Miss August 1962, Jan Roberts was the first, “but undoubtedly not the last”, Playmate who worked in a Playboy Club before posing in the magazine. She was born in Brooklyn New York on April 11, 1939 and was raised in Toledo Ohio. It is unknown when she became a Bunny at the Chicago Playboy Club. Jan Roberts was apparently pretty popular, she was pictured in the Playboy Club News posing with two other Bunnies and Hugh Hefner himself at an ground breaking ceremony for the Los Angeles Playboy Club on Sunset Boulevard. Or possibly she just got featured in the article because she was Playmate of the Month.
Her first Playboy appearance was photographed by Pompeo Posar. In keeping with the magazine’s focus, only five pictures of her were published. Four of them (including the one at the top of this page,) were her in her Bunny outfit. Only the centerfold itself was a tasteful nude.
“In the two-plus years since the first Playboy Club bounded boldly onto the entertainment scene in Chicago, 24 of this magazine’s prettiest Playmates have taken the bountiful Bunny trail to fun, travel and excitement as highly paid hostesses in our ever-lengthening chain of luxurious key clubs. With this issue we present a neat twist on the customary Playmate-to-Bunny progression; she’s ingenious Jan Roberts – the first (but undoubtedly not the last) Playmate to be discovered among the hutch honeys already decorating club premises. Like hundreds of beauties from every part of the U.S. and several foreign countries, Brooklyn-born, Toledo-bred Jan stormed Chicago specifically in hopes of landing a job at the Playboy Club. Her credentials (executive girl) Friday for the Juhl Advertising Agency of Elkhart Indiana, and honor graduate of a two-year medical technology course in the same city) were impressive enough to earn her a Bunny berth. Although the lissome (39-23-35) arrangement of her 120 compact pounds on a five-foot-five frame tends to belie it, Miss August prefers mental exercise to phyical; she thrives on chess and brigde bouts, reads omnivorously (mostly books on mathematics and theology), dabbles in graphology and earnestly paints landscapes with bear, she believes, “an unfortunate resemblance to my favorite foods – spaghetti and cheese blintzes.” She can’t abide a sloppy pad, views beatniks with suspicious brown eyes, loves shoot ’em up war flicks, feminine frills and Louis XVI antiques. Affectionate by nature, she is apt to greet friends with warm hugs and double-cheek kisses. Jan regards her current welcome-to-the-club duties with honest satisfaction. “I’m interested in a show business career,” she says, “As a Bunny, I’m already leading a show biz kind of life. It’s a big step on the way up.” For a fetching view of rising and shining Jan, consult the foldout where our breakfasting Bunny Playmate is show starting her day – and brightening ours – with an r.s.v.p. smile.
Luckily for us, this was not Jan’s last appearance in Playboy. Photos from this same shoot along with a couple not seen before were seen in four more issues of Playboy. These photos seem to mostly have been used in conjunction with advertising for the Playboy Clubs. The corresponding articles all mention Jan and her Bunny status. Or, they were retrospectives of previous Playmates.
Her last appearance was in the August 1966 edition of Playboy, again in a retrospective of Bunnies. The blurb next to her picture says that she moved to the New Orleans Club.
1962 – Playboy, August (Playmate)
1963 – January
1963 – July
1964 – October
1966 – August
If you know anything more about Jan Roberts, and what happened to her after her job at the New Orleans Playboy Club, please comment below!