"Louann Fernald is a very dynamic lady that shares a special bond with beloved Dorothy Stratten."
1. Louann you were one of the first Hispanic Playmates in the 1970s, how did that change your life?
Being a Playmate changed my life, but being Hispanic didn't have much to do with that. My mom raised me as many minority parents did back then, away from her culture and family, immersed in mainstream American culture. She didn't teach me Spanish, but I took 2 years of Spanish in high school,which didn't quite make up for it.
I used Playboy to finish paying my way through college because my parents, being very strict, (Hispanics typically are), imposed strict rules and curfews on me until--at 19-- I rebelled and emancipated myself.
What was the question again, Devin? Oh yes, lol. How did Playboy change my life?
It picked me up and put me into a jet stream of travel, opportunities, new faces, and adventures which, when I landed back on the ground again 2 years later, left me with a permanently wider perspective than I think I might have had if I hadn't done Playboy.
2. You have had a successful career, as an attorney please tell us about that?
I don't know if I've had a successful career as an attorney, I'm not quite sure how you measure that. I do know that I was a general practicing attorney for 10 years in upstate New York and that I helped a lot of people solve some very difficult problems. If a measure of success as an attorney is helping people who can't help themselves because they are powerless, penny-less, or made mistakes and don't know how to get back on track then yes, I was successful. If being a successful attorney means I'm now happily retired with a lot of money in the bank then no, I'm not there yet. Lol!
3. You are a mother to twin boys and you now have another career you are embarking on, please tell us how and why you have made this transition?
I moved to Los Angeles in 2012 because my sons told me they were going to play college football here. At the time they were freshmen at colleges in the northeast and playing in California seemed like just a crazy dream. 3 years later that dream has become realized. My son Zach has already finished playing 2 seasons of football for UCLA, and his identical twin brother Wyatt just started fall football camp at USC.
After taking the California bar exam several times and not passing (California has notoriously the most difficult bar exam in the country), I decided to take a break from studying and do something fun. An unrealized dream of mine in my Playboy years was to become an actress. But the Hollywood scene back in 1979 was too scary for me. Too much wild and craziness, and when my girlfriend died suddenly, I took stock and decided to move back to Florida. Then, I got caught up pursuing graduate school, and several careers, first as a stockbroker, moved to New York, then became a public relations executive, then wife, mother, business owner, law student and attorney. My dream of becoming an actress was put aside and forgotten.
Fast forward to the present, I have been having so much fun studying acting over the last year and approaching it from a far different perspective, with so more life experience and fearlessness then I ever had before. My twin sons are pursuing acting and modeling careers on the side too, and so it has become something we've been enjoying supporting each other and which has brought us even closer.
4. You were close friends with legendary Playmate of The Year, Dorothy Stratten what do you remember most about her?
What I remember most about Dorothy was her gentle sweet spirit. She was one of the most genuinely kind and unassuming people I have ever known. It was a very painful time for me after she passed, and I carried my memories of Dorothy locked away inside for decades. Finally, a couple of years ago, I realized I should share my memories of Dorothy before they were forgotten, so other people could know more who she was.
And so, I emptied all of my memories out of my head like emptying a dustbin and set them down on paper. If you'd like to know Dorothy better, just Google "Louann's story" and my tribute to Dorothy is right there for free on DorothyStratten.com.
5. What goals do you have for the future?
I have many goals for the future, which include becoming a source of inspiration for women of all ages in that age is just a number, that it's never too late to re-invent yourself and pursue your dreams, and that a healthy balanced lifestyle is key to reaching our fullest potential for a healthy, happy and productive life.
More than anything, I want to be an outspoken advocate for animal rights, conservation, and a vegan lifestyle. I think we all have a duty to future generations to leave this planet in at least as good condition as when we entered it.
Thank you so much, dear Devin, for giving me a platform. It's so wonderful to meet another Hispanic Playmate who has done so much in her life. Your life's work has left me deeply moved and inspired as well.