But with her Mia Farrow-esque pixie cut, she had a , even popping up in the film's trailer. Broke again, she picked up the Nikon and started to take topless photographs of her friends.
She threatened to sell the images to and the magazine's brass relented. Exotic birds are known to mill about the Playboy property.
When Suze and Lillian's car pulled up to the gates that first night, a massive male peacock strutted across the entranceway with his feathers erect. Suze and Lillian dropped their bags in their bedrooms and, within the hour, were splashing around in the Mansion's famous grotto, a wading-pool-hot-tub hidden behind a waterfall (at least, thats how Rob Lowe described it in his memoir).
She was sharing a crappy Earls Court flat with seven other nurses and dating an aspiring novelist named Humphry Knipe when she spotted an advertisement in an underground newspaper: "Attractive girls wanted for nude modeling. Make up to 100 pounds a day." Though Suze, who grew up in working-class Worcestershire, had never been described as shy, pornography was an unlikely side hustle.
"I would've been very happy to stay a nurse," Suze says now, "but Humphry had these fantasies of becoming a very rich and powerful writer.
Bugliosi, who famously prosecuted Charles Manson and later wrote the 1974 bestseller about the case, According to Suze, Sundays were dubbed the "Society Day," and a lavish buffet of shrimp and lobster would appear before everyone was ushered into the screening room. On one of her early shoots, Suze recalls a resentful male telling her to "load your own damn film." Other men felt she hadn't earned her spot—and there was some truth to that.
(Rumor had it that Hef ate exactly one meal a day—in his bedroom, sometime between midnight and 5 a.m.) Suze's photographs of Lillian ran in the August 1975 issue of That the photographs were taken by a woman became a selling point. Hef never would have flown an unknown British photographer to the United States to photograph a nubile nobody. "I jumped the line." It didn't help that she was the only photographer Hef regularly invited to the Mansion, a playground generally off-limits to the hired help.
They would stand you on a plain background and they'd say 'Do something!
' One famous fashion photographer freaked me out so much that I couldn't walk." As a photographer," Suze adds, "you're only as good as your model feels." Oddly, her nursing degree proved to be an asset.
Under the headline—"Scandinavian Modern"— the text read like a Sapphic love story: the tale of a "restless college student specializing in languages" and a former model "who'd switched to the other side of the camera." The two women, the text teased, even "wound up rooming together."Suze wasn't the first woman to shoot for (That honor is believed to belong to Bunny Yeager, who photographed Bettie Page for the magazine in the 1950s.) But Suze was the first to shoot a full-frontal spread and worked exclusively for them for two years. She was such a curious sight that when legendary footballer Jim Brown (notorious for his NFL feats and for accusations of violence against women that trailed his career), stopped by the Mansion one day, he couldn't understand why Suze had a camera in her hand, Suze says. But a rebellious former erotic model with a camera? Suze had something else some of her male colleagues envied: an ease with the models, and an understanding of what it was to be in front of the camera.