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Holly Madison

Holly Madison
Madison in December 2007
Born Holly Sue Cullen
(1979-12-23) December 23, 1979
Astoria, Oregon, U.S.
Residence Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Alma mater Portland State University
Loyola Marymount University
Occupation Television personality, model
Years active 1998–present
Known for The Girls Next Door
Holly's World
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Spouse(s) Pasquale Rotella (m. 2013)
Partner(s) Hugh Hefner (2001–2008)
Children 1
Website .com.hollymadisonwww

Holly Sue Cullen[1] (born December 23, 1979),[2][3] known professionally as Holly Madison, is an American model, showgirl and television personality. She is widely known for being one of Hugh Hefner's girlfriends on the reality television series The Girls Next Door and for her own reality series, Holly's World.

Although not a Playboy Playmate, she has appeared in nude pictorials with her Girls Next Door costars, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson. In 2009, she appeared as a contestant on the eighth season of Dancing with the Stars.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • 2003–2009: Playboy and The Girls Next Door 2.1
    • After The Girls Next Door 2.2
      • Dancing with the Stars 2.2.1
      • World's largest bikini parade 2.2.2
      • Peepshow 2.2.3
      • Holly's World 2.2.4
      • 1923 Bourbon and Burlesque 2.2.5
      • Down the Rabbit Hole 2.2.6
  • Personal life 3
  • Filmography 4
    • Film 4.1
    • Television 4.2
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Madison was born in Astoria, Oregon, to Steve and Patsy Cullen.[2] She has a younger brother named Joseph and a younger sister named Stephanie.[1] Her father's work in the maritime shipping industry led her family to travel. At age 2, she lived with her family in Craig, Alaska, on Prince of Wales Island.[4] When she was in middle school, her family returned to St. Helens Oregon. She later attended Portland State University for two years, majoring in both theater and psychology.[4] Aferward, Madison moved to Los Angeles and attended Loyola Marymount University.[2]

To afford college tuition, she competed to become a Hawaiian Tropic model and worked at Hooters. Madison's appearance at these venues led to invitations to Hefner's Playboy Mansion. After more than a year of such visits, Madison was invited to move in. She became one of Hefner's seven official girlfriends in August 2001. In February 2002, after all but two of his girlfriends left, Madison became Hefner's "#1 Girl" and moved into his bedroom.[2] She was named among the top Hooters girls of all time in 2008 as part of the restaurant's 25th anniversary.[5]

Madison has spoken openly about her cosmetic surgeries, having had both a rhinoplasty and breast augmentation. After the latter procedure, her bust measurements went from an A-cup to a D.[6] In 2011, Madison announced that she had insured her breasts for $1 million.[7] She also once had a red Playboy Bunny logo tattooed on her lower back but later had it removed.[8]


2003–2009: Playboy and The Girls Next Door

In 2003, Madison was the subject of a Playboy Cyber Girl of the Week pictorial on the magazine's website. She also appeared on the cover and inside of the November 2005 issue of Playboy, along with Marquardt and Wilkinson, as part of a special pictorial promoting The Girls Next Door. The women were featured again on the covers of the September 2006, March 2008, and February 2009 issues.

In the Season 3 episode "Girls Next Door," Madison stated that she wanted to have a career producing Playboy spreads. During seasons three and four, Madison was shown working at the Playboy studios as an intern and later a junior photo editor. She also helped design and put together The Girls Next Door 2008 calendar.

A self-described animal lover, Madison started writing articles about pets in 2006 for a friend's quarterly magazine, The Coolest Little Pet Magazine. In April 2007, Madison was featured nude in a PETA advertisement, with the tagline "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur."[9]

In February 2009, she quit working for the company altogether due to the split from Hefner making her position "awkward."[10]

After The Girls Next Door

Dancing with the Stars

Madison was chosen to replace Jewel on Dancing with the Stars, after Jewel and Nancy O'Dell were forced to withdraw due to injuries sustained during rehearsal.[11][12] She partnered with Dmitry Chaplin.[11][13] On March 26, 2009, Robin Leach reported that Madison, too, had been injured while practicing, that she had been seen by a doctor and had received a prescription to treat severe rib pain.[13] Said Madison, "I am committed to the show and my partner Dmitry. I will rest when it’s possible. I fully hope and expect to dance on Monday."[13] On the March 31, 2009 double elimination show,[13] Holly and Dmitry were voted off.[14]

World's largest bikini parade

In May 2009, Madison and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman led a Guinness World Record-breaking "largest bikini parade ever."[15] According to the Las Vegas Sun, "The politician and the former Playboy play thing joined forces to usher in the city's summer swimsuit season..." in an event timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign.[15] The 281 parade participants broke the prior record of 250.[15] The mark has subsequently been eclipsed by events in the Cayman Islands (331),[16][17] Brisbane, Australia (357)[16][17] and Panama City, Florida (450).[16][17]


Madison starred in a topless burlesque show called Peepshow at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. She was brought in to replace Kelly Monaco after Monaco's three-month contract was up.[18] Madison was likewise initially signed to a three-month contract. It was eventually extended to a full year.[19] She left the show in 2012 due to her pregnancy. She was replaced as Bo Peep by Coco Austin.[20]

Holly's World

Like former The Girls Next Door co-star Kendra Wilkinson, Madison starred in her own reality show, Holly's World,[21] which revolved around her life at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. "It's all good-natured and not mean like other reality shows," Madison said of her show. "I'm really excited about the new series because I am also getting a legitimate co-producer credit for all the work I do behind the camera. It's not a vanity credit. I'm super excited to learn from the best and take on new responsibilities." [22] The show premiered with a "preview episode" on December 6, 2009, and ran for 2 seasons.[23]

1923 Bourbon and Burlesque

In May 2014 Madison opened a speakeasy-themed club, 1923 Bourbon and Burlesque, at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas.[24]

Down the Rabbit Hole

In 2015 her memoir Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny (ISBN 978-0-06-237210-9) was published. The book reveals exploits from living in the Playboy Mansion and discusses relationships with Hugh Hefner, Bridget Marquardt, Kendra Wilkinson, and Criss Angel, among others.[25]

Personal life

During her time with Hugh Hefner, Madison stated that she wanted to marry Hefner and have his children. During an interview at the Playmate of the Year luncheon in May 2008, Hefner stated, "I love Holly very much and I think we’re going to be together the rest of my life, but marriage isn’t part of my puzzle. It’s not a personal thing; I just haven’t had much luck with marriages."[26]

On October 7, 2008, Madison announced that her relationship with Hefner had ended, but that she, Bridget Marquardt, and Kendra Wilkinson are "still filming stuff together."[27] Hugh Hefner confirmed the breakup stating that, "If Holly says it's over, I guess it's over." Despite the breakup, all three girls committed to a sixth season of The Girls Next Door.[28]

In the late 2000s, Madison dated magician Criss Angel for four months.[1]

In 2009, Madison stated, "I'm never dating anybody again. I don't need a man. I'm really happy with myself and being with my friends... I'm focused on forwarding my career. I'm working on producing my own shows. Girls Next Door was a great place to start but it was somebody else's show. I'm just ready to move on."[29]

From late 2010 to early 2011 Madison dated Jack Barakat, a member of the band All Time Low.[30]

In August 2012, Madison announced that she and Pasquale Rotella, whom she began dating in 2011, were expecting their first child together.[31] Madison gave birth to their daughter, Rainbow Aurora Rotella, on March 5, 2013 in Las Vegas.[32][33] Madison and Rotella were married at Disneyland on September 10, 2013.[34]



Madison in an advertisement for PETA's anti-fur campaign
Year Film Role Notes
1998 The Last Broadcast Miss Lady Bright Eyes [35]
2006 Scary Movie 4 Blonde # 1
2008 The House Bunny Herself
2009 The Telling Stephanie
2015 Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! Lieutenant Harrison


Year Title Role Notes
2002 MTV Cribs Herself 1 episode
2003 The Surreal Life Herself Episode: "The Wedding and Goodbye"
Doggy Fizzle Televizzle Herself Episode: 4
2004 The Sharon Osbourne Show Herself 1 episode
The Bernie Mac Show Bunny Episode: "The Talk"
Viva La Bam Herself Episode: "Drive-Way Skate Park"
2005 Curb Your Enthusiasm Herself Season 5 Episode 6 - "The Smoking Jacket"
The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch Herself 1 episode
2005 Entourage Herself Episode: "Aquamansion"
2005–2006 The Tyra Banks Show Herself 2 episodes
2005–2009 The Girls Next Door Herself (seasons 1-5. 80 episodes)
2006 E! True Hollywood Story Herself Episode: "Hugh Hefner: Girlfriends, Wives and Centerfolds"
Amazon Fishbowl Herself 1 episode
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson Herself Uncredited, 2 episodes
Robot Chicken Herself (Voice) Episode: "Drippy Pony"
The Ellen DeGeneres Show Herself 1 episode
2007 Keeping Up with the Kardashians Herself Episode: "Birthday Suit"
Phenomenon Herself Episode: Three
Last Call with Carson Daly Herself 1 episode
2008 Today Herself 1 episode
Celebrity Family Feud Herself Episode: "Vincent Pastore vs. The Girls Next Door"
Living Lohan Herself Episode: "The Billionaire Babysitters"
Chelsea Lately[36] Herself 1 episode
2009 Dancing with the Stars Contestant (Season 8, eliminated 3rd round)
2009–2010 Kendra Herself 2 episodes
2009–2011 Holly's World Herself (Seasons 1-2. 19 Episodes)
2010 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Hot Blonde Episodes: "Pool Shark"
2010 When I Was 17 Herself 1 episode
2013 “Holly Has a Baby”! Herself E! Special


  1. ^ a b c Katsilometes, John. "Holly: Dancing with the new star of Peepshow, the woman who plans to be the ultimate Miss Las Vegas".  
  2. ^ a b c d "Biography". (official site). Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  3. ^ "Holly Madison: Biography".  
  4. ^ a b "Interview: Holly Madison!!!". Archived from the original on May 1, 2009. Retrieved August 16, 2008. 
  5. ^ "The Top  
  6. ^ "Holly Madison: Plastic Surgery". 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  7. ^ Gray, Mark. "Holly Madison Insures Her Breasts for $1 Million". Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Holly Madison has Playboy bunny tattoo removed". 
  9. ^ (April 20, 2007). "Playboy Model Holly Madison Stars in 'I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur' Ad". Retrieved April 20, 2007. 
  10. ^ Gibson, Cristina (2009-02-05). "Holly Madison Quits "Awkward" Job at Playboy". E! Online. Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  11. ^ a b ,Holly Madison & Melissa Rycroft Join 'Dancing,' The Woz Does WorstThomson, Katherine, Huffington Post, 10 March 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  12. ^ "'"2 more celebrities kicked off ABC's `Dancing. Associated Press. 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  13. ^ a b c d ,Holly Madison joins injured list on Dancing With the StarsLeach, Robin, Las Vegas Weekly, 26 March 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  14. ^ , Reality TV Magazine, 1 April 2009.Dancing With The Stars: Holly Madison Talks About EliminationElrick, Britteny, Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  15. ^ a b c ,Goodman, Holly Madison welcome summer, set bikini recordArseniuk, Melissa Las Vegas Sun, 14 May 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  16. ^ a b c ,Bikini parade in Panama City Beach sets a world recordMiller, Daniel, The Daily Mail, 3 October 2011.} Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  17. ^ a b c ,Bikini parade in Panama City Beach sets a world recordYancey, Kitty Bean, USA Today, 3 March 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  18. ^ Gray, Mark (2009-05-14). "Holly Madison to Replace Kelly Monaco in Sexy Vegas Show". People (People). Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  19. ^ Arseniuk, Melissa (2009-09-08). "'"Holly Madison to continue in 'Peepshow. Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2009-12-07. 
  20. ^ Katsilometes, John, ‘Peepshow’ replaces Holly Madison by adding Coco to the mix, Las Vegas Sun, 24 September 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  21. ^ "Holly Madison Gets Her Own Reality Show". 
  22. ^ Chernikoff, Leah (2009-09-24). """Playboy bunny, Holly Madison, set to start filming her own Reality TV show "Planet Holly. New York Daily News. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  23. ^ Clarke, Norm (2009-11-22). "NORM: Reality TV sets in for Holly Madison". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  24. ^ "On the prowl! Holly Madison looks wild in a leopard print dress as she attends Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas".  
  25. ^ Lee, Esther. "Holly Madison's Memoir "Lifts the Veil" on Days Inside the Playboy Mansion". US Weekly. Retrieved 23 July 2015. I'm excited to finally share my story and what I've learned from my personal experiences both inside and outside of the Playboy Mansion... I think my stories will surprise people and I’m looking forward to lifting the veil of mystique and clearing up the misconceptions so often associated with my life. 
  26. ^ (May 12, 2008). "Holly Heartbroken: Hef Reveals Why She’ll Never Be His Wife". Fox News. Retrieved May 12, 2008. 
  27. ^ "Holly to Hugh: Hef Off". October 7, 2008. Retrieved October 7, 2008. 
  28. ^ Lang, Derrick J. (October 9, 2008). "Hugh Hefner opens up about Holly Madison breakup".  
  29. ^ Gray, Mark (2009-03-04). "Holly Madison Is Single, and Staying that Way". Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  30. ^ Gibson, Cristina. "Holly Madison: I met my boyfriend on twitter". Eonline. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  31. ^ "Holly Madison Expecting First Child".  
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Holly Madison reveals her newborn daughter's very colourful name".  
  34. ^ Blumm, K.C. (2013-09-11). "Holly Madison Marries Pasquale Rotella". People. Retrieved 2013-09-11. 
  35. ^ The Last Broadcast: Cast and Details, TV Guide website. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  36. ^ "Chelsea Lately: Holly Madison". 

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