american sportswoman and oriental charmer, lovely miss lee is our spirited august playmate
While we've often featured Playmates with outdoor proclivities, our sportsman's loving cup goes to China Lee, our August Playmate, one of the most athletic young lasses we've ever encountered and also one of the most charming. Twenty-one-year-old China (pronounced "Chee-na") is a Training Bunny in the Playboy Club empire; though she's based in the Windy City (see The Bunnies of Chicago, page 98), her teaching duties take her to a different location with every new Playboy Club opening -- a job which suits her peripatetic nature to a T. "If I had to describe myself in one word, it would be 'active,'" China says. "I love to roam, and I love to keep busy." High on her sports agenda is softball: Last season she pitched and won 12 games ("My windmill pitch is unhittable"), leading the New York Bunny softball team to the Broadway Show League championship. Our five-foot, four-inch Miss August is also a pin-toppling bowler (she ran up a 217 at the age of 13), prize-winning equestrienne and jumper, expert swimmer and ping-pong player, as well as champion twister of all Bunnydom. Not surprisingly, she was chosen Bunny of the Month in the first issue of "VIP," the Playboy Club magazine. As she told us: "Despite the fact that I''m always on the go, success has come to me without my seeking it. I didn't apply for my Bunny job; I was discovered in a New Orleans hairdresser's shop. While my girlfriends were desperate to get into the movies (and I wasn't), a movieman spotted me and gave me -- not them -- a bit part in The Troublemakers. I'd like to be a professional singer someday -- but I'm not counting on it, so if no one discovers me I won't be disappointed." A native of New Orleans and the only member of her family of 11 not now in the Oriental restaurant line, China says: "Though I was born in America, my folks still follow Oriental ways: They speak the old language, read the old books, and follow the old customs. In this sort of environment, the men dominate and females are forced into the background. I rebelled, and I'm glad I did." So, we might add, are we.
Photography by Pompeo Posar