Pamela Denise Anderson (born July 1, 1967) is a Canadian actress, model, producer, author, activist, and former showgirl, known for her roles on the television series Home Improvement, Baywatch, and V.I.P. She was chosen as a Playmate of the Month for Playboy magazine in February 1990. For a time, she was known as Pamela Anderson Lee (or Pamela Lee) after marrying Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee. She maintains dual American and Canadian citizenship.
Anderson was born in Ladysmith, British Columbia, the daughter of Barry, a furnace repairman, and Carol (née Grosco) Anderson, a waitress. Her great-grandfather, Juho Hyytiäinen, was Finnish, a native of Saarijärvi, and left the Grand Duchy of Finland (which was a part of the Russian Empire at the time) in 1908, changing his name to Anderson when he arrived as an immigrant. Anderson also has Russian ancestry on her mother's side.
After graduating from Highland Secondary School in 1985, Anderson moved to Vancouver and worked as a fitness instructor. During the summer of 1989, Anderson went with her friends to a BC Lions game at BC Place, and during the game she was shown on the stadium screen wearing a Labatt's t-shirt, causing the crowd to cheer for the 21-year-old Anderson. She was taken down to the field to receive an ovation from the crowd. Her photographer boyfriend Dan Ilicic produced the Blue Zone Girl poster on his own. In October 1989 she appeared as the cover girl on Playboy magazine. At this stage in her modelling career, she had decided to live in Los Angeles to further pursue her career ambitions. She became a centrefold for Playboy when the magazine chose her to be their Playmate of the Month for their February 1990 issue. She then chose to get breast implants. Anderson has since appeared in Playboy several times in the 1990s and 2000s.
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After her move to Los Angeles, she won a minor role as the original "Tool Time girl" on the hit television sitcom, Home Improvement. She left the show after two seasons and won the role of C. J. Parker on Baywatch, a role she played between 1992 and 1998. Anderson was still modeling for Outdoor Life and appearing on the cover of the magazine each year. In 1993, Anderson appeared in a music video "Can't Have Your Cake" by Vince Neil to promote his first solo album Exposed.
In 1994, she was cast in her first starring role in Raw Justice also known as Good Cop, Bad Cop, a film in which she costarred with Stacy Keach, David Keith and Airplane! star Robert Hays. The film won the Bronze Award at the Worldfest-Charleston in the category for dramatic theatrical films under the title Good Cop, Bad Cop. The notable cast was the focus of many reviewers.
In 1996, she appeared in Barb Wire playing Barbara Rose Kopetski, which was later claimed by some sources to be Anderson's real name, although it is not. The movie, a thinly veiled futuristic remake of Casablanca, was not a commercial success. In April 1997, she guest-hosted Saturday Night Live. She appeared on one of two covers for the September issue of Playboy.
In September 1998, Anderson starred as Vallery Irons in the Sony Pictures Entertainment hit syndicated show V.I.P. created by J. F. Lawton. Blending action and humor in a fast-paced adventure series, with Anderson often poking fun at her tabloid image, the show explored the exciting and sometimes treacherous lives of the rich and famous. The series lasted through a successful four year run. In 1999, she appeared as a giantess in the music video for "Miserable" by California alternative rock band Lit. Her role as C.J. Parker gave her more popularity and gained her attention from international viewers. She returned to Baywatch for the 2003 reunion movie, Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding. She appeared on The Nanny as Fran's rival, Heather Biblow.
In early 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.
Anderson became a naturalized citizen of the United States on May 12, 2004, while retaining her Canadian citizenship. She has lived in Southern California since 1989.
In 2004, she released the book Star, co-written by Eric Shaw Quinn, about a teenager trying to become famous. 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 trials of celebrity life. In April 2005, Anderson starred in a new Fox sitcom Stacked as Skyler Dayton, a party girl who goes to work at a bookstore. It was canceled on May 18, 2006, after two seasons, although some episodes were never aired. On 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, Anderson referred to her breasts as "Pancho and Lefty".
In December 2005, NBC cut off a video of Anderson pole dancing on Elton John's "The Red Piano." NBC said that the footage was inappropriate for prime time. The video was shown on huge screens during the event, while John played "The Bitch is Back". In March 2006, it was announced that Anderson would receive a star on Canada's Walk of Fame thanks to her many years as a model and actress. She is only the second model to receive a star. In April 2006, Anderson hosted Canada's Juno Awards, becoming the first non-singer and model to do so.
She was referenced in the 2006 mockumentary, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, as the title character becomes obsessed with her, and plans to abduct and marry her. She appears as herself at a book signing at the end of the film, confronted by Borat in a staged botched abduction.
She performed on February 13–14, 2008 in a Valentine's Day striptease act at the Crazy Horse cabaret in Paris. Anderson then starred in Pam: Girl on the Loose, which debuted on August 3, 2008 on E! in the United States.
In December 2009, Anderson guest-starred as Genie of the Lamp in the pantomime Aladdin at the New Wimbledon Theatre in Wimbledon, south-west London, England. Anderson took over the role from comedienne Ruby Wax, with former EastEnders actress Anita Dobson and comedian Paul O'Grady also booked for the role.
One of Anderson's campaigns as a member of PETA has been against the use of fur. In 1999, Anderson received the first Linda McCartney Memorial Award for animal rights protectors, in recognition of her campaign. In 2003, Anderson stripped down for PETA's "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" advertising campaign. On June 28, 2006, Anderson posed naked with other protesters on a window display of the Stella McCartney boutique in London, England. It was a PETA gala event before the PETA Humanitarian Awards. Anderson went inside the boutique and said she would take her clothes off if the event raised enough money for PETA, which it did. She 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 Canada. In March 2006, Anderson asked to speak to Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the annual seal hunt but she was refused. In May 2006, she petitioned random individuals on the street for their opinion on the Canadian Seal Hunt. In December, 2009, Anderson, photographed in a t-shirt with a drawn picture of a seal pup on it, was featured in a new ad campaign for PETA. She appears next to the headline "Save the Seals" in the ad and urges the public to help end "Canada's annual seal slaughter." She joined forces with PETA in a campaign for the boycott of fruit-juice maker POM. The "Pom Horrible Campaign" has resulted in the company halting animal tests. In March 2005, Anderson became a spokesperson 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 became the celebrity spokesperson for the American Liver Foundation, and served as the Grand Marshal of the SOS motorcycle ride fundraiser. She wrote an open letter to President Barack Obama urging the legalization of cannabis.
Anderson became the center of controversy when she posed in a bikini nearly nude for a PETA ad that was banned in Montreal, Canada on grounds that the ad was sexist. Anderson retorted saying, "In a city that is known for its exotic dancing and for being progressive and edgy, how sad that a woman would be banned from using her own body in a political protest over the suffering of cows and chickens. In some parts of the world, women are forced to cover their whole bodies with burqas – is that next? I didn't think that Canada would be so puritanical."