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- June 01, 1980
- August 26, 1960
- St. Louis MO USA
- 5' 2"
- 105 lbs
In 1983, Michael Jackson surprised the world with a stellar 13-minute video music video featuring Vincent Price and iconic dance moves that changed pop culture. Thriller, directed by John Landis of National Lampoon’s Animal House and The Blues Brothers, begins with Michael Jackson telling his beautiful girlfriend that he’s unlike other men before he dances with the undead. The song and its video forever changed not only the music industry, but it also changed the life of his petite costar, Ola Ray. Before Ola acted alongside the King of Pop, she was known to Playboy fans as Miss June 1980. The all-natural beauty spent her teenage years living in Japan with her military stepfather and her mother. Living outside of Tokyo for an African-American teenager was a complete culture shock at first, but Ola quickly found a way to fit in. “I formed a dancing and singing group with my twin brothers. We would hop on the train and head down to the clubs in the Ginza. We called ourselves the Soul Train Puppets,” says our Playmate of the Month. “A lot of the guys in the clubs belonged to the Japanese Mafia. You could tell by their tattoos. If one of their fingers was missing, it meant they'd messed up.” Miss Ray moved back to the United States after spending several years in Japan with one thing on her mind—creating a lucrative career for herself. “I want to get back onstage,” says our Miss June 1980. “I like to wear wild clothes, to hear people clapping. I love that vibe.” Upon her arrival, she enrolled in acting, voice and dance classes which led to roles on Cheers and in the movies, 48 Hrs. and Beverly Hills Cop II. However—and more importantly—Ola tested for Playmate when she made her way to California. “It’s an honor to be a Playmate. My dad wanted me to send him the gatefold test shots,” admits Ola. “I always wanted to model, but everyone said, without looking at my pictures, that I was too short. I guess I was just the right size for Playboy.” She absolutely was and now with a Playmate status and being Michael Jackson’s on-screen girlfriend under her belt, Ola Ray is a force to be reckoned with.