Candy Loving Then And Now: Whatever Happened To Playboy's Girl Next Door?

Culture | December 5, 2018

Written by Jacob Shelton

For many men of a certain age, the name "Candy Loving" brings back a rush memories from 1979: big hair, short shorts, a certain rabbit-head logo, and the "girl next door." Candy Loving was plucked out of obscurity to become Playboy magazine's 25th anniversary Playmate, and she quickly became one of the most popular centerfolds in the history of the magazine. But after a few more photo spreads with Playboy, Loving shied away from the public eye, leaving many fans to wonder what happened to this sexy girl next door.

After a few years of modeling and traveling, she more or less disappeared. Unlike many popular Playmates, she didn't become a go-to poster girl for Hugh Hefner's empire or make a serious run at a career in Hollywood. The Candy Loving story is a short one, but it’s full of fascinating twists and turns. Here's what she did, and where she is these days, this is the Candy Loving story: then and now. 

First Up: Fake Or Not? The Story Of Candy Loving's Name


It's a perennial guy question: Who's the Playboy Playmate you remember from your youth? Candy Loving is a common answer. She had that girl-next-door look and curves for days -- these are important traits for a Playmate. But she also had that name. That name! Candy Loving -- even if she wasn't a guy's absolute #1 favorite from his youth, he might still say she was, just because of the unforgettable name, which is practically a synonym for "adolescent fantasy."

In 2000, Playboy ranked its top 100 Playmates to date -- and Candy Loving came in sixth place. Candy fans would say that such a low ranking casts doubt on the entire list. On the other hand -- Candy Loving didn't go the route of Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, Shannon Tweed or the E! network's Girls Next Door (who weren't technically Playmates). Candy Loving wasn't Marilyn Monroe (Playboy's first centerfold) or Bettie Page (a Playmate who was also one of the most photographed glamour models of her day) or Barbi Benton (Hugh Hefner's girlfriend for years, and also not technically a Playmate). Candy Loving was famous without being a celebrity -- in fact, she gave stardom a good look and decided she didn't want it. Thanks, but no thanks. She made a swift and fitting exit -- fitting considering how suddenly she had risen to national prominence, from modest beginnings in America's heartland.

Candy Loving's Real Name Is...

The sex symbol later known as Candy Loving was born Candis Loving on September 4, 1956 in Oswego, Kansas. That’s right, folks -- Candy Loving is not a pseudonym dreamed up by some magazine editor for its adult-film-ish overtones. It's her real name. Candis/Candy moved with her parents to Ponca City, Oklahoma when she was three and grew up there with three siblings: an older sister named Cassi, a younger sister named Cari, and a brother, Kevin. After graduating from Ponca City Senior High, she was off to college at the University of Oklahoma, in Norman. Throughout her youth she was focused on getting a good education, and even after her modeling career took off she went back to school and made sure that she had something to fall back on after her star waned.

After exiting the spotlight, Candy went back to being Candis. With an "s." No "e."

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Jacob Shelton


Jacob Shelton is a Los Angeles based writer. For some reason this was the most difficult thing he’s written all day, and here’s the kicker – his girlfriend wrote the funny part of that last sentence. As for the rest of the bio? That’s pure Jacob, baby. He’s obsessed with the ways in which singular, transgressive acts have shaped the broader strokes of history, and he believes in alternate dimensions, which means that he’s great at a dinner party. When he’s not writing about culture, pop or otherwise, he’s adding to his found photograph collection and eavesdropping on strangers in public.