If you asked someone to name as many blonde bombshells that they could, it’s highly likely that Pamela Anderson would be one of the first names you’d hear. For decades, Anderson drew the attention of TV audiences, Playboy readers, and gossip columnists. However, there’s far more to Anderson than just her looks, and her life has had its fair share of incredible highs and shocking lows. Here are 50 scandalous facts about Pamela Anderson, the ultimate bombshell.
Pamela Anderson Facts
1. What a Coincidence!
Pamela Denise Anderson was born in Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada on July 1, 1967. In case you’re not aware of the timing, July 1 is Canada Day, which marks Confederation. On top of that, 1967 was the centennial anniversary of Confederation. This meant that Anderson was hailed by the media as a “Centennial baby.” She’s had her pictures in print ever since she was a literal infant!
2. Surprise Background
Anderson is the daughter of Carol, a waitress, and Barry, a furnace repairman. Anderson’s paternal great-grandfather was actually from Finland, arriving in Canada in 1908. His original name was Juho Hyytiäinen, but he changed it to the more Anglo-sounding “Anderson.”
3. The Horrid Truth
Sadly, Anderson’s childhood was far from idyllic. In 2014, Anderson revealed that her childhood had been marked by horrific abuse. When she was only six years old, a female babysitter molested her. This continued until she was ten. Two years later, a grown man assaulted her, only for her to be assaulted again by her then-boyfriend and his friends when she was just 14 years old.
4. Staying Fit
Throughout her teens and early life, Anderson was a very physically active person. She was a member of the volleyball team during her years at Highland Secondary School in Comox, B.C. Following her graduation in the 1980s, Anderson found work as a fitness instructor. It was during this stage of her life that fame found her in a surprising way…
5. Yeah, I’m Done with Meat
When Pamela Anderson was a teenager, she walked in on her father Barry in a horrifying situation. He was cleaning the carcass of an animal that he’d hunted and killed, and she was viscerally affected by the sight. The memory of that day inspired Anderson to become a vegetarian, though she later came to identify as a vegan. From that day on, Anderson began standing up for animal rights.
6. What a Bombshell!
The year was 1989, and Anderson was a 22-year-old fitness instructor sitting in Vancouver’s BC Place Stadium, watching a Canadian Football League (CFL) game, featuring the BC Lions. When Anderson was featured on the Jumbotron during the game, she made such an impression with the crowd that she was actually invited onto the field, receiving a standing ovation when she did so.
7. I’m Pamela, and I Love This Beer!
Speaking of this surprise taste of fame, Pamela Anderson happened to be wearing a company name on her t-shirt during the football game. Specifically, it was Labatt, a Canadian beer company. They were so taken by Anderson, in fact, that they immediately reached out and offered her a contract as a spokesmodel for their beer. Her then-boyfriend, Dan Ilicic, further fed the flames by producing a poster of her titled “Blue Zone Girl.”
8. The Start of a New Career
Because life sometimes works like a row of dominoes, Anderson’s brief stint with Labatt’s resulted in her very first appearance as a Playboy cover girl. She appeared on the October 1989 magazine issue. This was enough for her to leave Vancouver and travel south to Los Angeles to pursue modeling. Playboy quite smartly doubled down by making Anderson their February 1990 Playmate of the Month.
9. Buyer’s Remorse?
Speaking of doubling down, it was at this point in her life that Anderson underwent the surgery for which she became very well known. As a result of two operations over the course of several years, Anderson increased her bust to 34DD. Anderson ultimately had her implants removed, however, in 1999.
10. You Don’t Tell Me What to Do!
According to Anderson herself, she initially turned Playboy down when they first asked her to pose for the magazine. When they amended their request to a cover shoot, Anderson thought it was more acceptable, since she wouldn’t be naked. However, her then-boyfriend had a very strong reaction. He tried to forbid her from taking part in the shoot—but he didn’t know what he was up against. That settled things for Anderson; she went ahead with the shoot!
11. “More Power” Indeed
Interestingly, Anderson’s debut appearance on television was on the Tim Allen sitcom Home Improvement. From 1991 until 1992, Anderson had a recurring role as Allen’s female assistant during the “Tool Time” segments. Ultimately, Anderson appeared in 23 episodes of the show before she quit. In case you’re wondering, she left in order to focus on a more famous TV series…
12. Welcome Aboard!
In 1992, the lifeguard-themed action drama series Baywatch was struggling to survive when its star and producer, David Hasselhoff, offered Anderson a starring role on the show. Anderson accepted because she identified with C.J. Parker’s “New Age thinking” as well as the character’s enthusiasm for dream interpretation and meditation. She wound up starring on the show for five seasons, and it made her a household name.
13. It Still Fits!
For all her success as the lifeguard C.J. Parker in Baywatch, Anderson ironically loathes swimming, making her time on that show rather problematic. For what it’s worth, she allegedly still has her original lifeguard’s outfit from the show.
14. A Fruitful Career
Anderson’s affiliation with Playboy spanned around 22 years in total. She holds the honor of appearing more times on the Playboy covers than any other model in Playboy’s history. Aside from that, Anderson also wrote the forward for Playboy’s Greatest Covers, a coffee table book produced by Playboy, and she’s also made several appearances in the newsstand specials.
15. Family Clout
Going back to Anderson’s surprise Finnish background, it turns out that she has distant relatives in high places. A Finnish magazine known as Image released an article where they had delved into Anderson’s family tree and made some interesting discoveries. It turns out that Anderson is related to Urho Kekkonen and Mauno Koivisto, two of Finland’s former presidents.
16. If This is Success, I Don’t Want it
It was during her heyday on Baywatch that Anderson made her debut leading role in a film with the 1994 action drama Raw Justice. Anderson co-starred as Sarah, a sex worker who witnesses a murder. The film received negative reviews, but it made over $35 million at the box office. However, Anderson admitted some time later that acting in this film was a “horrible experience.” Filming the love scenes were an especially unpleasant event for Anderson. In her own words, “I was thrown around, I was scratched, I was bruised, I was bitten. I cried, I went home, I called my mother.” In fact, she was so disillusioned that she backed out of further film acting after Raw Justice wrapped.
17. What a Surprise!
On February 19, 1995, Anderson tied the knot with Tommy Lee, the drummer of Motley Crue. Safe to say it was a shock for everyone. For one thing, Lee and Anderson had known each other for a mere four days before they got married. They got hitched on the beach, with Anderson wearing a bikini. Her own mother didn’t even know what had happened until she read about it in a magazine!
18. Envy’s an Ugly Look
Sadly, Anderson’s marriage to Tommy Lee was far from a match made in heaven. According to Anderson’s co-star David Hasselhoff, Lee was deeply insecure about his wife’s status as a sex symbol on Baywatch. It might have also been influenced by the fact that Anderson had dated two of her co-stars Kelly Slater and David Charvet before she joined the show. It’s alleged that Lee threw tantrums on the set whenever Anderson had romantic scenes. He grew so violent that he needed to be physically removed from the set!
19. Don’t Show Me! I Can’t Handle it!
Despite all her time spent in the spotlight, Anderson was very shy about seeing herself on screen. In 1998, Anderson admitted that she couldn’t even finish watching a single episode of Baywatch. Additionally, Anderson admitted that her then-partner, musician Tommy Lee, also refused to watch Baywatch.
20. The Start of Something Awful
Fights about Anderson’s career were far from the worst part of her marriage with Tommy Lee. One of the most infamous moments of Anderson’s life involved a bedroom tape that she made with Tommy Lee just after their honeymoon. In 1995, the tape was stolen from their home and uploaded to the Internet, back when that was still a novel concept. Anderson was livid and tried to sue the video distribution company, but it was too late to remove it from the web. A dark day for personal privacy.
21. Not Cool, Dude
Anderson’s marriage to Tommy Lee went up in flames by 1998. That year, Lee was arrested for assaulting Anderson after she refused to tell her parents not to come over to their home. Allegedly, Lee attacked Anderson while she was holding one of their two children, leaving her with “bruises, a torn fingernail and fear for the safety of her two sons, Dylan and Brandon.” Lee served six months in prison for this domestic assault, and the couple got divorced.
Sadly, that wasn’t the last time Anderson was damaged from her association with Tommy Lee. In March 2002, Anderson announced that she’d contracted hepatitis C after she’d shared tattoo needles with Lee. She also caused a minor shock when she made a light-hearted comment about her chances for long-term survival, saying that she only expected to live another 15 years. Luckily, as of 2015, she’s been cured.
23. Well, That Didn’t Work
In 1996, Anderson starred in the film adaptation of the comic series Barb Wire. However, the film was a box office bomb, and critics derided Anderson’s acting. However, as Anderson herself pointed out in an interview, Barb Wire acquired a cult audience.
24. Silver Lining
For what it’s worth, Anderson herself was deeply unimpressed with Barb Wire, and she was perfectly happy to discuss why. When she was initially approached with the project, it was meant to be a “dark comedy, real cartoony,” but then the producers demanded something more commercially pleasing. Much to Anderson’s dismay, they replaced the director and removed all the humor from the script. Despite this turn of events, and despite her own disappointment with how Barb Wire turned out, Anderson expressed her appreciation that some people liked the finished project. She even found out the drag queen subculture embraced her character and her look for themselves.
25. Hear Me Roar (Softly)
Anderson’s negative experiences on the set of Raw Justice convinced her that she wanted more creative control over her projects. This resulted in her becoming an executive producer on V.I.P., the next series she starred in after Baywatch. In her own words, Anderson was involved in “everything from hiring production designers and art directors to casting people.” However, despite wielding this power behind the scenes, Anderson hid this role from the public, as she thought the idea of her being an executive producer would produce mockery from the public.
26. Let’s Have Fun!
In case you don’t remember, V.I.P. was an action-comedy series where Anderson portrays a glamorous figurehead of a bodyguard agency, who ends up solving cases despite her lack of useful skills. The series was very tongue-in-cheek, making fun of Anderson’s public image on several occasions. The show lasted four seasons and even got a Primetime Emmy nomination. As we said before, Anderson had a very influential role as a producer on the show, and she made it as silly and colorful as possible. Anderson explained that she wanted to step away from her Barb Wire image and her trouble with Tommy Lee.
27. No Thanks! I’m Out!
In 1996, the crime drama Miami Hustle was released. The film follows a con to steal millions of dollars that have been willed to a stripper. Anderson was originally considered as the stripper in question, but she was initially unaware of the many gratuitous bedroom scenes. When she found out, they presumably reminded her of her rough time on Raw Justice. Whatever the reason, Anderson backed out of the project, only for her to be sued by the producers for $5 million. However, it was ruled that Anderson hadn’t entered a legally binding agreement.
28. Fighting the Good Fight
One of Anderson’s main causes throughout her life has been fighting for animal rights. This led her to become a member of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). As early as 1999, Anderson was commended for a campaign against using animal fur in the fashion industry, even winning the first Linda McCartney Memorial Award for her troubles.
29. So, it was a Rocky Relationship?
In the early 2000s, following a brief engagement to Marcus Schenkenberg, Anderson began an on-and-off relationship with American singer Robert J. Ritchie, better known as Kid Rock. They broke up in 2003, only to get married three years later. Just like her marriage to Tommy Lee, she wore a bikini to the wedding, which took place on Rock’s yacht. Wait, didn’t she dislike water?
30. Wait, What?
In 2003, SpikeTV aired the adult cartoon series Stripperella. Anderson voiced Erotica Jones, a dancer who was also a secret agent/superheroine. If you’re wondering who created this bizarre idea, look no further than Marvel’s own cameo king Stan Lee, the show’s creator! Unfortunately for him and for Anderson, Stripperella never made it past its first season.
31. As Myself
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a famous figure like Anderson has made good money out of portraying herself in fiction. Over the years, Anderson has made cameos playing herself in television series such as Futurama and Just Shoot Me, as well as films like Costa Rican Summer, Pauly Shore is Dead, and even Scooby-Doo!
Speaking of cameos as herself, the most famous of these was undoubtedly for the controversial film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. In the film, the titular character becomes obsessed with Anderson while visiting the United States. He actually meets Anderson in person, only for him to propose marriage to her before trying to abduct her.
33. Now That’s Acting!
One reason why Borat was such a controversial film was that it involved Borat actor Sacha Baron Cohen approaching ordinary people and provoking all kinds of reactions out of them. Many of these people attempted to sue Cohen over their portrayals in the film, and Cohen barely escaped arrest during the filming. Unlike those prior examples, Anderson described Cohen as a “nice guy” and claimed her portrayal in the film was a “compliment.” Despite that, she claimed she was “sworn to secrecy” about the details of her involvement with the film, leaving it ambiguous whether she was in on the joke during filming or not. Of course, everyone put two and two together anyway.
34. Toxic Masculinity
While she claimed that she didn’t mind her portrayal in Borat, it had an utterly chilling effect on her marriage. In 2006, the New York Post reported that after seeing Borat, Rock sent a furious text to Anderson which read “You’re nothing but a w—-! You’re a s—! How could you do that movie?” Based on the timing, it seems like Anderson’s involvement in Borat was a contributing factor to the destruction of her marriage to Rock, which ended shortly after the film’s release.
35. That’s Our Lady!
Despite personal troubles, 2006 was a good year for Anderson in her home country. She became only the second model to be granted a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto. Additionally, Anderson hosted the Canadian music awards, known as the Junos, that year. She was not only the first model but also the first non-musician to host these awards.
36. Hypocrites, the Lot of You!
On the other hand, Anderson hasn’t been without controversy within her home country of Canada. In 2010, PETA released a picture of Anderson where she is nearly nude, with her body marked off with butcher terms. The ad was banned in Montreal because it was considered sexist. Anderson was outraged by this censorship and denounced the decision as being “puritanical.” To be more elaborate, Anderson released a statement where she scathingly remarked: “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.”
37. Dysfunctional Love Triangle
Despite their painful breakup, as well as their subsequent relationships, Anderson and her ex-husband Tommy Lee continued to maintain a relationship of their own. Around 2008, Anderson even admitted that she was trying to make things work with Lee again. This might have helped undermine her relationship with Rick Salomon, which crashed around the same time!
38. Like an Emotional Seesaw
Speaking of Rick Salomon, he and Anderson spent the 2000s having an on-and-off relationship of their own, going from being married to being “friends with benefits,” in Anderson’s own words. Things changed again in 2014 when Anderson announced her remarriage to Salomon. This didn’t last either, as they filed for divorce a second time in 2015.
39. Going Full Circle
In 2004, Anderson became a naturalized American citizen, more than ten years after she first left Canada for a career down south. However, she retained her Canadian citizenship simultaneously. In 2008, Anderson purchased a beach home in Malibu, California, but has since begun renting it out after failing to sell it. Just last year in 2019, Anderson announced she was living in Canada again.
39. This Feels Meta
Aside from modeling and acting, Anderson has also added “writing” to her list of talents. In 2004, Anderson released the book Star, which she’d co-written with Eric Shaw Quinn. The book depicts a teenager’s attempts to become famous. The following year, Anderson released a sequel, titled Star Struck, which was clearly inspired by her relationship with Tommy Lee. The success of both these books allowed Anderson to go on tour around the United States, providing autographs and book-signings.
40. Pam and the Rocket Man
In 2005, Anderson appeared in a video alongside music star Elton John. Anderson spent her screen time performing a pole dance. This footage was deemed too racy, prompting NBC to cut the scene from their screening of the video.
41. Hey, That’s Me!
In 2003, media executive Sam Newman commissioned Australian architect Cassandra Fahey to design a building which is known as the Sam Newman House. Part of the design includes Anderson’s face on a large scale. Fahey and Newman both received Anderson’s permission to use her likeness in this regard, and the Sam Newman House is now considered a landmark of sorts.
42. Stalker Shock
Anderson got a serious scare back in 2001 when a woman named Christine Roth was discovered sleeping in Anderson’s home. Roth was a longtime fan of Anderson, and this fandom had turned into an obsession, as you can tell. Luckily, nobody was physically harmed, and Roth was sent back to France and sentenced to undergo counseling.
43. Sibling Power
Throughout her career and life, Anderson has regularly collaborated with her brother, Gerry. As far back as 2007, the two of them began working together on producing films. Later, in 2013, Anderson and her brother both participated in the New York City Marathon.
44. Romance on the Mediterranean
From 2016 until 2019, Anderson found a new home in the French coastal city of Marseille. While living there, she fell for Adil Rami, a professional athlete who plays for the Marseille soccer team. However, the relationship sadly fell through in 2019.
45. Save the Seals
One of Anderson’s fiercest campaigns in the war for animal rights was against the seal hunt. In case you’re unaware, seals are hunted annually in Canada, both as sustenance hunting among the Inuit and commercial hunting outside of the First Nations community. Animal rights activists have frequently protested this practice, and Anderson was no exception. Not only did she publicly wear shirts which protested the seal hunts, but she also wrote to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper requesting an audience with him on the issue. However, the seal hunt continues.
46. Yes, But-
Interestingly, one person who discontinued the hunting of harp seals was none other than Vladimir Putin. In 2009, Anderson personally wrote to Putin, thanking him for taking this step in the pursuit of animal rights. However, she was also quick to point out that Russia continues to hunt whales and urged him to follow suit with the whale hunts. We’ll see how that goes.
47. Ever the Fighter
Animal rights aren’t the only causes which have drawn Anderson’s attention and clout. In 2005, Anderson joined forces with MAC Cosmetics and became a spokesperson for their AIDS Fund, which provides financial assistance to those suffering from HIV and AIDS. Additionally, she spoke out against gendered violence, sharing her own personal experiences as a victim of abuse.
48. Going to Bat for Julian
Say what you will about controversial Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, but there’s no denying that he’s got as many supporters as he’s got detractors. In 2016, Anderson publicly defended Assange, citing him as a “hero,” but in 2019, after Assange was removed from his refuge within the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK, she actually put her money where her mouth was. Not only did Anderson go to personally visit Assange in prison, but she then traveled to Australia and campaigned for the Australian government to provide the legal protection that Assange was entitled to have.
49. Sticking Up for Mom
While Anderson has moved past her time with Tommy Lee, he dragged her back into controversy in 2018. In response to Anderson discussing their former relationship with Piers Morgan, Lee wrote a scathing tweet which he signed as “’The Abuser’ (who she texts everyday & asks for me back).” This naturally irked a lot of people, but none more than Anderson and Lee’s son, Brandon. It was reported that Brandon (who was staying with Lee at the time) confronted his father for the tweet, and things escalated so much that Brandon knocked Lee out cold!
50. We’re Reaching Kim Kardashian Levels Here
Anderson’s love life once again caught the attention of the tabloids and social media on February 1, 2020, when she announced that she’d separated from her husband, producer Jon Peters. What was stunning about this announcement was the fact that they’d only gotten married on January 20 of that same year! It’s worth noting that the “marriage” has also been revealed as not having been legally binding.