A chance encounter made this small-town girl the February 1959 playmate
Eleanor was born in Waukegan, Ill on December 13, 1938. She was discovered on the beach while visiting her sister in Los Angeles. She was tagged for top bunny status in February of 1959. She later appeared on the cover of the same magazine for the October, 1959 issue. When her pictorial appeared, it caused such a sensation that, she says, “they virtually ran me out of town.”
She went to work as a receptionist at Playboy. “I was one of the first Playmates to travel more than 100,000 miles a year promoting Playboy,” Eleanor recalls. “I visited colleges, press clubs, conventions, radio and television stations and five Marine training bases. I was voted Miss Marine Air Reserve and was the second female civilian ever to fly in the F-86 fighter jet.”
A lovely-visaged valentine to brighten the short drear days of the year’s shortest month, Eleanor Bradley became our February Playmate almost by accident — or was it fate? A small-town girl from the Midwest, she’d looked forward with excitement to her first West Coast vacation, to the wonderful time she’d have in sun and surf.
And fun she had; but what Eleanor didn’t anticipate — and what proved to be the high point of her vacation — was that our photographer would discover her strolling the glistening strand, and that this would lead to her becoming our valentine Playmate. We believe our readers will share our feeling — after gazing on her tawny beauty — that fate was kind indeed to bring us this sweet siren by the sea.
A regular on Playboy’s Penthouse TV show, Eleanor toured with Bob Hope and Hugh O’Brian, modeled professionally for 13 years and was rated one of the top ten photographic models in the Midwest.
Later, she booked talent for special appearances, acted at a suburban theater complex and managed a boutique and a restaurant in large hotels. “Amazingly,” she says now, “I did all this while giving birth to and raising four children. Now I have four grandchildren, two boys and two girls.”
Later in life, Eleanor posed again in the magazine in December, 1979 for a pictorial entitled “Playmates Forever!”
In 1981 married her present husband, Lou Giannetti, a partner in a firm that manufactures circuit boards.