Celebrities in Playgirl

Since the Palin family nemesis teamed up with Playgirl, mystery has surrounded who was bringing the magazine back from the dead. Jacob Bernstein on the former sex party planner behind the revival, and why he doesn't know or care how big Johnston's "goods" are.

Tyrese, July 2003

As a former model, Tyrese was used to baring it all for photo shoots, but when the R&B artist/actor appeared shirtless on the cover of the July 2003 issue of Playgirl, it surprised even him. The Transformer and 2 Fast 2 Furious star never actually posed for the magazine, and says, "I didn't know anything about it." Breathless fans were disappointed by what was inside the issue. The magazine, which featured an article about the triple threat star, appropriated the sweaty cover photo from Tyrese's album, I Wanna Go There.

Keith Urban, April 2001

Before he hitched his star to Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban was getting exposure on the cover of Playgirl. Urban stripped down to his birthday suit for some prints in the April 2001 issue, but cleverly covered up with a carefully slung guitar. The country crooner dished to the magazine about his thoughts on romance, what makes a women sexy, and being in love. "The truth is, we really want to be home with our wives or girlfriends. Every one of us is thinking the same thing, but no one will say it." And when fans tell Urban that they make love to his music, the die-hard romantic says he takes it as a huge compliment.

Brad Pitt, August 1997

Playgirl revealed Brad Pitt and then-girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow to the world in August 1997 when it published nude photos of the couple in the French West Indies. In the shots, snapped by a trespassing paparazzo, Pitt was engaged in some naked calisthenics. The actor failed to get the issues that had already been delivered yanked, but did put a stop to further distribution of the magazines.

David Duchovny, April 1997

X-Files devotees spent an anguishing nine years waiting for Mulder and Scully to jump into bed together, but David Duchovny told Playgirl in April 1997 that that plotline would have been too easy. "What's so hard about having sex?" he asked. The Princeton- and Yale-educated actor appears in a cheeky cover but did not pose for Playgirl. He spoke to the magazine about appearing "bare-assed" in Kalifornia and The Rapture. Duchovny, said he felt "exposed," but also has no qualms about full-frontal scenes. "Why should I? It's just what it is."

Shawn Michaels, October 1996

Pro wrestler Shawn Michaels was hoping he'd live up to his moniker, The Heartbreak Kid, when he bared his chest and soul for Playgirl in October 1996. It was only later that he realized the magazine's core readership wasn't necessarily the female contingent the then-single Michaels was hoping to attract. If he had, perhaps he would have thought twice about bragging about being a "really good kisser" and having "really soft lips." Michaels eventually met his match in former WCW Nitro Girl, Rebecca Curci.

Scott Bakula, March 1995

Even by non-peep magazine standards, Scott Bakula's March 1995 cover of Playgirl would be modest. The Quantum Leap and Murphy Brown alum appeared in an open black cardigan, with his arms wrapped tightly across this chest, revealing… chest hair. "I kind of look at it and go, what was I thinking?" Bakula said about his Playgirl cover recently, claiming he did it to promote a noir film he had just wrapped. "Thank goodness I kept my pants on."

Christopher Atkins, September 1982

Christopher Atkins stripped down for his very first acting role opposite Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon, running around a deserted island in only a loincloth and doing a brief full frontal scene. So it's probably no surprise that he easily dropped his drawers again to appear in Playgirl, twice, cementing his teenage sex symbol status. The following year, Atkins played a stripper opposite Lesley Ann Warren in A Night In Heaven. Some fans may have given Atkins credit for the gratuitous nudity in the movie, but movie critics didn't. He received a Golden Raspberry for Worst Actor for his performance.

Everett Collection

Jim Brown, September 1974

Cleveland Browns legend Jim Brown stripped all the way down for Playgirl at the ripe age of 38. With the distinction of being named the greatest professional football player in history by Sporting News, Brown had nothing to hide, which is obvious from his full frontal shots.

Everett Collection

Fred Williamson, October 1973

Before Jim Brown appeared in Playgirl, there was Fred Williamson, who parlayed a successful football career into acting, and upped his exposure when he appeared in an October 1973 spread of the magazine. In the issue, he tells Playgirl about how he roughed up Austrian director Otto Preminger to break into the movies. "I grabbed Mr. Otto Preminger by the tits and held him over my head until the money was fallin' out of his pockets. He wasn't saying much when I left, but I got the part the next day." Williams bares all in two photos, but a kitten kept his most important bits under wraps.

Everett Collection

Fabian, September 1973

Ex-teen idol Fabian made it to the top of the charts 11 times. Rumors that the vocals on his albums were doctored slowed his career down significantly, but there was no denying his sex appeal. Handpicked for his good looks, Fabian eventually made it into the pages of Playgirl as its centerfold, straddling a motorcycle in the buff.

Lyle Waggoner, June 1973

This Carol Burnett Show alum was Playgirl's first nude centerfold in its premiere issue in June 1973. The 1970s stud appeared cross-legged in the issue, leading some readers to complain that the publication hadn't gone far enough. For it's next issue, the magazine's purpose was more fully fleshed out, with actor George Maharis from Route 66 giving readers a flash.