Playboy Retro: Pamela Anderson

By Playboy.com Staff

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Pamela Anderson is perhaps the most famous Playmate ever to grace our pages (sorry, Marilyn). Playboy Retro takes you back to her first pictorial.


Looking back on Pamela Anderson’s first Playboy interview and pictorial, one wonders how a modest, maybe star-crossed girl went from small-town British Columbia to Playboy to Baywatch to sexual icon that defined a decade. Below you’ll find her first (technically second; she appeared unbilled on the cover of the October 1989 issue) of many Playboy moments (March 1990) as Playboy Retro looks back on the now famous Miss Pamela Anderson.

{"pbembedwidget":"gallery","id":"7687","size":"medium","alignment":"right"}The greater Vancouver Water District denies it, but there must be something in the city’s drinking water. Vancouver, Canada’s third largest city and jewel of British Columbia, used to be a rugged lumber-mill town. Now it’s principle export seems to be beautiful women. One of Playboy’s greatest beauties, 1980 Playmate of the Year Dorothy Stratten, was a Vancouver girl. Ditto the reigning Playmate of the Year, Kimberley Conrad, Mrs. Hugh Hefner, and several other Playmates. Now comes Pamela Anderson, a native of nearby Ladysmith, who moved from tiny Comox, B.C, to Vancouver a couple of years ago and now steps onto our centerfold as British Columbia’s newest jewel.

As a towheaded teen in Comox (population 6000-plus), Pamela first became famed as a volleyball player. She starred for the British Columbia Provincial Team, a squad of all-star spikers who took on the best prep volley-ballers in the land. Shortly thereafter, the sports-minded Pamela took in a B.C Lions football game in Vancouver and make a national spectacle of herself. Duded up in blue, the signature color of Labatt’s Beer – she was then living in a house with a couple of Labatt’s employees – she caught the eye of a national-TV cameraman. Football fans all over Canada called the network to inquire about the sideline stunner at the Lion’s game. Next thing she know, Pamela was a Labatt’s poster girl.

“Things started happening fast,” she says; other posters, print ads, TV commercials. To keep her wits about her, she kept a journal in which she recorded her experiences. “This is the beginning of a new life for me,” she wrote.

She moved from Comox to the big town across the Strait of Georgia. In Vancouver, she worked as a model and studied airline routes in her spare time. She got her certification as a travel agent, just in case her plans for an even bigger move didn’t work out.

“Hollywood people are dreamers, always grabbing for something big,” says Miss February, newly settled in California. “I’m a dreamer too, so I guess I belong here.” Her patrons – one is the ex-mate of a pop diva – have arranged acting and voice dance lessons for Pamela who dreams of grabbing an Oscar. She now studies scripts the way she once poured over airline schedules, and more than one casting director has told her she is sure to go far. This, though, is her first big break. “I hope when people see me in Playboy,” she says, “they’ll see more than the surface. I hope they’ll see a Comox girl reaching for a dream.”


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