Friday, June 25, 2010

Playgirl Magazine, October 1976 and David White

NOTE: Thanks to everyone who commented/emailed me about yesterday's Rock Pamplin feature.  Lots of readers thought it was especially nice to see what Rock looks like after all these years.  So for today's post, instead of trying to refer folks back to read a 2009 VGMH story about yet another Playgirl sensation, here's the full post about Mr. David White.   Included below is a great video link from a local TV station where he was living, with David talking to the reporting team.   He comes across as a really nice guy and still looks great.  As we'll see in future stories, it's not just a total coincidence that both Rock and David went on to become two of Playgirl's all-time favorite models...both men had the extremely good fortune of being photographed by an artist who knew how to capture the natural sensuality within men... Norbert Jobst.  More on that connection in the future. 
1976 was America's bicentennial celebration year, and if there was ever a male model that summed up the look of the time, who was considered "hot" back then, it could easily have been Mr. White.  He had the tanned and toned body.  He had the thick unruly moustache and stylized hair.  Totally straight David White's appearance in October's 1976 Playgirl cemented his status as a gay sex symbol. It also appears to have launched a very successful modeling career for the young athlete.

Years later (in one of countless tributes to him) Playgirl would publish the following statement about David:  "One of the hottest men ever to sear the pages of Playgirl was David White [...] a blue-eyed god who had readers going gaga for months.  The country was also gyrating over Jimmy Carter's admission to Playboy magazine that he had looked on a lot of women with lust in his heart [...]"

In research, VGMH found that most stories about David's modeling career begin post-Playgirl. The story goes that White was a tanned young lifeguard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida when he was spotted by a California modeling-agency scout. The scout thought David was perfect for a new Winston cigarettes ad campaign, and in 1977 he began to appear as the "Winston Man" (a role that another Playgirl model...Rock Pamplin also played).   After that, David was the cover model for the August 1978 issue of GQ magazine. White's success continued in the 1980's as he became the face of Aramis cologne.  In fact, it seems that David proved his head was as smart as it was handsome...the skilled athlete always prepared for his next career move and didn't especially seem interested in revisiting past achievements or failures.

He reportedly lived in New York City from 1977 to 1983, enjoying the big city and dancing at Studio 54 during its heyday. A natural athlete, David raced his bike in Central Park on Saturday mornings and won the Pepsi 24-hour Cycle Marathon, which covers 540 miles, twice. 

He then moved to California and continued both modeling and biking. Later he became a personal trainer, and among the stars he trained was Ozzy Osbourne. White also helped Jane Fonda and Racquel Welch on their workout books and videos.

More recently, in 2007 Mr. White was reportedly living in South Knoxville Tennessee where he owned and operated The Gym, a fitness facility.  Since that time, he decided to close it. "The Gym", which opened more than 25 years ago as a “hard-core” workout facility, shut down on Dec. 5th 2008 with about 250 members. His adult son, Eric White, is said to look very much like his handsome father did when he was in his twenties. The last photo (below) is of David White, approximately 30 years after his Playgirl pose.



  1. David White has turned into a stunning man. Not surprisingly though. Thanks for these pics, especially the "now" pics. I always enjoy seeing the guys as they are these days.

  2. Hey, thanks for the comments, Glen. I hope you got the chance to play the little video to hear David talk...what a great little southern accent in there :)

  3. If there's one thing he had, it's "the look". He had that classic look that was just so hot; 1970's without the rediculous trappings. That rugged, non polyester thing that worked so well for Sam Eliot, and others like him. [How I wish I was out back then... Sigh.]

    I also appreciate the "now" pics. I think they're the most inquisitively satisfying [I don't know how else to say it] things that anyone could post. It's probably quite hard to come up with updated photos with most of these guys--so thanks very much!

  4. The video is really to be watched! he's definitely better 'in action. I think the 'now' pic doesn't give him enough credit ¬¬


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