long-limbed and lighthearted susan miller has flown the pigeonholes of manhattan to live a free-and-easy life in los angeles
The allure of tall girls has often been attributed to the notion that "there's a lot to love." Not surprisingly, Susan Miller, who stands an imposing 6'1", has heard that before. "But," she says, "most of the time I get people who just come up to me on the street and say, 'How tall are you, anyway?'" Actually, says our 24-year-old Playmate, her height has had varied effects on her psyche: "I was already over six feet when I was 13. That really messed me up, because all the boys thought I was some kind of monster. It freaked me for a long time to be teased and called things like Ichabod Crane." But Susan got a taste of revenge when she was approached by a modeling agent while sunning on the beach. "I couldn't believe it. This guy just came up to me and asked me to model. That's the oldest come-on in the world, but it turned out that he was for real." So, for the next six years, Susan earned up to $60 an hour as an haute couture mannequin. In 1965, she entered the Miss Universe Contest and placed runner-up in the New York State finals. About then, she recalls, "I just got fed up with the pace. It was nice to be in demand as a model, but I had no free time. So I just quit and found a job as a kind of girl Friday for a plastics company." She was eventually promoted to head the administrative division of the firm, but that responsibility again placed demands on her time. After six months at her new job, she left for the West Coast to settle in Los Angeles. She's currently not working at all and is in no hurry to return to the ranks of the employed. "For now, I get by just fine on unemployment money. But I suppose I'll get tired of free-loading after a while. When I do look for work again, I'm thinking about a career as a photo stylist. I know about that field from watching them work when I was modeling. They set up fashion shootings, locate the right props and help the photographer compose his picture. That might be fun. But whatever happens, I'm just glad to be in California. There are so many kooks out here that being especially tall is nothing. So I blend in. And that's fine, because I'm not so self-conscious now. I like feeling anonymous." Sorry about that, Susan.
Photography by Mario Casilli