Biography of Bo Derek
Bo Derek (born November 20, 1956) is an American film actress and model.
Derek was born Mary Cathleen Collins in Long Beach, California. She is of Irish,
German, Dutch and Welsh descent. Her father is Paul Collins, a Hobie Cat executive.
Her mother is Norma Collins, hairdresser to Ann-Margret. After the parents divorced,
Norma Collins married American stunt performer Bobby Bass.
Derek attended Narbonne High School in Harbor City, California. Derek then
attended George S. Patton Continuation school which is adjacent to Narbonne.
Derek started modeling to pay for a new surf board, and after a few shoots
and a deodorant advertisement found she had a knack for performance. She got
herself a Hollywood agent, and on the audition trail met director John Derek,
30 years her senior. John filed for divorce from his wife, actress Linda Evans,
and the pair moved to Germany to avoid John being charged with statutory rape
under U.S. law due to Bo only being 16. The couple returned to America soon
after Bo's 18th birthday, and married in 1976. They remained married until his
death in 1998.
Her first on screen performance was in Fantasies (1973). Derek turned down a
role in the King Kong remake, and also turned down the role of Iris Steensma
in Taxi Driver that ultimately went to child actress Jodie Foster, making her
second film 1977's Orca: the Killer Whale, in which her character's leg was
bitten off when the whale attacked her home on a pier.
Derek first came to prominence when she co-starred in the 1979 Blake Edwards
film 10, in which Dudley Moore's character is torn between his love for Julie
Andrews and his fascination with Derek. Her appearance shot her to instant stardom
and status as a sex symbol. Her beaded and plaited cornrow hairstyle in the
film was widely copied and became eponymous. As a result of the film, Bo received
a Golden Globe nomination for new star of the year, but lost out to Bette Midler
for The Rose.
Some of Bo Derek's subsequent films were not well-received by either the public
or critics. For the 1981 film Tarzan, the Ape Man, the producers of the film
were actually sued by the Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate over the name of the film,
as Derek's role and physique seemed to overshadow the focus on Tarzan himself.
She followed this film with the sexually charged Bolero and a subsequent role
in her husband's production Ghosts Can't Do It.
She made the first of many appearances in Playboy, starting with the March
1980 issue. Her first pictorial (among others) was photographed by then husband
John, on a secluded beach along an unnamed area of the Colorado River. The twelve
page spread featured a few with her and her pet greyhound together jogging and
sunbathing, as well as her sailing and swimming in the river, all nude. She
appeared on the cover in a bikini.
Full name: Bo Derek
Birthdate: November 20, 1956
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, USA