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We left off our 3-part salute toPlay More Cards Week with everyone’s favorite party game: Strip Poker. This final “deal” is focused on sexy celebrities and playing cards …

… so let’s begin this round with the most memorable celebrity contest—2004’s Strip Poker Invitational event, hosted by Baywatch beauty Carmen Electra (below right).

“The game is Seven Card Texas Hold ’em,” hyped the press release from Aces Eights Entertainment. “With six gorgeous girls vying for a $50,000 pot. The winner takes all. And bit by bit the losers lose … well let’s just say—enough to give the serious game of poker a seriously salacious twist.

“Thousands of eager applicants were auditioned to find the rare combination of beauty, brains and steel nerves required for the tournament. Six stunning and exotically beautiful young women were eventually chosen to face off across the green felt. Each has honed her poker skills … and is ready to get out there and show what she’s got. Girls will be girls and the nudity is lighthearted and fun. But with 50 grand at stake these beauties are truly going for it—willing and eager to bet it all and lose the shirts off their backs for a shot at the pot.”

Which went to Singapore sexpot Felicia Tang {below center just behind host Carmen}, who bested such skilled players as, L to R: Tiffany (Friday Night Lights) Lang, model Erica Allen and Tracy (Back to the Future II) Dali … as well as popular glamour queens Aimee Sweet and Heather Carolin.

“The girls look good and the poker is well played,” read one rave review. “Unlike other Strip Poker DVDs, this one concentrates on the Poker more than the Nudity.”

The contestants clearly took the card playing seriously {Felicia loses her top 4 minutes in}:

“The winner of each hand chooses someone else to strip off an item of clothing.” The contest came down to the last hand and the final two—both left with nothing but panties on—and Tang went out with a bang … beating Heather Carolin by drawing a (not so) straight flush of hearts!

Sadly, Felicia went out with a thud just 5 years later—allegedly bludgeoned to death and tortured on 9/11/2009 by her live-in boyfriend Brian Lee Randone, a reality contestant on The Sexiest Bachelor in America turned preacher!

Despite “more than 300 blunt force trauma wounds throughout her body,” Randone’s lawyers argued that “Tang died of an overdose of GHB” {the so-called ‘date rape drug’} and sustained her injuries while intoxicated on the drug” … and her accused killer was found not guilty more than two years later (below left). Much to the astonishment and anger of Felicia’s former lesbian lover Tila Tequila (below right coming up at bottom).

The final word on her Strip Poker Invitational triumph comes from an Amazon review: “The women in it are sensational, but no, you don’t get to see {hostess} Carmen Electra strip.” So Sleuth provides the payoff.

And he’s also hit the Jackpot by uncovering the best reason to Play More Cards this week … Vintage NudeDecks!

“It’s hard to identify the first set of naughty playing cards ever made,” observes WizBangPop.com, “but the history of nudie cards is nearly as long as playing cards themselves! While many sets of these cards were little more than cheap imports, other vintage examples of nude model decks produced in America exist in ample supply, sometimes commanding big prices on eBay among collectors.”

There’s even a best-selling book about them … based on the collection of Sleuth’s pal, Mark Rotenberg and with the same title as our salute to the subject (below left). Perfectly embodied by this sample from Sleuth’s ‘holdings’ (below right).

“Within these pages,” the Stacked Decks synopsis promises, “readers will discover illustrated cards dating back to 1835, from all over the world. And of course, there are women. There are models, flappers, and strippers ... blondes, brunettes and redheads.”

Why, that’s British ’50s figure pioneer Pamela Green at top right … and her American counter•part JayneMansfield as the 3 of Clubs!

“There are women holding guns,” depicted on this vintage nude playing cards, states the synopsis. “Women wearing sombreros and pith helmets. Women reclining on shag carpets. Women posing in ways that defy description—you simply have to see for yourself.” Two of Sleuth’s favorites are this Camera Buff … plus her fellow Queen of Tea A.

“Just try to concentrate on your winning hand,” dares a recent come-on for one set of ‘Naked Beauties’ playing cards. “These are wonderfully vintage and oh so cool, since they feature women from another place in time.”

And best of all, to Sleuth’s eye, it was a time before implants … when the beauteous bods were God’s!

Born Idella Holmes, Taffey became an actress—starring in 1957’s Kiss Me Baby and, fittingly, the following year’s mainstream Mailer movie The Naked and the Dead. A curvy card shark, the 39½-24-36 exotic dancer called her act ‘The Stacked Deck’ {great minds think alike!}, in which she foiled Fifties censors with a pair of playing-card pasties.

Concludes one historian of the genre: “Nudie playing cards have nearly always been with us, and will remain … as long as there are customers, there will be naked decks. Business is business, you know...

“BTW, few people know that Betty White was once a nude model, with her naked pose even found on one of the older, vintage nude playing cards.”

Sleuth knows … since yours truly was the one who first found it … and exposed the then-Golden Girl in his inaugural issue! Which sold out after David Letterman confronted Betty with the photo on his October 2, 1985 Late Night show.

So let’s let Betty begin Celebrity Sleuth’s tribute to the Top 13 Celebs he was able to spot and identify in decks of Nude Playing Cards long before they were famous.

Why 13? Because that’s the number of cards that make up each (birthday) suit!

After all, the backs of each card in a deck are identical … so we should focus on the fronts.

In chronological order, from the earliest vintage ...


Sleuth was able to locate the original full deck, from the early 1940s {above, watermarked due to its rarity and value}.

The same image adorned the 9 of Hearts {rather than the 10} in another deck that included famed stripper Donna Mae ‘Busty’ Brown (above right).

And if she wasn’t ‘a 10,’ she was at least ‘a 9’ … this time joining the Club. But the earmuffs stay the same …


Ready for another Bettie? The beloved ‘Queen of the Pinups’ was, aptly, the Ace of Hearts in this vintage deck.

Where Sleuth spotted her hidden amongst 54 nude images … even more wild than the two Jokers!

A copy of her January1955 centerfold graced this set later that year.


The subject of our most recent article—on what would have been her hundredth birthday—was honored 75years earlier as the 3 of Hearts {a sweet nod to her two beloved sisters}.


TV’s early sex symbol Sheena of the Jungle was chosen by iconic illustrator Alberto Vargas to grace one of his late ’40s calendars—as Miss December {since she was born on Christmas Day}—which was later used on cards. “I never modeled nude for anyone else,” she told Sleuth when they became friends, “but I did for him” {the image he drew from, above right}.


England’s answer to Irish McCalla was Norma Ann Sykes, whose 41 inch bust seemed even larger atop her 19 inch waist. “More Mams than Mansfield” was one of the superlatives said of Sabrina—she became a household name in 1955 as ‘The Bosomy Blonde Who Didn’t Talk’ on TV. And even today {she’ll be 81 in May}, the “oversized pairs of protruding rubber bumper blocks” on MG Midget and Triumph sports cars are known worldwide as ‘Sabrinas.’ The British Wolf Deck pose above was her only nude ever!


The Fifties Sweater Girl and cult figure was “a lifelong friend” of fellow actor Clint Eastwood—who cast her in his 1983 film Sudden Impact as “the waitress dumping sugar into Harry Callahan’s coffee in that movie’s iconic ‘Go ahead, make my day’ sequence.”


Universally known as ‘The Bosom,’ she was an underage dance hall girl forced to wear pasties for her first card. But by the second, her 44D’s could finally feel the breeze! “My bust has gone up and down over the years,” June confided to Sleuth when she did her first nudes in 30 years for us! “And I only go braless … for a purpose.”


Recognized with two Emmy nominations for her 7-year run as nurse Consuelo on TV’s Marcus Welby. M.D., only Sleuth was able to recognize Elena as this stockinged ‘stool pigeon’ fit for a King!


Immortalized as Dink, James Bond’s masseuse who rubbed him the right way in 1964’s Goldfinger (above left), she was earlier known as Vikki Kennedy when she perhaps posed for more playing card images than any other model (above right).

So often, in fact, that she might be the only glamour girl to get consecutive cards in the same deck! {She took the name 'Kennedy' to capitalize on the sexy new U.S. President.}

Raised in Liverpool, the 41-23-37 sexbomb ‘befriended’ The Beatles early on … and was rewarded by the Fab 4 (above right) with a small part—hardly!—in A Hard Day’s Night.


The D-cup daughter on Maude was the American equivalent to Margaret Nolan when it came to cards … Sleuth spotted her on this quartet from the mid-’60s and got her to sign another shot that debuted on a deck.

Asked about her ‘strip poker’ poses, Adrienne was unashamed (and autograph friendly): “My feelings about sexism took second place to furthering my career.”


When star Janet Leigh refused to strip for Psycho’s shocking 1960 shower scene—named the ‘scariest of all time’—showgirl Marli stepped in. “My breasts got by the censors!” she told Sleuth when rediscovered in 2010—after decades being “presumed dead” when Leigh’s stand-in {similarly named Myra Davis} was murdered in 1988. The mystery became the basis for the best-selling book above left.

After Leigh and Hitchcock maintained the actress had done the scene herself, the diabolical director finally admitted that “when Leigh’s face is shown, it is her; otherwise it is Renfro’s nude torso.” What a card!


Named ‘The Prettiest Porn Star of All Time’ by Complex magazine … and Sleuth’s #6 Sexiest Woman in the World for 2010 … Maria was the undisputed Queen (above left) of Japanese adult cinema (above right) for a decade.

Quitting the business at her peak, she’s now a film star in the Philippines—and even has her own line of signature Bicycle brand playing cards!


Our new president has promised “to bring back law and order,” so perhaps that’s what led publicity hound Tila to support him after the accused murderer of her ex-lover {and Strip Poker champ at top} Felicia Tang was let off by a jury. The bisexual reality star became the Queen of the Trump Card Deck (above left) … before she was kicked off Twitter for giving the Nazi salute at one of his Inaugural parties. Perhaps it’s the Orange that a•peels to her …

As National Play More Cards Week—and our 3-part tribute thereto—winds down … the END is in sight.