Anderson, the daughter of a waitress and a furnace repairman,
was born on July 1, 1967, in Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada.
Perhaps an omen of good things to come, Pamela was the first
baby born in British Columbia on this day, Canada's 100th Birthday,
earning her the title of "The Centenial Baby." Her
parents received a cash prize as part of the award, and Pam received
a write-up in the local newspaper, the Ladysmith-Chemainus
Chronicle. According to Pamela, "That's where it all
Her modeling career began a few years later in a rather unlikely
place--a library. While sitting with a group of about one hundred
other children, listening to a story, Pamela was picked out by
a photographer who took a picture of the little girl which captured
the hearts of all that saw it and was placed in libraries across
As a teenager, Pamela lived a fairly normal life. She was
active in sports (her flexibility earned her the nickname "Rubber
Girl") and she played the saxaphone. Her high school yearbook
stated that her aspiration was to be a "California beach
bum." During this period, she worked as an extra in movies
and booked a few larger parts including the voice of Pebbles
in The Flintstones Little Big League (1979), the role
of a hooker in Crimes of Passion (1984), and the part
of a party guest in Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)-- but
her career didn't seem to be going anywhere, and after high school
she had to support herself by working as a fitness instructor.
Then, in 1989, while attending a CFL football game between
the British Columbia Lions and the Toronto Argonauts, she was
spotted by a cameraman who was scanning the crowd looking for
someone to put on the giant stadium screen. When Pamela appeared
on the screen, the stadium went wild, and she was escorted down
to the 50-yard line and introduced to the appreciative crowd.
As fate would have it, that night she happened to be wearing
a Labatt's Beer T-shirt--which brought her to the attention of
company executives who decided she was perfect for an upcoming
ad campaign. She was soon crowned the Labatt's "Blue Zone"
girl--and her face was plastered on thousands of posters that
were shipped to bars and restaurants across Canada.
The Labatt's campaign proved so popular that other commercials
and advertising gigs followed. All of this fanfare eventually
brought her to the attention of freelance photographer Ken Honey
who took a few pictures of Pamela and convinced her to submit
them to Playboy magazine. Playboy liked what they
say, apparently, and Pamela soon found herself posing for the
coverof the October (1989) issue of Playboy. Shortly afterwards,
she decided to move to Los Angeles where she booked two episodes
of Married ... With Children. Then, in 1991, came her
first big break. She was cast as Lisa, the Tool-Time Girl, on
Home Improvement, and the show turned out to be a smash
hit. This, in turn, brought her to the attention of David Hasselhoff,
executive producer and star of Baywatch, who offered her
the role of C.J. Parker, a lifeguard. Pamela was attracted to
the role because of the "new age thinking" that she
shared with the character--including an interest in crystals,
meditation, and dream interpretation. For a while, she juggled
both roles, but eventually quit Home Improvement.
Baywatch quickly became one of the most popular TV
shows in the world--and Pamela was largely responsible for its
success. Movie offers started pouring in, including The Taking
of Beverly Hills (1991), Snapdragon (1993), Raw
Justice (1994), and Naked Souls (1995). During this
period, she also dated several Hollywood stars including Dean
Cain, Sylvester Stallone, and Scott Baio--as well as Motley Crue
drummer Tommy Lee with whom she would eventually forge a deeper
bond. In 1995, after Lee followed her to a modeling shoot in
Cancun--the couple followed up several days of partying by getting
married on a beach (the groom wore swimming trunks, and the bride
a white thong bikini) and, rather than exchanging rings, they
each had the other's name tatooed on their body. The now famous
honeymoon ensued, documented with a video camera that they brought
along. Unfortunately for the newlyweds, this explicit tape would
disappear during construction of their house--only to resurface
on the Internet several years later.
In 1996, against the advice of her manager, Anderson decided
to take the role of a futuristic bounty hunter in the movie Barb
Wire, based on a comic book series from Dark Horse Comics.
Not only did the movie proved to be a commercial and critical
failure, but Pamela "won" the 1997 Razzie Award for
Worst New Star. That same year, she left Baywatch. But
Pamela's career was not the only thing in jeopardy. She had suffered
a miscarriage during the filming of Barb Wire, and her
marriage was now on the rocks. She filed for divorce in 1998
amid allegations of spousal abuse by Tommy Lee. Pamela retained
custody of the couple's two children and had her "Tommy"
tattoo changed to "Mommy."
She returned to television in 1998 with V.I.P., a tongue-in-cheek
action series in which she played Vallery Irons, a model turned
bodyguard, perhaps satirizing the persona she had created on
Baywatch. The show has proved successful in syndication,
due, in no small part, to Pamela's considerable fan following.
And in 2003, she appeared in a quirky animated series called
Stripperella, in which she played a feisty secret agent
and topless dancer who fights heinous crimes against womankind.
She has appeared on more magazine covers than any star of her
generation and has become, perhaps, the premiere sex symbol of
In addition to Pamela's other duties, she has taken on the
responsibility of a syndicated column with the U.S. women's magazine
Jane and Marie Claire in the UK. She is also known
for her dedication to supporting PETA, victims of domestic abuse,
and underprivileged children. In March, 2002, she came forward
with the news that she had contracted Hepatitis-C, presumably
from sharing tattoo needles with her former husband, and she
has been active in spreading awareness of this potentially deadly
Purchase Pamela Anderson Posters
|This biography was
written by J. Crabb and originally published on this website
on March 1, 2004.