Loretta Leigh – 2006 Australian Penthouse Pet of the Year.
We couldn’t resist indulging our James Bond fantasies in celebration of the world’s greatest secret agent returning to his literary roots this month. After all, 007 and Australian Penthouse have quite a bit in common.
Photographer: Norman Guerre
Both were conceived in a simpler era, when men were men and women were eager to be considered objects of desire. Both have a taste for the finer things in life, a nose for adventure and a love of exotic locales. And both have been branded sexist, misogynist dinosaurs only to bounce back from criticism stronger than ever.
So it seems fitting to stage our most lauded event, the annual Pet of the Year awards, as a tribute to our brother in arms, when it comes to charm..
The obvious theme of the shoot would have been a ‘Bond girl’, the international symbol of feminine eye candy. But Bond girls are little more than an accessory for 007, like his sports car or latest whizz-bang watch. Sure, Bond girls can sometimes be independent, powerful, or even deadly to our hero, but in the end they always succumb to his charms.
Not so with our Pet of the Year. For her there is one true equivalent to Bond-a female Bond.
“Just like 007, I’m clever and resourceful,” Loretta assures us when we ask whether she has the backbone for this taxing assignment.
“I use my wit to disarm my opponents and my charm to seduce my prey.” She leans back, pouring herself a stiff drink and lighting a cigarette. “And while I enjoy the trappings of the job, I know when it’s time to deliver the goods. And I always come out on top.”
Loretta’s personnel file is impeccable. When the 23-year-old Brisbane sensation first appeared on our April cover she was a centrefold rookie, but by her second appearance in our Pet play-off in last month’s issue, she had earned her Double 0 status. Now she’s officially our best agent in the field. “You’re going to have to get wet,” we warn her, revealing blueprints for the opening homage to Goldfinger, where she strips off her scuba suit to reveal an immaculate cocktail gown. “As long as my martini’s still dry,” she smiles, raising her glass. Well, she certainly has the one-liners under control.
As the camera flashes during the high-stakes casino scenes, Loretta remains cool. The same cannot be said for our perspiring henchmen. “Kill Bond-now!” barks the photographer, and Oddjob and Nik-Nak reach tentatively for their weapons, only for Loretta to whip out her front machine guns first. Concealed gadgets, too…By the time we get to the trademark bedroom scene, there’s no need for a debriefing; Loretta skilfully removes them herself before slipping her gun under the pillow. “I like to take precautions in bed,” she explains. “And I always make sure that I’m the first to unload.”
Damn, she’s good.
We have just one trick left up our sleeves, but it’s a big one-the Aston Martin DB5. “She’s a beauty,” Loretta purrs, finally disarmed. “Of course, you know what Bond’s car is a substitute for?” she adds slyly, turning, completely naked, to face the nervous, yet excited, crew. “The things I do for Australia,” she sighs.
Nobody does it better.