‘Heavy Metal Magazine’ Model Julie Strain Dead at 58

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Julie Strain, the actress, model, and 1993 Penthouse Pet of the Year famous for her pin-up work in Heavy Metal Magazine, died last night. No cause of death has been revealed.

Confusion surrounding Strain’s death has arisen due to the fact that almost exactly a year ago today, a false announcement of her death was sent out to the press. Now, however, it appears that Strain has actually passed away. As Polish news site Wyborcza pointed out, Julie was dealing with from dementia resulting from a head injury she suffered after falling off a horse in her 20s.

Heavy Metal also confirmed her passing, writing, “We are saddened to report a death in the Heavy Metal family: Julie Strain lost her battle with late stage dementia on Sunday. She was a regular presence on Heavy Metal covers in the ‘90s, the inspiration for (and voice of) Julie in “Heavy Metal 2000” and “FAKK2,” and muse to @oliviapinupart @luisroyoofficial Simon Bisley and others — and for a decade she was the wife of publisher Kevin Eastman. She was also an actress with over 100 credits (primarily the sexy/silly B-movies she loved) and Penthouse Pet of the Year. She was a glamazon warrior queen, she was our Taarna of the ‘90s, she was one of a kind. She was one of us.”


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Standing 6’1″, Julie strain’s motto was “worth the climb.” While infamous to some for her work in Penthouse and various B-movies, Julie is probably best known to metal fans for her pin-up work for sci-fi comics staple Heavy Metal Magazine. She married Heavy Metal editor and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman in 1995, with whom she had a son, Shane; the two divorced in 2006. Not only did Julie pose for artists like Olivia de Berardinis (who confirmed Strain’s death in a social media post), but she was also the visual basis and voice actor in the animated movie Heavy Metal 2000, the soundtrack of which featured new tracks by everyone from Pantera to Coal Chamber to Bauhaus.

Among those paying tribute to Julie’s legacy online was famous horror host Joe Bob Briggs, who wrote, “Julie loved the camera and the camera loved her, but she looked in real life like an Amazon queen so graphic artists loved her as well. She used to joke about it–“six foot one and worth the climb”–but the editor of Heavy Metal magazine married her. That’s a testament to the perfect image and persona she built up over a lifetime of bodybuilding, physical training, and being an all-around sweet person who was always willing to jump in the car and show up for any project, large or small. She was her own genre. #RIPJulieStrain”


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Everyone at The Pit sends their heart out to Julie’s friends, family, fans and collaborators during this difficult time.


Words by Chris Krovatin