From ‘The Girls Next Door’ to Now

Holly Madison first made a name for herself while appearing on the E! reality television show The Girls Next Door and she has since shared many new revelations about life inside the iconic Playboy mansion.

The Alaska native was introduced to the world as Hugh Hefner’s “No. 1 girlfriend” when the series aired in 2005, showing what it was like to live with the famous magazine founder in Los Angeles.

At the time, Holly had already been in a relationship with Hugh for three and a half years. “I was intimidated by Hef when I first met him. He seemed really imposing,” she said on the premiere episode. “After Hef’s and my first date, I moved in two days later,” the blonde beauty revealed. “I guess you could say we’re made for each other.”

After appearing on five seasons of the show, the TV personality decided that she wanted more out of life, having discussed her thoughts in a New York Times best-selling memoir, Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny.  

In the book, Holly also shared how she developed her career and subsequent relationships, writing, “I won’t apologize for the choices I made, because all of them brought me to the wonderful place I am today.”

In another candid interview, the author talked about why she decided to take a leap of faith by leaving the world and the man she knew so well behind. 

“I moved into the Playboy mansion right when I was in the middle of college. I didn’t date like a normal person in my 20s; I wasn’t pursuing a normal career or getting to know myself in the ways that most people do when they’re in the real world,” Holly told Broadly in 2016. “When I moved out at age 29, I felt like I was coming out of college almost. I was having the experiences that most people have in their 20s — finally.” 

The following year, Hugh died in September at the age of 91 at his home in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California.

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After her appearances on The Girls Next Door came to an end, the model went on to find more opportunities in television, even getting cast on Dancing With the Stars and landing her own spinoff, Holly’s World. She also became the new star of Planet Hollywood’s large-scale burlesque show Peepshow in Las Vegas. 

In 2021, Holly revisited her time with Hugh at the mansion during the April 7 episode of Barstool Sports’ “Call Her Daddy” podcast, also chatting about the status of her friendships with former costars Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson.

Scroll through the gallery below to see Holly over the years and get new details.

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