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Why You Don’t See Heather Locklear Anymore

Heather Locklear is perhaps best known for her role as Amanda Woodward on Fox’s Melrose Place. The primetime soap opera ran from July 1992 to May 1999 and was a huge hit with teens and young adults. That role earned Locklear four consecutive Golden Globe nods for Best Actress in a Television Drama Series.

Previously, Locklear played the character Sammy Jo Carrington on Dynasty from 1981 to 89. As her breakthrough television role, Dynasty marked the beginning of a longtime collaboration with prolific TV producer Aaron Spelling.

A few of Locklear’s other notable TV roles include that of Officer Stacy Sheridan on ABC’s T.J. Hooker and Caitlin Moore on ABC’s Spin City – the latter of which earned her two more Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy.

More recently, Locklear had a recurring role on TV Land’s Golden Girls-inspired sitcom Hot In Cleveland in 2013. That same year, she was given a main role in the TNT dramedy series Franklin & Bash.

While Locklear was once one of the hottest and most sought-after actresses of the 80s and 90s, since 2013, she has largely fallen off the map. While it’s not uncommon for stars to quit show business to pursue other opportunities, the real reason why you don’t see Heather Locklear anymore might surprise you! Keep watching to learn the shocking truth of why this once universally adored actress has all but vanished in recent years.

Heather’s Career Started Out Strong

Born in Los Angles, California, on September 25, 1961, Heather was the daughter of Diane and Bill Locklear. Her mother worked as a production executive in Hollywood, while her father was a former Colonel in the Marines as well as an administrator at UCLA.

After graduating from High School, Heather enrolled at UCLA where she pledged Chi Omega and Delta Delta Delta, but was never officially initiated into either of those sororities. While attending the university, she started working in modeling and did a few commercials for the school store.

She made early appearances in television shows like 240-Robert, ChiPs, and Eight is Enough before she began her decades long collab with Aaron Spelling.

Despite the fact that her resume wasn’t all that impressive, Spelling saw that there was something special about Locklear. He loved what he saw in her previous work and was confident that she had the looks and talent to one day grow into a major star.

Deciding that he was going to be the one to facilitate that transformation, Spelling invited Locklear to join the cast of Dynasty during the show’s second season.

Locklear’s character, Sammy Jo, the ever-conniving niece of Krystle Carrington, was the kind of character that audiences loved to hate. She might not have been a particularly likable character, but Locklear shined in that role.

Dynasty proved to be the first of many Aaron Spelling-helmed productions that Locklear got involved with. During the first couple years that she was on Dynasty, Locklear also appeared in the award-winning William Shatner-led drama series TJ Hooker.

On that program, she appeared in close to every episode as a series regular. After the show wrapped after five seasons, Heather was made a series regular on Dynasty.

After Dynasty ended it’s critically acclaimed run, Locklear would return to reprise her role of Sammy Jo once again in the TV mini-series Dynasty: The Reunion, which aired in 1991.

Following the end of both of those Aaron Spelling-backed series, Locklear worked with the producer once again when she was cast as Amanda Woodward in the hit series Melrose Place. Much like Dynasty, albeit in a markedly different setting, Melrose Place was a long-running primetime soap that dealt with tropish themes like sex, backstabbing, and infidelity.

Locklear’s appearance in that show initially proved to boost the show’s ratings but throughout the series’ seven-season run, her character became so unanimously disliked – in all the right ways – that she was kept around as a series regular. Oddly, however, she was always billed as merely a ‘special guest star’ despite being one of the most quintessential components of the series.

During her time working with Spelling, Locklear appeared in a total of eight of the producer’s projects. In addition to the ones we already covered, Heather also could be seen in shows like The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Matt Houston, Hotel, and a made-for-television film titled Rich Men, Single Women.

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Locklear Showed Off Her Versatility In Comedic Roles

Nighttime soaps weren’t the only kinds of offerings that Locklear excelled in. She also displayed a remarkable gift for appearing in comedic roles as well. The comedy Going Places was her first foray into the realm of TV sitcoms, but that series unfortunately only lasted for a single season before being given the ax.

She didn’t take another stab at sitcoms until 1999 when she co-starred with Michael J. Fox in the series Spin City. Locklear played opposite Fox until he departed the series citing medical concerns. She was then accompanied on set by Charlie Sheen, who took over the show’s lead role after Fox was forced to call it quits.

Seeing as how comedy seemed to be her new calling, Locklear next joined the cast of the sitcom Scrubs, appearing in a recurring role. She also later made appearances in shows like Rules of Engagement, Hot in Cleveland, and Two and a Half Men.

In 2009, the CW decided to give Melrose Place the reboot treatment. Locklear reprised her role of Amanda Woodward and appeared in 8 episodes of the revamped series before it was quietly canceled after airing for just one season.

In the last ten or so years, Locklear’s TV presence has been markedly diminished compared to the high-profile status she enjoyed in the previous decades. Besides appearing in Hot in Cleveland, Lockyear had a recurring role in the TNT show Franklin & Bash and another in TLC’s Too Close to Home. While both of these roles were met with positive critical feedback, they were relatively short-lived.

Aside from her TV work, Locklear has also taken a stab at doing movie roles, appearing in a handful of films such as 2003s Uptown Girls, 2005s The Perfect Man, and most recently, 2013s Scary Movie 5.

The last thing that she was in was a fairly forgettable Lifetime TV Movie Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff: The Kristine Carlson Story. That feature aired in 2021, but besides that, Heather hasn’t really been in much of anything in recent years. And the reasons why are nothing short of startling!

Locklear’s Health And Legal Troubles

The reason why we haven’t seen much of Heather Locklear in recent times largely has to do with a combination of her mental health struggles, high-profile marriages and divorces, and numerous legal troubles.

In March 2008, a call was made to emergency services by someone claiming to be Heather’s doctor. The caller expressed concern that Locklear was perhaps going to attempt to take her own life. Emergency responders were promptly dispatched to Heather’s home, but her publicist later said that she had never requested any assistance. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department later put out a statement saying that no further action was needed after they arrived at her Westlake Village home, and that she appeared to be doing fine. That being said, they did state that the call they received appeared to be genuine.

Later that year, in June, Locklear checked herself into an Arizona medical facility for psychological difficulties, including depression and anxiety. She returned home a month later after receiving treatment at the facility.

In September of 2008, Locklear was arrested by a California Highway Patrol officer under suspicion of driving while under the influence. It was reported that she was seen driving haphazardly just outside of Santa Barbara. Law enforcement had been tipped off by former US Weekly reporter and editor Jill Lahkenian who saw the actress driving erratically outside of a Montecito, California market.

Locklear was charged formally on the 17th of November, 2008, with one misdemeanor count of DUI but a blood test indicated that she had neither alcohol nor narcotics in her system. The Santa Barbara County Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter later stated that it was his belief that Locklear’s prescription medication for anxiety and depression may have impaired her ability to operate her vehicle safely. In January of 2009, Heather pleaded no contest to the charge of reckless driving, and in exchange for her plea, the DA dismissed the DUI charges. She ended up being sentenced to three years probation and was ordered to pay a $700 fine.

In January of 2012, Heather’s sister called 911 believing that Locklear’s life was in danger after she allegedly consumed a potentially life-threatening combo of prescription medications and alcohol. After medics arrived on scene, Locklear was rushed to Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, California. The following day, she was released after doctors confirmed she was no longer in danger.

Perhaps the most shocking bit of legal trouble that Locklear found herself in stemmed from an incident in February 2018 when she was arrested for domestic violence and assaulting a police officer. Locklear was charged with one count of felony domestic violence and an additional three counts of battery on a law enforcement officer.

When officers arrived at her Thousand Oaks home, she allegedly attacked three of the responding sheriff deputies by kicking them and told them that she wouldn’t hesitate to shoot them if they showed up at her house again. The 911 call, which was taped and eventually released, was pretty damning, to say the least.

Locklear’s brother had been the one who called the cops after he came home to find Locklear and her boyfriend at the time, former AMA motocross racer Chris Heisser arguing. Hours after Locklear was arrested, Heisser too was taken into custody for driving under the influence. Officers searched Locklear’s home looking for a weapon following her arrest but came up empty-handed.

In June of 2018, Locklear was arrested yet again for two misdemeanor counts of battery. After she was released from police custody, Heather was hospitalized for a suspected overdose. In August, she pleaded no contest to the charges and was sentenced to 30 days in an in-patient residential mental health facility.

As far as her failed romantic relationships and marriages go, Locklear’s first husband was Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, whom she tied the knot with in 1986. Their marriage ended in divorce seven years later in 1993. After which, Locklear got married to yet another high-profile rocker, Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora in December 1994.

With Sambora, Locklear gave birth to a daughter named Elizabeth Sambora in 1997. After 12 years of marriage, Locklear filed for divorce from Sambora in early 2006. A month after the divorce had been filed, Sambora filed for joint custody of the former couple’s daughter and for the enforcement of a prenup. Their divorce was officially finalized in April 2007.

That same month, Heather began dating her former Melrose Place co-star Jack Wagner. In the summer of 2011, the couple announced that they were engaged, but the marriage was called off by November.

It’s pretty clear that Heather Locklear’s innumerable personal struggles, legal issues, and history of mental illness have contributed largely to the decline of her acting career. There is no doubt that Locklear is a gifted and capable actress, but she frankly can’t seem to get her life in order long enough to maintain any degree of professional stability these days. Producers and network bigwigs have to look at her and consider her to be a liability at this point. Whether or not she will ever stage a comeback remains to be seen. Her fans would absolutely love to see her thrive on television again, but before she can do that, there are obviously a number of issues that she has to work through.

Did you know that Heather Locklear had so many run-ins with the law and that she not once but twice was hospitalized for allegedly attempting to take her own life? Let us know in the comments section down below.

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