december's ashley cox is determined to make it big in the movies. and what ashley wants, ashley usually gets
"I was in a scene at the very end of Logan's Run, you know, that sci-fi movie about a future domed city where all the inhabitants are under 30. Well, the dome was destroyed and the people started coming out. I was the first one to come out and go down the stairs to where Peter Ustinov was standing. I had to touch his face, the wrinkles, as though I'd never seen an old person before. It was a small part, but I got fan mail, can you believe it? People actually wanted to know, 'Who was that girl?'" That girl was Ashley Cox and we aren't the least bit surprised that she got fan mail. Ashley is not easy to ignore. She was barely out of high school at the time and that was her first experience before the cameras. It was just the beginning for the Texas native who was once so skinny she was dubbed The Grasshopper by shortsighted friends. "Then, almost overnight, I went from a skinny kid to this. I don't know what happened -- I just filled out." Ashley isn't always given to such understatement, but she does have a tendency to view nature's gifts matter-of-factly. Not that she is unappreciative; it's that when a magician produces a rabbit, she doesn't go looking for hidden compartments in the hat. That attitude comes from some lessons in life Ashley learned early on: "We weren't really poor, but there were four kids and my father died when I was ten. So it was up to my mother to raise all of us alone. She did a fantastic job, but I knew if I wanted anything special, I'd have to go out and get it myself."
The first thing Ashley wanted was a new car. Eight months of work behind the counter of a drugstore went into just the down payment; but she got the car. Next she wanted to be a model. Not an easy profession in any town. But to make it in Dallas, you've really got to work. Ashley did and she made it. And when she got the break in Logan's Run, she decided to add acting to her goals. True to her usual form, Ashley went at it with a vengeance. "After I do a scene, I always think of ten ways I could have done it better or differently." Such persistence is paying off for Ashley. She managed to land a major part in the movie Drive-In and the reviews were good enough to open other doors for her. In the meantime, while working in a fashion show in Dallas, she was discovered by Playmate and cover girl Karen Christy. Karen suggested she try out for Playmate and even took the initial pictures, which she sent to Playboy's editors. We were as impressed as Karen and here she is. "Now I think I have it together," says Ashley. "I know there are things I have to do to improve myself -- like trying to erase some of my heavy Texas accent -- but I'm willing to work at it, because I really enjoy what I'm doing." And if she does make it big, what then? "Well, that would mean I could help some of the people who have helped me. I could help my mother support our family." Giving is one of Ashley's greatest joys. She says, "I was walking on the beach the other day with my boyfriend, Ben, who plays in a rock group called Tobacco Road, and we saw a little boy who was collecting aluminum cans. You know, you get about ten cents a ton for them! So I called him over and asked him if he was thirsty. He nodded his head and I gave him a five-dollar bill and said, 'Go get something to drink.' Well, his eyes lighted up and he grinned from ear to ear. Now, I could have used that five for something else, but I don't think I would have gotten nearly the pleasure out of it that that little boy did." We may be prejudiced, but we think that little boy got a lot more than five dollars out of it. He got to meet Ashley Cox, which is something that, in a very few years, he'll be bragging about to his friends.
Photography by Mario Casilli, Phillip Dixon, Arny Freytag