EROTICA: SUZE RANDALL AT PENTHOUSE.INC.
I was a stylist for Suze Randall, the most notorious and ONLY female photographer for Playboy, Oui, Hustler, Chic, and Penthouse Magazine during 1970’s sexual revolution and beyond.
A stylist has many job descriptions; such as Makeup Artist, Costuming, Props and the ability to handle people, both male and female models in unusual situations. For example, one shoot involved a nude couple, but Suze said, “The hair on his ass freaks me out. Fix it!”
It was my job to keep him calm while I shaved his backside with a bladed razor. It is a vivid memory. Suze clapped, “You got it!”
A fascinating challenge was working with Debra Tate, Sharon Tate’s little sister. She was my age, pretty, and very slender. It was my job to help her naked body become photogenic for Suze’s camera. She was nervous, but we got along fine as long as I let her take breaks when she wanted. Body makeup smoothed out her complexion from head-to-toe. Suze introduced a feather boa to camouflage any flaws her camera caught. The shoot was published in Oui Magazine, owned by Hugh Hefner at the time.
A fringe benefit of being a stylist, some say, is enjoying many an evening with the so-called elite of the industry. Opportunities were abundant and Suze encouraged me to attend events with her. I also had the privilege of inviting a date.
Going out with Suze was a party in itself!
Suze was a great looking sexy young woman; two years older than myself.
She came from a nursing career in London where she’d begun posing nude. She picked up the camera and became a star herself because she dragged a young Norwegian girl named Inga to the United States and kept her under wraps for Hugh Hefner’s Playboy issue and Playmate of the year in 1975/76. The young model was a sensation and is now known as Lillian Muller.
Suze photographed her own nude body for several Playboy issues. When she reached star level she had the assets to start the biggest and most successful live porn site online.
When Suze met me in early 1977, my agent, Jessie had sent me to the high-rise in Century City where I was interviewed. I was new to the industry, having worked now and then as a model for several magazine photographers as their makeup artist. I’d accepted a couple of nude modeling offers arranged by Jessie, in payment for extra money to support my children.
Suze was taken with me, her eyes sparkling. When she said “You resemble Inga,” I pretended to know who she was talking about. I checked later and supposed it was my Swedish heritage that made her say that. Suze wanted to photograph me immediately. She was always fawning over me. I thought she wanted to have sex with me, and I was right…but she liked my looks so much she dragged me down to the Beverly Hills Hotel to meet Larry Flynt for cocktails.
Please see PART II of this story: “How to Audition for Hustler, or the day I met Larry Flynt”