Kendra Wilkinson is born in San Diego, Calif., to Patti, a former cheerleader, and Eric, who eventually leaves the family. "My mom is my best friend and the most important person in my life," she writes on her blog in 2009. "I have more respect for her than I can even put in words and I don't know where I would be without her."
Dressed only in body paint, Wilkinson–a dental assistant–attends Hugh Hefner's 78th birthday party at the Playboy Mansion. She makes an impression on the sex icon, who is more than 50 years her senior. Before their first date, Hef asks Wilkinson to move in and join Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt as his live-in girlfriend. "Hef was kind of like my best friend, but a sugar daddy at the same time," she later tells the New York Daily News. "Hef made me feel beautiful."
With Madison and Marquardt, Wilkinson gives viewers a glimpse into life at the Playboy Mansion on E!'s reality series, The Girls Next Door. "It's a hoot! Thanks, in large part, to Kendra," PEOPLE TV critic Tom Gliatto says. "The blondest of the girlfriends has the most infectious laugh on television–think Cameron Diaz or Julia Roberts but louder–and impeccable (though likely unintentional) comedic timing."
After campaigning to land a Playboy cover during the first season of their E! series, Wilkinson, Madison and Marquardt appear in bed together on the November issue. While many loved ones may scoff at their daughter appearing as a centerfold, Wilkinson tells the Chicago Sun-Times, "My family is totally cool with it."
After quietly splitting with Hef, Wilkinson gets engaged to Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Hank Baskett. The Playboy mogul says he gave his ex his blessing and will host her upcoming June nuptials at the Playboy Mansion. "Kendra has one of the biggest hearts," her fiancé says, "and that's one of the things that really drew me to her."
After bidding farewell to the Playboy Mansion and her hit reality show, Wilkinson nabs her first solo cover of Playboy–and her own E! series. The show, simply titled Kendra, follows the fan-favorite as she "ventures out to live on her own for the very first time" and plans her wedding to Baskett.
Kendra debuts to 2.6 million viewers, giving the E! network its highest ratings since the debut of The Anna Nicole Show in 2002. In the show's premiere episode, Wilkinson's fiancé meets Hefner for the first time and Hef's secretary Mary takes a spin on Wilkinson's stripper pole. That week, she also announces that she's expecting her first child with Baskett.
In a wedding fit for a princess, Wilkinson marries Baskett at the Playboy mansion. Walking down the aisle, the expectant bride exchanges vows with her NFL player beau in front of hundreds of guests, including her ex Hugh Hefner and former roomies Bridget Marquardt and Holly Madison.
Wilkinson becomes a mom, welcoming her son Hank Randall Baskett IV. "Being a mom is like Christmas times 100," the new mom says, "You wake up to a gift every day."
In the midst of her sex tape scandal, Wilkinson pens a memoir, Sliding Into Home, in which she details her drug-fueled, rebellious teen years and her isolating life inside the Playboy Mansion. But the one area she's hesitant to discuss? Life with Hef, whom she says "was like a best friend, but I'm not going to say I wanted to have sex with an 80-year-old man."
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): kendrawilkinson.celebuzz.com; John Sciulli/WireImage; amazon.com; Denise Truscello/WireImage; Elayne Lodge/Playboy; Pacific Coast News; amazon.com