Holly Madison

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Holly Madison
Holly Madison (24126137872).jpg
Madison in 2015
Hollin Sue Cullen[1]

(1979-12-23) December 23, 1979 (age 42)
Alma materPortland State University
Loyola Marymount University
OccupationModel, television personality
Years active1998–present
Known forDown the Rabbit Hole
The Vegas Diaries
Holly's World
The Girls Next Door
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Pasquale Rotella
(m. 2013; div. 2019)
Partner(s)Hugh Hefner (2001–2008)

Holly Madison[2] (née Cullen; born December 23, 1979)[3][4] is an American model and television personality.[5] She appeared in the E! reality television show The Girls Next Door and her own series, Holly's World. She has also released two books, Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny in 2015 and The Vegas Diaries: Romance, Rolling the Dice, and the Road to Reinvention in 2016.

Early life[edit]

Holly Madison was born in Astoria, Oregon.[3] At age two, she moved with her family to Craig, Alaska, on Prince of Wales Island.[6] When she was in middle school, her family returned to St. Helens, Oregon. She later attended Portland State University for two years, majoring in theater and psychology.[6] Afterward, Madison moved to Los Angeles and attended Loyola Marymount University.[3]

To afford her college tuition, Madison competed to become a Hawaiian Tropic model and worked as a waitress at Hooters.[7] Her appearance at these venues led to invitations to the Playboy Mansion and at the age of 21, after more than a year of such visits, Madison asked permission from Hugh Hefner and was eventually allowed to move in at the mansion.[8]


2003–2009: The Girls Next Door[edit]

Madison with then-boyfriend Hugh Hefner in 2008

The Girls Next Door was an E! Network show following life of Madison and others at the Playboy Mansion. Although Madison was never a Playboy Playmate, Playboy published a nude pictorial of Madison with her The Girls Next Door costars in the November 2005 issue. The women were featured again on the covers of the September 2006, March 2008, and February 2009 issues. During seasons three and four, Madison was shown working at the Playboy studios as an intern and later a junior photo editor. She also helped design and put together The Girls Next Door calendars. In February 2009, with the ending of the sixth season she quit working for the company altogether due to her split from Hefner making her position "awkward".[9]

After The Girls Next Door[edit]

Dancing with the Stars[edit]

Madison was chosen to replace Jewel on Dancing with the Stars and was partnered with Dmitry Chaplin.[10][11] Madison was injured while practicing[11] and Madison and Chaplin were voted off.[12]

World's largest bikini parade[edit]

In May 2009, Madison and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman led a Guinness World Record-breaking "largest bikini parade ever".[13] According to the Las Vegas Sun, "The politician and the former Playboy house bunny joined forces to usher in the city's summer swimsuit season..." in an event timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign.[13] The 281 parade participants broke the prior record of 250.[13] The mark has subsequently been eclipsed by events in the Cayman Islands (331),[14] and Brisbane, Australia (357).[14]

2009–2012: Peepshow[edit]

Madison starred in the burlesque show Peepshow at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. She was brought in to replace Kelly Monaco after Monaco's three-month contract was up.[15] Madison was likewise initially signed to a three-month contract, but due to the show's success, it was eventually extended to a full year.[16] She starred as both "Bo Peep" and "Goldilocks" for nearly four years; however, in 2012, she left the show due to her pregnancy.

2009–2011: Holly's World[edit]

Madison starred in her own reality show, Holly's World,[17] which revolved around her life at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. "It's all good-natured and not mean like other reality shows", Madison said of her show. "I'm really excited about the new series because I am also getting a legitimate co-producer credit for all the work I do behind the camera. It's not a vanity credit. I'm super excited to learn from the best and take on new responsibilities."[18] The show premiered on December 6, 2009, and ran for two seasons.[19]


In 2015, Madison released her memoir Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny.[20] The book details her life in the Playboy Mansion and the beginning of her recovery afterward.[21] The book debuted at number 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list, spending three weeks in the spot and over three months on the list in 2015.

In May 2016, Madison released her second memoir, The Vegas Diaries: Romance, Rolling the Dice and the Road to Reinvention,[22] which also debuted on the New York Times Best Seller list.[23] The book chronicles her journey toward reinvention and self-acceptance in glamorous Las Vegas.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Facing credit card debt and potential homelessness, in August 2001, Madison moved into the Playboy Mansion and officially became one of Hugh Hefner's girlfriends. Hefner controlled her finances, enforced a strict schedule and curfew, and denied her opportunities to earn income outside the mansion.[25] In February 2002, after all but two of his girlfriends left, Madison became his "#1 Girl".[3] During her time with Hefner, Madison stated that she wanted to marry him and have his children. However, in an interview at the Playmate of the Year luncheon in May 2008, Hefner said, "I love Holly very much and I think we're going to be together the rest of my life, but marriage isn't part of my puzzle. It's not a personal thing; I just haven't had much luck with marriages."[26] Reflecting on her time at the mansion, Madison has said her feelings for Hefner were attributable to Stockholm syndrome.[25]

On October 7, 2008, Madison announced that her relationship with Hefner had ended, but that she, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson were "still filming stuff together".[27] Hefner confirmed the breakup, saying, "if Holly says it's over, I guess it's over".[28]

In 2009, Madison said, "I'm never dating anybody again. I don't need a man. I'm really happy with myself and being with my friends... I'm focused on forwarding my career. I'm working on producing my own shows. Girls Next Door was a great place to start but it was somebody else's show. I'm just ready to move on."[29]

Madison has spoken openly about her cosmetic surgeries, having had both rhinoplasty and breast augmentation. After the latter procedure, her bust measurements went from an A-cup to a D.[30] In 2011, Madison announced that she had insured her breasts for $1 million.[31]

In August 2012, Madison announced that she and Pasquale Rotella, whom she began dating in 2011, were expecting their first child.[32] Madison gave birth to their daughter in March 2013, in Las Vegas.[33] Madison and Rotella were married at Disneyland on September 10, 2013, with Marquardt as a bridesmaid, and resided in Las Vegas.[34] Madison gave birth to her second child, a son, in August 2016.[35][36] Rotella and Madison are separated as of September 25, 2018.[37] In February 2019, the divorce was finalized.[38]

In 2021, Holly Madison shared in an interview some of the dark sides of the Playboy lifestyle, what will be further revealed in 2022 in documentary series "Secrets of Playboy".[39]



Year Film Role Notes
1998 The Last Broadcast Miss Lady Bright Eyes [40]
2006 Scary Movie 4 Blonde # 1
2008 The House Bunny Herself
2009 The Telling Stephanie
2015 Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! Lieutenant Harrison


Year Title Role Notes
2002 MTV Cribs Herself 1 episode
2003 The Surreal Life Herself Episode: "The Wedding and Goodbye"
Doggy Fizzle Televizzle Herself Episode: 4
2004 The Sharon Osbourne Show Herself 1 episode
The Bernie Mac Show Bunny Episode: "The Talk"
Viva La Bam Herself Episode: "Drive-Way Skate Park"
2005 Curb Your Enthusiasm Herself Season 5 Episode 6 – "The Smoking Jacket"
The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch Herself 1 episode
2005 Entourage Herself Episode: "Aquamansion"
2005–2006 The Tyra Banks Show Herself 2 episodes
2005–2009 The Girls Next Door Herself (seasons 1–5. 80 episodes)
2006 E! True Hollywood Story Herself Episode: "Hugh Hefner: Girlfriends, Wives and Centerfolds"
Amazon Fishbowl Herself 1 episode
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson Herself Uncredited, 2 episodes
Robot Chicken Herself (Voice) Episode: "Drippy Pony"
The Ellen DeGeneres Show Herself 1 episode
2007 Keeping Up with the Kardashians Herself Episode: "Birthday Suit"
Phenomenon Herself Episode: Three
Last Call with Carson Daly Herself 1 episode
2008 Today Herself 1 episode
Celebrity Family Feud Herself Episode: "Vincent Pastore vs. The Girls Next Door"
Living Lohan Herself Episode: "The Billionaire Babysitters"
Chelsea Lately[41] Herself 1 episode
2009 Dancing with the Stars Contestant (Season 8, eliminated 3rd round)
2009–2010 Kendra Herself 2 episodes
2009–2011 Holly's World Herself (Seasons 1–2. 19 Episodes)
2010 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Hot Blonde Episodes: "Pool Shark"
2010 When I Was 17 Herself 1 episode
2013 "Holly Has a Baby"! Herself E! Special
2015 Redwood Kings Herself 1 episode
2021 Ghost Adventures Herself Guest[42]


  1. ^ https://www.tvguide.com/celebrities/holly-madison/bio/3030385920/
  2. ^ Katsilometes, John. "Holly: Dancing with the new star of Peepshow, the woman who plans to be the ultimate Miss Las Vegas". Las Vegas Weekly. Archived from the original on June 21, 2009. Retrieved June 18, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d "Biography". HollyMadison.com (official site). Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2007.
  4. ^ "Holly Madison: Biography". TVGuide. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  5. ^ Cowles, Gregory (July 2, 2015). "Inside the List". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Interview: Holly Madison!!!". Spacecadetz.com. Archived from the original on April 27, 2009. Retrieved August 16, 2008.
  7. ^ Madison, Holly (2015). Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny. New York, NY: HarperCollins. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-06-237210-9.
  8. ^ Madison, Holly (2015). Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny. New York, NY: HarperCollins. pp. 42–43. ISBN 978-0-06-237210-9.
  9. ^ Gibson, Cristina (February 5, 2009). "Holly Madison Quits "Awkward" Job at Playboy". E! Online. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
  10. ^ Thomson, Katherine, Holly Madison & Melissa Rycroft Join 'Dancing,' The Woz Does Worst, Huffington Post, March 10, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Leach, Robin, Holly Madison joins injured list on Dancing With the Stars, Las Vegas Weekly, March 26, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
  12. ^ Elrick, Britteny, Dancing With The Stars: Holly Madison Talks About Elimination, Reality TV Magazine, 1 April 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
  13. ^ a b c Arseniuk, Melissa "Goodman, Holly Madison welcome summer, set bikini record", Las Vegas Sun, May 14, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
  14. ^ a b Yancey, Kitty Bean, "Bikini parade in Panama City Beach sets a world record", USA Today, March 3, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
  15. ^ Gray, Mark (May 14, 2009). "Holly Madison to Replace Kelly Monaco in Sexy Vegas Show". People. Time Inc. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
  16. ^ Arseniuk, Melissa (September 8, 2009). "Holly Madison to continue in 'Peepshow'". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
  17. ^ "Holly Madison Gets Her Own Reality Show". UsMagazine.com.
  18. ^ Chernikoff, Leah (September 24, 2009). "Playboy bunny, Holly Madison, set to start filming her own Reality TV show "Planet Holly"". New York Daily News. Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  19. ^ Clarke, Norm (November 22, 2009). "NORM: Reality TV sets in for Holly Madison". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved November 23, 2009.
  20. ^ Madison, Holly. Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny. Dey Street Books (2015). ISBN 9780062372109.
  21. ^ Lee, Esther (March 19, 2015). "Holly Madison's Memoir "Lifts the Veil" on Days Inside the Playboy Mansion". US Weekly. Retrieved July 23, 2015. I'm excited to finally share my story and what I've learned from my personal experiences both inside and outside of the Playboy Mansion... I think my stories will surprise people and I'm looking forward to lifting the veil of mystique and clearing up the misconceptions so often associated with my life.
  22. ^ Archipelago, World. "The Vegas Diaries – Holly Madison – Hardcover". HarperCollins US. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  23. ^ "Celebrities Books – Best Sellers – The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  24. ^ Archipelago, World. "The Vegas Diaries – Holly Madison – E-book". HarperCollins US. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  25. ^ a b Madison, Holly (2015). Down the Rabbit Hole. HarperCollins. p. 385. ISBN 978-0062372116.
  26. ^ www.foxnews.com (May 12, 2008). "Holly Heartbroken: Hef Reveals Why She'll Never Be His Wife". Fox News. Retrieved May 12, 2008.
  27. ^ "Holly to Hugh: Hef Off". TMZ.com. October 7, 2008. Retrieved October 7, 2008.
  28. ^ Lang, Derrick J. (October 9, 2008). "Hugh Hefner opens up about Holly Madison breakup". USA Today. Associated Press. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved October 9, 2008.
  29. ^ Gray, Mark (March 4, 2009). "Holly Madison Is Single, and Staying that Way". People. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
  30. ^ "Holly Madison: Plastic Surgery". iFitAndHealthy.com. April 12, 2007. Retrieved August 16, 2008.
  31. ^ Gray, Mark. "Holly Madison Insures Her Breasts for $1 Million". People. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  32. ^ Staff (August 29, 2012). "Holly Madison Is Pregnant With Her First Child!". Us Weekly. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  33. ^ "Holly Madison – Celebuzz". Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  34. ^ Blumm, K.C. (September 11, 2013). "Holly Madison Marries Pasquale Rotella". People. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
  35. ^ Chen, Joyce (January 22, 2016). "Holly Madison Is Pregnant, Expecting Second Child With Husband Pasquale Rotella". Us Weekly. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  36. ^ Heller, Corrine (August 8, 2016). "Holly Madison Gives Birth to Baby No. 2". E!. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  37. ^ Rotella, Pasquale. "It is with love in our hearts and a deep respect for one another that Holly and I have amicably made the decision to separate. First and…". Instagram. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  38. ^ Stone, Natalie (February 26, 2019). "Holly Madison Finalizes Divorce from Husband Pasquale Rotella After 5 Years of Marriage". People. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  39. ^ Respers France, Lisa (December 9, 2021). "Holly Madison and others explore the dark side of the Playboy lifestyle". CNN. Retrieved December 15, 2021.
  40. ^ The Last Broadcast: Cast and Details, TV Guide website. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  41. ^ "Chelsea Lately: Holly Madison". eonline.com.
  42. ^ Gajewski, Ryan (August 5, 2021). "Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt Recall Their Ghost Encounters at the Playboy Mansion". eonline.com. Retrieved November 10, 2021.

External links[edit]