Ester Cordet Richard Fegley

First Latin Playmate Ester Cordet

Ester Cordet

Ester Cordet. Playboy Issue October 1974

Ester Cordet the Stewardess

Ester Cordet was Playboy’s first Playmate born in Latin America, specifically, Panama. According to her bio in the October 31, 1974 edition of “Jet” Magazine, she was an “army brat,” and lived in many locations. She appeared in several Playboy editions around the world, and in Oui Magazine at least twice. But probably her single most famous picture is on the cover of the Ohio Players album, Honey, from 1974 where she is dripping honey from a spoon into her mouth. This cover famous enough that is has made several “best of” album cover lists. It also has a bit of a myth about it – one that has been well debunked.

Ester Cordet | Miss October 1974

Ester was discovered by Playboy photographer Richard Fegley while he was flying Pacific Southwest Airlines. She appeared as the Playmate of the Month in the October 1974 edition of Playboy.

Playmate of the Month October 1974

“Flying High. stewardess ester cordet makes us understand why the skies seem so friendly.”

Ester Playmate Spread Page 2

“You might think that a girl who was born in Panama, schooled in California, New Jersey, and Spain, and who has also lived in the Philippines might want to plant herself somewhere and keep her feet on the ground. Not Ester Cordet. True, since 1967, she’s resided in San Diego. But “Home,” as Ester says, “is the skies.” The skies of Pacific Southwest Airlines, to be exact, for whom she works as a stewardess. “I take a lot of pride in my job,” says Ester, and attitude that’s impressed her employers enough to promote her to in-flight instructor and assign her additional duties as a public-relations representative in her off hours.”

“I love everything about flying,” she says. “There’s always something new to learn.” Apparently so, because what’s Ester’s favorite free-time activity? Flying lessons. “Unfortunately,” she says, “I haven’t taken all the instruction I need” – the principal reason being those aforementioned PR dates. Which have led to several free-lance modeling jobs (including a pair….”

Ester Playmate Interview Page 3

“…. of TV commercials), which, in turn, have revived in Ester a long-dormant desire to act. “In high school,” she recalls, “I was a member of an acting group. Many of my classmates, like me, were children of Servicemen and, although we read more serious things, we most enjoyed putting on Service comedies.” Not surprisingly, Ester’s dramatic preferences tend toward the comic.”I’d prefer nothing better than someday to be described by movie reviewers as ‘a gifted comic actress’ like Barbra Streisand.” And, liks Streisand, Ester wants to sing, although she admits she’ll “need a lot of voice coaching” before she’ll ever give singing or musical comedy a whirl. “Still,” she says, “I’d have an advantage over other beginning movie actresses: I wouldn’t mind starting work at six a.m. As a stewardess, I’ve done that many times.” And, after all, the name Ester does mean star.”

Ester Playmate Interview Page 4

“Of all the places I’ve been, I like Spain the most. I really have a love for the Spanish.”

Ester Playmate Interview Page 5

“On a flying lesson with a friend, Paul (below,) Ester boards the Cessna awaiting them at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field. “I haven’t soloed,” she admits, “but next time I get to copilot.” Aboard her Pacific Southwest flight to San Francisco, Ester (above) demonstrates emergency procedures. After serving dinner, she takes a few moments to chat with passengers.

Being the first Latin Playmate was a bit controversial, especially since she also had some African blood. Jet Magazine did an interview with her the same month she was in Playboy.

Jet - Oct 31, 1974

“Nude ‘Stew’ Creates Furor Over Her Photos in Playboy.”

“The friendly skies were disturbed and there was a furor in the clouds when a gorgeous bronze Pacific Southwest Airlines stewardess, using a pseudonym of “Ester Cordet,” appeared in all her considerable glory in the October issue of Playboy magazine. The 10 pages included the nude centerfold in living color.

The captivating “Miss Cordet” smiled through the entire spread, but her sister stewardesses with other airlines were infuriated, generally saying they are working desperately to dispel the “we’ll really move our tail for you” and the “coffee, tea or me” image of flight stewardesses which has gained more and more acceptance since the time when airlines stopped looking for nurses as flight attendants in favor of attractive lasses.

The beautiful brown “Ester,” daughter of a solider, said she was born in Panama, went to school in California, New Jersey and Spain, and also lived for a while in the Philippine Islands. She has resided in San Diego, Calif. since 1967.

“Ester,” with eyes like deep dark pools of loveliness, said she has taken flings at modeling and said she would like to be a singer, but she plans for acting.

“I think this is a good time for me to be considering a career as an actress,” she said. “It used to be you couldn’t even dream about being in a motion picture unless you had a light complexion. But now the movies are opening up.”

No one seriously disputes the fact that “Ester” is stunning of face and figure, attributes that never hurt any aspiring thespian.

“Ester Cordet” is in the centerfold and many stewardesses are in a flap, but nothing can be done about it now, except give “Ester” more exposure – in her quest for an acting career. “After all,” she said, “ester means star.”

The same year, Ester posed for her single most famous picture – the cover of the album Honey by the Ohio Players.

Ohio Players - Honey (Cover Image)

This seductive album cover somehow sparked a huge myth. Rumors say that the honey was heated up for the shoot, but when she dropped it in her mouth it burned her. (some stories say it killed her.) Her screams of pain were caught on tape, and used in the track “Love Rollercaster.” Other rumors say it was the model being murdered. This rumor was spread by no other then Kasey Kassem, although it doesn’t appear he started it.

The truth is more mundane. “Jimmy ‘Diamond’ Williams, a drummer for the band at the time the album was recorded, explained the origin of the ‘scream’:

“There is a part in the song where there’s a breakdown. It’s guitars, and it’s right before the second verse, and Billy Beck does one of those inhaling-type screeches, like Minnie Riperton did to reach her high note or Mariah Carey does to go octaves above. The DJ made this crack and it swept the country. People were asking us, “Did you kill this girl in the studio?” The band took a vow of silence because you sell more records that way.”

Ohio Players Honey Liner Notes

Ester’s career never seemed to have taken off. She divorced her husband, the “flight instructor friend, Paul” pictured in her Playmate shoot. Soon afterwards she met Robert Ringer, a motivational speaker and self-help author at a party at the Playmate mansion. They married and as far as we know are still happily married.

Ester's Playboy Marriage annoucement

“Playmate Update: #1’s #1”

“Best-selling author, Robert J. (Looking Out for #1) Ringer and October 1974’s Playmate, Ester Cordet (above), met at a Mansion West get-together, we last November. At left, Ester in a pose from Playmate shooting.”

Ester Cordet In bed

Magazine Apperances

1974 – Playboy, October (Playmate of the Month)
1974 – Jet, October (Interview)
1975 – Playboy, July (First Japanese Edition)
1975 – Oui, August (Cover Model)
1976 – Oui, January
1980 – Playmates 312 (Japanese Version)
1983 – Playmates Collection 4 (Japanese Version)

Ester Cordet 0008

If you know anything more about Ester, such as which commercials she might have been in, please comment below!

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