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I Married a Centerfold
I Married a Centerfold (1984)
  • Director:
    Peter Werner
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Victoria Hochberg
  • Cast:
    Teri Copley,Tim Daly,Diane Ladd
  • Time:
    1h 51min
  • Year:
A tenacious young engineer falls in love with a centerfold model he sees on TV and embarks on a romantic adventure to win a bet with his friends to find, romance and marry her.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Teri Copley Teri Copley - Debra Bryan
Tim Daly Tim Daly - Kevin Coates (as Timothy Daly)
Diane Ladd Diane Ladd - Jeanette Bryan
Todd Susman Todd Susman - Bill Bodell
Robert Hanley Robert Hanley - Evans
Anson Williams Anson Williams - Nick Bellows
Bert Remsen Bert Remsen - Gramps
Roger Aaron Brown Roger Aaron Brown - Bob Waters
Richard Jamison Richard Jamison - Ernie Kreeger
Suzanne LaRusch Suzanne LaRusch - Dolly
Jack Fletcher Jack Fletcher - Daniel McDay
Rick Podell Rick Podell - Comic
Stephen Yochem Stephen Yochem - Stage Manager
Tom Kindle Tom Kindle - Ed Weeks
Robbi Morgan Robbi Morgan - Kitty Selver

I Married a Centerfold (1984)

Based on the real-life romance and marriage of Playboy's Miss April 1982, Linda Rhys Vaughn. The scenes of Debra's video profile on the "Centerfold Channel" are remarkably like Linda's Playmate Video Profile without the nudity.

This film is a made for TV movie with just enough jiggle to promise an audience to tune in. As a romance it holds up fairly well for the first eighty minutes. It is only at the end when the "centerfold stands against the face of adversity to sing her song" that the film falls apart. The resulting "courageous" finale is so lubricious, it is an embarrassment.

Both Teri Copley and Tim Daly give amiable performance. Diane Ladd and Bert Remsen in much smaller roles take over whenever they appear on screen. Todd Susman and Anson Mount, TV actors of the time, do yeoman work. And for good measure, a pair of 1980's Playboy Playmates are given cameo parts.

By and large, it is a rather sweet romantic film as long as you leave before they put on the "big show". As to the finale, don't worry. It ends happily. After all, it is called "I Married A Centerfold".
This is a made for television film portraying a fictionalised version of the actual romance between ex-Playmate Linda Vaughn and a Playboy magazine reader who was attracted enough by her pictures to make a successful bet that he would somehow meet her and date her. Shortly after it occurred Playboy made a feature of it to help show how normal the lives of some of the girls who became Playmates actually were, and probably also to encourage other bachelor readers to think that they too might actually meet and date a 'real Playmate'. (This concept was also featured in a number of Playboy TV programs such as 'Duelling for Playmates'). The NBC channel decided the story would make a good basis for this full length fictional TV film, and the result is a film that comes closer than any other I can remember to being a Harlequin Romance presented in movie form. Fortunately it includes some genuine comedy and, if one excludes the very overdrawn final few minutes, is never unbearably syrupy. Although IMDb do not list any DVD information, Platinum Disks have released a DVD version of it for the North American market.

The 'centerfold' in the film is Debra Bryan, played by Teri Copley, a Playboy magazine cover girl. Two other featured 'centerfolds' - ex-Playmate Karen Witter and Linda Wiebe - are in the cast so there is no shortage of eye candy; although this is a 'wholesome' romance intended for family viewing, with an MPAA rating of PG, and does not feature nudity. Debra's rather nerdish suitor, Kevin Coats, is played by Timothy Daly. Bert Remsen has a delightful cameo part as 'Gramps', and Diane Ladd is convincing as Mrs Bryan. Some of the acting is spotty but it was adequate to hold the attention of my wife and myself. If you are looking for a romance of this type, and are expecting nothing more, you are likely to be very happy with this one. For romantics interested in the actual story on which the film is based, I saw a news clip quite recently that featured Linda and her husband still running a very successful stables and equestrian centre somewhere in California.