At a Canadian pro-football game, a cameraman focuses on Anderson, who wins the approval of the crowd. The young blonde wearing a Labatt beer T-shirt also catches the attention of execs at the brewing company, who hire her for commercials. Not long after that, Playboy calls and she lands on the cover.
Anderson meets actor Scott Baio at a New Year's Eve party at the Playboy Mansion. They date on and off until 1993.
Anderson guest stars on Married... with Children. She also has a guest spot on the sitcom Charles in Charge before taking the role of Lisa, Tim Allen's curvaceous Tool Time girl on the sitcom Home Improvement the following year.
Anderson joins the cast of Baywatch, which includes David Hasslehoff, Yasmine Bleeth and Alexandra Paul, playing flower-child lifeguard C.J. Parker. She becomes a household name. ''I love the dumb blonde image,'' Anderson tells PEOPLE. ''Then I have nothing to live up to. I can only surprise people.''
After a very brief courtship (four days), a barefoot, white-bikini-clad Anderson weds Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee on the beach in front of eight guests in Cancun, Mexico. Capping off the ceremony, Lee tosses Anderson into the Caribbean. Her mother learns of the wedding from PEOPLE. Carol Anderson's reaction: "This was the first I'd heard of him. It is heartbreaking and shocking."
Anderson and Lee welcome their first child, Brandon.
Fed up with Lee's drinking, Anderson files for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences," but they get back together 10 days later. Within weeks, the actress quits Baywatch, citing a desire to spend more time with her son.
The couple claims that their X-rated honeymoon video was stolen from their home. After it was distributed widely, Anderson and Lee unsuccessfully sue Penthouse to prevent publication of still photos from the tape. In 2002, Anderson and Lee will receive a court-appointed award of $740,893 each from the company that sold the tape online.
Anderson gives birth to her second son with Tommy Lee, Dylan Jagger. Of raising her sons, Anderson tells PEOPLE: "I want my kids to know how to look within themselves for strength." she acknowledges they haven't had a traditional upbringing, "Brandon thinks everyone's mom is on TV and everyone's dad is a rock star. [To other kids, they're like,] 'What band's your dad in?'"
Anderson files for divorce from Tommy Lee again. She says in a statement that she "is and has been the victim of spousal abuse." Police arrest Lee after Anderson claims he attacked her at their Malibu home. Lee pleads no contest to the charges and on May 20 is sentenced to six months in jail for felony abuse.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Venegas-Barrand/Shooting Star; Gwendolen Cates/Corbis Sygma; GLOBE; Everett; Steve Wayda/CORBIS OUTLINE; Michael Bisco/Corbis Sygma; Chris Hultner/Hutchins