Kendra Wilkinson is an American television personality and a model. She is a businesswoman and an author as well. She first gained popularity as one of Hugh Hefner's girlfriends in the reality TV show 'The Girls Next Door'. The show was an instant hit and made her a familiar face in the American entertainment industry. Born in San Diego, California, she began working as a glamour model right after passing out of high school. Soon she got a chance to meet ‘Playboy’ founder Hugh Hefner on his 78th birthday bash. Shortly after their meeting, he asked Wilkinson to be one of his girlfriends and move into his Playboy Mansion. She readily agreed and earned much prominence after her appearance in the reality show 'The Girls Next Door' which was about the lives of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends and their lives at the Playboy mansion. Later she appeared in the reality TV series ‘Kendra,’ which documented her life after she moved out of the Playboy mansion. Wilkinson had a cameo appearance in the horror comedy film 'Scary Movie 4'. She had also taken part in the popular TV dance competition show 'Dancing with the Stars'.
Childhood & Early Life
Kendra Leigh Wilkinson was born on 12th June 1985, in San Diego, California, United States to parents Patti and Eric Wilkinson. Her mother used to be a cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles, and her father was a biochemist.
Her father left the family when she was still very young. She was then raised by her mother and grandmother. Wilkinson also has a younger brother named Colin.
She attended Clairemont High School, where she developed an interest in different kinds of sports. For six years, she played softball with the Clairemont Bobby Sox team.
She started working as a glamour model after graduating from high school in 2003. She also worked for some time at a dentist's office.
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Kendra Leigh Wilkinson got the opportunity to attend Hugh Hefner's 78th birthday party. She was hired as a "painted lady"—women who walked around nude, wearing only body paint. She met Hefner during the party where she was asked to be one of his girlfriends. She agreed and moved into the Playboy Mansion.
Along with Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt--Hefner's other girlfriends—Kendra gained popularity after her appearance in the reality television series 'The Girls Next Door'. The show focused on the lives of the three women as well as the different kinds of parties held at the Playboy Mansion. It became an instant hit.
Owing to the tremendous success the show enjoyed, it was expanded to fifteen episodes though initially there were only eight planned. The popularity she earned from the show helped her gain small roles in several TV shows such as ‘Las Vegas’, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ and ‘Entourage’.
She also appeared in the 2006 horror comedy film 'Scary Movie 4'. Directed by David Zucker, the movie was a commercial success and was met with average reviews. She also appeared in the well-known singer Akon's music video 'Smack Down.' It featured an appearance from famed American rapper Eminem as well.
In late 2008, Wilkinson decided to break up with Hefner. She also announced her engagement with American footballer Hank Baskett. The wedding was to take place at the Playboy Mansion.
After leaving Hefner, she starred in the reality TV series 'Kendra' which focused on her life outside the Mansion and her engagement and marriage to Hank Baskett. It aired from 2009 to 2011. In 2010, she had published a memoir titled ‘Sliding into Home’.
In 2011, she was a contestant on the popular dance competition TV series 'Dancing with the Stars'. She was eliminated in the seventh week. The same year, along with her family, she starred in another TV show 'Kendra on Top'.
Kendra Wilkinson’s appearance in the reality TV series ‘The Girls Next Door’ is undoubtedly the most significant work of her career. It aired from 2005 till 2010. The show was created by Hugh Hefner, founder of the Playboy Magazine, and Kevin Burns. The show revolved around the lives of Hefner’s three girlfriends at the Playboy Mansion. The series was a major hit.
Wilkinson, after her breakup with Hefner, appeared in the reality TV series ‘Kendra’. It revolved around her life after she left the mansion, and also covered her marriage with football player Hank Baskett. The series aired from 2009 to 2011. It received a massive viewership as well as high ratings.
She next appeared in the reality TV series ‘Kendra on Top’, which has been airing since 2012. It revolves around her life and shows how she balances her motherhood as well as takes care of her businesses. It also shows the life of her husband Hank Baskett, and his transitioning to a businessman from a football player.
Kendra Wilkinson’s relationship with Hugh Hefner began in 2004 and lasted till 2008.
In 2008, she announced her engagement with Hank Baskett, a well-known American footballer. Though Hugh Hefner had himself wanted to give the bride away, Wilkinson stated that she preferred her brother to perform that honor instead. The marriage took place at the Playboy Mansion on June 27, 2009.
In December 2009, Kendra Wilkinson gave birth to a son who was named Hank Baskett IV. In May 2014, she gave birth to a baby girl named Alijah Mary Baskett.