ERIKA ELENIAK Biography - Actors and Actresses


Biography » actors and actresses » erika eleniak


Name: Erika Eleniak                                                                     
Born: 29 September 1969 Glendale, California                                           
Erika Maya Eleniak (born September 29, 1969) is an American Playboy Playmate and       
actress, perhaps best known for her role in Baywatch as Shauni McClain.                 
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, Canada, is of Ukrainian descent, and her mother is of       
Estonian and German 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 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) - as the       
girl kissed by Elliott in the school classroom scene.                                   
Erica attended Robert Fulton Junior High in Van Nuys, California. 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 socialised 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 dated Ferguson for a while and there was           
talk of an engagement, but the relationship ended and her mother, Iris, ended up       
marrying Ferguson's father instead.                                                     
Eleniak went on to have several small roles in television. She played Stephanie         
Curtis, Scott Baio's on-screen girlfriend in Charles in Charge (and was also his       
off-screen girlfriend), and Jamie Coburn in Broken Angel. In 1989 Eleniak               
decided that appearing in Playboy would help boost her career, and 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. She was the lead         
female character for three seasons until Pamela Anderson replaced her in 1992.         
While working on the series, Eleniak became romantically involved with Billy           
Warlock, who played Eddie Kramer, her character's boyfriend. He was the reason         
why Eleniak ended up leaving the show after only two seasons. The two                   
announced their engagement in 1993, but the relationship didn't last due to             
Warlock's jealous nature - he later confessed in an interview, "I can't bear           
anyone else to see her body".                                                           
In 1992, Eleniak returned to film acting, playing Jordan Tate, a Playboy               
Playmate hired to do a striptease for the captain of a U.S. Navy ship, in Under         
Siege, a film that was one of the year's biggest hits. 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 partner in           
life. Eleniak went on to shoot another movie with McNamara, Girl in the Cadillac       
(1995). The two were engaged but never married. Eleniak also starred in an             
interactive game during 1995; she played identical twins in Panic in the Park (1995).   
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) also with Ice-T, The Opponent (2000), 
Vegas, City of Dreams (2001) with Angelica Bridges, Second to Die (2002),               
Snowbound (2001), Betrayal (2003) and Shakedown (2002).