Is the Movie Star 80 Based on a True Story?

Have you ever watched the movie Star 80 and wondered if it was based on a true story? Well, you’re not alone. In this article, we will explore the true events that inspired the movie and how it was adapted for the big screen.

The True Story Behind Star 80

Star 80 is a biographical film that tells the story of Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten. Stratten was a Canadian model and actress who rose to fame in the late 1970s.

She caught the eye of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and became a Playmate in August 1979. After her appearance in Playboy, Stratten’s career took off, and she moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting.

In Los Angeles, Stratten met Paul Snider, who became her boyfriend and manager. Snider was an aspiring filmmaker who had produced some adult films before meeting Dorothy. He saw an opportunity to capitalize on her success and started managing her career.

The Tragic End

Unfortunately, their relationship took a dark turn as Snider became increasingly jealous and possessive of Stratten. In August 1980, Snider murdered Stratten in their home before turning the gun on himself.

The tragic end of Dorothy Stratten’s life shocked the world and made headlines across North America. It also inspired director Bob Fosse to make a movie about her life.

The Movie Star 80

Star 80 was released in 1983 and starred Mariel Hemingway as Dorothy Stratten and Eric Roberts as Paul Snider. The movie follows their relationship from its beginnings to its tragic end.

The film received mixed reviews upon its release but is now considered a cult classic. It’s an intense portrayal of a woman who had everything going for her but was ultimately brought down by someone close to her.

Accuracy of the Movie

While Star 80 is based on a true story, it’s important to note that the movie takes some artistic liberties. For example, the film portrays Snider as a sleazy and manipulative character, which may not have been entirely accurate. Some of Stratten’s family and friends have also criticized the movie for its portrayal of her.

However, overall, the movie stays true to the tragic events that took place in August 1980. It’s a reminder of the dark side of fame and how quickly things can spiral out of control.


In conclusion, yes, Star 80 is based on a true story. It tells the tragic tale of Dorothy Stratten’s rise to fame and her untimely death at the hands of her boyfriend and manager, Paul Snider. While the movie takes some creative liberties, it remains an intense portrayal of a woman who had everything going for her but was ultimately brought down by someone close to her.