- Barbara Klein
- Sacramento CA
- United States
- Actress Singer Model
- Being a 60 plus year old milf
- Girl Next Door Beauty (what Hef Looks For)
- Tried To Be A Singer
Barbi Benton Early life
Benton was born Barbara Klein in New York City, New York in 1950. In 1952, her family moved to Sacramento, California when her father, a military doctor, was assigned new duties there. Benton attended Rio Americano High School in Sacramento before heading for Los Angeles at age 16, where she began modeling for Valerie Cragin's Flaire Agency in Beverly Hills to supplement her allowance.
Barbi Benton Career
She met Hugh Hefner in 1968, when she was booked as "atmosphere" for his television show Playboy After Dark which filmed A-list entertainers performing in Hugh Hefner's mansion surrounded by Playboy Playmates. Benton said she pretended to be Hefner's girlfriend for a couple of episodes and soon found herself living the role full time. She was on her way to becoming a multifaceted icon of 1970s glamour.
Shortly after meeting Hefner, at his suggestion, she changed her name to the more showbiz-friendly Barbi Benton. "When he asked me out," Barbi recalls, "I was 18 and he was 42. I said I'd never gone out with anyone older than 24, and he said, 'That's all right. Neither have I.' We hit it off right away, and it lasted for eight years!"
Benton was Hefner's girlfriend and lived with him from 1969-1976. She also became a recording star, a Las Vegas headliner and a movie actress, with credits including Deathstalker, The Naughty Cheerleader and Hospital Massacre. Although none of the films were particular box office successes, they enjoy a cult status among fans of B-movies.
While being one of the best known women whose fame derives from appearing in Playboy magazine, contrary to popular belief, Barbi Benton has never been featured as a Playmate of the Month centerfold in the magazine. She also never worked as a Playboy Bunny.
Besides the Hefner connection, Benton is best known for her years as a regular on the country music series Hee Haw as a scantily clad country cutie trading gags and appearing in comic skits with other regulars. She left the program after four seasons to concentrate on a more Hollywood-oriented career. She also starred in the short-lived ABC-TV comedy series Sugar Time! about an aspiring female rock group in 1977. That show's greatest claim to fame may have been its inspiring one television critic to call it "jiggle TV", a term that was then frequently used to describe the many television series of the era starring attractive, sexy young women.
Benton was also a recording artist with some success. Her 1975 record, "Brass Buckles", was a top five hit on Billboard's country singles chart. Benton has recorded eight albums, the last of which she personally produced in 1979. She also composed the songs, sang them and played piano. One of her better known songs was "Ain't That Just the Way" in 1976, which was also a major hit for Lutricia McNeal in 1996, and was recorded by the Dutch singer Patricia Paay under the title Poor Jeremy in 1977.
Benton now works as an interior decorator.
Barbi Benton Family
She left Hefner when she eventually realized that he was not interested in starting a new family. Benton married George Gradow, a successful real estate developer on October 14, 1979. The couple has two children, Alexander Benton Gradow (born August 23, 1986) and a daughter, Arianna (born 1988). Benton mostly concentrates on building and designing homes now. They split their time between their homes in Aspen, Colorado and Oahu. On April 28, 2006, Gradow was sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud and altering financial documents in a bid to mislead the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Gradow admitted that he tried to conceal his company's 1999 tax underpayment by destroying original documents and by changing interest rates and due dates on promissory notes and real estate lease documents as well as changing lease terms. Gradow was also told to pay $128,185 in restitution and a $5,000 fine to the IRS.