Carmen Electra entered the world on April 20, 1972, in Sharonville, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. Her name at birth was Tara Leigh Patrick. Her father is of Irish descent, and her mom is part German and part Cherokee. She graduated from Princeton High School in 1990. Interestingly enough, she went to the same high school as Nick Lachey, Jessica Simpson's ex-husband and former member of the boy band 98 Degrees.
To pursue her dreams of being a singer, she moved to California after graduating. She held various jobs and landed miscellaneous gigs. Her big break occurred when she was discovered by legendary recording artist Prince. Prince is credited with giving Tara Leigh Patrick a new name, Carmen Electra. In 1993 he produced her debut album, Carmen Electra. A successful singing career didn't appear to be in the cards for Carmen Electra so she moved on.
Her next big break, perhaps the biggest of them all, was her pictorial in the May 1996 issue of Playboy magazine. The spread launched her to success by catching the eyes of important people in the entertainment industry. MTV hired her in 1997 to replace previous "It" girl and fellow Playboy Playmate, Jenny McCarthy, on the popular dating gameshow Singled Out.
She then went to work in a different MTV show, Loveline, which was a sex advice show geared towards teens and college-aged people. Also in 1997 she landed her next big role which was in one of the most widely watched shows in television history, Baywatch. Once again she was replacing a fellow Playmate.
This time she was taking over for the insanely popular Pamela Anderson. Baywatch turned Carmen Electra into an international star. 1997 was a busy year for Electra as it also marked her film debut in the B-movie, An American Vampire Story. She followed it up in same year with a role in Good Burger. In 1998 Electra again boosted her star power by marrying All Star professional basketball player and notorious badboy Dennis Rodman.
The marriage didn't last long, ending in 1998, but it made her all the more interesting to celebrity watchers everywhere. In 2003 Electra married Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro. MTV once again played an important part in Electra's life during this period by producing the show Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen and Dave, a reality show documenting the months leading up to and following their wedding. The celebrity machine was in full swing and the papparazzi followed Electra everywhere. In July of 2006, Electra announced that she was divorcing Navarro an papers were filed in August. Carmen Electra is one of the most popular celebrities in Hollywood today.
Not only does she sing, dance, act, and look beautiful, she uses her celebrity to fund several charities.
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as Hollywood collectibles at http://www.shop4hollywoodcollectibles.com