Kendra Wilkinson

Kendra Wilkinson Headshot

Personality • Model • Actress • Playmate

Birth Name: Kendra Leigh Wilkinson

Birth Date: June 12, 1985

Age: 39 years old

Birth Place: San Diego, California

Partners: Hugh Hefner

Since the dawn of the famous magazine and subsequent media empire, Playboy bunnies rarely received attention beyond their obvious physical attributes, but Kendra Wilkinson was a rare exception. While she started her career as one of Hugh Hefner's live-in girlfriends on the fluffy reality series "The Girls Next Door" (E! Entertainment, 2005-09), the vivacious blonde gradually endeared herself to television audiences with her genuine musings about puppies and the Olive Garden (her favorite Italian restaurant!), her unabashed love for sports, and her infectious laugh.

Wilkinson, along with co-stars Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt, made the show one of E! Entertainment's highest rated reality shows and one of TV's guiltiest pleasures. Audiences lapped up the girls' unique lives and adventures, usually revolving around the posh parties held at their home, the infamous Playboy Mansion. The trio parlayed their "co-girlfriend status" into gracing the cover of Playboy magazine together three times and guest starring on numerous television shows and in films like the comedy spoofs, "Scary Movie 4" (2006) and "The House Bunny" (2008).

Wilkinson extended her 15 minutes of fame after leaving the historic mansion by starring in her own reality hit series "Kendra" (E! Entertainment, 2009-11), about her new life as a bride-to-be to NFL star Hank Baskett, whom she married in June 2009 and had a child with in December that same year. While Wilkinson clearly found fame and fortune as a sexy siren, she also proved along the way that she had the personality and charm to become something more than just eye candy.

Kendra Leigh Wilkinson was born on June 12, 1985 in San Diego, CA. She was the eldest of two children born to Patti and Eric Wilkinson and grew up in Clairemont, a middle-class suburb in central San Diego. Before graduating from Clairemont High School in 2003, the future television star developed her athletic aptitude early, playing softball for six years with the Clairemont Bobby Sox. Before she became one of Hollywood's most popular girls next door, Wilkinson worked as a dental assistant and at a Papa John's pizzeria in her hometown.

In 2004, Wilkinson was hired to be one of the "painted girls" during the 78th birthday party of Playboy magazine founder, Hefner, to be held at the celebrated Playboy Mansion West. She worked the party completely nude except for a few strategically placed painted-on accessories. Taken in by the sight of the nubile blonde, the legendary ladies man - who was more than 50 years her senior - called Wilkinson personally and invited her to move in and live as one of his girlfriends at the Playboy Mansion. Wilkinson agreed and moved in with his two other buxom blonde girlfriends, Madison and Marquardt.

The unique lives of the three blonde bombshells living in the historic mansion were the focus of the hit reality series, "The Girls Next Door." While they all sported Hefner's hair color of choice - blonde and blonder - their personalities could not have been more different. As Hefner's main squeeze and the only girlfriend who shared the same bedroom with him, Madison was the most organized and assumed the role of ringleader. Bubbly Marquadt was the most "girly" of the three, and the only girlfriend who pursued a career in communications while still living at the Mansion. Wilkinson, the youngest of the girlfriends, was the rebel who preferred watching her favorite team on TV - the San Diego Chargers - than participating in Playboy-related activities such as learning how to dance the "Bunny hop."

The scantily-clad trio's frequent partying, jet setting, sexy photo shoots, and other scintillating activities made the show one of E! Entertainment's top-rated series and the girls much sought-after celebrities. Although they were not Playmates, per se, they appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine together three times while Wilkinson nabbed her first solo cover in February 2009. The trio also co-authored a book, The Girls Next Door in 2008.

Wilkinson and her roommates frequently guest starred on television shows and films that used the Playboy Mansion and Playmates in the storylines. The trio appeared as Playboy bunnies during season 2 of the slick HBO series, "Entourage" (2004-11) and on the daytime drama "General Hospital" (ABC, 1963- ) in 2007. In 2005, Wilkinson guest starred as herself on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO, 2000- ) in an episode where one of the show's male leads traded his smoking jacket with Hefner. The trio also enjoyed a cameo in the comedy "Scary Movie 4," appearing as themselves and having a pillow fight with the film's lead actor, Charlie Sheen. They again appeared as Playboy bunnies in the feature film "The House Bunny" starring Anna Faris as a former Playmate forced out into the real world after she gets ousted from the Playboy Mansion.

During the show's earlier seasons, Wilkinson had no qualms acting her age - she was only 20 when it premiered - and admitted in one episode that she did not want to take on additional responsibilities beyond taking care of her two dogs, Rascal and Martini. But the self-professed "tomboy," who also called herself "Kdub" on the show, somehow grew up in front of the camera, proving even that she had some business acumen by using her earnings from "The Girls Next Door" to buy an apartment in San Diego as an investment property. Wilkinson took advantage of her celebrity status to pursue other non-Playboy ventures, including becoming a blogger in 2005 for the Philadelphia Eagles website, which coincidentally, was the team her mother had been a cheerleader for and where her future husband, Hank Baskett, was a wide receiver. She also showed off her rapping skills in the reality competition series, "Celebrity Rap Superstar" (MTV, 2007).

Wilkinson surprised the show's fans with her announcement on November 2008 that she was engaged to Baskett, whom she had met at the Playboy Scramble earlier that year. Her announcement came on the heels of Hefner also breaking up his relationships with both Madison, who was rumored to have been dating illusionist Criss Angel, and Marquardt, who was on the verge of starring in her own show, "Bridget's Sexiest Beaches" (Travel Channel, 2009). The trio obviously had their high heels out the door even while episodes of "The Girls Next Door" continued to show them cavorting with Hefner on air. But the façade did not last too long and by October 2008, all three had eventually moved out.

The media followed each girl's move, speculating on how they were to survive on their own, but discovered quickly what Wilkinson had up her sleeve. After moving out of the mansion, she embarked on a new life with the NFL star that was documented on her own series "Kendra." Debuting to 2.6 million viewers, the show provided a quirky look at Wilkinson as an individual and a showcase for her funny antics as she learned to cook, clean and basically prepare for her new role as wife. She also announced on the show that she was pregnant. Before tying the knot, however, Wilkinson had one last single girl hurrah with an outrageous bridal shower at which her friends, including Marquardt, were all clad in lingerie, licked frosting off each other. In June of 2009 - in a wedding fit for a princess - Wilkinson exchanged wedding vows with Baskett in front of hundreds of guests, including Hefner, Marquardt and Madison, who served as bridesmaids, at the Playboy Mansion. Although there were talks that Hefner would walk her down the aisle, Wilkinson's brother, Colin, did the honors.

On Dec. 11, 2009, Wilkinson and her husband welcomed their first child together, Hank Baskett IV, an event that was, of course, covered in a televised E! special, "Kendra: Here Comes Baby." In addition to her ongoing duties as a new mom as well as the star and producer of her own show, she still managed to make appearances on her former mansion mate's E! reality series for a few episodes of "Holly's World" (2009-11). Then in a move that would provide her with a chance to exhibit true talent, Wilkinson joined the cast of the 12th season of the celebrity dance competition, "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC, 2005- ).

Credits

Access Daily With Mario & Kit

Guest
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2022

Kendra Sells HollywoodStream

Host
Reality
2021

Access Daily

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2019

Tamron Hall

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2019

Kendra Wilkinson: Exposed

Actor
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2018

Most ExpensivestStream

Self
Reality
2017

Kendra on Top: Extras

Actor
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2017

Kocktails With KhloéStream

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Reality
2016

Celebrity Food Fight

Contestant
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2015

FABLife

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Talk
2015

Guilty Pleasures

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2015

Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars: Extras

Actor
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2015

Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars: Extras

Self
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2015

Hollywood Today Live

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2014

Marriage Boot Camp: Reality StarsStream

Self
Reality
2014

Beyond Candid With Giuliana

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2014

Kendra Wilkinson

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2014

Bethenny

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2013

The Real

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2013

Splash

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2013

The Mindy ProjectStream

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Series
2012
86%

The Ricki Lake Show

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2012

Steve Harvey

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2012

Larry King NowStream

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2012

Kendra on TopStream

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2012

Celebrity Wife SwapStream

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Reality
2012

Dr. Steve

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2011

Dr. Drew

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2011

The TalkStream

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2010

Access Hollywood Live

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2010

Worst Cooks in AmericaStream

Contestant
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2010

Kendra: Here Comes Baby

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2009

Lopez Tonight

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2009

The Joy Behar Show

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2009

The Dr. Oz Show

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2009

Kendra: Straight from the Heart

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2009

Kendra

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2009

Kendra

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2009

The Doctors

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2008

The Wendy Williams Show

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2008

Celebrity Family Feud

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2008

Phenomenon

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2007

Keeping Up with the KardashiansStream

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2007

Chelsea Lately

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2007

The Better Show

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2007

Rachael Ray ShowStream

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2006

How I Met Your MotherStream

Guest Star
Kendra Wilkinson
Series
2005
84%

The Girls Next DoorStream

Self
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2005

Dancing With the StarsStream

Contestant
Reality
2005

Robot ChickenStream

Guest Voice
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2005

The Insider

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2004

EntourageStream

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Playmate
Series
2004
65%

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

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2003

Last Comic Standing

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2003

Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

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2003

1 & Only Kendra Wilkinson

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2003

Dr. PhilStream

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2002

Live With Regis and Kelly

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2001

Curb Your EnthusiasmStream

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Herself
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2000
92%

The ViewStream

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1997

Access Hollywood

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News
1996

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

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1992

E! News

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1991

Today

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1952