Playboy's 35th Anniversary Playmate
presenting fawna maclaren, the ex-skinny girl, now voluptuous jet-set winner of the greatest hunt ever
A "bean-pole wallflower" at Beverly Hills High, a too-tall sock-hop reject, she thought she was ugly. Her high school date total was zero. Then came breasts, cheekbones and a trip to France, where she was discovered by Elle, the Parisian fashion magazine. A few months later, strolling the Champs Élysées, she saw Elle on a newsstand. "I looked at the cover and thought, That girl's pretty," she says. "Then I thought, Wait a minute, that girl's me!" Was that the moment she knew she was beautiful? "No," says Fawna MacLaren. "This is."
In Paris, Fawna acquired a taste for the bubbly, which she still pronounces the French way, cham-pahnye, and a résumé that turned Europe's top models vertes with envy. She worked in France, Italy, Germany, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco and Martinique. Last year, she came home to L.A. and, as befits a jet setter, fell in with a fast crowd. Her new beau is Jan Nielsen. His big sister, Brigitte, acts. Yes, that Brigitte Nielsen. Fawna and Brigitte, a couple of tall girls sitting around talking one night, became fast friends. "She treats me like a sister," says Fawna. "Plus -- and this is a big plus -- I get to borrow her clothes. I'm going to spend some of my $35,000 on Rodeo Drive. I owe Brigitte a few outfits."
As our 35th Anniversary Playmate, Fawna receives a check for $35,000. That portion not slated for shopping or interest gathering -- "Most of it will go straight to the bank," she says -- will pay for acting lessons. Fawna wants to follow Brigitte into movies and is already fielding offers from Hollywood. Still, she says, the money and the chance to repay Brigitte are far from her mind as Fawna MacLaren, ex-wallflower, ponders her role as Playboy's 35th Anniversary Playmate. "Posing for these pictures, I tried very hard to be pretty. This is such an honor -- I tried to do justice to it," she says. "Being in front of the camera was a thrill. I thought, This is my moment. When I saw my face on the cover of Elle, I guess then I thought, I must look OK. But I never really felt sexy before this. And let me tell you, sexy -- that's truly a great feeling."
Photography by Stephen Wayda