Pamela Anderson

Pamela Denise Anderson, actor, model, producer (b at Ladysmith, BC 1 July 1967). Pamela Anderson grew up and attended high school in Comox, BC, and moved to Vancouver in 1988. In an improbable Hollywood moment, Anderson was "discovered" in the summer of 1989 when a TV cameraman picked her out of the crowd at a BC Lions football game and put her image up on the stadium screen. She was wearing a Labatt's beer T-shirt, and after the game the company offered her a contract to promote its product. This led to an offer to pose for Playboy magazine. She has since appeared on the cover of the magazine more often than any other woman.

Moving to Los Angeles, Anderson soon found work on the popular sitcom Home Improvement as Lisa, the Tool-Time Girl. But it was the series Baywatch, in the role of lifeguard C.J. Parker (1992-97), that made Pamela Anderson the sex symbol of the 1990s. During its run, Baywatch was an international phenomenon (sold to 140 countries and watched by one billion people per episode) promoting the laid-back Californian lifestyle around the world, and Anderson became the world's number one pinup girl. In 1995 she was on the cover of Maclean's magazine with the tag line: "The Most Famous Canadian on the Planet?"

Her attempt at a movie lead in the Razzie Award-winning Barb Wire (1996) proved to be less of a box-office hit than anticipated. Anderson returned to television in the series V.I.P., starring as an improbable private investigator. She was also the producer of the series, which ran from 1998 to 2002. Since then she has made cameo appearances in Scooby-Doo (2002), Scary Movie 3 (2003), and Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006; as herself). She also voiced the animated series Stripperella (2002-03) and was the star of the short-lived series Stacked (2005-06). In 2004, her novel, Star, a biographical, ghost-written account thinly disguised as fiction, was published, followed by a sequel, Star Struck, in 2005.

Instantly recognizable, Pamela Anderson is a polarizing figure. A 1990s reincarnation of 1950s icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, she has become a modern pop culture figure, a blatantly manufactured sex symbol famous for her physical "enhancements." She is also a media-savvy career woman who has attained phenomenal success in the entertainment industry despite her self-acknowledged lack of talent. Pamela Anderson has applied her fame to help public causes. She is an active member of the animal protection organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. She is a 2006 inductee of Canada's Walk of Fame.