Erika Eleniak (born September 29, 1969) is an American Playboy Playmate and actress, perhaps best known for her role in Baywatch as Shauni McClain. She also starred in the films Under Siege and The Beverly Hillbillies.
Eleniak was born in Glendale, California. She is the eldest daughter in her family of four girls and one boy whose parents divorced. Her father, who was born in Edmonton, Alberta, is of Ukrainian descent and her mother is of Estonian and Austrian ancestry. During the late 1970s, Eleniak's father introduced her to her future career in the movie industry when his then girlfriend got Eleniak a part to model children's clothing for TV commercials. Her first acting role was in the 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial as the girl kissed by Elliott in the classroom scene.
Eleniak attended Robert Fulton Junior High in Van Nuys, California and graduated from Van Nuys High School. During her teenage years, Eleniak became a regular on the San Fernando Valley party circuit and she began to use alcohol and drugs regularly. Steve Ferguson, a quadriplegic who socialized in the same circles as Eleniak, helped curtail her problem by introducing her to Alcoholics Anonymous in 1988 and helping her through her detoxification.
Eleniak had several roles in television. She played Jamie Coburn in Broken Angel. In 1989 Eleniak decided that appearing in Playboy would help boost her career, and Steve Ferguson put her in contact with a Playboy photographer. Playboy featured her on two covers and later as the centerfold in the July 1989 issue.
After an audition and three call backs, Eleniak won a role in Baywatch as Shauni McClain. Eleniak was the lead female character for three seasons (1989–1992) until she left the series after the second episode of Season 3. During 1989, Eleniak had a recurring role on Charles In Charge as Charles's girlfriend Stephanie Curtis. She also played the high-school girlfriend of Jesse (John Stamos) in a November 1990 episode of Full House.
In 1992, Eleniak returned to film acting, playing Jordan Tate, a Playboy Playmate hired to do a striptease for the captain of the U.S. Navy battleship, USS Missouri, in Under Siege. In the film, she is described as "Jordan Tate, Miss July 1989"—which is the month that Eleniak was Playmate of the Month. She plays a character that is supposed to be purely decorative but is actually intelligent, brave, and resourceful.
She attempted to capitalize on this success by starring as Elly May Clampett in the screen adaptation of The Beverly Hillbillies in 1993, but the film flopped. The next year she starred in the Dennis Hopper-directed romantic comedy Chasers. William McNamara, one of her costars in this film, also became her fiancé for a brief period. Eleniak went on to shoot another movie with McNamara, Girl in the Cadillac (1995). Eleniak also starred in an interactive game during 1995; she played identical twins in the 1995 film Panic in the Park. She continued to make more independent films including A Pyromaniac's Love Story (1995), Bordello of Blood (1996) and Ed McBain's 87th Precinct: Heatwave (1997). Eleniak has starred in a host of films, including The Pandora Project (1998) with Daniel Baldwin, One Hot Summer Night (1998) with Barry Bostwick, Final Voyage (1999) with Ice-T, Stealth Fighter (1999), The Opponent (2000), Vegas, City of Dreams (2001) with Angelica Bridges, Second to Die (2002), Snowbound (2001), Betrayal (2003) and Shakedown (2002).
Eleniak appeared as one of the cast members of the reality television series The Real Gilligan's Island for its second season which started in June 2005.
Eleniak has exhibited various weight issues throughout her life. At one point, she was underweight due to eating disorder and was once hospitalized because of laxative abuse. By 2006, she was overweight, and became a participant on the fourth season of VH1's reality television series Celebrity Fit Club, on which two teams of out-of-shape celebrities compete to lose weight. She lost 31 pounds over the course of the show.
In 2006, she was given much credit for appearing on a British comedy podcast on iTunes, The 80's Movie and Music Fest Cafe, in which she discussed her career with presenters, Ross Dyer and Julian Bayes. She gave a light-hearted view of Baywatch and her challenge during filming of Celebrity Fit Club.
Eleniak married to Philip Goglia on March 7, 1998, but that marriage ended. After filming Snowbound in 2001 in Calgary, Alberta, Eleniak became enamored with the city. She also fell in love with Roch Daigle, a key grip who worked on the set. Having wanted to leave Los Angeles for years and finding commuting to and from Telluride, Colorado too difficult, Eleniak purchased a home in Calgary, where Daigle lived. Eleniak became pregnant in 2005, but six and a half weeks into her term, the pregnancy was discovered to be ectopic, which required emergency surgery days later. It ended in miscarriage, but Eleniak soon became pregnant again. Her first child, daughter Indyanna, was born in January 2006.
- ↑ "Erika Eleniak Biography". http://www.erikaeleniaksofficialsite.com/bio.html. Retrieved 2009-02-08.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "Erika Eleniak FAQ". http://www.erikaeleniaksofficialsite.com/faq.html. Retrieved 2007-02-24.
- ↑ Erika Eleniak Biography on NEtglimpse
- ↑ Erika Eleniak.info website
- ↑ Gilligan's' black Professor
- ↑ Entertainment Tonight, May 24, 2006
- ↑ 80's Movie and Music Fest Cafe podcast
- ↑ "Erika is married!". erikaeleniak.info. March 15, 1998
- ↑ Celebrity Fit Club 4, Vh1, August 6, 2006
- Erika Eleniak official web site
- Erika Eleniak at the Internet Movie Database
- Erika Eleniak at Playboy.com
- Erika Eleniak by Elman
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