton is a retired American model, actress, television personality, and singer. She is best known for appearing in Playboy magazine, as a four-season regular on the comedy series Hee Haw, the slasher movie
, and for recording several successful albums in the 1970s.
In 1979, Benton married real estate developer George Gradow. They have two children, Alexander and Ariana.
Born to a Jewish family.
Her father was a gynecologist and her mother worked as an investment counselor.
Grew up in Sacramento and attended Rio Americano High School.
Enrolled into UCLA to become a veterinarian, but had to give up that career option as she could not stand the sight of blood.
Began modeling at the age of 16.
At age 18 she took a job with Playboy to appear on their entertainment show Playboy After Dark. She started as an extra, but after host Hugh Hefner fell in love with Benton, her role was quickly became his co-host.
After recording two episodes, Hefner asked Benton for a date. Upon being asked, she reportedly demurred to the then-42-year-old Hefner: "I don't know, I've never dated anyone over 24 before." To which Hefner replied, "That's all right, neither have I."
The two began a relationship that lasted several years, and placed Benton in the center of the Playboy enterprise.
Hefner convinced her to change her name from Barbara Klein to the more "marketable" Barbi Benton.
She's credited with convincing Hugh Hefner to buy the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills in 1974.
Benton (initially credited as Barbi Klein) appeared on the cover of Playboy four times: July 1969, March 1970, May 1972, and December 1985 and in additional nude photo layouts in the December 1973 and January 1975 issues.
And although she appeared in numerous pictorials she was never a Playmate of the Month.
She landed a spot on television's Hee Haw, for four seasons, doing short comedy sketches, and subsequently enjoyed a career as a country singer.
Benton achieved some success as a recording artist. Her record "Brass Buckles" (1975) was a top-five hit on Billboard's country singles chart. One of her better-known songs was "Ain't That Just the Way" (1976).
In 1982, Benton appeared in a production of I Love My Life (1982), hit 1978 Broadway musical comedy.
Where Are They Now:
After the birth of her first child in 1986, Benton made the decision to retired from show business and focus on raising her family. Back in the late 2000s, he did appear on The Girls Next Door with Hugh Hefner. These days she's still out of the limelight. Rumors claim that she became an interior designer at some point. Maybe she'll record a new hit song or release her greatest hits. It would be nice to see her again in some capacity. Or maybe she thinks that we've seen enough of her or maybe too much?
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