Bo Derek was one of the most famous actresses of the 1970’s and 80’s, and was revered by fans all over the world. Her journey had its ups and downs, including a controversial affair and marriage, gaining huge fame from her breakthrough role in the movie 10, and years of struggling to find roles because of being typecast. In this video, we’re taking a look back at Bo’s life and career, and showing appreciation for this talented and still gorgeous actress. Facts Verse presents: Bo Derek is 66, Try Not to Gasp When You See Her Today!
When you think of the bombshells of the 70s and 80s, one of the first names that comes to mind is Bo Derek. She had a very humble beginning, and didn’t always have it easy. Bo Derek was born May Collins, in 1956. She grew up in Southern California, and she learned what the lavish life was like, when she was young. Her mother’s second husband was a stunt performer. He was the one who got Mary interested in the movie business to start with.
For Bo Derek, school wasn’t very important. She didn’t think an education was a big deal, since she planned to make it in Hollywood. When she was 16, she caught the attention of a director named John Derek. He told her she’d be great for a role in the upcoming film, Fantasies. She landed the role, and had to skip school in order to film the move. In Greece for 10 days. It was the start of her career. And she fell in love with being in front of the camera. She also fell in love with John. Hence the last name, Derek.
Dropping Out of School
Bo Derek always felt that school wasn’t necessary. For about a month, she spent her days at the beach, surfing and sunbathing when she was supposed to be in school. When her mother found out, she was furious. Her mother forced her to go back to school. And she was finally enjoying school. Just when she started doing well though, Bo Derek landed that role in Fantasies, and took of for Greece. When she came home, she dropped out of school. She decided right then that her path was different than most people’s.
A Relationship With An Older Man
When John discovered Bo, he was interested in her from the beginning. She was only 16 at the time, and he was 30 years her senior. John was also married to Linda Evans when he met Bo Derek . When the two returned to the US after filming in Greece, they were dating. The media was shocked, and followed their every move. Because of the rumors swirling about the couple, they decided to move to Germany, here they stayed for the next few years.
Fantasies Was A Flop
The movie they worked on together wasn’t a hit at all. None of the motion picture companies showed any interest in the risky film. They filmed it in 1973, and it wasn’t released until 8 years later! When it was released, it was slammed by critics. It was Bo’s first acting role, and it was a flop. The only good things was that it wasn’t released right away, because that saved Bo’s career. After spending some time in Germany, Bo Derek and John returned to the US. They were married in 1976, when she was 19, and he was 50. John wanted to help Bo’s career in Hollywood, so she got a full makeover. That included dyeing her hair beach blonde, and changing her name to Bo Derek. And from that point on, Mary Collins no longer existed.
Bo Derek carried a lot of guilt for the way that her relationship with John began. He was a married man and because of her, that marriage ended. Bo says that she didn’t regret that she and john got connected, but she did regret the circumstances. Bo always felt really guilty about tearing Linda Evans’ marriage apart. It was so bad, that she couldn’t even face the actress. When the two were at the same Hollywood event, Bo Derek couldn’t bring herself to face Linda.
When Linda found out that her husband was cheating, she said it was the worst time in her life. Linda said that the worst thing that could happen to her in the world was to live without John. He was everything to her. And the entire experience was heart wrenching. Linda says she learned a lot from her experience though. And in time she was able to let it go, and start enjoying her life again.
Bo Derek and Linda Had a Connection
Bo and Linda actually knew each other before Bo started having the affair with John. Linda was the one who introduced the young girl to her husband, in fact. She also taught the young girl a lot about acting and living in Hollywood. The fact that the two women were friends before the affair made it even more painful for Linda. Years later, Bo and Linda did become friends again. Linda said that it was easy for her to be friends with the women John chose, because she really liked them. Many people find Linda to be a very mature woman, to not only have forgiven Bo for destroying her marriage, but also for befriending her again.
Bo Derek Finding Fame
Bo realized early on that being married to a director was great for her career. She landed roles in plenty of movies, thanks to John, including her breakout role in the movie “10.” After that film, Bo became a household name, and an ‘It” girl in Hollywood. She then became a desirable woman in real life. She was now known as the new bombshell. Teenage boys followed and admired her. Teenage girls wanted to be her. Thanks to her success, she starred in films alongside famous actors, including Shirley MacLaine, and Anthony Hopkins. Hugh Hefner took notice of Bo, and featured her in Playboy. From 1980 to 1990, Bo was in Playboy several times.
Bo Derek Subsequent Movies
When Bo was cast in the lead female role in Tarzan The Ape Man in 1981, she expected great things. Unfortunately, things didn’t go the way she’d hoped. Critics were really hard on the final product. Some went as far as to say it was the worst film ever made. Bo went from being excited, to being disappointed. She never gave up though, and decided to keep working on her career. Even though the movie Tarzan was. Flop, her reputation for being a bombshell actress was solidified.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t necessarily a good thing for Bo. Her appearance led to her continually being typecast. She could only land roles that called for a pretty woman. The deep, more complex roles were going to other actresses. She had no potential for awards or higher esteem. By the mid 1980’s, she was still trying to prove herself as a serious actress. Her husband was directing the movie Bolero. And Bo landed the leading role. There was a lot riding on the film’s success, because Bo wanted to prove to Hollywood that she was more than just a pretty face. Because of the film’s edginess, and John’s risqué style, the film was too much for audiences. It actually received an X rating, and the response wasn’t what Bo was hoping for.
The Good and The Bad
Bo ended up winning a Golden Globe for her role in the movie 10. But then she got a worst actress awards for her role in Bolero. The inconsistency in her career wasn’t helping. A few years later, she returned to the big screen, hoping that her image as an inconsistent actress had faded. When she returned to Hollywood, she was a bit older, and lesser known. But she finally had shed some of her bombshell reputation.
John’s Heart Attack
Part of the reason that Bo took a step back from acting was that John had a heart attack in 1986. Bo, at that point, took care of him. His next, and final, film, was “Ghosts Can’t Do It” in 1989. His own romance story inspired that story. The main character marries a woman 30 years younger than him, and he also has a heart attack. Bo was cast as the lead. After starring in that movie, Bo had officially made her comeback.
In the 1990’s, she starred in Tommy Boy, and Woman of Desire. But soon she had to take another step back to care for John. He was in his 70’s, and his health was declining. Bo made John her top priority. Sadly, after 22 years of marriage, John died from heart disease at 71. Bo was devastated when she lost the man with whom she’d spend her entire adult life. She was 41 when her husband died, and she’d never been on a date. She’d never had her heart broken. It was a scary and uncertain time for Bo, and she wasn’t sure how to go on.
Moving On of Bo Derek
After John’s death, Bo did what she could. She took on a few guests roles, on shows like Family Law, The Drew Carey Show, and Seventh Heaven. None of this was fulfilling, however. Bo always loved horses, and she became an activist for groups against horse slaughter. That was her new passion, and her new love. Today, Bo Derek is 66. She’s still a stunningly beautiful woman, who has found happiness and love out of the limelight. She continues to be active, not just with her horses, but also with the veteran community. And she’s in a loving relationship with actor John Corbett.
Now it’s time to hear from you. Are you a fan of Bo Derek? What’s your favorite role of hers? Let us know in the comments section below!