Jeanne Biography Jeanne

Biography courtesy and copyright of Jeanne.

Bunny Jeanne
Bunny Jeanne

I became a Playboy Bunny in Detroit in 1962. At the time the Detroit Playboy Club was being picketed by a waiter and waitresses union because the club did not recognise any union for the Bunnies. Detroit is (or was) a strong Union town due to the autoworkers problems in the 30's . The Union was hoping to keep people out of Playboy hoping to make Playboy buckle and join forces. But Nobody cared. People waited in lines to get in the door. I crossed the Union picket lines and rang the buzzer at the side door. (Myra Wolfgang was the head of the Union at that time.) The Detroit club used to have a gal stationed there who monitored the side door. (I cannot remember her name, but I can see her face as clear as day!)

I had finished the 11th year at Yale High School and married the first guy who asked me. He had to take me across the State line to Angola, Indiana to marry. I was not old enough in Michigan. I had three beautiful sons and divorced. My husband had taken my kids to Missouri. Thank God, I could not take care of them and work with the education I had. I needed to make some money. I travelled down to Detroit specifically to try out to become a Bunny.

With some borrowed money, I boarded a Greyhound Bus in Port Huron. I was on my way, bound for Detroit and it's newly opened Playboy Club on 1014 E Jefferson. At the time Detroit was the only cash club in the Playboy Club empire. Michigan had a law which prohibited a private club from making a profit. So we were the first "open" club.

At first, I stayed at a young woman's home run by some church (because it was cheap). It was on the circle downtown. The girl who monitored the door was at lunch and Dicky Wong (the bartender from the Playmate Bar), who was just on his way to his own lunch, answered my buzz. Dicky opened the door for me. Here I was in My white cloth coat with a fox fur collar, mousey brown hair, just a 23-year old plain country girl. He said "What are you here for?" I replied that I wanted to try out to become a Bunny. He asked my name then took me down to Bunny Mother Clair Elias's office.

Bunny Jeanne
Bunny Jeanne

There were other girls, I should say ladies, applying to be Bunnies already there. They had huge fur coats, fishnet hose with seams, false eyelashes, tons of hair, smelling of expensive perfumes. Dicky took my hand and sort of pulled me into Clair's office and said to Clair "This is Port Huron Jeanne." She (thinking I was a friend of Dicky's) hired me. In all there were 43 applicants but Clair only hired five girls from that batch.

Elizabeth had me try on a light blue satin Bunny costume. Yes we were still wearing the satin costumes then. Real satin with metal bones (stays). I flew up those stairs in excitement; I was going to be a real Bunny! I was thrilled.

I went through Bunny School with Joann Jordan (remember her?), the beautiful, fun-loving and kind Kathy Fitzpatrick (one of the first NOW members), Toni (aka Moon-Maid) Russi, Bunny Fran, and gorgeous Door Bunny Lori. I was instructed to walk with a Detroit Phone book in my left hand to build strength in my arm and shoulder. I was told to roll my shoulder back and carry the brunt of the weight upon my shoulder.

I worked at the Chicago Playboy Club for three months when they had some problems. I helped write the first Playboy Union Contract. It was written up kind of cute in the Detroit Free Press. I also worked Lake Geneva Wisconsin, I was a short term "Bunny Mother" in Detroit but worked the floor at the same time. I worked there until I transferred to LA in 1970. I had a ten day leave of absence to transfer to the LA club on Sunset Blvd. But the LA Club burned three days after I arrived. I stayed with Bunny Dolly, Sharon Cain. She had moved out here with her then husband for a shot at "Hawaii 5-o" I had the opportunity to go back to either the Chicago Club or back to Detroit. I was in the middle of a messy divorce (emotionally messy). And I had not seen Disney Land yet. So I stayed in LA. Sharon and her two little boys and I shared a fantastic house on Cherokee Street in Hollywood. Conveniently located right down the street from the old Screen Actors Guild. My boys were in Mo. with their dad and grandparents so I felt a sense of freedom like I had never known... Judy Bradford was the Bunny Mother there then. What a great gal she is, I still see her once in awhile. She still works for Playboy. She had been my Bunny Mother in Detroit, so she hooked me up with some people here in LA for a great job at the famous Ambassador Hotel.

Bunny Jeanne
Bunny Jeanne

Remember Bunny Dolly Matt Michaels on the keyboard? Dolly is the mother of Dean Cain, the star of "The New Adventures of Superman." Flip Wilson Life was in session... How about the "Intermission Lounge" with Eddie the bartender/owner? He used to announce: "Last call Folks... it's two terty and terty seconds to go." I also have fond memories of John Citrone, Big Ed, Jimmy Reese at the breakfast buffet, Fred Yaffe (PR Guy), and Ray Taylor (Room Director) among others. Man, what a Life we had!

Remember those "Tip Sheets" we had to fill out? Remember how we used to walk down the stairs on our hands (because our feet hurt so bad)? Remember unzipping our costumes to peel the quarters imbedded in our chest?

In the Winter months we were sent outside the club in our costumes (with those white fuzzy jacket wraps that only covered our shoulders) to bring refreshing large mugs of hot soup to the shivering people waiting in line. People queued in all weather to gain entry to the Detroit Playboy Club. There were almost as many women as men waiting to get inside!

Now here's a good one... Who remembers the call in sequence? I still have an old "Bunny Manual." I will bring some of my Memorabilia to the Vegas Reunion at the "Stardust." We Should have a "Detroit Refreshment Room" (Hospitality Room) What do you think?

We did live the good life. Most of us were propelled into a class of lifestyle beyond our wildest dreams: Oleg Cassini shoes, hair pieces, falls, false eyelashes, poitesua pumps, three inch heels, 'comps' at all the restaurants and bars. Peter Max designed prints for our costumes. I was fortunate to have one. We were invited to the homes of the rich and famous in Detroit and other cities.

A favorite memory of mine involved the time I was in Chicago. Marge Everett had just opened the Arlington Park Hotel (actually it had not yet opened to the public). We stayed there for free, ordering anything we liked for as long as we wanted. Marge and her husband owned the Arlington Park race track there in Chicago when I was negotiating the Union Contract. (Bunnies from several Clubs around the country were invited to Chicago to participate in this negotiation.) The Everett's invited us all to a "Playboy Bunnies Day" at the races and a three day stay at their home right by the track side. My, My I remember looking up to the ceiling of my room and thinking Look who's here, me a "kid from the home" (St Vincent De Paul), who'd a thunk it?

The adventure of being Bunnies provided us with such wonderful opportunities and experiences; to this day it still gives me a tear of gratitude to Hef for creating the Playboy Clubs.

Please write me back, you can contact me at and send a picture if you have one. I should also ask: are you coming to the "Stardust"? I hope to see you there!

Best wishes,
Detroit Playboy Club

Bunny Jeanne
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