Who Is Pamela Anderson?
Born on July 1, 1967, in British Columbia, Canada, Pamela Anderson began her career modeling in Labatt beer ads and then in the pages of Playboy. She transitioned to acting on TV's Home Improvement, but real fame came with Baywatch, making her a household name and instant sex symbol. A long-time supporter of animal rights, Anderson competed on two seasons of Dancing with the Stars and continues to act in smaller roles.
Early Life and Modeling
Pamela Anderson was born on July 1, 1967, to a working-class family in Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada. After high school, she worked as a fitness instructor until she was "discovered" at a Canadian football game, when she was broadcast over the stadium's giant screen in her form-fitting Labatt beer T-shirt. She was then hired by Labatt to appear in their advertisements.
An offer from Playboy soon followed. She would go on to appear on numerous covers of the famed men's magazine.
TV Shows and Movies
'Home Improvement' to 'Baywatch'
Anderson parleyed her modeling success into a series of bit parts on television programs. She got her first big break in 1991 as the "Tool Time Girl" on the sitcom Home Improvement. While there, she attracted the attention of casting agents from Baywatch, who were looking to replace actress Erika Elaniak. The hour-long show portraying the lives of Malibu lifeguards was a nearly plotless vehicle for semi-nude video montages and the critics panned it accordingly. However, fueled by frequent shots of the voluptuous Anderson, the show became the highest rated program worldwide.
Anderson's television success did not transfer well to the big screen. Despite mass publicity, including an appearance by Anderson at the Cannes Film Festival clad in a skintight cat suit, her starring effort in the 1996 thriller Barb Wire was both a critical and commercial failure.
Anderson returned to television in 1998 as the executive producer and star of V.I.P., in which she played the public face of a bodyguard agency. While hardly a pop culture phenomenon in the mold of Baywatch, V.I.P. enjoyed enough success to survive for four seasons.
Continuing to leverage her sex-symbol image, Anderson in 2003 took on the leading voice role in the animated Stripperella, as a stripper who moonlights as an undercover superhero. After the show was cancelled the following spring, Anderson resurfaced in Stacked, as a former party girl who gets hired at a small bookstore. The series was renewed following a trial run in spring 2005, but was off the air by January 2006.
In 2008, Anderson made headlines when she appeared in the mockumentary hit, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, starring British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. In the film, Anderson played herself in what appeared to be a real-life botched kidnapping. Audiences debated whether or not the appearance was planned or a surprise. Anderson refused to comment, but told MTV that Cohen was "such a nice guy." The film was nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.
'Dancing with the Stars'
Along with getting the reality TV treatment with Pam: Girl on the Loose in 2008, Anderson starred in that year's feature film comedies Blonde and Blonder and Superhero Movie. The screen vixen was back in the spotlight in 2010, when she competed on season 10 of the hit show Dancing with the Stars. Anderson made her return to the show in 2012, for season 15: Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars.
She later made an appearance in the 2017 big screen reboot of Baywatch, and competed on the French version of Dancing with the Stars in 2018.
Marriages and Personal Life
Anderson's 1995 marriage to Motley Crue rocker Tommy Lee captured persistent media attention. They couple had two children, Brandon Thomas and Dylan Jagger. However, the marriage was continually fraught with controversy, including an incident in which stolen honeymoon tapes of the couple having sex were broadcast over the internet. The marriage ended in divorce in 1998, after Lee was arrested and convicted for spousal abuse.
Anderson married rapper Kid Rock on a yacht near Saint-Tropez, France, on July 29, 2006. In November 2006, it was announced that she had miscarried. A few weeks later, she filed for divorce from Kid Rock, citing irreconcilable differences.
Anderson married Rick Salomon — Paris Hilton’s partner in their infamous 2003 sex tape scandal — in 2007. The marriage was annulled a couple of months later. They remarried in January 2014, but called it quits that July.
In January 2020, Anderson married producer Jon Peters, a former boyfriend from when she was a budding model in her young 20s. Just 12 days later, she put the brakes on their union with the announcement that they were taking time apart to "reevaluate what we want from life and from one another."
In March 2002, Anderson went public with her hepatitis C diagnosis, claiming she had contracted the disease by sharing a tattoo needle with Lee. In November 2015, she announced that she was cured of hepatitis C.
A lifelong vegetarian, Anderson is an outspoken advocate for PETA, protesting the use of fur and the hunting of seals. She even auctioned off a 2000 Viper sports car that appeared in Pam: Girl on the Loose to support the nonprofit organization.
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