Janet Pilgrim (born Charlaine Edith Karalus; June 13, 1934 – May 1, 2017) was an American model who became a Playmate of the Month while employed at Playboy's corporate office. She was chosen as Playmate of the Month three times: July 1955, December 1955 and October 1956.
Born Charlaine Edith Karalus
June 13, 1934
Wheaton, Illinois, U.S.
Died - May 1, 2017 (aged 82)
Norwalk, Connecticut, U.S.Measurements
Bust: 36 in (91 cm)
Waist: 24 in (61 cm)
Hips: 36 in (91 cm)
Height5 ft 6 in (168 cm)
Weight 115 lb (52 kg)
Miss July 1955
In 1955 Playboy was in its second year of production and had previously used professional models as Playmates. Karalus worked for Hugh Hefnerin the subscription department and agreed to pose for the July 1955 episode in exchange for a new addressograph for the office. Hefner reportedly chose the name "Janet Pilgrim" as to make fun of sexual puritanism.
Karalus appeared topless with a tuxedo-clad man reported to be Hefner in the background with his back to the camera. The caption read in part: "We found Miss July in our own circulation department, processing subscriptions, renewals, and back copy orders. Her name is Janet Pilgrim and she's as efficient as she is good looking."
Readers responded well to her appearance as Miss July and sent in letters asking for more Janet Pilgrim. Despite getting offers to model for outside agencies, Janet chose to appear twice more as a Playmate and was listed on Playboy's masthead as head of reader's services department for the next 10 years. Hefner at one point offered a personal phone call from Pilgrim in exchange for enrollment in a lifetime subscription to his magazine.
Pilgrim is said to be the prototype of the "girl next door" approach to Playboy Playmates from that time onward. She died in Norwalk, Connecticut, at the age of 82.
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