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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.