The saga of model-turned-actress Dorothy Stratten is, by now, a familiar tale. Slain at only 20 years old, Stratten led a brief and tragic life.
Born Dorothy Ruth Hoogstraten on February 28, 1960, in a cow town outside of Vancouver, Canada, Dorothy (along with two siblings) was abandoned by her working-class father at an early age, leaving her mother, Nelly, to raise the children. Dorothy was, by all accounts, a sweet-natured teenager with a gift for writing poetry and a lyrical and innocent view of life. In her mid-late teens, she took a job at a local Dairy Queen and ultimately met Paul Snider, a Vancouver-based pusher, con artist, and pimp who idolized Hugh Hefner, exuded intense chauvinism, and craved public recognition and celebrity. Cajoling Dorothy with flattery, gifts and romantic attention, Snider began dating her, then convinced her to begin posing nude for a series of sleazy photographers, and eventually pressured her into marriage; he also changed her surname from Hoogstraten to the Americanized Stratten.