The 25 most famous women to appear on Playboy’s cover

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AFP / File Angela Weiss

Since Hugh Hefner published the first American edition of Playboy magazine in 1953, hundreds of stars have been on the cover. Some actresses have fought to appear on the cover of Playboy. Others, like Jessica Alba, took legal action to avoid appearing in its pages.

Marilyn Monroe was famously the first model on Playboy’s cover and probably the single most famous woman to appear in the magazine. But she didn’t appear in it the most.

Keep reading for a look at the most famous women who graced the cover, and some who appeared in Playboy more than once.


[1 cover] 2007: Mariah Carey appeared on her first (and only) Playboy cover the same year she began recording her 11th album, ‘E=MC²,’ which earned her the title of solo artist with the most No.1 singles, surpassing Elvis Presley.

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[1 cover] 2009: Chelsea Handler’s first, and only, cover came out the same year she appeared on Maxim’s Hot 100. Her cover also came out shortly after her second book “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea?” was released.

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[1 cover] 1978: Dolly Parton made her single Playboy cover debut the same year her 20th album, “Heartbreaker,” was released.

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[1 cover] 1977: Barbra Streisand appeared for the first and only time shortly after her song ‘Evergreen’ won the artist her second Oscar.

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[2 covers] 1984 : Suzanne Somers has appeared on two covers, once in France and once in the US. Her December 1984 American cover shot was released in between her last episode on “Three’s Company” and her being named Las Vegas’ Entertainer of the Year.

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[ 2 covers] 2006: Jessica Alba has appeared on both the Japanese and American covers of Playboy one time. This American cover shot was also her promotional image for 2005 film “Into the Blue.” Alba sued over the issue, saying it was used without her consent. The lawsuit was dropped after Hugh Hefner agreed to donate to charities of the actress’ choice.

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[2 covers] 2005: Paris Hilton has appeared on both the Slovakian and American covers once. Her 2005 American cover shot coincided with her first major fim appearance in “House of Wax,” as well as the release of her second book “Your Heiress Diary: Confess It All To Me.”

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[3 covers] 1985: Goldie Hawn has appeared on the cover of Playboy in France, Mexico, and the US. Her American cover shot was released around the same time as “Protocol,” for which she both acted in and served as executive producer.

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[3 covers] 1999: Charlize Theron has appeared on covers in both Japan and the US three times total. Her 1999 American cover shot came out around the time she was nominated for a Screen Actor’s Guild Award for her role in “The Cider House Rules.”

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[5 covers] 2012: Lindsay Lohan has been featured on Playboy covers in five countries. Her appearance on the American cover was inspired by a nude picture of Marilyn Monroe that appeared in the magazine’s first issue. Hugh Hefner said Lohan’s issue “broke sales records,” selling <a href=”http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-12-21/news/30541411_1_rate-base-ad-pages-hugh-hefner” target=”_blank”>55 percent more ad pages</a> than the previous year’s issue from the same month.

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[6 covers] 2004: Denise Richards has been a Playboy cover model in six countries. Her American cover shot was taken just five months after giving birth to her second child, Lola Rose.

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[9 covers] 2010: Tara Reid has appeared on the cover in nine countries, ranging from Colombia to Slovakia to Lithuania. Her 2010 American cover was released while she was filming the horror film, “The Fields.”

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[ 9 covers] 2007: Kim Kardashian has appeared on a Playboy cover in nine countries. Her 2007 American cover followed the premiere of her family’s reality show “Keeping Up With Kardashians” and was a story line on the show.

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[10 covers] 1995: Drew Barrymore has appeared on the cover in ten countries, ranging from Japan to Russia. Her 1995 American cover shot came out the same year as her film “Batman Forever.”

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[11 covers] 1985: Madonna has appeared on Playboy covers in ten countries, including multiple times in Spain. Her American cover shot in 1985 coincided with her marriage to Sean Penn and her appearance in “Desperately Seeking Susan.”

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[12 covers] 1983: Joan Collins has appeared on 12 Playboy covers in 11 countries, including once on the American Playboy in 1983. When the US cover was released, she was at the height of her fame on the hit TV show “Dynasty.”

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[13 covers] 1983: Kim Basinger has appeared on 13 Playboy covers in 11 countries, including on the American edition seen below. Her appearance as a Bond-girl in “Never Say Never” that same year alongside Sean Connery thrust the actress into Hollywood limelight.

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[15 covers] 1995: Farrah Fawcett has been featured on 15 Playboy covers in ten countries, including four times in the US. She appeared on American covers between 1978 and 1997, which all coincided with her movie releases. Her 1995 cover, in which she was 48-years-old, became the magazine’s best-selling issue of the decade.

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[18 covers] 1999: Naomi Campbell has appeared on 18 Playboy covers in 16 countries, including her American debut in 1999. She signed her first international cosmetics contract with Cosmopolitan Cosmetics the same year she was the American cover model, according to Vogue.

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[22 covers] 1953: Marilyn Monroe, the very first Playboy cover model, has appeared on the cover 22 times in 13 countries, ranging from Romania to Taiwan. Her four American appearances range from 1953 to 2005, with only one being while she was alive. Her critically acclaimed films were all released after her Playboy appearance. Her 1953 cover shot is featured on a stamp celebrating Playboy’s 50th anniversary.

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[24 covers] 1989: La Toya Jackson has appeared on the cover of Playboy 24 times in 15 countries, including twice in the US–once in 1989 and another time in 1991. She released three albums, “La Toya,” “Bad Girl,” and “No Relations” around the time her cover shot was released.

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[32 covers] 2012: Jenny McCarthy has appeared on the cover 32 times in 14 countries, including six times in the US. Her American appearances range from 1994 to 2012. She was chosen as Playmate of the Year in ’94, one year after Anna Nicole Smith. Her most recent cover shot in July 2012 came just before her her 40th birthday.

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[44 covers] 2003: Carmen Electra has appeared on Playboy 44 times in 21 countries, including three times in the US between 2000 and 2009. Electra became most well known after her role in “Baywatch,” but her American covers came out much later.

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2003: Carmen Electra has appeared on Playboy 44 times in 21 countries, including three times in the US between 2000 and 2009. Electra became most well known after her role in “Baywatch” during 1997 and 1998, but her American covers came out much later.


[47 covers] 1993: Anna Nicole Smith has appeared on the cover 47 times in 20 countries, including five times in the US. The 1993 Playmate of the Year’s American cover shots range from 1992 to 2007, with the last one being released a few months after her death. After the release of her first Playboy picture, Guess Jeans signed her on the spot as a model.

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[151 covers] 1989: Pamela Anderson has appeared on 151 covers in a whopping 31 countries, including 12 times in the US between 1989 and 2007. Anderson’s first Playboy cover (below) came after starring in a series of beer commercials.

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