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Pamela Anderson is finishing what Marilyn Monroe started as Playboy bids nudity adieu

Pamela Anderson is finishing what Marilyn Monroe started as Playboy bids nudity adieu
Pamela Anderson helped Hugh Hefner celebrate Playboy's 50th anniversary in 2003. Now she's marking the end of an era, covering the final issue of the magazine to contain nudity. (Peter Kramer / Getty Images)

If an era has to end, it might as well end on a classic note: Pamela Anderson is the star of the final naked-ladies edition of Playboy, making her 14th appearance on the magazine's cover and notching her 15th pictorial inside.

No, it's not the final Playboy, just the last issue to contain live live nude nudes. Take deep breaths, fans of classic cheesecake. Deep breaths.

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Anderson, who was a Playmate of the Month in February 1990 before getting long-running TV gigs on "Home Improvement" and "Baywatch," is much more comfortable in her own skin now, at 48, than she was when she first posed for the mag at age 22, for its October 1989 issue.

"The photographer shot me in one roll of film because I was nervous and throwing up," she tells actor-slash-interviewer James Franco, who chatted her up for the January/February double issue.

Playboy veteran Pamela Anderson on the January/February 2016 cover of Playboy.
Playboy veteran Pamela Anderson on the January/February 2016 cover of Playboy. (Ellen von Unwerth / Playboy)

"But then I saw the pictures, and from there it was hard to keep my clothes on! I was painfully shy before, but then it clicked in my head that nobody cares what you look like naked except you. People are more concerned about themselves and their own flaws."

The men's magazine's first cover, in December 1953, featured Marilyn Monroe, as its centerfold and on its front, which touted, "FIRST TIME in any magazine FULL COLOR the famous MARILYN MONROE NUDE"

Marilyn Monroe on the cover of the inaugural issue of Playboy.
Marilyn Monroe on the cover of the inaugural issue of Playboy. (Chronicle Books)

At the end of 2015, Pamela Anderson nude is hardly a first-time offering from Hugh Hefner, but it's one that makes sense.

"I got a call from Hef's attorney, who said, 'We don't want anybody else. There's nobody else. Could you do the last cover of Playboy?'" she told "Entertainment Tonight."

"Hef always told me, from Marilyn to you, and he said, 'I made this magazine for a girl like you.' ... I love him so much. He's such a sweetheart."

And to think, all these years we were thinking he made the magazine for boys ....

Follow Christie D'Zurilla on Twitter @theCDZ and Google+. Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter @LATcelebs.

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