Clown Princess

A pretty californian who planned to travel east by stage

Going contrary to the cogent advice of Horace Greeley, July, 1965 Playmate Gay Collier — then a pleasingly proportioned (36-23-35) Californian with keen hazel eyes for a dancing career — planned to go as far East as her talented footwork would take her.

At the time, then Twenty-two-year-old Gay was born in New Orleans, lived in Guam and Nagasaki while her father —  a North Hollywood attorney — fulfilled his Service stint in the Judge Advocates Corps, then gravitated to the Golden State, where she had been diligently developing her ballet and modern jazz-dancing techniques for more than eight years.

As she told the magazine: “My first objective is to land a dancing role in a Broadway musical. After all the years I’ve put in on toe shoes, I figure it’s time I started making the rounds of New York agents’ offices and tried putting some of that practice to work. Eventually, I hope to go to Europe and try out for one of the finer ballet companies, like the Ballet Russe or the Royal Ballet, and I’ve already put my Playmate-photo prize money in a special oversees ‘ballerina-or-bust’ savings account.”

The artful miss spent her few dateless nights decorating her Burbank bachelorette pad in a Spanish Baroque motif, reading Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet and knitting ski sweaters (Anything’s better than TV). Her favorite kind of evening included Cantonese cuisine, a Peter Sellers movie, and “a guy who doesn’t try to make an impression.”

The redheaded California coed with keen hazel eyes for a career in ballet, the pirouetting PM double-timed through a daily scheduled of art courses at Pierce College and afternoon lessons at Natalia Claire’s Ballet School in North Hollywood.  On wintry weekends, when she wasn’t busy earning future tuition fees by dancing in Las Vegas night-club revues, Gay liked to head for the slopes at Squaw Valley.

(“It’s the only chance I get to show off all the great new ski sweaters I’ve been knitting at home all summer”).  Schussing was never sweeter.

Although she was serious about her career, spending hours studying classical ballet and modern jazz dancing, Gay was a natural clown who couldn’t resist acting up for the camera, impersonating Charlie Chaplin and a one-woman oompah band for photographer Mario Casili.

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