Kate's Notes

Friday, February 09, 2007

Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson

Even though she was born and raised in Canada, Pamela Denise Anderson (born July 1, 1967) became the archetypal American buxom blond of the 1990s. This Playboy sex symbol, model, television personality, movie starlet, and rock star wife has been an icon in the United States since she entranced the teenage-boy libido of America after being discovered at a Canadian football game in 1989, when she was just 21. She then went on to pose for Playboy Magazine, be the notoriously beautiful "Tool Time Girl" in the early 1990s sitcom Home Improvement, and then sprint down the California coastline on the vapid melodrama Baywatch.

Though her large breast implants, golden-blonde hair, and Barbie-like physique gained her the recognition as being America’s sex symbol in the late 20th century, lately she’s been gaining more notoriety for her frank honestly regarding her personal life: her breast implants, her sexual history, her Hepatitis C diagnosis, and her on-again/off-again marriages to both the rock stars, Tommy Lee and Kid Rock.

However, she is also a champion of several charitible organizations and foundations, representing not only MAC Cosmetics's MAC AIDS Fund, which helps people affected by AIDS and HIV, and acting as a celebrity spokesperson for the American Liver Foundation, but also proving to be a tireless champion for PETA's ongoing campaign, she has proven that she is more than just the pneumatic blond she lead us to beleive.

Early life

Born in Ladysmith, British Columbia, 90 km northwest of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, Anderson literally has been famous since she was born: she was the nation's "Centennial Baby” (the first baby born on the Canada's Centennial), or so everyone thought for a few minutes. However, another baby was later reported to be born two hours earlier on the same Canada Day.

Anderson is of partly Finnish ancestry (her paternal grandfather, Hermanni Hyytiäinen, from Saarijärvi, left Finland in 1908). After her birth, her parents, Barry and Carol Anderson, moved to the town of Comox with Pamela.


Anderson attended from Highland Secondary School. In her high school yearbook, she scrawled her dreams of being a California beach bum, and after she graduated in 1985, she set out to achieve her lifelong goal. In 1988, she moved to Vancouver, where she first experienced city life and worked as a fitness instructor. However, luck started early, as during the summer of 1989, Anderson and her friends went to a Canadian football game. At some point during the game Anderson was shown on the stadium screen, and the crowd at the game cheered for the young blonde beauty, who was then 21. She was taken to the field and received an ovation from the crowd. During the game, Anderson was wearing a Labatt's t-shirt, a Canadian beer company, and they offered Anderson a modeling contract which she quickly accepted – soon she was on posters in every bar in Canada.

In late 1989, Pamela decided to model for Playboy magazine: she appeared on the October 1989 cover, and decided to move to finally make the move to Los Angeles to continue her modeling career.

Acting and Modeling

Though some say her personal life has garnered more attention than her professional life, she has still cultivated quite a resume in the acting and modeling world.

After her move to Los Angeles, Anderson bleached her brunette hair blonde and got breast implants. In 1991 she landed a minor role on the hit 1990s sitcom, Home Improvement (1991-1997), where she received much of the attention during the show’s "Tool Time" segments as Lisa the super hot "Tool Girl." Later she landed the role of C.J. Parker (1992-1997) on Baywatch. Though Anderson was still modeling for Outdoor Life and appearing on the cover of the magazine each year, her role as C.J. Parker was giving her more popularity and international recognition. She also made appearances on The Nanny as Fran's rival, Heather Biblow.

These smaller shows, along with her pictorials in Playboy magazine seemed to be the springboard for an even bigger role as an iconic sex symbol, and in 1996 she stared in her first feature film, Barb Wire, as a character known as Barbara Rose Kopetski. Unfortunely, the movie did not sit well with critics and did not do very well at the box office. However, she had garnered enough fame to guest-hosted Saturday Night Live (1997). D uring the beginning of the show, Anderson said, "You know, if you're nervous on stage, you actually should be naked!" She then began a striptease. Her breasts, however, were covered by a small flesh-colored bra and a crotch patch that was also flesh colored (though they were still blurred out for the sake of the joke). The segment became fodder for late-night comedians for the following weeks.

In September 1998, Anderson starred in her produced series V.I.P. Again, it was a critical bomb; however, with so many people tuning in each week just to see Pamela Anderson, the show lasted four seasons before being cancelled in 2002. After that Anderson stated that she needed to dedicate her time to raising her children.

In 2004, Anderson returned to the spotlight. In May she appeared naked on the cover of Playboy magazine. It was the first time she had appeared naked on any magazine cover. Later, she posed naked for Stuff and GQ magazines. Many noticed that her breast size was larger than her pictorials from 2003 and questioned whether she had had them augmented once again, which she later admitted.

In 2004, Pamela Anderson released the book Star, co-written by author Eric Shaw Quinn, in which she describes a young teenager doing different things in order to reach fame. After this, she began touring the United States, signing autographs for fans at Wal-Mart stores nationwide. Her second book, the sequel Star Struck, released in 2005, is a thinly veiled look at her life with Tommy Lee and the travails of celebrity life.

In April 2005, Anderson starred in a new FOX sitcom Stacked as Skyler Dayton, a party girl (with implants) who goes to work at a bookstore. Stacked was cancelled on May 18, 2006, after two seasons, although some episodes did not even get to air. During the summer of 2005, (August 14, 2005) Comedy Central created the Roast of Pamela Anderson to honor the sex symbol for the past decade. During her final speech at the Roast, Pamela referred to her breasts as "Pancho and Lefty"; however, the roast in now famous more for the drug addled antics of the musician Cournty Love, than Pamela's assets.

In December 2005, NBC cut off a video of Anderson pole dancing topless stars were painted on her breasts on Elton John's "The Red Piano," but NBC said that the footage was inappropriate for primetime.

In March 2006, it was announced that Anderson received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame thanks to her many years as a model and actress (only the second model to receive a star), and in April 2006, Anderson hosted Canada's Juno Awards, becoming the first non-singer and model to do so.

Most recently, Anderson is repeatedly referred to in the film Borat; in fact, she is the reason for Borat's trip to and across the United States; she makes a cameo appearance towards the end of the film at an autograph signing event. She has also begun filming the upcoming comedy, Blonde and Blonder.

Personal life

Almost superseding the fame Anderson has amassed due to her modeling and acting, she has received a great deal of press attention for her well-publicized personal life.

Anderson became a naturalized citizen of the United States on May 12, 2004, while retaining her Canadian citizenship, for the purpose of sponsoring her parents (or at least her mother) for a green card, though she has called Southern California home since 1989.

Anderson's numerous personal relationships have made headlines in gossip magazines since the early 1990s. She dated Scott Baoi after meeting him on the set of Charles in Charge, dated Bret Michaels, the lead singer of the 1980s band Poison, and married Tommy Lee, drummer of Mötley Crüe, on February 19, 1995 after knowing him for only 96 hours.

On New Year's Eve in 1994, Anderson met Tommy Lee at a party in New York, where he apparently approuched her and licked her face. Lee attempted to contact Anderson repeatedly for the next few weeks and ended up following her to Cancun where she was set to do a modeling shoot. After four days of courting, the two were married on a beach: Anderson wore a white bikini and Tommy, a set of shorts. After returning to Los Angeles, they had wedding rings tattooed on their fingers inscribed with each others name.

During this time, she was known professionally as Pamela Anderson Lee. A tabloid and internet firestorm began when a pornographic home video of Anderson and Tommy Lee was stolen from their home, and subsequently was leaked into the public eye on the internet – this was the first incident of its kind. Anderson sued the company, the Internet Entertainment Group, who distributed the video, and ultimately the courts awarded Anderson and Lee $1.5 million plus attorney fees for their share of the profits. A second tape, which was made before the Tommy Lee tape, involving Anderson and musician Bret Michaels from Poison, was later distributed on the Internet; however, made less of a stir. Frames of the video first appeared in Penthouse magazine in March 1998. The popularity and profitability of the Anderson and Tommy Lee video sparked a miniature genre within the porn film industry and since then many homemade porn videos of celebrities have been released to the public through home video and Web channels (either with or without the participants' co-operation).

Anderson filed for divorce from Tommy Lee twice, once sighting physical abuse, and reconciled with him twice, once to help Lee with his alcohol addiction, before the couple finally broke up for good.

Pamela Anderson has always spoken candidly and often revealingly about her private life. In March 2002, Anderson publicly stated that she had contracted the Hepatitis C virus from Lee (supposedly from sharing tattoo needles), and began writing a regular column for Jane magazine. In October 2003, Anderson jokingly said on Howard Stern's radio show that she does not expect to live more than ten or fifteen years, but this was misconstrued and taken seriously by many Web sites and tabloids, which subsequently set off a firestorm of gossip.

On a visit to the David Letterman show in 2004, she said she had not been dating for some time, and when Letterman asked her how she was coping, she responded, "There's not a square corner left anywhere in my house!" Letterman left that comment unanswered while the audience hooted. Lee still to this day denies having the disease, and today, Anderson and Lee are just friends.

In January 2005, Anderson confessed that she had got new breast implants, claiming not to feel like herself without them. Anderson also claimed that the new breast implants were bigger than her old implants.

With the fame, came the price as well. In March 2001, Christine Evelyn Roth was arrested while sleeping in a guest room of Anderson's home. She was only charged with the misdemeanor of trespassing and not the more serious crime of stalking. Roth pleaded guilty to the charge of trespassing and was deported to her home country of France.

Since her divorce, she has become engaged to both the model Marcus Schenkenberg and the singer Kid Rock (Robert J. Ritchie). She broke up with Schenkenberg in 2001, and broke up with Kid Rock in 2003. However, after much speculation regarding Anderson's dating life, it was announced on July 18, 2006 that she would marry Kid Rock: on July 29, 2006, the two were married on a yacht near St. Tropez, France, while Anderson wore a white bikini. Anderson posted a blog entry regarding her marriage to Kid Rock saying, "I've raised my kids alone in hope of a miracle. Well my miracle came and went. And came back and back because he knew that I'd wake up one day and realize that I was waiting for nothing." "I'm moving on," she declared. "I feel like I'm finally free ... I'm in love." There was extensive unconfirmed media speculation that the marriage is pregnancy-related, but the theory was based only on Anderson's representatives refusal to comment on the question (though in history this has proven to be a confirmation). On November 10, 2006, it was announced that Anderson miscarried while in Vancouver shooting a new film, Blonde and Blonder. Seventeen days later, on November 27, 2006 Anderson filed for divorce in Los Angeles County Superior Court from Kid Rock, citing irreconcilable differences. Some news reports have suggested that it was an abusive outburst from Kid Rock, wherein he called her among other colorful adjectives, a “Slut” and a “Whore” during a private screening of Borat, at their home, that led to the filing for divorce two weeks later.

She put her Malibu, California, home up for sale in order to move to a more private location.

Charitable Work and Activism

Anderson is a vegetarian, and has beensince her early teens when she walked in on her dad slaughtering an animal he had just hunted.

In 1999, Anderson received the first Linda McCartney Memorial Award for animal rights protectors, in recognition of her campaign against fur. An active member of the animal protection organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for years, she has taken part in several campaigns, one or which being PETA's "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur." On June 28, 2006, at a PETA gala event before the PETA Humanitarian Awards, Anderson posed naked with other protesters on a window display of the Stella McCartney boutique in London, England. Anderson went inside the boutique and said she would take her clothes off if the event raised enough money for PETA, which it did and she ultimately took off her clothes and went to stand on a pedestal at the window display. Anderson wore a banner that read, "We'd rather bare skin than wear skin." The event sparked a media frenzy in London.

She has also actively campaigned against Kentucky Fried Chicken. In 2001, Anderson released a letter in support of PETA's campaign against Kentucky Fried Chicken, stating "What KFC does to 750 million chickens each year is not civilized or acceptable." She later made a video about KFC's treatment of chickens. In January 2006, Anderson requested that the Governor of Kentucky remove a bust of Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC, from display but her request was refused - even when she offered her own bust in exchange. In February 2006, Anderson decided to boycott the Kentucky Derby because of its support for Kentucky Fried Chicken.

She has also campaigned against seal hunting in her native Canada. In March 2006, Anderson asked to speak to Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the annual seal hunt. Her request was refused. In May 2006, she petitioned random individuals on the street for their opinion on the Canadian Seal Hunt.

In March 2005, Anderson became a spokesmodel for MAC Cosmetics's MAC AIDS Fund, which helped people affected by AIDS and HIV. After becoming the official spokesmodel, Anderson raised money during events in Toronto, Tokyo, Dublin and Athens. Anderson also became the celebrity spokesperson for the American Liver Foundation, and served as the Grand Marshal of the SOS motorcycle ride fundraiser.

Most recently Pam has joined forces with PETA in a campaign calling for the boycott of fruit juice maker POM. The "Pom Horrible Campaign" has resulted in response to the company's refusal to halt animal tests.

Though Anderson is known as the sexy girl next door, loved more for her breasts than her brains, in an interview with Gavriel Maynard, she stated "I don't know why people consider me stupid, I'm actually really smart"; and with her non stop championing for honorable causes, she's pushing that message more and more into the public eye.


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