Baywatch, which followed the trials and tribulations of the lifeguards of Los Angeles County, California, was far from clever or profound, but according to the Guinness book of records, it holds the title of the most-watched TV series in the world. It premiered in 1989, but was cancelled after only one season due to low ratings. However, the star of the show, David Hasselhoff, saw its potential and decided to revive it, investing a large chunk of his own money. His efforts were rewarded and Baywatch came back with a bang, winning scores of fans thanks to its simple storylines, busty leading ladies, tanned and chiselled men, and signature red swimsuits. It ended up running for an impressive eleven seasons, relocating to Hawaii and changing up the cast for the last two seasons. It is a show which lives on in popular culture, with its characters and trademark slow-motion runs still regularly parodied today.
Many of the stars of Baywatch have faded into obscurity in the 2000s, while a couple have held on to their fame and capitalised on the world’s nostalgia for the series. Read on to find out what happened to the 10 Baywatch cast favourites, from the consumate celebrities to the convicted criminals.
10. Pamela Anderson
When most people hear the word “Baywatch”, they imagine Pamela Anderson in her revealing red one-piece, running along the beach. Anderson played lifeguard C. J. Parker on the show between 1992 and 1999, a role which catapulted her into international fame. Since leaving Baywatch, the actress has appeared in Dancing with the Stars, Australian Big Brother, and several TV programmes and films including Borat and Scooby Doo. She has regularly modelled for Playboy and has graced more covers than anyone else. She has had a tumultuous and well-publicised love life, having several on-again, off-again relationships and getting married four times. She is currently the wife of Rick Salomon (of the Paris Hilton sex tape fame). She is a devoted animal rights activist and often strips off for the cause, despite now being in her mid-forties.
9. David Hasselhoff
David Hasselhoff played the lead character of Mitch Buchannon for the entire run of Baywatch and Baywatch Hawaii. Since the show ended, the Hoff has remained in the public eye, making self-parodic cameo appearances in films like The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and DodgeBall, appearing on Dancing with the Stars and acting as a judge on the panels of both Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent. Hasselhoff’s jokey song, Jump in my Car, made it to number 3 in the UK charts as a result of a tongue-in-cheek campaign to get him to number 1. He has struggled with alcohol addiction, and suffered embarrassment in 2007 when a video of him lying drunk and shirtless on a hotel bedroom floor trying to eat a cheeseburger went viral. Though he has never been taken very seriously, Hasselhoff has done extremely well for himself, and has an estimated net worth of $110 million.
8. Yasmine Bleeth
Yasmine Bleeth played Caroline Holden in Baywatch from 1994 to 1997 (recurring on the show thereafter). Her part on the show won her widespread attention, and she was named one of FHM’s Sexiest Women in the World every year between 1996 and 2001. After finishing up on Baywatch, she starred in several television shows and films, memorably playing a manic beauty queen in the TV movie Crowned and Dangerous. In 2002 she was sentenced to two years’ probation and 100 hours of community service for possessing and driving under the influence of cocaine. She has struggled with drug addiction ever since, and has not worked in the entertainment industry since 2003. She is married to strip-club owner Paul Cerrito, whom she met while at rehab.
7. Donna D’Errico
Donna D’Errico played Donna Marco on Baywatch and its spin-off series, Baywatch Nights. Since leaving the programmes in 1998, she has hosted the game show Battlebots, starred in Candyman: Day of the Dead, and acted in several low-budget indie films. She divorced Mötley Crüe bassist and songwriter Nikki Sixx in 2007 after nine years of marriage. A former Playboy Playmate of the Month, D’Errico is now a devout Catholic, attending mass weekly. In 2012 she climbed Mount Ararat in Turkey in a failed quest to find the remains of Noah’s ark. In February of this year she filed for bankruptcy, claiming to only have $20 dollars to her name after racking up $600,000 in legal fees and $20,000 in credit card debt. Poor Donna.
6. Alexandra Paul
Alexandra Elizabeth Paul starred as lifeguard Stephanie Holden in Baywatch between 1992 and 1997. The statuesque actress been worked hard in the entertainment industry since leaving the show, starring in over seventy films and television programmes. She is a dedicated political and environmental activist, co-writing and co-producing a documentary about overpopulation and presenting a Californian environmentalism show. Last year Paul got into an embarrassing situation when a woman who had been harassing her took out a restraining order against her, making it look like Paul had been stalking her instead of the other way around.
5. Jeremy Jackson
Jeremy Jackson reportedly beat out Leonardo Dicaprio for the role of Hobie Buchannon, Mitch Buchannon’s son on Baywatch. Since leaving the show in 2000, he has been performing music on the club circuit in North America and hosting fashion shows around the world for Ed Hardy clothing. In 2008 a sex tape featuring Jackson and adult star Sky Lopez was put up for sale, and in 2009 he appeared on the reality show Confessions of a Teen Idol in a failed attempt to revamp his career. In 2011 he was a cast member of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, which showed his recovery from steroid addiction.
4. Carmen Electra
Carmen Electra filled the role of busty blonde lifeguard after Pamela Anderson left Baywatch in 1997. Electra is a woman of diverse talents, and has made quite a name for herself in show business. She has danced with the Pussycat Dolls, modelled for Maxim and Playboy, judged Britain’s Got Talent, released several singles and acted in spoof films such as Scary Movie, Meet the Spartans and Epic Movie. She has been linked to Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee (Anderson’s ex-husband), former Red Hot Chilli Peppers guitarist Dave Navarro, and most recently and inexplicably, Simon Cowell.
3. Jason Momoa
Jason Momoa didn’t get much of a run in Baywatch, as the show was cancelled two seasons after he joined the cast. He has, however, enjoyed reasonable success ever since, landing roles in the TV series Stargate: Atlantis and Game of Thrones. He has also been involved in a number of film projects, including Conan the Barbarian and Road to Paloma, which is due to be released later this year. He is married to actress Lisa Bonet, and together they have a son with the lengthy name of Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa.
2. Traci Bingham
Traci Bingham played Jordan Tate on Baywatch from 1996 to 1998. Having failed to land any decent roles in TV and film after departing the beach, she turned to reality television, competing in Celebrity Big Brother and Fox’s Gimme My Reality Show and winning a $100,000 prize on The Surreal Life: Fame Games. Her winnings must have run dry pretty quickly, however, as she was recently caught trying to dine and dash after enjoying drinks at an exclusive club in Fenway Park.
1. David Chokachi
David Chokachi starred as aspiring Olympic swimmer Cody Madison from 1995 to 1999, when he left to act in the television series Witchblade. After a number of minor roles in other series and made-for-TV movies, he, like his co-star Jeremy Jackson, was reduced to appearing in Confessions of a Teen Idol. Not much has been heard from him since.