James Bond has had a long association with Playboy Magazine and several Ian Fleming short stories have been published in it from 1960-1966. With Bond’s constant appetite for the opposite sex and the sexual innuendo that had been worked into the films, it was only a matter of time until audiences would see a Playboy Magazine on screen.
Waiting for a codebreaking machine to finish its duty in the office of Swiss lawyers Gumbold in Bern, James Bond (portrayed by George Lazenby) finds the February 1969 issue of Playboy hidden in a daily newspaper in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, the sixth film in the popular James Bond film series. Bond is seen looking at the centrefold, roguishly smiling. Despite the timing for such a scene being absolutely in tune with the sexual revolution of the 1960s, it was still somehow odd but funny at the same time.
But what is Bond actually looking at? Looking for the answer, one naturally has to get a copy of the 47 year old magazine that sometimes pops up on ebay and is also available to order at www.magazineshoponline.com. The interesting thing when browsing through the older issues is that the content was made up of much more text than you would expect of a magazine that is known to everyone as an explicit adult magazine. When compared to the April 2016 issue, the one from 1969 is 106 pages stronger and thus featured a lot more content on a variety of subjects. But that’s not really the answer to the question above.
Bond is feasting his eyes on the Playmate of the Month, Lorrie Menconi. Born on February 24, 1948 in Philadelphia, Menconi appeared on five pages and the legendary centrefold, photographed by William Figge and Ed DeLong. Lorrie (then 21 years old) was one of several Playmates who were pregnant at the time of her shoot. This was not mentioned in her Playmate article, nor was it mentioned that she was married – both common occurrences at the time, when biographical details about Playmates were obscured or enhanced by the magazine. One of the pictures in the profile accompanying her centerfold pose showed her lying in a swimming pool with her breasts floating on the water and her hair tied in pigtails, with the caption to the picture reading “a pigtailed Lorrie pools her resources.”
Although her centrefold photo, that Bond naturally took with him, can very briefly be seen when James Bond leaves Gumbold’s office, the full image is not revealed to the viewer. Thankfully, we were able to scan a high-resolution image from the original issue and thus answer the question what Bond was smiling about.
This is arguably the first (and probably last) erotic art photo you will see at ‘The Bond Bulletin’ and we surely could have prudishly censored the juicy bits…but it’s art and a beautiful portrayal of a natural female body without being raunchy. Why conceal it?
Following her appearance in Playboy Magazine, Lorrie Menconi went on to work in a veterinarian’s clinic and later went into sales; she also raised four children of which one, 1982 born Ashlee Ricci, also appeared in Playboy in October 2008. Ricci is also the cousin of actress Christina Ricci.
Now 68 years old, Lorrie Menconi occasionally attends conventions on which she happily signs autographs.
Although the February 1969 issue of Playboy was the only time the magazine appeared in a James Bond film, the relationship between the world’s best secret agent and the premium entertainment magazine continued through the years to promote the films. Notable actresses from the series posed for the magazine, among them Barbara Bach in 1977, Maryam D’Abo in 1987 and Denise Richards in 1999. The July 1979 issue of Playboy even featured a Bond Girl Special, focusing on the “Moonraker” Girls Corinne Clery, Irka Bochenko, Nicaise Jean Louis and Francoise Gayat.