Born Mary Cathleen Collins, caught everyone’s eye. Her cinematic career received mixed reviews throughout her life, but Collins, popularly known as Bo Derek, always turned heads. All that attention came just from catching some sun. But whatever happened to this iconic blonde?
A lot of Bo Derek’s film credits stem, in part, from her looks. And a lot of her appearances in movies emphasize those looks. All this, in turn, stemmed from her dubious relationship with her late husband John Derek. Developing a relationship with him started it all for the teen.
Everybody had their eyes on Bo Derek
Bo Derek’s big rise to fame came partially because of her looks and those same looks got a lot of emphasis in her film appearances. It all began when Derek was a teenager and did what plenty have done before and after her: slacked off. She spent her days at the beach under a warm sun and bright sand. Eventually, she caught the eye of John Derek, who had in turn attracted her mother’s attention as an attractive filmmaker.. In 1973, Bo Derek was 16. He was 46. But he divorced his actress wife Linda Evans and went off to Germany with Derek to avoid age of consent laws in California.
From there, Derek’s film appearances kicked off. All the while, John Derek put her in increasingly risque poses and situations to make his low-budget film attract attention. His first film with Derek in it flopped the landing but she still appeared in works by John Derek and other directors. 10 (1979) ended up establishing Bo Derek as the attractive blonde of Hollywood. Additionally, it also gave birth to Derek’s look including those tight braids. Though John Derek, at this point her husband, did not direct 10, he did suggest this hairstyle to help her stand out from all the other women.
Derek is still gorgeous inside and out
The momentum carried Bo Derek onward through several more decades of entertainment success. She transitioned between movies and shows, which came to include 7th Heaven, Family Law, The Drew Carey Show and more. With the 21st century, Derek got involved in politics for a degree, campaigning for Bush Jr., though at one point voting for an opposite party in later years. But her political activism coupled with involvement in the arts earned her a position on the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Then-President George W. Bush appointed her to the operations committee.
Currently, she is semi-retired from acting. But she stays in the loop and addresses questions with good humor. This is exemplified by her humorous response when asked about a 10 sequel. In her personal life, Derek works to give others reason to smile too. She is a fierce advocate for disabled veterans, to the point that she is a national honorary chairperson for Veterans Affairs’ National Rehabilitation Special Events. Throughout the years, she also expressed her love of horses by calling for an end of horse slaughter. Even if you don’t see Bo Derek on your screen, you’ve likely encountered her influence, in cinema or life. For example, see the beach running scene below. How many times has this been copied?