Q & A With Miss May 1989, Monique Noel
and her husband Benny Ricardo
Dianne: Monique, as a sister Playmate we both know the
first thing fans want to know is how you were approached and became a Playmate.
Monique: At the time, I was dating a photographer. He kept insisting that
I would make a great Playmate. I just laughed and went on with my modeling and acting. One
day, he drove me to a "go-see" for a modeling job in Hollywood. After the
interview, he pulled into a parking lot on Sunset and La Brea. There, Richard Fegley,
Playboy photographer and his wife Mary Jo were sitting in their SUV. He asked to see my
portfolio and upon looking at it, asked me if I would like to come in and shoot the next
week. I let out a feeble yes and the rest is history.
Benny: After we had begun dating, Monique gave me a big envelope and in
it was the May 89 issue that she was the centerfold and I had to pull over into a parking
lot to see the centerfold. I thought she looks fantastic and great. I now have to forever
be ready for the "What is she doing with THAT GUY?" and I'm that guy now for the
rest of my life. It's like God said "The funny kicker has suffered enough, throw him
a little See's candy."
Dianne: Tell us about some really fun and interesting promotions Playboy
sent you on. Any exotic destinations, or work with celebrities?
Monique: One of the best wasn't a promotion but a show: Playboy's Girls
of Rock & Roll. Our troupe of six women including Tiffany Sloan, Miss October 1992,
and we practiced song and dance numbers in Los
Angeles for two weeks. Then we flew to Germany to perform at 10 different US Army bases
throughout the country and Belgium. It was so much fun, a lot of work and a great way to
see part of Europe. I had apple strudel for breakfast every morning and wore it off
performing every night.
Benny: While Monique was in the Playboy's Girls and Rock & Roll show
in Germany, I was the comedian for the Playboy's Girls and Rock & Roll show at
Caesar's Tahoe with Simone Eden as the Playmate in the show. (Monique and I still would
not meet for another four years!) It was quite an experience to punch in the number of the
combination to the dressing room and walk into a room full of naked girls. I said to the
naked girls in front of me "I'm the comedian, please tell me I'm in the right
room." And, of course, I was but these girls were so busy switching costumes, they
did not notice anything. I went out on stage and felt like doing the shortest 30 minute
set in history.
Dianne: You have spent a lot of time at Hef's West Coast Mansion, and
have been to many of the parties there. Which one was your favorite, and why?
Monique: I have had a lot of fun and wild times at the Mansion parties,
but I have to say that the last time was the most special: bringing my husband, Benny.
(Actually we were six days away from getting hitched!) I felt like I was bringing him
"down on the field" like he has done for me at NFL games.
Benny: Monique was introducing me to the different Playmates and they
would introduce themselves to me and I kept thinking "I feel like I know you so well,
like we've traveled together, spent time. " These girls had more to do with my hand
to eye coordination than any coach I ever had. These girls were my photo finish. The
Playmates were so good looking it was like having all 4 food groups right there for you:
the alcohol, the caffeine, the sugar and the right kind of fat.
Dianne: Of all the photos Playboy photographers took of you, which do you
Monique: Of course, my centerfold by Richard was the first shot I saw and
made me realize, "Yes, I'll be a Playmate!" But my favorite photos have been
taken by Steve Wayda. I love my May 90 Playboy calendar shot
and the photos in pearls and light blue sheets. One is on my May preview collector card
and another as an 8x10, both on sale on my Playmate Page, soon to be released on
Benny: My favorite shot of Monique is the one I see everyday. For me
that's the greatest sight my eyes have seen. If I ever went blind I would cherish that
sight and, of course, I would tell my dog how good she looked.
Dianne: Now that you're Mrs. Benny Ricardo, will you be doing any more
photo shoots, nude or semi? If not, how about lingerie and/or fashion work?
Monique: Well before I met Benny, I was no longer posing nude. And then
when I had my fake boobs removed I thought, "No way ever again." But things
aren't as bad as I thought and Benny and I have been shooting
a few nudes. Those are for some special supporters of my charity work. See, it pays to be
nice! Benny shot a swimsuit photo of me for Mundo Deportivo, the spanish sports magazine
he is the editor of so I am their
February calendar girl for 2000. I am posed like the Heisman Trophy with a football. This
was one job that to get, I had to sleep with the editor! Hee!!!
Benny: Since Mundo Deportivo is written in Spanish, Monique had to have
some Hispanic in her and now that she's Monique Ricardo, she's in there.
Gooooooooooooooooooooooal! for our readers or is that lookers now?
Dianne: When we eventually have a little Miss Ricardo and she turns 18 or
so (hard to imagine isn't it, but my nieces are 21 & 17 and I tried to get both of
them to pose, but they were too shy) will you encourage her to
follow in your footsteps? With you and Benny as parents, she'd be bound to be gorgeous!
Monique: She may be gorgeous, but that is the last thing I would want her
to do. Even before I was a Playmate, I use to think, "If I have kids, I don't want
them modeling or acting." It's such a tough business. I would much rather see them do
something that was more long lasting and not based on looks. Of course, if we have
will make their own career choices. But I will not be a "stagemom" and push them
into it. Maybe a "tennismom" or a "soccermom". I would like my kids to
be a lot more active than I was as a child. I was a bookworm, which has its own rewards.
But a well-trained body that could possibly beat Benny in tennis is not one of them! I
gotten one set off of him.
Benny: If we do have a kid, can you imagine the "share your
family" day at school: "OK kids, you wanna see my mom, the playmate or my dad,
the NFL football player?" As for her getting a set off of me; remember guys,
"Whatever it takes" should be your motto. Even in tennis there are gimme's just
like in golf, then you go home where Love means something. My message to our kids would be
"Sports is not about winning and losing, the most important thing about Sports is to
cover the spread."
Dianne: What are your plans for the near future? Will we see you at LA
Glamourcons or some of these new model/expo shows that are coming up, or are you going to
stay home & make some of those wonderful recipes you
published in your delightful newsletter?
Monique: I always manage to make a visit to the LA Gcon but I am not
going to models expo. I do want to cook more: I have three new cookbooks I haven't cracked
open yet. Once I get my last newsletter published in June, I am going to go full-tilt on
the books I have been wanting to write. I have a children's series with Safari (my cat) as
character and a romantic comedy that is filled with interesting characters. I have
collected a lot of research and can't wait to get these people's story out of my head! My
newsletter paved the way for my writing. I have had such great feedback from it, that I
gained confidence for my ability to entertain people through the written word. Though, the
swimsuit photos of Playmates probably helped the newsletter's popularity!
Benny: Monique is really a great writer and that is because she is a
great listener who is genuinely interested in people. She's also very sensitive and that
makes her a great writer. Cookbooks, those are a waste for me, the only time I ever tried
cooking was the time I tried to cook bacon naked. Damn that Jimmy Dean.
Dianne: Monique, you know you are a favorite of both fans and your sister
Playmates. Please tell us we'll be hearing from you or seeing you again soon. We all miss
your newsletter and want to stay in touch with you!
Monique: I love getting e-mail messages and letters at my PO Box. Ending
publication of my newsletter does not mean that I don't want to keep my friendships alive.
Please keep 'em coming! I love to hear what's up with everyone.
Monique Noel Ricardo
PO Box 232058
Encinitas CA 92023