Don’t confuse Laura Croft, Playboy’s Miss July 2008, with Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider series. They’re both brown-haired and buxom, but Laura is more trouble. “I’m a bad girl with a good heart,” she told Playboy.
Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Laura began modeling at age five. She graduated from Edward H. White High School and attended Flagler College where she majored in communications. In 2004 she won the Miss Hawaiian Tropic Orlando pageant. After she placed first in the national competition she was invited to be on Outback Jack, a reality show in which 12 American women competed for an Australian man’s affections. “I didn’t like the way he looked, so I got myself eliminated in the first round,” she said. “After that, I was ready for a new challenge.”
Laura sent Playboy some pictures—taken with her own digital camera—and the magazine called her back a week later. “I was really excited to meet Hef and the other girls,” she said. “I had a great time living at the Mansion.”
When Laura got homesick, she ordered her favorite food, pickled okra, from the kitchen. “And I brought my Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt,” she said.
Laura appeared on a few episodes of The Girls Next Door and went on to co-star on Holly’s World as one of Holly Madison’s friends in Las Vegas.
Her ambitions include playing a villain on the long-running soap The Young and the Restless. “It’s my favorite soap opera. If that doesn’t work out, I can always be a housewife.” When she’s not working as a model and hostess, Laura is hanging out with her friends—swimming, four-wheeling, drinking beer, and eating chips with the guys.
“My ideal man has a strong liver,” she said with a smile, “and keys to a monster truck.”