Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Name: Bo Derek
Birthdate: November 20, 1956
Famous Years: 1979-Present
Currently Known For: Semi-Retired Actress
|Networth: $50 Million||Famous For: 10, Tommy Boy, Tarzan, the Ape Man|
November 20, 1956
10, Tommy Boy, Tarzan, the Ape Man
If you ask your father what posters he had on his wall during the late 1970s and early 1980s, there’s a good chance that it’s either going to be Farrah Fawcett, or Bo Derek in a swimsuit. The poster of Derek that was taken from the movie “10” launched her career, as she became adorned on walls as one of the best selling posters ever, and has had quite an extensive acting resume since then.
Derek was born on November 20, 1956 as Mary Collins in Long Beach, California and grew up nearby in Harbor City. Derek wasn’t a model student, however, admitting that she “skipped school for a month straight,” adding “It was terrible; I got in big trouble. My mother was working a lot, so she was gone often. I would leave school and hitchhike to the beach.” With that, she would drop out of school at 16 years old after missing class so many times.
Right around the same time, she started dating actor and director John Derek, who was 46 years old at the time. John Derek had offered her a job as an actress, but on the condition that she moved to Greece to start filming. John Derek had been married, and left his wife for Bo Derek, which caused some controversy, especially at her young age. The films that they shot wouldn’t be released right away, but Derek at least got her name out there as an actress.
After having married John when she was 19 years old, Derek would get her debut release in 1977 in the film “Orca”. It was a small role in a B-level horror film, but big things were just around the corner. In 1979, there was extensive casting for the romantic comedy movie “10” with Dudley Moore, and Derek had been selected over other famous actresses for the role that would immortalize her in poster form.
When talking about the role that made her famous, Derek said that her co-star Moore was more well known, “but still, I don’t think either one of us expected that it would have this kind of impact and change our lives, and it did.” It all happened by chance, according to Derek herself. “(Director Blake Edwards) was looking for a pretty girls, someone told him that (I) was pretty. So I got a call, I went in and met him, and all of a sudden I had the part. And then I had Hollywood. It was basically given to me, whatever I wanted to do.”
“10” was not only well received by critics, but also made a lot of money at the box office, making nearly $75 million with a $7 million budget. Derek had become a star overnight, and appeared in several early 1980s films such as “A Change of Seasons”, “Fantasies” and “Tarzan, the Ape Man”. Derek had become a major sex symbol of the time at this point, appearing in Playboy magazine multiple times. However, her acting prowess came into question as many of her roles around this time were panned critically, and she was nominated for multiple Golden Raspberry Awards.
After 1984’s “Bolero”, Derek would step away from acting, not appearing in another production until the 1990s. She would appear in three films during the decade, with the most notable being the Chris Farley and David Spade comedy “Tommy Boy” that’s still a classic in the genre more than 20 years later. She’d also appear on television in a pair of TV movies and some guest spots to round out the decade, including “The Drew Carey Show”.
Derek would take it easy in acting for the most part due to the declining health of her husband John, but returned to acting in the early 2000s. Most notably, she’d make appearances in “Malibu’s Most Wanted” with cameo appearances in “Boom” and “Master of Disguise”, and continue her guest role appearances in TV with the addition of a regular role on the series “Fashion House” as Maria Gianni.
Since 2005, Derek hasn’t appeared on the big screen very often, having roles in the 2012 film “Highland Park” and in 2017 in “5 Weddings”. Television has been more common for Derek these days, though she’s been absent for the most part for the past six years. Outside of the B-level comedy horror TV film “Sharknado 3”, we haven’t seen Derek on TV since guest appearances on “Chuck” and “CSI: Miami” in 2012.
For the most part, the 61 year old is enjoying a quiet life with her longtime partner John Corbett, whom she’s been with since 2002 following the death of her husband John Derek in 1998 after 22 years of marriage. When talking about her late husband’s death, Derek said “He was 71, so it was going to happen. I didn’t think it would happen that soon, but it was part of our relationship from the beginning that most likely I would live part of my life alone without him. But it was still a shock, and it happened suddenly.”
“We’ve just got this vacation house and we have boats, so hopefully I’ll be sailing,” she said of her future plans. It’s in southern California where she’s from, and where she plans to spend the rest of her time, enjoying the open seas and riding horses after a long career.