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1962's 'Playmate of the Year' dies

By Mark Morgenstein, CNN
March 30, 2013 -- Updated 2304 GMT (0704 HKT)
Playboy magazine's 1962
Playboy magazine's 1962 "Playmate of the Year," Christa Speck Krofft.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Christina Speck Krofft, 70, died March 22, family says
  • She was named 1962 Playboy "Playmate of the Year"
  • She later married famous children's TV producer Marty Krofft

(CNN) -- Playboy magazine's 1962 "Playmate of the Year," Christa Speck Krofft, died March 22 of natural causes at the age of 70, a family spokesman said Friday.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner tweeted, "I'm saddened by the death of dear friend 1962 PMOY Christa Speck."

Magazine talent scouts discovered the then-Christina Speck when she was working as a secretary at Bank of America, according to family spokesman Christoph Buerger.

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Then, 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, 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," the spokesman said.

The model/actress is survived by her husband, noted children's television producer Marty Krofft, their three daughters and their five grandchildren, all of whom released a statement:

"Mom had an uncanny ability to make everyone smile and touched so many people with her unique sense of humor. 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."

People we lost in 2013: The lives they lived

CNN's KJ Matthews and Henry Hanks contributed to this report

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