Dorothy Stratten was a Canadian-born aspiring actress and model who rose to fame in the late ’70s. She was a beautiful and charming young woman who had a bright future ahead. However, her life took a tragic turn when she met her untimely death at the young age of 20. Her story is one of the saddest tales in Hollywood’s history, wherein a rising starlet loses her life in gruesome circumstances. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the life and death of Dorothy Stratten and the circumstances surrounding her death.

Early life and Rise to Fame:

Dorothy Stratten was born on February 28, 1960, in Vancouver, Canada. She had a modest upbringing and had a passion for acting and modeling. Her beauty caught the attention of a local photographer when she was just 16-years-old. Soon, she began modeling and participating in beauty pageants. In 1978, Dorothy entered the Playboy’s 25th Anniversary Playmate Hunt and was chosen as the winner. She went on to pose for Playboy magazine, which turned out to be a game-changer in her career.

Hollywood debut and Relationship:

After posing for Playboy, Dorothy caught the attention of Paul Snider, a sleazy man who saw her as a cash cow. Paul became Dorothy’s manager and started shaping her career. In 1979, Dorothy made her Hollywood debut in the film “Americathon.” Soon after, she landed a role in the popular TV show “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.” She started dating Paul around this time, and he convinced her to marry him, despite their significant age difference.

Struggles in her marriage and Career:

Dorothy’s relationship with Paul wasn’t as happy as she hoped. Paul became increasingly controlling and abusive towards her. Nevertheless, she continued to work hard and landed roles in several movies, including “Galaxina” and “They All Laughed.” However, her marriage troubles continued, and Dorothy started to distance herself from Paul. Eventually, she decided to divorce him and move on with her life.

The Tragic End:

On August 14, 1980, Paul Snider killed Dorothy Stratten and then committed suicide. Dorothy was only 20 years old at the time of her death, and her life was just beginning. The details surrounding her death were gruesome, and the entertainment world was in shock. Her friends and colleagues mourned her loss, and her fans couldn’t believe such a tragic fate had befallen the young starlet.


Dorothy Stratten’s legacy still lives on. Many movies, documentaries, and books have been made about her life and death. In 1983, a movie called “Star 80” was released, which chronicled the events leading up to the tragic incident. Several people who knew her, including Hugh Hefner, have spoken highly of Dorothy and praised her as a kind and talented person.

Controversies and Criticisms:

Despite her success, Dorothy Stratten’s career was riddled with controversies. Some have criticized her for using her looks to get ahead, while others have accused her of being a pornographic actress. However, her supporters argue that she was just a young girl who was trying to make it big in Hollywood, and her beauty was her only asset.

Impact on the Entertainment World:

Dorothy Stratten’s death had a significant impact on the entertainment world. It highlighted the dark side of Hollywood and the dangers that young actresses face. Her death served as a wake-up call to many and sparked discussions about the importance of safety and accountability in the industry.

Memorials and Tributes:

Several memorials and tributes have been made in honor of Dorothy Stratten. Her name has been added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the film festival she co-founded, the “Dorothy Stratten Memorial Film Festival,” still takes place every year in her hometown of Vancouver.


Dorothy Stratten’s story is a tragic reminder of the darker side of Hollywood. Despite her fame and success, she was not immune to the evils that exist in the entertainment industry. Her death shocked the world, but her legacy lives on today. She will always be remembered as a beautiful and talented young woman whose life was cut short in the prime of her career.


Q. How did Dorothy Stratten die?
A. Paul Snider killed Dorothy Stratten and then committed suicide.

Q. What was Dorothy Stratten famous for?
A. Dorothy Stratten was a Playboy model and aspiring actress.

Q. What happened to Paul Snider after killing Dorothy Stratten?
A. Paul Snider committed suicide after killing Dorothy Stratten.

Q. How old was Dorothy Stratten when she died?
A. Dorothy Stratten was only 20 years old at the time of her death.

Q. What is the “Dorothy Stratten Memorial Film Festival”?
A. The “Dorothy Stratten Memorial Film Festival” is a film festival that takes place every year in Vancouver, Canada, in honor of Dorothy Stratten.

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