Carmen Electra

Active - 1997 - 2015  |   Born - Apr 20, 1972 in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Lucia Bozzola

Perhaps more famous for her physical attributes than for her talent, Carmen Electra managed to parlay a stint as an MTV game show hostess into a career as a TV and movie actress. Born Tara Leigh Patrick and raised in Ohio, Electra left her performing arts high school with plans to become a singer. After a failed album for Prince's Paisley Park label in the early '90s, however, Electra shifted direction. Along with her first Playboy spread, the aspiring entertainer scored her career breakthrough when she replaced Jenny McCarthy as the co-host of MTV's highly-rated dating game Singled Out in 1996. After the show went off the air, Electra successfully stepped in for another buxom TV blonde when she took over lifeguarding duties from Pamela Anderson on the syndicated hit Baywatch from 1997 to 1998.

Elektra moved to features with a bit part in the comedy Good Burger (1997) and larger roles in indie movies Starf*cker (1998), The Chosen One: The Legend of the Raven (1998), and Starstruck (1999). It was Electra's infamous several-day marriage to flamboyant basketball star Dennis Rodman in 1998, though, that further augmented her celebrity. Keeping her assets and tabloid fame in humorous perspective, Electra followed her role as what else, The Female, in the mockumentary The Mating Habits of Earthbound Humans (1999) with a self-parodic turn as the bodacious first victim in the hit horror send-up Scary Movie (2000).

While Elektra failed to land any big successes in the ensuing handful of years, 2004 saw her emerge again, gaining notice on both the large and small screens. In the wake of such hit shows as The Osbournes, The Anna Nicole Show, and, most notably, Newlyweds, Elektra and husband-to-be Dave Navarro agreed to let an MTV camera crew record their lives for the reality show Til Death Do Us Part. Meanwhile, she also showed up to steal a few scenes in the tongue-in-cheek feature-film version of Starsky and Hutch. She appeared on Scary Movie 4 in 2006, and took on roles for a variety of unremarkable comedies throughout the late 2000s and early 2010s. Elektra has also worked as a fitness instructor in a series of aerobic striptease workout programs.

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  • Is of Irish, German and Cherokee ancestry.
  • Began attending the School of Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, OH, when she was 9.
  • Attended high school with Nick Lachey.
  • Signed to a record contract by Prince in 1992 and released a self-titled album for his Paisley Park label that same year.
  • Posed nude for Playboy in 1996 and appeared in the video Playboy Cheerleaders.
  • Succeeded Jenny McCarthy as co-host for MTV's dating game show Singled Out during the spring of 1997.
  • Honed her performing skills after a year-long stint as Lani McKenzie on Baywatch by landing guest spots in several shows, including The Simpsons, Just Shoot Me, Drew Carey and Mad TV.
  • Authored a book, How to Be Sexy, in 2006.