To be fair, Playboy more often catches celebrities on their way up the career arc than on the way down. But Hugh Hefner‘s empire isn’t fussy, and as long as you’re famous and willing to get naked for money he’s happy to have you.For a significant number of stars, appearing in Playboy is a sign of failure: When you can’t get hired as a singer, actor or TV presenter, the magazine still has a job for you. Lindsay Lohan‘s January Playboy pictorial is an obvious example, but you’ll be surprised at the number of huge stars whose airbrushed images essentially wrote “The End” on their careers.
Kathleen Turner, Paris Hilton and Mariah Carey have all experienced the Curse of Hef. (It happened to Shannen Doherty twice!)
Suzanne Somers (December 1984): Somers was America's sweetheart with her role as Chrissy Snow on Three's Company. That ended in 1981.
Kathleen Turner (May 1986): After her Playboy shoot Turner made only one more massive movie, The War of the Roses. (Her voiceover in Who Framed Roger Rabbit doesn't count.) After that, it was V.I Warshawski, which grossed $11 million in 1991.
Geri Halliwell (May 1998): The Spice Girls split up in 1998. Then, right on schedule, Ginger Spice appeared in Playboy.
Darva Conger (August 2000): Briefly, at the turn of the century, Conger was the most famous woman in America as a contestant on Who Wants To Marry A Multimillionaire? Now she's a nurse.*
*We accept that there's a compelling case to be made that nursing is a huge career improvement on reality TV.
Tiffany (April 2002): The 1987 star's Playboy strip was one of many attempts to remake herself, most recently as the ironic star of 2011's Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid.
The women of Enron (August 2002): It's the one thing worse than having the failed energy giant's name on your resume.
Mariah Carey (March 2007): Carey, of course, remains massive. No question. But this made her look desperate for attention for her music.
Pamela Anderson (January 2011): This appearance marked her fourth calendar decade in Playboy. Time to hang up the bikini and retire gracefully?
Lindsay Lohan (February 2012): Her shoot was another that served only to draw attention to how far from the firmament she had fallen.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.