Janet Pilgrim (model)

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Janet Pilgrim
Playboy centerfold appearance
July 1955
Preceded by Eve Meyer
Succeeded by Pat Lawler
Personal details
Born Charlaine Edith Karalus
(1934-06-13)June 13, 1934
Wheaton, Illinois, U.S.
Died May 1, 2017(2017-05-01) (aged 82)
Norwalk, Connecticut, U.S.
Measurements Bust: 36 in (91 cm)
Waist: 24 in (61 cm)
Hips: 36 in (91 cm)
Height 5 ft 6 in (168 cm)
Weight 115 lb (52 kg)
Janet Pilgrim
Playboy centerfold appearance
December 1955
Preceded by Barbara Cameron
Succeeded by Lynn Turner
Janet Pilgrim
Playboy centerfold appearance
October 1956
Preceded by Elsa Sørensen
Succeeded by Betty Blue

Janet Pilgrim (born Charlaine Edith Karalus; June 13, 1934 – May 1, 2017) was an American model who became a Playmate of the Month while employed at Playboy's corporate office. She was chosen as Playmate of the Month three times: July 1955, December 1955 and October 1956.

Miss July 1955[edit]

In 1955 Playboy was in its second year of production and had previously used professional models as Playmates.[1] Karalus worked for Hugh Hefner in the subscription department and agreed to pose for the July 1955 episode in exchange for a new addressograph for the office.[1] Hefner reportedly chose the name "Janet Pilgrim" as to make fun of sexual puritanism.[1]

Karalus appeared topless with a tuxedo-clad man reported to be Hefner in the background with his back to the camera.[1] The caption read in part: "We found Miss July in our own circulation department, processing subscriptions, renewals, and back copy orders. Her name is Janet Pilgrim and she's as efficient as she is good looking."[1]


Readers responded well to her appearance as Miss July and sent in letters asking for more Janet Pilgrim.[1] Despite getting offers to model for outside agencies, Janet chose to appear twice more as a Playmate and was listed on Playboy's masthead as head of reader's services department for the next 10 years.[2] Hefner at one point offered a personal phone call from Pilgrim in exchange for enrollment in a lifetime subscription to his magazine.[1]

Pilgrim is said to be the prototype of the "girl next door" approach to Playboy Playmates from that time onward.[2][1] She died in Norwalk, Connecticut, at the age of 82.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Watts, Steven (2009). Mr Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 115–116, 128. ISBN 978-0-470-52167-0. 
  2. ^ a b Fraterrigo, Elizabeth (2009). Playboy and the Making of the Good Life in Modern America. Oxford University Press US. pp. 123–124, 230. ISBN 0-19-538610-8. 
  3. ^ "Rest In Peace, Janet Pilgrim, Playboy's First Girl Next Door". Playboy. May 1, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Charlaine Whitelaw, 82, formerly of New Canaan". NCAdvertiser. May 2, 2017. 

External links[edit]