Barbi Benton

Barbi Benton Born Barbara Lynn Klein
January 28, 1950 (1950-01-28) (age 60)
New York, New York, USA Occupation Playboy Model
Recording Artist
Interior decorator Years active 1970–1986 Spouse George Gradow (1979-present) Partner Hugh M. Hefner [1969-1976]

Barbi Benton (born January 28, 1950 as Barbara Klein)[1] is an American Jewish model, actress and singer.


She was featured on the cover of Playboy several times (initially credited as Barbi Klein) and in nude photo layouts in the March 1970, December 1973, and January 1975 issues, although she was never one of the magazine’s “Playmates of the Month”.Benton is known for her years as a regular on the country music series Hee Haw, appearing in comic skits with other cast members. She left the program after four seasons to concentrate on a more Hollywood-oriented career. She also starred in the short-lived ABC-TV comedy series Sugar Time! about an aspiring female rock group in 1977.Benton was also a recording artist with some success. Her record “Brass Buckles” (1975) was a top five hit on Billboard‘s country singles chart. Benton has recorded eight albums, the last of which she personally produced in 1979. She also composed the songs, sang them and played piano. One of her better-known songs was “Ain’t That Just the Way” (1976), which was also a major hit for Lutricia McNeal in 1996, and was recorded by the Dutch singer Patricia Paay under the title Poor Jeremy in 1977.

Benton is a former girlfriend of Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner and lived with him from 1969 until 1976. When the tv series The Girls Next Door visited her in Aspen, she expressed gratitude that the pair had remained friends.Benton married George Gradow, a successful real estate developer, on October 14, 1979.[1] The couple have two children, Alexander (born August 23, 1986) and Ariana (born 1988). For many years, they split their time between their homes in Aspen, Colorado and Los Angeles.On April 28, 2006, Gradow was sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud and altering financial documents in a bid to mislead the Internal Revenue Service.[2]

Year Album US Country Label
1975 Barbi Doll 17 Playboy
Barbi Benton 18
1976 Something New 39
1978 Ain’t That Just the Way
1988 Kinetic Voyage Takoma

Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country CAN Country
1975 “Brass Buckles” 5 6 Barbi Benton
“Movie Magazine, Stars in Her Eyes” 61
“Roll You Like a Wheel” (with Mickey Gilley) 32 19 single only
“The Reverend Bob” 74 Barbi Benton

  • L’Uomo del colpo perfetto, 1968
  • Naughty Cheerleader, 1972
  • For The Love Of It, 1980
  • Hospital Massacre, 1981
  • Deathstalker, 1983
  • Schulmädchen 1984

  • The Sonny & Cher Show, as herself.
  • Playboy After Dark (1968), as herself.
  • Hee Haw (1969), as herself.
  • Marcus Welby, M.D. (1972), playing Liz in episode: “We’ll Walk Out of Here Together” (episode # 4.3).
  • The Midnight Special (1973), as herself.
  • The Great American Beauty Contest (1973) as Miss Iowa.
  • The Third Girl from the Left (1973), playing Melanie.
  • The American Bandstand (1975), guest artist.
  • McCloud (1975), playing Shannon Forbes in episode “Park Avenue Pirates”.
  • Nashville on the road (1975), artist.
  • Sugar Time! (1977), playing Maxx Douglas.
  • Murder at the Mardi Gras (1978) as herself.
  • Fantasy Island:
    • as Shirley Russell in episode “Poof, you’re a movie star” (Season 1, 1978).
    • as Dee Dee Verona in episodes “The Appointment” and “Mr. Tattoo” (Season 2, 1978).
    • as Bunny Kelly in episodes “Baby” and “Marathon: Battle of the sexes” (Season 3, 1979).
    • as Erica Clark in episodes “Playgirl” and “Smith’s Valhalla” (Season 3, 1980).
    • as Molly Delahanti in episodes “The love doctor”, “Pleasure palace” and “Possessed” (Season 4, 1980).
    • episodes “The Devil and Mr. Roarke”, “Ziegfeld Girls”, and “Kid Corey Rides Again” (Season 5, 1981).
    • as Marsha Garnett/Carla Baines in episodes “The man from yesterday” and “World’s most desirable woman” (Season 4, 1981).
    • as Courtney/Miss Winslow in episodes “House of dolls” and “Wuthering heights” (Season 5, 1982).
  • The Love Boat:
    • as Brigitte in episodes “Computerman”, “Parlez-Vous” and “Memories of you” (1978).
    • as Kiki Atwood in episode “Marooned, part 1 and 2” (1978).
    • as Lucy in episodes “Not now, I’m dying”, “Eleanor’s return” and “Too young to love” (1979).
    • as Cathy Somms in episodes “The Nudist from Sunshine Gardens”, “Eye of the beholder” and “Bugged” (1981).
  • America 2Night (1978), as herself, receiving the UBS Liftetime Achievement Awar
  • The Hollywood Squares (1978) as a Guest Panelist.
  • Vega$ (1979), playing Holly in episode “Design For Death” (episode # 2.5).
  • The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1980), guest.
  • Doug Henning’s World of Magic V (1980), as an assistant in the “sawing a woman in half” illusion.
  • Charlie’s Angels (1980), playing Toni Green in episode “Island Angels” (episode # 5.5).
  • Lobo (1981) playing country singer Kitty Rhinestone in episode “The Cowboy Connection”.
  • CHiPs (1981) playing Sal in episode “Ponch’s Angels, part 1 and 2” (episodes # 4.14/15).
  • The Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour (1983) as a Guest Panelist.
  • Circus of the Stars (1982, 1980, 1979), performer.
  • Matt Houston (1983) playing Ava Randolph in episode “Purrfect Crime” (episode # 1.13).
  • Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer (1984) playing Susan Lancaster in episode “Catfight” (episode # 2.4).
  • And the Wall Came Tumbling Down (1984) playing Caroline Trent.
  • Safe at home (ca 1985) playing Connie Simpson in episode Old flame.
  • Murder, She Wrote (1986) playing Sue Beth in episode “Murder in the Electric Cathedral” (episode # 2.16).
  • Riptide (1986), playing Gina Potter in episode “Playing Hardball” (episode # 3.17).
  • Barbi Benton Presents: Best Buns On The Beach (ca 1990), intro-host.
  • Barbi Benton Presents: Stripper of the Year (ca 1990), intro-host.
  • Hugh Hefner: Once upon a time (1992), as herself.
  • Playboy: The party continues (2000), as herself.
  • Entertainment Tonight (2002), as herself.
  • Playboy’s 50th Anniversary (2003), as herself.
  • The Girls Next Door, as herself in “Fight Night” (2005), “Guess Who’s Coming to Luncheon?” (2007), “Kickin’ Aspen” (2008) and “The Wheel World” (2009).
  • The E! True Hollywood Story – Hugh Hefner: Girlfriends, Wives and Centerfolds (2006), as herself

  • I love my life (1982). The semi-autobiographical play was held January 1982 at the La Mirada Civic Theatre in California.[citation needed] It closed after a handful of performances.

  • ^ a b “People magazine”.,,20076195,00.html. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  • ^ Aspen developer gets 15 months, James Paton, April 28, 2006, Rocky Mountain News
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