6 user 2 critic

Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story (1981)

The life and death of the "Playboy" centerfold model/actress Dorothy Stratten.


Gabrielle Beaumont


Donald E. Stewart (as Donald Stewart)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jamie Lee Curtis ... Dorothy Stratten
Bruce Weitz ... Paul Snider
Robert Reed ... David Palmer
Mitchell Ryan ... Hugh Hefner
Tracy Reed ... Mindy
Bibi Besch ... Hilda Flushing
Mark Withers ... Billy Compton
Hugh Gillin ... Max Halloran
Gloria Gifford ... Jean
Karlene Crockett Karlene Crockett ... Anna
Steven Hirsch Steven Hirsch ... Sherm
Luca Bercovici ... Pooch
Jim Boeke Jim Boeke ... Lyman
Linda Brooks Linda Brooks ... Model #1
Kale Browne ... Sidney


TV version of the life and death of "Playboy" magazine centerfold Dorothy Stratten (1960-1980), a starry-eyed Canadian teenager who moved to Hollywood in the late 1970's seeking stardom and found it with her seedy promotor Paul Snider who promised Dorothy a career both as a star and his wife. Written by Matthew Patay <pataygs@voicenet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This motion picture is based in part on the life story of Dorothy Stratten. See more »


Biography | Drama


Did You Know?


The movie was first issued on VHS on September 1, 1998. The movie was later released on DVD on January 25, 2010. See more »


Referenced in My Time with Terror with Jamie Lee Curtis (2013) See more »

User Reviews

A pretty good TV movie that's predictable and ends in sorrow and sadness.
29 December 2015 | by blanbrnSee all my reviews

I remember years ago one day at my grandmother's and aunts house watching this TV movie one day on a snow day being off from school I believe many many years ago on TBS, and I just recently watched it again on DVD and it's a pretty good TV movie. Made in 1981 it tells the rise and fall of the late 1970's early 1980's model turned playmate Dorothy Stratten and it's rightfully called "Death of a Centerfold" The Stratten Story as this young woman would meet a violent end. The film starts in Victoria British Columbia with a young Dorothy Stratten(in a young and sexy performance from Jamie Lee Curtis)who works in a local ice creme shop and lives with her aunt. And all of a sudden it all changes for her when one day a con man and wheel dealer named Paul Snider enters the shop and offers her a deal to model. And this would put Dorothy on a path of fame and fortune out to L.A. for a rich life to live and later Stratten becomes "Playboy's Playmate of the Month". Only sadly all of this is taken away in a fit of brutal jealous rage from Paul as even his sense of obligation of marrying Dorothy was not enough for Paul. As if Paul(Bruce Weitz) couldn't have her and enjoy Dorothy's success then nobody else could either! Overall this TV film is a tragedy of a life cut short showing that fame can come with a price.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

1 November 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Death of a Centerfold See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed