HAPPINESS IS JUST A THING CALLED JO our gifted december playmate is a hearth-warming bundle of beauty and talent
It would be easy to mistake December Playmate Jo Collins for an aspiring film starlet since she has all the attributes needed to play the role: classic features, a disarming smile, talent, ambition, and a recently acquired Hollywood address less than a block from one of the major studios. But there the similarity ends, for our 19-year-old Miss December refuses to be typecast as just another Hollywood hopeful. Instead, she's determined to earn credits on the legitimate stage, and hopes to be Broadway bound before long. "Hollywood is just the first step -- a sort of temporary stopover -- in a long-range career plan of mine," raven-haired Jo reports. "Since I graduated from high school in Seattle last year, things have been progressing much more smoothly than I had anticipated. I managed to get in a full season of summer stock up North, including two leading roles at Portland's Civic Theatre; then worked my way through modeling school in Los Angeles as a part-time secretary, and landed a terrific TV contract for a series of new car commercials -- which I nearly lost when I let it slip that I used to be a drag racer." With a few more video spots, Jo figures she'll have enough in residuals to finance a trip East, with a little left over for drama lessons. As she told us: "I belong to a small acting group here in Hollywood, and we try to get together at least three times a week -- but I've really got my heart set on studying with a more professional unit, such as Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio in New York." In her off-hours, when she's not decorating her new studio apartment or spinning her stockpile of Dinah Washington records, she prefers an aquatic setting. "Sailboats -- and the fellows who own them -- are my weakness," Jo confesses. "But I'll settle for something less fancy, like surfing at Malibu; just as long as I'm near the water." For a more revealing study of Jo's aquabatic accomplishments, this month's centerfold take you poolside.