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West Hartford Woman Is Playboy's First Connecticut Centerfold

Hall High School graduate Ashley Doris Wilson appears as 'Miss March' in the issue of Playboy being released Friday.

WEST HARTFORD, CT -- Ashley Doris Wilson, who now goes by the name Ashley Doris, didn't set out to be the first Connecticut woman to be featured as a centerfold model in Playboy. She didn't even plan to attend a casting call for the magazine at all.

The 23-year-old West Hartford native was in Las Vegas last summer, competing in a "Miss Hawaiian Tropic" bikini contest, when a friend convinced her to go to the Playboy casting being held at the same hotel. Doris was selected to pose for Playboy.com, and then was asked to attend a Playmate casting call.

"Heff [Hugh Hefner] himself had to point me out," Doris said Wednesday from San Diego, where she has spent most of her time since she finished up her centerfold shoot at the Playboy Mansion in December. Playboy gets as many as 15,000 applications a month for the opportunity to be a Playmate, Doris said. "The fact that they randomly chose me is crazy."

She didn't tell many people at first – not even her mom. On day 19 of 21 at the mansion, she said she texted her mother. "At first when I texted my mom she said, 'What? Playmate?' but then she said, 'OH WOW, CONGRATULATIONS!' all in caps in the text when she realized," Doris said.

Doris was surprised to learn that she was the first Playmate from Connecticut, since the magazine has been around since 1953. "I wasn't thinking about that until an interviewer told me I was the first. It was a huge surprise," she said.

Modeling was not part of Doris' career plan when she graduated from Hall High School in 2007. She was a dedicated dancer, a member of Hall's Jazz Dancers, and studied ballet and other forms of dance for 15 years with Miss Estelle Jones and the Hartt School in West Hartford.

"I graduated at 17, I was thinking about college and working," Doris said. She was attending Central Connecticut State University and working at Lane and Lenge Florists on Park Road in West Hartford when her first modeling opportunity arose.

"She came to work for me right after high school. She was a good worker, and always very pleasant to our patrons. I wanted to promote our wedding work, and asked her to pose for me as a bride in an ad," said Lane and Lenge owner Bob Dinucci.

The photos turned out beautifully, and he told Doris, "You really should be modeling."

Dinucci contacted his close friend Gerard Barrieau, whose daughter-in-law had been a top model and was working on growing her photography business. Cheyney Barrieau created a portfolio for Doris — free of charge — and made some introductions.

"She started to get quite a bit of work," Dinucci said.

Doris is not tall — only 5'5" — and she knew she couldn't make it as a New York model. She did a lot of work in the Boston area, while continuing to work at Lane and Lenge when she could.

Doris has appeared as a young mother in ads for Toys R Us and Coppertone. She has modeled for Adidas and Reebok. In an ad which will appear for CVS this spring she plays a pharmacist.

"It's kind of weird how it's all so varied. Pharmacy is very different from Playboy," Doris said, laughing.

Right now she isn't seeking any more commercial work and said she has a packed schedule of appearances for her role as Miss March. She's hosting the Miss Hawaiian Tropic World Finals in a few weeks — the contest she was trying out for when she attended the Playboy casting call.

"It's kind of cool how it came full circle," she said.

Doris said she is "absolutely, 100 percent glad" that she was chosen for Playboy, and said her friends are excited for her, too.

As for the part about posing nude, Doris said after a little while she wasn't uncomfortable. "On the set there were 15 people. They've all done this so many times, I had to pretend I'd done it many times, too. Within 10 minutes, I felt like I had." She said after years of modeling and posing to get the best angles, it's really all the same.

The theme for her centerfold spread was based on flowers — all peonies, roses, pinks and pastels. "They took the cue from my florist days," she said.

Doris' family is still in West Hartford, and she was back home for Christmas and New Year's, she said. She'll definitely be back this summer when she will appear as the first Playmate from Connecticut at the Summer Nationals vintage car show at the Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, CT.

Doris said she loved her work at Lane and Lenge and hopes to be able to help them out during their busy seasons if she is in town. "It gets crazy busy there. They'll be swamped right now for Valentine's Day. I was so used to doing a dozen red roses with a ribbon," she said.

Dinucci said, "She's more than welcome to come back, although the pay scale will be very different." He said Doris would have been a great help this week.

Ronni Newton February 16, 2013 at 03:27 AM
West Hartford res. - We have all kinds of stories on this site. Today I also profiled a young woman, who also graduated from Hall High School at just about the same time as Ashley Doris, who has just released her first album. We had a video about the Citizens Against Gun Violence rally yesterday which many residents participated in, and along with our Farmington editor I wrote a story about the potential impact of changes to car taxes. One of the most read stories recently was about Hall students who donated their hair in honor of a staff member who has pancreatic cancer. All of these stories are news about people, events, or situations which are about and/or impact West Hartford. It is up to West Hartford Patch readers to decide what is of interest, and what to read. I hope you will continue to read what interests you. And, if you can provide the information about the young lady who took two buses to go to school on a scholarship (and if there is some connection to West Hartford), that's a story I would love to write!
Allan Gedan February 16, 2013 at 12:33 PM
shes hot...
verneen paradise February 16, 2013 at 08:17 PM
Thank you Ronnie for your reply. The fact that you care about your readers is refreshing and gives me hope. The young lady graduated from middle school and was a Hartford resident who took these buses to attend a West Hartford middle school. I will try to contact other parents to see if they new the young girls full name. My daughter was 2 years behind in school but I will definitely follow up. I will always remember her for her wonderful smile and determination and she is an example to live up to in our household. This story was upsetting as having personal experience with sexual abuse it is not something a young woman easily overcomes. I want all young woman to be valued for who they are and to value themselves for beauty is fleeting. Thank you again for response I truly appreciate it.
West Hartford tax payer February 16, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Good for her, the real bad news is that now all her old teachers can see her naked
toni from w hart February 17, 2013 at 08:07 PM
tell this young lady to put her damn clothes back on, grow up & quit acting like a woman no worthy man would respect. period. next you'll want a pose of her next to a strippers pole. it may be 'acceptable' in some circles of liberal thought, but when this gal is 55, i wonder if she'd change her mind or think as 'freely' as some who think this is complimentary to showcase.

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