Date of Birth
29 September 1969, Glendale, California, USA
Erika Maya Eleniak
5′ 6″ (1.68 m)
Erika Eleniak was born on September 29, 1969, in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale. Her father, who was of Ukrainian descent, had moved from Canada to Hollywood in the 1960s in an attempt to become an actor. There he married, and later divorced, Erika’s mother. She is the eldest daughter in a family of four girls and one boy. In the late 1970s, her father got her started on her acting career when his then-girlfriend got Erika a job modeling children’s clothing for TV commercials. As an adolescent, she moved on to advertisements for hair-care products and motorcycles. In 1982, she had an uncredited role as a child in the blockbuster sci-fi hit E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982). In high school, her life took a turn for the worse, as she plunged into a world of drugs and alcohol. Her redemption came in the form of Steve Ferguson, a young charismatic crippled man who became Erika’s guiding light. He introduced her to Alcoholics Anonymous in 1988 and helped her through her detoxification. The situation became complicated when Steve’s father Robert and Erika’s mother married. Erika, for a short period of time, had contemplated marrying Steve but never did. She went on to have several small roles on television. She played Stephanie Curtis, Scott Baio’s on-screen girlfriend in “Charles in Charge” (1984) (and was also his off-screen girlfriend) and Jamie Coburn in Broken Angel (1988) (TV). In 1989, Erika decided that appearing in Playboy would help boost her career, and Steve helped her realize that dream when he contacted a Playboy photographer. Playboy featured her on two covers and later as the centerfold in the July 1989 issue. Later that year, she won a role in “Baywatch” (1989) as Shauni McClain. She was the lead female character for three seasons until Pamela Anderson replaced her in 1992. While working on the series, Erika became involved with co-star Billy Warlock, a former soap opera star. Neither was single, but their friendship slowly changed into love (he was the reason why Erika ended up leaving the show after only two seasons). The relationship didn’t last due to Billy’s jealous nature–he later confessed in an interview, “I can’t bear anyone else to see her body.” Her return to films was a memorable one. In 1992, she played Jordan Tate, a Playboy Playmate hired to do a striptease for the captain of a US Navy ship, in Under Siege (1992) with Steven Seagal, a film that was one of that year’s biggest hits. She attempted to capitalize on this success by starring as Ellie May in the screen adaptation of The Beverly Hillbillies (1993), but the film flopped. She then starred in the Dennis Hopper-directed romantic comedy Chasers (1994). William McNamara, her partner in this film, also became her partner in life. Erika went on to shoot another movie with William, Girl in the Cadillac (1995). The two seemed very happy together and were engaged but never married. Erika also tried her hand at making an interactive game during 1995. In Panic in the Park (1995) (VG), she played identical twins, but the game never really took off. 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) (TV). In 1997, she met her future husband, Philip Goglia. They were wed on May 22, 1998, and resided together in Marina del Rey, California, until their divorce. Since then, Erika has kept herself busy by starring in a host of films. These include The Pandora Project (1998) with Daniel Baldwin, 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) (V). After filming Snowbound (2001), Erika was so enthralled by the city of Calgary that she purchased a home there. She is still making movies, and a few more are slated to come out next year.