Britannia's first Bunny-Playmate, Dolly Read, recalls excitedly the night she was spotted by staff photographer Pompeo Posar during her training stint as a Chicago Club bumper-pool Bunny. "He asked me if I would like to consider becoming a Playmate, and I thought it was a smashing good idea," says Dolly. "But, like any well-bred British girl, I had to clear it with my parents first." Born in Bristol, a coastal city near the Welsh border, the former Miss Bristol Teenager had a budding stage career before opting for Bunny satin instead. She entered the Eleine Hartley-Hodder School of Drama at the age of eight and emerged an aspiring actress some ten years later. ("That's when I packed my trunk and got aboard the London train in search of fame and fortune.") Renting a flat in the Marleybone section of London, centerfoldom's latest Commonwealth import saw several workless weeks before landing her first acting job in a local TV series called Compact. "It was sort of a feminine version of your own Valentine's Day, says Dolly. "All I had was a walk-on part, but it seemed like the greatest role since Lady Macbeth to me." Soon after, she was signed on for her first film role in Kiss of the Vampire, and went on to play a number of "rather prosaic" video roles until Bunnydom beckoned.
Dolly and her five British cottontail cousins arrived in Chicago last October. Each member of this sensational sextet--which includes Doreen Allen, Kathleen Bascombe, Joan Findlay, Catherine MacDonald and Magie Adam--won top ratings among 1000 entrants in last summer's nationwide British Bunny Contest sponsored by Radio London. Having since graduated from Bunny Training School and now completing a seven-month apprenticeship at the Chicago Club -- with equal emphasis given to such curricular requirements as the Bunny Dip, tableside photography, tending the Playboy Club Gift Shop and Door Bunnying, bumper-pool playing and the extra-special VIP Room service. This group will return to England shortly for the upcoming opening of the ultra-U London Playboy Club.
During off-hours, Dolly and her compatriots bunked in one of the Playboy Mansion Bunny Dorms and spent many fascinating hours fancy-that-ing most of the Second City's sights. "Chicago's a bit of all right," reports the 21-year-old Miss May in her charmingly clipped British accent, "and Mr. Hefner's house is a proper palace, but we're all a trifle homesick. My dad's an electrical engineer, my older brother's a chemist and the younger one's a chef, and they all travel so much that I don't get to see enough of them even when I'm back in Britain."
Dolly recently added several promotion trips for Playboy to her busy Stateside schedule, including visits to Michigan State University ("What I liked most about American college men is, they never let studies foul up their dating"), Great Lakes Naval Hospital and a trip to Boston for Playboy's opening night there. When Dolly and her London-bound troupe get back to Park Lane, they'll be kept Bunny-hopping as trainers for their home Club's 95-girl rabbit-eared contingent. "I'll start as the Door Bunny," Miss May explains, "but eventually I hope to put in some time as a Croupier Bunny in one of the Club's gaming rooms. More excitement there, you know!" In addition to her preference for action, Dolly also professes a penchant for Len Deighton thrillers and exotic foods ("Fortunately, I can eat all I want and still keep my figure") Good show! To say nothing of Gear and Fab.
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