-Barbi Benton is a former model, actress, and singer who came to prominence after engaging in a romantic relationship with Hugh Hefner in the mid 1970s.
-She is now living in semi-retirement and splitting her time between Aspen and Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
-Barbi began modeling in her teenage years and joined the Playboy empire at age 18, becoming a cover star for the magazine four times.
-She was an actress in the show “Hee Haw”, the film “X-Ray”, and the TV series “The Love Boat”.
-Barbi also had a music career, releasing five albums and earning a net worth of over $20 million.

Known for movies

Short Info

Net Worth$20 million
Date Of BirthJanuary 28, 1950
SpouseGeorge Gradow
FactDespite 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

Who is Barbi Benton?

Barbi Benton is a former model, actress, and singer, who came to prominence after engaging in a romantic relationship with Hugh Hefner, founder of the Playboy empire. She enjoyed fame on and off television from the mid-‘70s until the end of the ‘80s, when she retired and focused on raising her children.

Where Is Barbi Benton Now?

Barbi has been in semi-retirement from show business since the late ‘80s, and has rarely appeared in the media.

From time to time she featured in a TV show to talk about her career and relationship with Hugh Hefner, including in “The Girls Next Door” (2005-2009), while her most recent appearance was in the show “Q ‘N A with Mikki and Shay” in 2014. She now enjoys her time with her husband and their children, splitting time between homes in Aspen and Los Angeles.

Barbi Benton Wiki- Age, Childhood, and Education

Barbara Lynn ‘Barbi’ Klein was born on the 28th January 1950, in New York, USA.

Of Jewish ancestry, she is the daughter of a father who was a gynecologist, although at first a military doctor, and a mother who worked as an investment counselor. The better part of her childhood Barbi spent in Sacramento, California, where she attended Rio Americano High School. Following her high school matriculation, Barbi enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she studied to become a veterinarian. However, once she saw blood, she realized that these studies weren’t fit for her, and she left the university.

Career Beginnings

Barbi was a teenage girl when she started modeling, and when she turned 18 years old she joined the Playboy empire, having taken a job as an extra in the show “Playboy After Dark”. Her role in the show quickly improved, as Hefner, who at the time was 42 years old, fell in love with her. He asked her out on a date, to which Barbi replied “I don’t know, I’ve never dated anyone over 24 before”, while Hugh had an answer to her reply, saying, “That’s all right, neither have I”.

Nevertheless, the two started a romance that would last for years, and was beneficial for both of them. Barbi’s first appearance on the cover of Playboy was in July 1969, and since then on three more covers, in March 1970, May 1972, and December 1985. Furthermore, she featured in nude photo layouts in the December 1973 and January 1975 issues.

Rise to Prominence

The romance between Hefner and Barbi lasted from 1969 until 1976; he was the one who instructed her to change the name and start performing as Barbi.

Barbi Benton

She continued her work with Playboy, and though she was never made a Playmate of the Month, she did a number of photo-essays for the magazine. Her best-known role was in the show “Hee Haw”, which lasted from 1972 until 1983, during which time she was at the peak of her fame. In addition, featuring in other shows and films, launching her acting career. She was Maxx Douglas in the TV comedy series “Sugar Time!” (1977-1978), in which she co-starred next to Didi Carr and Marianne Black, and from 1978 to 1982 featured in the comedy series “Fantasy Island”.

Furthermore, Barbi made six appearances in the TV series “The Love Boat”, from 1978 until 1987. She also featured in a number of other popular television shows before retirement, including her film debut portraying Susan Jeremy in the film “X-Ray” (1981), while the same year she appeared in the popular TV series “CHiPs”. Two years later she could be seen in the film “Deathstalker”, and her other credits include appearances in series “Murder, She Wrote” and “Riptide”, both in 1986.

Music Career

In addition to acting, modeling and her television appearances in quiz shows, Barbi in her prime was also a successful country singer.

She released five albums in total; her debut album “Barbi Doll” came out in 1975 through Playboy records, and reached No. 17 on the US Country chart. The same year her “Barbi Benton” album was released, which peaked at No. 18. Two more albums followed until the end of the ‘70s, “Something New”, and “Ain’t That Just the Way”, released in 1976 and 1978 respectively. After this she took a 10 year-long hiatus, returning with the album “Kinetic Voyage”, released through Takoma records.

Barbi Benton Net Worth, Height, Weight, and Appearance

Although her career ended over 30 years ago, Barbi earned a decent sum of money through her career, and she now enjoys a relatively luxurious life.

According to sources, her wealth has been estimated at over $20 million, as of mid-2020.

Barbi Benton stands at 5ft 3ins (1.6m) tall, while she weighs approximately 128lbs ~ 58kgs, and her vital statistics are 37-25-37, bra size 34C. She has blue eyes and dark brown hair.

Barbi Benton Personal Life, Dating, Marriage, Children

Barbi dated Hugh Hefner, and they remained good friends following their break up. His death hit her pretty hard, and she even talked about it in the media.

After her split from Hefner, Barbi met real estate developer George Gradow, and the two married on the 14th of October 1979. The couple has two children, Alexander born in 1986, and a daughter Ariana in 1988.

Barbi Benton News

As a constant inspiration for Hugh, she will be long-remembered as the one who persuaded Hefner to buy what became known as the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills in 1974. She is still occasonally featured in the media, remembered as one of the most influential playboy models of all time.

Although Barbi is no longer involved in the show business, she still earns a decent amount of money every month, as she is now an interior decorator.

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

Write A Comment

Pin It