• Barbara Lynn Klein, best known as Barbi Benton, is an American model, singer, and actress.
• She is currently alive and living peacefully with her husband in Los Angeles, California.
• She gained recognition after posing for the magazine “Playboy” and portraying a recurring character in the comedy show “Hee Haw”.
• She is also a musician, having released eight albums, and has made appearances in multiple films and TV series.
• She is currently 70 years old and has a net worth of over $20 million.

Known for movies

Short Info

Net Worth$20 million
Date Of BirthJanuary 28, 1950
SpouseGeorge Gradow
FactBarbi recorded and released four albums for Playboy Records in the 1970's.

Where is Barbi Benton now? Is she alive? Wiki Bio

Barbara Lynn Klein was born on 28 January 1950, in New York City USA, so her zodiac sign is Aquarius and she holds American nationality. She is a model, singer, and an actress, best known from posing for the magazine “Playboy”, as well as for portraying a recurring character in the comedy show “Hee Haw”. Although there are rumors circulating the internet about Barbi being dead, she is now leading a peaceful life with her husband in Los Angeles, California.

Early life and education

Barbi was raised as a single child in Sacramento by her Jewish parents – her mother was an investment counselor, while her father worked at a private clinic as a gynecologist.

She grew up being interested in modelling and acting, often watching TV series with her mother; she studied at Rio Americano High School where she was very active learning to play a variety of sports mostly being focused on scuba diving and playing the piano. She practiced her modelling skills while attending too, and upon matriculation enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles where she studied to become a veterinarian, but decided to quit after realizing she gets sick whenever she sees blood.

Career as a model and musician

Barbi launched her career while attending 10th grade, and as soon as she turned 18 she was invited to appear in the TV show “Playboy After Dark”.

Hugh Hefner, the late owner of the magazine “Playboy”, had a crush on Barbi, promoted her to become a co-host of “Playboy After Dark”, and asked her out on a date. Barbi accepted even though unsure about their age difference as Hugh was 42, but they dated for several years while Barbi was appearing in many issues of “Playboy”, and in their shows. It was Hugh who told Barbi to change her name from Barbara Lynn Klein to Barbi Benton.

She was the cover girl of four issues of “Playboy” in 1969, 1970, 1972 and 1985, while she also posed nude twice in 1973 and 1975.

Barbi is also a musician, and has released eight albums with her first being “Barbi Doll” in 1975, followed by “Barbi Benton” in the same year. Among her most notable albums are “Something New” which came out in 1976, “Ain’t That Just the Way” in 1978, and “Kinetic Voyage” which was released in 1988. Barbi is known to have composed the songs she sang, and also played the piano – one of her most popular songs is “Ain’t That Just the Way” which was a huge hit in Sweden.

Film appearances

Barbi made her debut film appearance in the German movie “The Naughty Cheerleader” (“Mir hat es immer Spaß gemacht”) in 1970, which was followed by roles in the satirical comedy “The Great American Beauty Contest” and in the drama film “The Third Girl from the Left” both released in 1973.

She appeared in only three other movies, “For the Love of It” in 1980, “Hospital Massacre” in 1982, and “Deathstalker” in 1983.

Roles in TV series

Barbi made her debut TV show appearance in “Playboy After Dark” in 1968, followed by her guest appearances in “Hee Haw” and “The Sonny & Cher Show” in 1969. She portrayed Liz in a single episode of “Marcus Welby, M.D.” in 1972, followed by roles in “The Midnight Special” in 1973, and in “American Bandstand” and “McCloud” in 1975.

She was invited to guest star in “The Bobby Vinton Show” in 1976, and then portrayed Maxx Douglas in “Sugar Time!” in 1977, while she gained recognition after playing eight different characters in the series “Fantasy Island” between 1978 and 1982.

Barbi Benton.

Posted by Iconic Cool After Dark on Friday, September 30, 2016

Concurrently she portrayed four characters in “The Love Boat” from 1978 to 1981, and during those years she also appeared in a single episode of many series and shows, such as “America 2Night”, “The Hollywood Squares”, and “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson”.

She served as a co-host of the game show “Tattletales” from 1982 to 1984, and then worked on two other game shows “The Match Game” and “Hollywood Squares”. Barbi appeared as Ava Randolph in a single episode of “Matt Houston” in 1983, and was then praised for her portrayal of Susan Lancaster in “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer” in 1984. She continued appearing in single episodes of many TV series, including “Safe at Home”, “Murder, She Wrote”, and “Riptide”.

Barbi had two of her own shows in 1990, entitled “Barbi Benton Presents: Best Buns on the Beach” and “Barbi Benton Presents: Stripper of the Year”, but these were not that popular. She appeared in two documentary series – “Hugh Hefner: Once Upon a Time” in 1992, and “Playboy: The Party Continues” in 2000, followed by the miniseries “Playboy’s 50th Anniversary” in 2002.

A few of Barbi’s most recent appearances in TV series have been in “The E! True Hollywood Story – Hugh Hefner: Girlfriends, Wives, and Centerfolds” in 2006, “Extreme Cribs: Episode 5” in 2011, and “Million Dollar Rooms” in 2012.

Barbi Benton

Love life and husband

Barbi dated her high school sweetheart for two years, but split when he decided to continue studying at college while Barbi dropped out to become a model. She went on to date several men for no more than several months, and then began dating Hugh Hefner in 1969, which lasted until  1976. She met George Gradow, a real estate developer and an actor, in 1976 and they dated for over three years before marrying at a small ceremony held in Los Angeles on 14 October 1979. Barbi gave birth to their son Alexander on 23 August 1986, while their daughter Ariana followed on 13 July 1988. Alexander and Ariana both left home when they were 18, and have followed in their father’s footsteps with Alex becoming a businessman and Ariana a real estate agent.

Barbi and George have homes in Los Angeles, California and Aspen, Colorado.

Hobbies and other interests

Barbi has been interested in all kinds of art since she was a teenager, including painting and sculpting, while she was also interested in designing exteriors and interiors. She began learning about interior decorating in the ‘90s and then became a licensed interior decorator in 2002. Although a lover of animals, Barbi enjoyed wearing fur coats and believed that the animals which were killed for their fur wouldn’t have even been born if people did not want them for their fur – she was widely criticized for her opinion.

She was exercising on a daily basis, and had four to five training sessions at the gym until her late 40s. Barbi also followed a strict diet which was important for her modelling career, while she has continued eating healthy foods to this day. Barbi has her own favorite actors and actresses, some of whom are James Stewart, Paul Newman and Grace Kelly, while some of her favorite movies include “To Catch a Thief”, “Dial M for Murder”, and “The Country Girl”.

Appearance and net worth

Barbi is 70 years old. She has long brown hair and blue eyes, is 5ft 3ins (1.6m) tall, and weighs around 112lbs (51kgs). As of April 2020, her net worth is estimated at over $20 million.

General Info

Full NameBarbi Benton
Net Worth$20 million
Date Of BirthJanuary 28, 1950
Height1.6 m
ProfessionPin-up model, Interior designer, Actor, Singer
EducationRio Americano High School


SpouseGeorge Gradow
ChildrenAriana Gradow, Alexander Benton Gradow
PartnerHugh Hefner


AwardsTV Land Entertainer Award
NominationsAcademy of Country Music Award for New Female Vocalist of the Year
MoviesDeathstalker, Hospital Massacre, The Third Girl from the Left, The Great American Beauty Contest, How Did a Nice Girl Like You Get Into This Business?
TV ShowsHee Haw, Sugar Time!, Playboy After Dark

Social profile links


1I believe that mink are raised for being turned into fur coats and if we didn't wear fur coats those little animals would never have been born. So is it better not to have been born or to have lived for a year or two to have been turned into a fur coat? I don't know.


1Has became an Interior Decorator [2002]
2Barbi recorded and released four albums for Playboy Records in the 1970's.
3Her husband, George Gradow, is a real estate developer.
4Her father was a military doctor and later physician.
5Her first TV appearances were on the syndicated show, Playboy After Dark (1969), where she functioned as beau Hugh M. Hefner's co-host/sidekick.
6Moved to Los Angeles when she was 16 and found some jobs modeling. Barbi met and started a relationship with Hugh M. Hefner in 1968, when she was only 18 years old. Hef was 42.
7Is portrayed by Rebecca Herbst in Hefner: Unauthorized (1999)
8Despite her love liaison with Playboy Magazine's Hugh M. Hefner, Benton never was a Playmate of the Month, though she did appear on some covers and in various pictorials
9She recorded country and pop albums.
10Has a son Alexander Benton Gradow (b. August 23, 1986) and a daughter, Ariana Gradow (b. 1988), with husband George Gradow.
11Father is a doctor in Carmichael, California.
12At least two spreads in Playboy.
13(1969-1976) Lived with Hugh M. Hefner




The Love Boat1978-1987TV SeriesKiki Atwood, Spoiled Rich Girl / Barbi Benton / Cathy Somms / ...
Riptide1986TV SeriesGina Potter
Murder, She Wrote1986TV SeriesNurse Sue Beth
The New Mike Hammer1984TV SeriesSusan Lancaster
Fox Mystery Theater1984TV SeriesCaroline Trent
Matt Houston1983TV SeriesAva
Fantasy Island1978-1982TV SeriesCourtney / Miss Winslow / Joan Michaels / ...
X-Ray1981Susan Jeremy
The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo1981TV SeriesKitty Rhinestone
CHiPs1981TV SeriesSal
Charlie's Angels1980TV SeriesToni Green
For the Love of It1980TV MovieAnita
When the Whistle Blows1980TV SeriesDixie Lee Griffin
Vega$1979TV SeriesHolly
Flying High1979TV SeriesJoan
Sugar Time!1977-1978TV SeriesMaxx Douglas
McCloud1975TV SeriesShannon Forbes
The Third Girl from the Left1973TV MovieMelanie
The Great American Beauty Contest1973TV MovieMiss Iowa
Marcus Welby, M.D.1972TV SeriesLiz
Mir hat es immer Spaß gemacht1970Lynn Keefe (as Barbara Benton)


The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo1981TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Sonny and Cher Show1977TV Series performer - 1 episode
McCloud1975TV Series performer - 1 episode


Schulmädchen '841984


Q N' A with Mikki and Shay2014TV SeriesHerself
America's Book of Secrets2012TV SeriesHerself
The Girls Next Door2005-2009TV SeriesHerself - Hef's Former Girlfriend / Herself - Hef's Ex-Girlfriend
The 5th Annual TV Land Awards2007TV SpecialHerself - Winner ("Entertainers Award")
E! True Hollywood Story2006TV Series documentaryHerself
Playboy: Celebrity Centerfolds2006TV Movie documentaryHerself
When Playboy Ruled the World2004TV Movie documentaryHerself
Playboy's 50th Anniversary Celebration2003TV Movie documentaryHerself
Playboy: Inside the Playboy Mansion2002TV Movie documentaryHerself
VH-1 Where Are They Now?2000TV Series documentaryHerself
Hugh Hefner: American Playboy Revisited1998TV Movie documentaryHerself
Hugh Hefner: Once Upon a Time1992DocumentaryHerself
The Starlight Annual Foundation Benefit1986TV MovieHerself
The Annual Friars Club Tribute Presents a Salute to Gene Kelly1985TV MovieHerself
The Stars Salute the U.S. Olympic Team1984TV MovieHerself - Performer
Pete's Place1983TV SeriesHerself (1983)
Lou Rawls Parade of Stars1983TV SeriesHerself
Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour1983TV SeriesHerself
Hee Haw1972-1983TV SeriesHerself / Herself - Featured Singer
Circus of the Stars #71982TV Special documentaryHerself - Trapeze Artist
Magic with the Stars1982TV MovieHerself
The Alan Thicke Show1980-1981TV SeriesHerself
The 8th Annual American Music Awards1981TV SpecialHerself
Circus of the Stars #51980TV Special documentaryHerself
Men Who Rate a 101980TV SpecialHerself
Horas doradas1980TV SeriesHerself
The Hollywood Squares1978-1980TV SeriesGuest Appearance
The Mike Douglas Show1975-1980TV SeriesHerself - Singer / Actress / Herself - Ex-Playboy Bunny
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1974-1980TV SeriesHerself / Herself - Guest
Circus of the Stars #41979TV Special documentaryHerself - Performer
Sha Na Na1979TV SeriesHerself
Barbi Doll for Christmas1978TV MovieHerself - Host / Performer
America 2-Night1978TV SeriesHerself
Murder at the Mardi Gras1978TV MovieHerself
The 5th Annual American Music Awards1978TV SpecialHerself
The Sonny and Cher Show1977TV SeriesHerself / Various Characters
Dinah!1976TV SeriesHerself
The Norman Gunston Show1975TV SeriesHerself
New American Bandstand 19651975TV SeriesHerself
Nashville on the Road1975TV SeriesHerself
The David Frost Show1970TV SeriesHerself
Treffpunkt Airport1969TV Series documentaryHerself
Playboy After Dark1969TV SeriesHerself

Archive Footage

Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel2009DocumentaryHerself (uncredited)
The Girls Next Door2005-2006TV SeriesHerself
The Hee Haw Collection, Vol. 52006VideoHerself
Barbarian2003Video uncredited
Playboy: The Party Continues2000TV Movie documentaryHerself


Won Awards

2007Entertainer's AwardTV Land AwardsHee Haw (1969)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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