The Real Reason Pam Anderson Was Cast On Baywatch

From the time it premiered in 1989 to the series finale in 2001, the popular NBC series "Baywatch" was among the most watched shows on television. In turn, the show helped launch several careers for a number of actors and actresses, as Us Magazine reports. One regular cast member that leveraged "Baywatch" for bigger and better things was Pamela Anderson, a Playboy model turned actress who played lifeguard C.J. Parker in the series. Anderson was cast on the show nearly by accident, and if the sequence of events leading to her getting the part had gone differently, Anderson might not be the star she is today.

According to The Things, Pamela Anderson was 25 years old when she joined the cast of "Baywatch" in 1992. Prior to that point, she had appeared on the cover of Playboy Magazine, and in February 1990, was tapped by Hef for Playmate of the Month, as E! Online reports. Anderson dreamed of making the transition to film and television, however, and the role of C.J. Parker seemed a perfect fit, telling Net-a-Porter that she related to the character. "C.J. Parker was basically me," she said. Anderson only had the chance to learn about the part, however, because she showed up at the audition for an entirely different reason.

Her boyfriend was auditioning

In 1992, Pamela Anderson was dating the French singer and actor David Charvet (pictured above), who would himself end up starring on the show from 1992 to 1995, according to Movie Cultists. Over the years, Anderson's personal life has gained nearly as much press attention as any role she ever played. She was involved in high-profile relationships with musicians Kid Rock and Poison's Bret Michaels, as well as the drummer Tommy Lee from Mötley Crüe, with whom the infamous sex tape scandal occurred in 1995, via Elle. Three years earlier, her relationship with Charvet would also play an important part in the outcome of her career.

As Anderson recalled to Net-a-Porter, she wasn't there to audition for the show "Baywatch" on the day she was cast, but instead, was simply accompanying Charvet to his own audition. "It wasn't planned. I wasn't supposed to go," she said. Producers stuck her in a bathing suit, however, and began to ask her questions about her life. Soon, it was clear she was a perfect fit for the part. "They didn't even know what to do with me. So they stuck me in a bathing suit and asked me about my life and, really, C.J. Parker was basically me — a hippie kind of Bohemian life, a girl who loved animals and wanted to be at the beach. That was who I was," she said.