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Barbi Benton's Love Affair with Hugh Hefner and Her Rise to Fame

Barbi Benton's Story

Anyone who was growing up during the 70s would be familiar with the name Barbi Benton. She was 16 years old when she started modeling as a Playmate under the late Hugh Hefner, the Playboy founder. He subsequently declared his love for the young star, and although 26 years his junior, started dating her, moving her into his mansion in 1969 where she remained until 1976.

During this period she appeared as Hefner’s cover girl three times - 1969, 1970, and 1972, and several nude layouts of her were published, but never was featured as Playmate of the Month. She was also instrumental in the purchase of the Playboy mansion, with her mother, a real estate broker, carrying out the brokerage for free.

Benton claimed that her burgeoning on-screen career contributed to the cracks that began to appear in her and Heffner's relationship; however, his repeated cheating must have taken its toll on the young actress. Nevertheless, the Playboy king proposed to Benton at least four times - the last being after her marriage to George Gradow, and he always called her the one who got away.

Achieving success in the TV show Hee Haw, she went on to appear in The Mike Douglas Show, and The Bobby Vinton Show, before movie roles beckoned, including The Great American Beauty Contest in 1973 and For the Love of It a few years later. Benton added to her success with a variety of TV appearances, such as Murder, She Wrote, Charlie's Angels, and Fantasy Island.

Benton also had a successful career in the country music industry, recording eight albums, and hitting the big time with her 1975 release Brass Buckles, which made the top five on the Billboard country singles chart.

Benton has recently claimed that disgraced actor and comedian Bill Cosby paid regular visits to his lover at Heffner's mansion, while his wife was pregnant with the couple's third child. However, she states she missed the accusations that Cosby was a serial rapist, carried out sexual assaults and had sex with minors.

What is Barbi Benton's real name?

Her real name is Barbara Lynn Klein. She adopted the screen name 'Barbi Benton' upon Hefner’s advice that she should use a more American-sounding name for easy recall. Barbi Benton gained notoriety when she became romantically linked to Hugh Hefner.

What happened to Barbi Benton?

Barbi Benton established herself as a comedy actress and successful singer of country songs until she retired in the late 1980s. After Hefner, Benton married real estate developer George Gradow in 1979. They had two children, Alexander, born in 1986, with Ariana arriving two years later,  and now spend their time between Aspen and Los Angeles.

Barbi Benton with her daughter, Ariana Gradow

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How old is Barbi Benton?

Barbi Benton was born on January 28, 1950, in New York, USA, making her 74 years old. Being born at the end of January makes her an Aquarius, which accounts for her grace, allure, and talent!

Who were Barbi Benton’s parents?

Benton’s father specialized in gynecology after serving as a physician in the military while her mother worked as an investment counselor, and realtor.

What was Barbi Benton’s educational background?

She finished her secondary education at Rio Americano High School and started to attend UCLA for a veterinary course but quit because she realized couldn’t stand the sight of blood 😂😂😂

What is Barbi Benton's net worth?

Benton's estimated net worth, gained from her successful career in modeling, acting, and music, is said to be approximately $20 million.


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