The metamorphosis of a vixen! Pamela Anderson has evolved from a girl with big dreams of becoming a model into one of the biggest sex symbols in Hollywood.
Born in British Columbia, Canada, Anderson was discovered at the age of 22 in 1989 after she was featured on a Jumbotron at a British Columbia Lions football game wearing a Labatt’s Beer T-shirt. She caught the attention of the brewing company and was hired as their spokesmodel. Anderson was soon invited to audition for Playboy and appeared as the cover girl for the magazine’s October 1989 issue. She went on to pose for the magazine for 22 years — more than any other model in the publication’s history.
Anderson told Us Weekly in 2018 that modeling for Playboy was therapeutic for her after she suffered sexual abuse as a child.
“I was painfully shy as a child. As a young girl, Playboy empowered me. It really saved my life,” she said at the time. “I felt very trapped inside and needed to free myself. It was a breakthrough for me, and there I met artists and activists and gentlemen. It has been a fun and wild life.”
Anderson landed her first major acting gig in 1991 on the ABC sitcom Home Improvement in a reoccurring role as Tim Taylor’s (played by Tim Allen) first assistant, Lisa. She left the show after two seasons when she won the role of C.J. Parker on Baywatch one year later. Anderson starred on the show for five seasons from 1992 until 1997 as one of the longest-running cast members.
The actress didn’t have to worry about whether she would get the part because the producers were clamoring to get her on the show.
“I was asked to audition for Baywatch numerous times since I appeared in Playboy,” she recalled in an interview with the Pamela Anderson Foundation in 2018. “But I didn’t like to drive in L.A. I’d never been on an audition. So I never went. Until one day I tagged along with a friend. We were both hired on the spot. They said I was famous before I walked in the door. Famous for not showing up.”
Later, Anderson’s tumultuous personal life took the spotlight as she became known for her high-profile relationships including with Kid Rock, Rick Salomon and Tommy Lee, with whom she shares sons Brandon and Dylan.
Scroll down to see photos of Anderson through the years.