What happened to ‘Baywatch’ star Yasmine Bleeth?

Featuring Yasmine Bleeth
Coleman-Rayner
Featuuuring Yasmine Bleeth
Coleman-Rayner

Mere remembrance of the 90s hit series Baywatch evokes the unforgettable red swimsuit and the wearer of that iconic outfit, Yasmine Bleeth. Yes, Yasmine Bleeth, who played Caroline Holden, had experienced her share of highs and lows in the industry, ranging from her cocaine addiction to the infamous hit-and-run incident leading to serious legal conundrums. Juxtaposed with her acquired position as a troubled actress of the era, the Baywatch star was a recognized talent, touted as one of the most stunning talents of her generation, thanks to her enthralling charm coupled with a captivating personality.

Besides Baywatch, Bleeth was featured in numerous movies and soap operas of the time, catapulting her into the world of stardom. Unfortunately, her alcohol and cocaine dependence led to her unceremonious exit from the world of fame leading to the inevitable question, “Where is she now?”

How did she begin her journey?

Yasmine Bleeth in 'Hey Babe'
Yasmine Bleeth in Hey Babe

The pre-teen New York native made her debut appearance portraying the 12-year-old orphan Theresa in the 1983 film Hey Babe alongside the legendary comedian Buddy Hackett. Her portrayal of a subjugated orphan striving to achieve her dream of becoming a performing artist amidst a whirlpool of obstructions earned her much-desired recognition.

A few years later, at the age of 16, she starred in the daytime soap opera Ryan’s Hope, which was canceled in 1989. Months following her mother’s death, she resumed her acting career by playing LeeAnn Demerest in One Life to Live. She had also received the opportunity to star in the soap opera Herman’s Head prior to landing her breakthrough appearance in Baywatch.

Bleeth on ‘Baywatch

Yasmine Bleeth in Baywatch
James Aylott/Getty Images

Bleeth’s success received a boost after receiving the opportunity to play Caroline Holden in the popular series Baywatch from 1993 to 1997. She played the younger sister of Stephanie Holden and her character was supposed to appear for one episode. However, her immense popularity made the producers hire her for more screen time and cast her in the additional 50 episodes of the series.

In the show, she starred opposite the central characters and stars like David Hasselhoff and other female co-stars like Alexandra Paul, Pamela Anderson, and Carmen Electra, who went on to receive subsequent recognition and fame for their works.

The skimpy red bathing suit on a perfectly crafted body made Bleeth a household name that even found a perfect representation in the cult hit sitcom Friends, where the characters Joey and Chandler’s love for the show was synonymous with their obsession with Yasmine Bleeth. They uttered her name repeatedly, representative of a common man’s desire for Bleeth and her perfect body.

This tremendous popularity earned her innumerable accolades and brought her widespread attention, as her name was put on People’s 50 Most Beautiful People list in 1995. She also managed to occupy a place on FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World list from 1996 to 2001.

Post-‘Baywatch’ and drug abuse

Yasmine Bleeth post Baywatch
Getty Images

Bleeth’s exit from Baywatch saw the downfall of her popularity, caused due to her constant battle with cocaine addiction. The actress appeared in a few projects and TV shows like Nash Bridges opposite Don Johnson and Cheech Marin for three years. She also went on to star in movies like BASEketball, Coming Soon, Undercover Angel, and Goodbye, Casanova.

Her departure from Baywatch was blamed on her heavy dependence on drugs. This was confirmed by the producer of the show, Douglas Schwartz, who stated that Bleeth frequently arrived late on the set and was also going through a rough patch in her relationships, which accelerated the continuing troubles on the part of the crew members to deal with her indiscretion.

The Baywatch star opened up about her troubled years as an addict that were simultaneous with the on-and-off relationship with Richard Grieco, exacerbating her degree of dependency. The actress, in an interview, did not hesitate from sharing the secret details of her past scandalous life. “I never expected to get into drugs,” she said.

However, drugs occupied a crucial position in the late-90s social lives and everyone tasted a piece of this much sought-after lifestyle of the decade. In this respect, Bleeth also said that she had cocaine delivered to her home “like ordering Chinese food.” She was 34 at the time.

As a result, she suffered from severe weight loss, sporadically encountered bloody noses, and collapsed at a Glamour photoshoot. Following the incident, she checked into a rehab facility in Malibu that failed to adequately assuage the situation and she went back to cocaine within two weeks. During this stage, she was confronting her fading stardom as the spotlight was lifted off her, relegating her to the status of a troubled actor.

Where is she now?

Yasmine Bleeth now
Coleman-Rayner

Since her arrest and admission into the rehabilitation center, Bleeth appeared in only one show that marked her ultimate onscreen presence and that is Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding in 2003. She married Paul Cerrito in 2002 and has been living a reclusive life. They met at a rehabilitation center where Paul was reportedly assisting her in struggling with her addiction problems. They do not have any children.

In one of her last interviews, she told Glamour, “Consciously trying to stay off drugs is now part of my life and always will be.” The 51-year-old actress continues to live up to her conviction to maintain a low profile and was recently seen taking her dog on a walk in a sunny Californian summer.