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Dorothy Stratten and the Ancient Internet

Dorothy StrattenWho Is Dorothy Stratten?

Dorothy Stratten (1960-1980) was a Canadian-born Playboy playmate and actress. Sadly, she was murdered by her husband Paul in the midst of a divorce battle. I stumbled upon Dorothy’s story on a website dedicated to the late beauty. The author describes her as having special magic. I decided to post about it today as the site represents everything not only magical about Dorothy but also about the early Internet.

When Did the Internet Start, Anyway?

Great question, right!? Seems like even to me, a 50-something Gen-Xer, that it has always been around. However, that is not the case. The Internet launched into public domain on April 30, 1993. The site, was purchased a mere seven years later. In a phrase, it is very 2000. And, I love it. Like Dorothy Stratten, it’s totally heartfelt and magnificent even with a homepage that is dark blue with white and yellow text. I hope the author never changes it. It is a relic and tribute to the early days of online memorials and storytelling. It represents the Internet’s best days before the burdens of click bait; outrageous pop-up ads; black hat SEO and even social media. (Facebook didn’t launch until 2004.)

One of the Internet’s Worst Soft Offenders

By the way, I have got to get something off my chest. I used to love looking up recipes online, but the SEO tricks these websites use to earn money are so outrageous. They manipulate scrolling and the pop-up ads are out of control. In addition, the posts are so ridiculously long and it takes FOREVER just to get to the damn recipe. And lately, when I do, if I leave the cursor in one place too long, the latest trick is to jump me back to the top of the post so I have to endure endless ads and scrolling again. I’m done with it.

I admit to using the Yoast SEO plugin on most of my pages. Like most bloggers, I want search engines to find my content and rank it well. But, good grief. I’m going back to actual recipe books. Lest, I stab my iPhone with a steak knife…Ugh.

Back to Dorothy Stratten.

All that to say, the site in honor of Dorothy Stratten is so lovely! Dorothy was born in 1960 and seems like a quintessential member of Generation Jones. The website features professional pictures of her; wonderful candid photos; tributes from friends, and Dorothy’s poetry. One of the collections features Dorothy posing for a roller skating poster. Excerpt:

“Near the end of her life Dorothy had posed for Bill and Susan Lachasse. They were two professional photographers hired by Dorothy’s husband. The idea was to produce a Roller Disco poster that he could market in the same way as other posters that had become highly popular, like the Farrah or Linda Carter posters. Ultimately, after the photos were taken, Dorothy turned them down and the poster was never produced. I present for the first time, just for you, these rare photos. Click on a little “D” for a full size shot.”

Dorothy Stratten

Dorothy Stratten in Roller Skates


At the time of her death, Stratten was having an affair with Peter Bogdanovich, who later married Dorothy’s half sister Louise. Bogdanovich chose the inscription for Stratten’s tombstone, a quote from Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway:

“If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”

Stratten is buried in Westwood Village Memorial Park, the same cememtery where Marilyn Monroe is buried. Also, was renewed for 2024, but the last update appears to have been in 2016.

Post Script: I briefly wrote about the “Stone Age of Web Design” in this post about Topper Dawn Dolls.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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