Like so many models, Pamela Anderson’s career started by chance. While working as a fitness instructor, she happened to be watching a football game wearing a tight ‘Labatt’s beer’ t-shirt – and found herself being broadcast on the stadium’s screens.
A representative of the beer brand saw her up there – and soon after, tracked her down. She appeared in the company’s TV adverts the very same year. She was soon being being courted by Playboy magazine too – and appeared in a total of 5 issues.
Pamela always saw the modeling as a way into a more lucrative career – and thanks to her newfound profile managed to pick up a number of small TV parts, including a recurring role in Tim Allen’s sitcom Home Improvement.
When the Producers of Baywatch found themselves in need of a new blonde bombshell to replace the departing Erika Elaniak, Pamela was seen as the perfect fit – and despite the series being panned by reviewers, the addition of Anderson and her red figure-hugging swimsuit helped Baywatch become the most watched TV Show in the world.
As CJ Parker, Pamela Anderson was the world’s new favourite pin-up – and the iconic show still has cultural cachet today. The plot of Sacha Baron Cohen’s hit film Borat is built around the Kazakhstani character’s obsession with CJ, and his determination to meet her – and Pamela herself even has a cameo in the film.
But Pamela’s own big screen career didn’t go so well. Despite her appearing in Cannes dressed in a revealing skintight leather cat suit to help with its promotion, her debut film Barb Wire was a failure – both critically, and commercially.
Paying Poker Debts
In 1995 a sex tape of Pamela Anderson and her husband Tommy Lee, made on their honeymoon, was stolen from their home and leaked online. One of the very first celebrity sex tapes, this paved the way for the many more that followed in its wake – and helped keep Anderson in the public eye, albeit for all the wrong reasons.
Pamela is known for her love of gambling, and is a regular on the slots in Vegas – but it’s long been rumoured that Anderson has occasionally paid her debts with the one thing most Baywatch fans spent their teenage years dreaming about. Her body.
Back in 2007, after running up a huge poker debt of $250,000 in Las Vegas Casino, it has been claimed that Pamela offered her opponent Antonio Esfandiari a night of passion as a way to pay what was owed. Sources close to Anderson have – of course – insisted that these claims are untrue.