April 22, 2010 -- At the peak of its popularity, "Baywatch" was the most-watched television series in the world, with more than 1.1 billion viewers tuning in each week to see the Los Angeles lifeguards jog in slow motion. Though critically panned and yanked by NBC after just one season, "Baywatch" became a bonafide hit in syndication, thanks to David Hasselhoff's heroics and Pamela Anderson's trademark red swimsuit.
The sun set on the "Baywatch" phenomenon in 2001 -- but the endless summer is set to continue on the big screen. Paramount Pictures recently tapped comedy screenwriters Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka to write a tongue-in-cheek screenplay tentatively set for release next year. In a decision she may or may not regret, Jessica Simpson signed on to play Anderson's character, real-life Malibu Barbie, C.J. Parker, back in 2006.
Judging from our look at Where They Are Now, more than a few of the "Baywatch" cast members might be available to join Simpson in the movie - and at least one could really use the paycheck.
Hasselhoff's Mitch Buchannon was the head lifeguard, so macho he made the teenage summer job seem almost plausible for a grown man. The Hoff hung on to the character desperately -- until the flop of "Baywatch: Hawaii" in 2001. Since then, Hasselhoff, now 57, has found himself in need of a few dramatic rescues himself, splitting from second wife, Pamela Bach, in 2006 amidst accusations of domestic violence.
Hasselhoff's battle with the bottle has been well-documented, leading to what was arguably his most well-known appearance since "Baywatch" -- a 2007 video shot by his daughter that showed him in a drunken stupor, attempting to eat a Wendy's hamburger while shirtless on his hotel room floor. After it went viral, The Hoff announced in a statement: "I am a recovering alcoholic." His drinking problem was reportedly the reason NBC's "America's Got Talent" failed to renew his contract in January after four years as a judge, replacing him with the family-friendly Howie Mandel.
Not one to be hassled, the Hoff will return to television in June, reprising his role as Dr. William "Snapper" Foster, Jr. on "The Young and the Restless," a character fans of the soap opera might recall from, oh, 30 years ago. Hasselhoff also has an A&E reality show in the works and remains a massive star in Germany.
Anderson put the babe in "Babewatch" as the buxom C.J. Parker, the reason men across the world tuned in to her five-year stint. After leaving the beach in 1997, Anderson played a busty bodyguard on TV's "V.I.P.," posed naked for Playboy and unwittingly bared all for a honeymoon sex tape with Tommy Lee, the Motley Crue rocker she married and divorced twice and with whom she had two sons. Anderson and Lee reunited as recently as 2008, even after she claimed he gave her hepatitis C due to shared tattoo needles.
Anderson wed Kid Rock on a yacht in St. Tropez in 2006 and divorced him four months later, reportedly because he did not approve of her cameo in "Borat," in which she gamely agreed to be fake-sabotaged by Sacha Baron Cohen at an autograph-signing. A passionate PETA activist who sported a lettuce bikini in one of the group's ads, Anderson, 42, is flashing her still-bodacious body on the current season of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," where she's cheered by the judges but struggling to win fan votes. Though there's no word on whether Pam will appear in the "Baywatch" movie, she could probably use the pay day -- the state of California claims she owes $493,000 in personal income taxes.
Eggert gave Anderson a slow-motion run for her money as "Baywatch's" Summer Quinn, who pulled a cougar late in her two-season run when she romanced Mitch's son, Hobie. These days the former "Charles in Charge" star is most famous for not being able to fit into her "Baywatch" bikini. At 5'2 and 130 pounds, Eggert, 38, is far from fat, but after the tabloids zoomed in on her so-called muffin top, Eggert joined Bobby Brown and Britney Spears's ex, Kevin Federline, on VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club," dropping a whopping... 10 pounds. She made light of her heavier frame in a FunnyOrDie.com video that showed her not-so-perfect body jiggling just a bit in an unsexy sprint to the surf.
Eggert has teamed up with Kim and Khloe Kardashian as a supporter of the "weight loss supplement" QuickTrim and told her Twitter followers she is planning a workout video in June. True to her teen star roots, Eggert, who has an 11-year-old daughter, reunited with on-screen "Charles" babysitter, Scott Baio, on an episode of his VH1 reality show in 2007. When former fiance Corey Haim died earlier this year, Eggert said, "We loved each other dearly."
Remember Michael Newman? No? Well he was "Baywatch's" only real-life lifeguard, after going from behind-the-scenes technical consultant to featured actor. Newman stuck with "Baywatch" until the bitter end (including the short-lived spin-off, "Baywatch Nights,") playing the mustachioed veteran, Newmie. Newman has said many of the real-life rescues he conducted in his 20 years as an L.A. County lifeguard inspired those dramatic scenes that gripped fans on "Baywatch." Also a firefighter, Newman, 53, left acting to sell real estate, a career he has said he finds more lucrative than on-camera work. He may be able to teach Eggert a thing or two about physical fitness, after winning the National Ironman Championship in 1996. He and his wife Sarah live in Pacific Palisades, Calif., with their two children.
"Baywatch's" other non-blonde, soap opera alum Yasmine Bleeth, joined the cast in season-five as Caroline Holden, Stephanie's more voluptuous, less-sharp sister. (In season 8, Caroline believed that a stray dog held the soul of her reincarnated sister.) Once one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People, the mugshot from her 2001 cocaine arrest wasn't pretty. "It became my boyfriend, my best friend, my family," she told Us Weekly of her cocaine addiction. Bleeth was sentenced to two years probation after copping a plea in 2002, the same year she wed Paul Cerrito, who was with her at the time of her arrest. Now 41, she and Cerrito now live in Birmingham, Mich. Her last notable acting credit was 2003's "Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding," which means she could be pretty excited about the upcoming "Baywatch" movie.
Before Charvet became Mr. Brooke Burke, crying over her waltzes in the audience of "Dancing with the Stars," he was something of a star himself, playing "Baywatch's" studly Matt Brody, who had the good fortune to lock lips with both Anderson and Eggert on the show. Though according to Wikipedia his character is "currently living in Shuangliu, China," Charvet, now 37, ditched acting after his "Melrose Place" gig ended in 1998.
The French-born actor turned to singing -- he currently croons in his native language in a song called "Swim With Birds," available on French iTunes (for those who care.) He will also appear, supposedly as a villain, on the French reality show, "La Ferme Celebrites en Afrique," which translates to "Celebrities On The Farm in Africa." He recently revealed via Twitter that he will appear in a Lifetime movie called "Perfect Student," a dubious honor for some but clearly a joy for Charvet, who said: "Thank u god...this year is really incredible." Despite fathering two kids with Burke, they have yet to tie the knot and he remains her "longtime fiance.
Paul was widely known as the short-haired, flat-chested and level-headed lifeguard in a sea of artificially-enhanced blondes. After her character, Lt. Stephanie Holden, tragically died in The Hoff's arms in season 7, (struck by lightning, of course,) Paul continued her acting career with small roles, including one on the post-"Baywatch" go-to, "Melrose Place." Now an environmental activist, Paul, 46, has written and produced two documentary films, "Jampacked," about the world population crisis, and "The Cost of Cool: Finding Happiness in a Materialistic World." She is also the host of a local television program in California called "Earth Talk Today." Like Anderson, Paul made a cameo appearance in "Borat" -- but her scene was deleted.
"Baywatch" late-comer Electra, now 38, revved up the show in its second to last season as the sultry Lani McKenzie, before replacing Jenny McCarthy on MTV's "Singled Out" and posing for Playboy, (a time-honored post-"Baywatch" tradition.) After a rocky romance and quickie marriage to Dennis Rodman, Electra went on to star in the critically-hated, high-grossing "Scary Movie" film franchise and its off-shoots, including "Date Movie," "Disaster Movie" and "Epic Movie." In 2003, she married another tattooed guy -- Jane's Addiction rocker Dave Navarro, with whom she starred on the MTV reality show, "'Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen and Dave." The reality show curse that hit big-screen "Baywatch" star Jessica Simpson also struck Electra, who split from Navarro in 2006.
Warlock was with "Baywatch" from the beginning, as original cast member Eddie Kramer, a troubled orphan who, naturally, was prone to boxing. After "Baywatch," Warlock found his niche as a prolific soap opera actor, starring in "General Hospital," "The Young and the Restless," and up until last year, "Days of Our Lives," playing the brooding Frankie Brady, a role he reprised intermittently over the last 20 years. (Fun fact: in the nineties, his character was "re-introduced" as a mystery man named Francois Von Leuschner.) Previously engaged to on-screen "Baywatch" girlfriend Erika Elaniak, who played Shauni McClain, Warlock, 49, later married his former "Days" co-star, Julie Pinson, in 2006.
Former model Burns came to the "Baywatch" beach a little late - in 1998 - playing Jessie Owens, a character she rode all the way to the spin-off, "Baywatch: Hawaii," in which Jessie was reinvented as a triathlete and reporter for the fictional Trail Tracker magazine. Burns left in 2000, announcing her pregnancy with now-ex-husband, "Nip/Tuck" star Julian McMahon. She parlayed her "Baywatch" babehood into a string of short-lived dramas and comedies, including "North Shore," "Pepper Dennis" and "Miss Guided." She recently appeared on the CW's new incarnation of "Melrose Place" as the evil Dr. Michael Mancini's new wife, Vanessa. In real life, she almost married Bruce Willis, to whom she was engaged from 2004 to 2005.