Our Centrefold Venus of the Month is a spectacular redhead from Florida named Myrna Weber, looking completely edible in her pictorial called Playmate on a Picnic. She is positively gleaming as she kneels at sunset on a west Florida beach. Myrna is an Irish Gaelic name meaning "beloved".
Her pictorial appeared in the August 1958 issue of Playboy. from the time that they did not indicate the year on the magazine cover. Playboy claimed she had just turned nineteen but she was born on April 20th 1958 so would have been twenty when her pictorial appeared. Anyway, Fifties make-up makes her look older.
The pictorial was shot was by photographer Bunny (real first names Linnea Elenor) Yeager (1929-2014) in Florida. Playboy photographers at the time worked to a strict artistic brief from Playboy HQ in Chicago. Yeager was told to produce a centrefold picture with a camp fire in the foreground against a sea reflecting a sunset. Now Yeager was based in Miami, where the sea is to the east of the beach so had to drive across the whole of Florida to the Gulf of Mexico coast to find a west facing beach to enable her to catch the sunset.
The story behind the pictorial was that Myrna was on a picnic, so we have a picture of her getting ready to set off to the beach.
When she gets there she obviously decides to strip off and go skinny dipping, although whether this is before the picnic or after is never made clear!
Myrna hardly reveals anything to the camera, even by the standards of Playboy in the nineteen fifties. Other pictures taken during the shoot are no different and it is only in a couple, including this one, which didn't appear in the magazine, where she reveals a little glimpse of nipple.
Here she is on the beach, no doubt tuning her radio in to some hip and groovy rock and roll.
This is the most revealing shot she posed for in a series of rather nice interior studies. The pictures in the magazine being mainly exterior shots.
This very small colour shot appeared in the magazine's September 1959 issue in a pictorial about Bunny Yeager's photography. It gives us the colour scheme for the black and white pictures above.
Finally, we have a few more colour shots of Myrna which appeared in the magazine on different occasions or are outtakes.
This was Myrna's Playmate review shot from the January 1959 issue and it, and the similar outtake above, gives us an idea of quite how impressive her bust was.
Bunny Yeager clicks for the camera
Former glamour model Yeager had, of course, previously photographed cult model Bettie Page and had been instrumental in bringing her to the attention of Hugh Hefner who made her Playmate of the Month for January 1954 in a shot taken by Yeager. Yeager would photograph eight Playboy centrefolds in all.
Yeager was also famous for photographing the iconic shots of Ursula Andress from the Jamaican beach set of the first James Bond film, Dr No (1962).