Christa Speck Krofft, who was named “Playmate of the Year” in 1962, has died of natural causes at the age of 70.
Family spokesman Christoph Buerger said Christa Speck Krofft died on March 22, at home.
Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner tweeted: “I’m saddened by the death of dear friend 1962 PMOY Christa Speck.”
Christa Speck, a native of Danzig, Germany, was working as a bank secretary at Bank of America when she was discovered by Playboy.
She became what her family calls “one of the most celebrated Playmates of her time”.
After Playboy named her “Playmate of the Month” for September 1961, Christa Speck worked as a Playboy Bunny in the Chicago club, “lived in Hefner’s famed Playboy Mansion, and was featured in all the magazine’s Sixties pictorials about life at Hef’s place”, Christoph Buerger said.
Christa Speck was selected by Playboy editors and readers as one of their 10 favorite Playmates from the magazine’s first decade.
Her centerfold is seen in the 1978 comedy classic Animal House, which is set in 1962.
Christa Speck married noted children’s television producer Marty Krofft, of H.R. Pufnstuf and Land of the Lost fame, in September 1965.
Other survivors include their daughters Deanna, Kristina and Kendra and their grandchildren Taylor, Karson, Griffin, Georgia and Drake.
“Mom had an uncanny ability to make everyone smile and touched so many people with her unique sense of humor,” read a statement attributed to the family.
“It’s rare to find a human being that holds no judgment and sees the good in everyone. That was our mom. We will miss her terribly.”