Barbi Benton Net Worth
It was estimated that Barbi Benton’s net worth was $20 million at the time of this writing. “Hee Haw” and “Playboy” magazine frequently featured Barbi Benton during the 1960s and 1970s as a cast member. Three double spreads were published in 1970, 1973, and 1975 that featured her nude. Benton was never a ‘Playmate of the Month’ despite her repeated appearances in the best-selling magazine.
From 1969 to 1976, Benton was romantically involved with Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. She was 18 years old when she first met Hefner, who was 42 at the time. “Playboy, After Dark” hosted by Hugh Hefner was her first television outing.
In subsequent years, Hefner admitted that meeting Benton was the best thing to come out of his 1960s television show. When Barbi and Hefner split up, she received a significant financial settlement.
In the 1970s, Benton was also a popular country and pop performer. When “Brass Buckles” came out in 1975, it was her first hit record and peaked at number five on the Billboard country singles list.
R&B singer Lutricia McNeal covered her 1976 hit “Ain’t That Just the Way” in 1996. A major success in the United Kingdom and Sweden, McNeal’s version of the single Between 1975 and 1979, Benton released eight albums as a producer and songwriter.
On 28 January 1950, Benton was born in New York City to a Jewish family. Her father was a gynaecologist and her mother was an investment advisor. When Benton was only two years old, his family relocated to Sacramento. There, she began a variety of new pursuits, such as piano lessons and scuba diving classes.
As a student at Rio Americano High School, Benton took part in a few photo shoots. After high school, she decided to pursue a career in veterinary medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). When she realised she couldn’t handle the sight of blood, she decided to give up her dream of becoming a haematologist.
Benton began working for a commercial agency while he was a student at UCLA. Her big break came in 1968, when she was cast as an extra in the television series “Playboy After Dark.” As a supporting character at first, Hugh Hefner observed her studying on the set one day and became intrigued by her.
As a result of their age difference, Benton was shocked when he asked her out right away. Hefner charmed her after she agreed to go on a group date with him, despite her initial reluctance. Hefner also offered Benton more significant positions on “Playboy After Dark,” eventually making her the show’s co-host.
Benton was thrust into the core of the Playboy operation once they started dating. To make her more marketable, Hefner persuaded her to use the name Barbara Klein, and she is credited with persuading Hefner to acquire Holmby Hills’ Playboy Mansion in 1974, even arranging for her mother to assist in the transaction. Since then, the Mansion has become an iconic residence and the site of numerous high-profile events and celebrations.
She was on the cover of “Playboy” magazine four times while associated with the Playboy organization: in July 1969, March 1970, May 1972, and December 1985. Although she was never an official Paymate of the Month, she appeared in a number of nude photo spreads in the 1970s.
While all of this was going on, she scored a role on the sketch comedy show “Hee Haw.” In order to pursue a more serious Hollywood career, she left the show after four seasons. “The Naughty Cheerleader,” “The Great American Beauty Contest,” “The Third Girl from the Left,” “Hospital Massacre,” and “Deathstalker” are among the films in which she has appeared. There were other other television shows where she appeared, including “McCloud,” “Sugar Time!” “Fantasy Island,” “The Love Boat,” “Murder, She Wrote,” and “The Girls Next Store,” to name but a few.
Benton was a successful recording artist in addition to her acting career. Following her appearance on “Hee Haw,” she became interested in pursuing a career as a country singer. She had a top-five hit with “Brass Buckles” in 1975, when it was debuted on the Billboard country singles chart. She went on to record eight albums, the last of which she produced.
She wrote and sang all of the songs on her CDs, and she also played piano on the recordings. For five weeks in 1976, her song “Ain’t That Just the Way” was the number one hit in Sweden. When vocalist Lutricia McNeal released a version of the song in 1996, it became a huge hit.
Benton also appeared on a number of late-night and game show specials as a guest star. “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” featured her on a regular basis. In the 1970s and 1980s, she was a popular panelist on “The Hollywood Squares.”
Hugh Hefner and Benton began a long-term relationship after meeting on the set of “Playboy After Dark,” a late-night talk show. From 1969 through 1976, she and Hefner lived together in the Playboy Mansion. Their relationship ended after nine years and Hefner expressed regret over not marrying her, despite the fact that he had proposed to her numerous times during their relationship.
As Benton began to travel more for work, their relationship grew more strained, according to Benton. Hefner would not be faithful to her during these times. A reality show called “The Girls Next Door” filmed an encounter between the two of them years later.
Benton married real estate developer George Gradow on October 14, 1979. Alexander was born in 1986, and Ariana was born in 1988. Aspen, Colorado, and Los Angeles, California, are two of their primary residences. In 2012, she appeared on HGTV’s “Million Dollar Room” to give a tour of her Colorado home.