1970s kids will fondly remember Bo Derek. With her iconic look that took away any stigmas placed on braided hairstyles, blond locks, and burning blue eyes, she was one of the most beautiful bombshells of her time. After her brief stint of fame, many people have wondered where she ended up, why she stopped acting, and what her life looks like now. Let’s take a look at what Bo is up to these days.
Bo Derek’s Early Life
Before she was known as Bo Derek, she was born Mary Cathleen Collins, born on November 20, 1956, in Long Beach, California. Mary came from an average American background with parents who were working-class citizens. Her mother was a makeup artist, and her father was a sales executive. As a teenager, Mary displayed a keen interest in two areas. Firstly, she loved horses, and thus she became a keen equestrian. She would proudly show off her talents in various competitions. Secondly, she loved acting. So, she took up some acting lessons to hone those skills.
Bo made an appearance in the 1977 film, Orca. This Jaws-like movie showed a giant killer whale chomping off her leg. However, her real boost in fame came from the 1979 film “10,” produced by Blake Edwards. This was where her iconic blond braided hair became a recognizable trait of hers. After this movie, she wasn’t on a journey of acting in various action-packed, adventurous films. These included the 1981 “Tarzan, The Ape Man,” the 1984 “Bolero,” and the 1990 “Ghosts Can’t Do It.”
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Marriage to John Derek
Bo met her future husband, director John Derek when she was but 16 years old. At the time, she was married to Linda Evans. It was only a few years later that they got together. However, Bo was still underage, so they had to avoid the strict American laws by spending time in Mexico and Europe.
It wasn’t long before they got married, Bo Derek was 19 years old, and John was 48. In an interview with Interview Magazine, Bo said she always felt a twinge of guilt when Linda was around. “I was at least halfway responsible for some serious pain she (Linda Evans) went through,” said Bo. “She’d been very gracious and kind … And I just saw her yesterday, funny enough. We were at a jewelry trunk show for charity. And she was just as fabulous and wonderful as ever. I always feel like sh*t when I’m around her. It’s just ingrained, years later.”
John and Bo Derek then began a career of co-productions. John would get her to add some spice to his low-budget films by showing off her body. This created hype for his movies, but mostly Bo because he was a sensation within Hollywood.
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John Derek Inspired Her Braided Hair Look
Even though John Derek did not direct or produce her most famous film, “10,” he was responsible for the braids look. He suggested that Bo take some photographs he had taken to Blake and see if he liked the look. She most certainly did. ”It was the tail end of the 1970s and everything was fluffy, and I’m blond, and … What are you going to do to look different? John had always thought that that would be a good look for me, just for photography—he’s a great photographer,” said Bo Derek. “And we tried it. And he said, ‘Why don’t you take these pictures into Blake and see if he’ll go for it. It would be really good for the part, so you don’t look ordinary.’”
Unfortunately, John Derek died of cardiovascular disease in 1998. He was 71 years old at the time of his death. Bo said she never imagined getting together with anyone after his death. The loss was hard on her.
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Bo Derek, the Equestrian and Humanitarian
Bo Derek’s childhood of equestrian endeavors seemed to take over in her later years of fame. Even though she was at the peak of her career, Bo decided to take a step back from acting. Instead, she became an animal welfare activist and advocate. She worked tirelessly to protect and conserve the animals.
Animals are not Bo Derek’s only concern. She also became the honorary chair of VA’s National Rehabilitation Special Events. “VA’s National Rehabilitation Special Events promote the healing of body and spirit, which helps veterans improve their independence and enjoy a higher quality of life,” said Derek. “I am deeply honored and moved to once again serve as the honorary chair of a truly noble cause on behalf of America’s veterans.”
Bo is now married to John Corbett, from “Sex in the City.” They have been together for almost 20 years. They decided to get married quietly, with no big announcements, at a private ceremony with their closest friends and family.
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