Bo Derek – A Perfect 10!
Actress Bo Derek circa 1979, star of the comedy film '10'. (Photo by Alan Band/Keystone/Getty Images)
Not many would argue that Bo Derek (born, Mary Cathleen Collins) is among the most beautiful women to ever grace the big screen. She was very young, only 16 when she met John Derek, her late husband. He was stricken by her beauty and hired her in 1973 to work for him while producing a low budget, drama film entitled Fantasies. From there, their relationship blossomed… the production, not so much!
Early on, John and Bo were smitten with each other. There was just one problem. At the time, he was married to actress, Linda Evans. Naturally, it wasn’t long before John and Evans divorced. At that point, he thought his troubles might be over. Not so fast… another problem arose. Bo’s parents were less than thrilled with the relationship. He was 30 years older than she was and they forbade her to see him.
As many teenagers do, Derek thought she knew better and carried on with the relationship. To her parents’ disappointment, the couple left the country to live in Europe for a couple of years to avoid John being prosecuted for statutory sexual charges. When Bo turned 19, they moved back to the States and were married. They remained married for 22 years until his death in 1991 at the age of 71. While Derek regrets her part in breaking up John’s marriage to Evans, apparently, their love had stood the test of time.
Just to backtrack a little, after they married, John recreated his wife's image and that is when she began using the name, Bo and bleached her hair blonde. She was young, blonde, smoking hot and scored a few acting roles; one in the film, Orca – The Killer Whale (1977).
In 1979, Bo Derek was cast in the film, 10. She reportedly beat out both Melanie Griffith and Heather Thomas for the role. If you remember, 10 was a romantic comedy about a man suffering a midlife crisis, where she appeared opposite Dudley Moore. The plot of the movie wasn’t as memorable as that famous beach scene where Bo Derek ran down the beach in a wet, flesh-colored swimsuit. The fact that it was a one-piece suit was of no consequence because nothing was left to the imagination!
Before too long, Bo Derek was a household name. Young boys had her poster hanging on their bedroom walls and young girls were running out and getting cornrows. I think that is the first time I ever remember seeing a white girl with cornrows. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything wrong with that… I had just never considered it.
Bo Derek found herself being an overnight sensation, and sex symbol, to boot. She said that she found it, “a bit overwhelming,” but it ended up being just what her career needed. She later landed roles in other notable films including:
• Tarzan, the Ape Man
• Tommy Boy
• The Master of Disguise
• A Change of Seasons
Derek had many other films to her credit. Some fared well and some did not.
After losing her husband, the love of her life, Derek was at a loss. She was so young when that relationship began that she had never really experienced the dating scene. She poured herself into her friends and family and then, out of the blue, she found love again with John Corbett. Ironically a man with the same name.
Currently, Derek and Corbett live in California, spending their time horseback riding and living a private and peaceful life. They enjoy each other’s company and the simple life they have made together.
Bo Derek, despite being considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, remains humble. At one point she claimed, “It’s about the way the bones line up… I was born with it”. She was definitely born with something special because she has aged gracefully and is still as beautiful as ever at the age of 61.
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