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Karen Pini was born in Perth, Australia and grew up in the suburb of Morley in Perth's northern reaches. After completing school she worked for a time as a dressmaker in a Perth bridal boutique, but her striking good looks opened other doors. She was crowned 'Australasian Beach Girl' in 1976. The same year she was runner-up in the Miss World contest in London. Her success in the pageant opened the door to modeling opportunities in the UK. She appeared as a topless 'Page 3 Girl' in the London 'Sun' and was the cover model for the December 1977 US edition of 'Penthouse' magazine. She was photographed in France by Patrick Litchfield for the 1979 Unipart calendar, a plum modeling assignment. Litchfield also photographed her for a Penthouse pictorial, but the photos were not used because they were 'too pretty' for the magazine's style. Karen made a return visit to Australia in 1978 to celebrate her 21st birthday with her family. The timing coincided with planning for the launch of the Australian edition of 'Playboy' magazine. She was an inspired and hugely popular choice as the inaugural Australian Playmate Of The Month. She went on to a successful career on Australian television as well as to produce three children.