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Pamela Anderson, more 'Playboy' Playmates, models who got their start thanks to Hugh Hefner

'Playboy' models who got their start with Hefner

Since its inception nearly 64 years ago, Playboy Magazine, along with its founder Hugh Hefner, has launched the career of several celebrities. Following Hefner's passing Wednesday, we take a look the stars who can tip their bunny ears to the media pioneer.  

More: Celebrities remember 'Playboy' founder Hugh Hefner, an 'icon of all icons,' on Twitter

More: Timeline: Hugh Hefner, 'Playboy' founder

Pamela Anderson

Publisher Hugh Hefner, left, and son Cooper Hefner attend the MusiCares Person of the Year gala honoring Paul McCartney in Los Angeles on Feb. 10, 2012.

Prior to becoming Tool Time assistant Lisa on Home Improvement and the red bathing suit-clad C.J. Parker on Baywatch, Pamela Anderson posed for her first of many Playboy covers in 1989. She also posed for the magazines January/February 2016 issue, which was intended to be its last nude edition. It was a record-setting 13th appearance.

Since making her debut, Anderson has continued to work as an actress, starring in the TV series V.I.P. from 1998-2002. Though she retired her red suit in 1997, she had a cameo in the Baywatch movie released earlier this year. 

Jenny McCarthy

Jenny McCarthy at an event in St. Charles, Ill. in June.

Jenny McCarthy was only 20-years-old when she first appeared in Playboy in 1993.The next year, she earned the title of Playmate of the Year. Also in 1994, she started to acquire parts in Silk Stalkings and Baywatch, working up to her own sketch comedy series, The Jenny McCarthy Show, that debuted in 1997, and later, Jenny. A previous co-host of The View, she now hosts The Jenny McCarthy Show on SiriusXM.

Carmen Electra

Carmen Electra arrives at an L.A. movie premiere in 2016.

After meeting Prince and dropping her given name Tara Patrick, Carmen Electra jolted her career with a Playboy pictorial in 1996. The year following her layout, the one-time aspiring singer appeared in Good Burger and Baywatch. In the years since, she's remained active as an actress, with memorable roles in Scary Movie and Starsky & Hutch. In 2016, she appeared as herself on Jane the Virgin.  

 

Kendra Wilkinson Baskett

Hugh Hefner, second from left, with his former girlfriends, Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson in 2008.

Kendra Wilkinson Baskett gained notoriety as one of Hefner's live-in girlfriends on the E! reality series The Girls Next Door, which aired from 2005 to 2009. The exposure landed the Playboy cover girl bits in Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm. She has since starred in two series about her own life, Kendra and Kendra on Top

After learning of Hefner's passing, she attempted to express her grief on Twitter Thursday. "It's easy to say he will be missed and how much I loved him," she wrote. "There's a lot more than that."

Kelly Monaco 

Kelly Monaco at a movie premiere in 2014.

After Hefner's passing, Kelly Monaco posted a throwback photo with the legend to Instagram, captioning it, "My start, my soul, my family." Before taking on the role of Sam on General Hospital, which she's embodied since 2003, Monaco covered Playboy's April 1997 issue. This preceded parts on Baywatch the series and Port Charles.