wherein bunny-playmate carol vitale makes like the miami chamber of commerce
It's not that Miami Bunny Carol Vitale isn't keeping her options open. After all, she did take a leave of absence from her Playboy duties last summer to sing at a friend's night club in Glens Falls, New York. And her application for a job with the public-relations department of a major airline was accepted. It's just that when it came time to decide whether she wanted to trade the endless summer of Miami and the friendships she's made and the advantages she's accrued while working at Playboy for another kind of life, well, let's simply say that the skies she'd been so attracted to previously didn't seem that friendly anymore. "I was all set," says Carol, "to take my first airline training class. But I couldn't take my mind off how much I'd miss Playboy and all my free time for modeling assignments, guitar lessons, water-skiing and the rest. For me, living in Miami is like being on vacation every day of the year, and I kept on thinking about how much I'd be away even if I were to be stationed here. So, a few days before I was to attend the class, I called the airline and said, 'Sorry.'" Which is what more than a few keyholders would have been had Miss Vitale decided otherwise; you see, she won the local Bunny of the Year contest in 1972. That hasn't been the only time Carol's been rewarded by her association with Playboy. Last October, she made her third appearance in four years of Playboy's annual Bunny pictorials. Readers also may remember her as the girl with the red Rabbit-shaped life preserver featured on our August 1972 cover. And she even played a bit part as a Bunny ("Tough work," she quips) in a yet-to-be-released movie Sammy Somebody, that was shot, in part, at Playboy's Miami digs. More recently, Carol flew to Jamaica to be the star of a "Bunny on a Holiday" cover story for our Playboy Club magazine, VIP. Even so, it would be inaccurate to imply that Playboy alone claims title to recognizing Miss Vitale's comelier qualities; in 1969 she served as Miss Gulfstream and was a finalist in the Miss Florida-World contest that same year. And Carol's modeling credits include a series of auto commercials. All this from a lady who says, "I had no idea, when I moved to Miami, of even applying for a job as a Bunny." As we all know now, she did get the job -- and something more: "I've got lots of friends, lots to do, and I guess I'd say I'm happy all the time." Well, Carol, if you're happy, we're happy.
Photography by David Chan