Carmen Electra was born Tara Leigh in Sharonville on April 20, 1972.
The Ohio-born was initially a singer before she went on to acting. As a young child, she was quite interested in dancing and singing.
She was a shy young girl and loved expressing herself through dancing and wanted to become a professional dancer.
She told Smoke Magazine in 1997, “I always wanted to be a star, when I was three years old, I sort of decided that this is what I wanted to do.”
Both parents worked in the music industry and supported her decision.
At the age of 9, she was accepted into Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati where she studied ballet, modern dance, and choir.
At the age of 18, she decided to move to Los Angeles.
Carmen Electra recalled, “I saved up my money, and took my mom to lunch and told her that I was going to fly to [Los Angeles] with a girlfriend to try it out for a week, to see if I even liked it.”
She was living her best life in Los Angeles and was dancing in the club one day when a singer named Robin Power approached her, which changed her life forever.
She went carmen in her dancing group.
She recalled, “I was nervous because I still didn’t know whether or not to believe that this was real.”
“That first time I met Prince, he was very quiet,” she said. “I was very shy, so there was this awkward moment of us just kind of standing in front of each other. He broke the ice by asking me if I wanted to play pool.”
Carmen went for the audition and Prince didn’t get back to her for days by the time he got back, he already have a new name for her Carmen as his song was named Carmen On Top.
Electra explained, “I loved it, but I reminded him that my name was Tara. He told me, ‘You look like a Carmen, so, to me, you’re Carmen.”
She worked for Prince for a while before her interest shifted to acting.
“I walked away from everything,” she explained. “I remember just standing and thinking, ‘I made the biggest mistake. Why did I do this?’ Now I understand why. It makes me grateful for every opportunity!”
She worked as a model, but her interest was in acting, and desperately wanted to be on Baywatch.
Carmen Electra recalled in an interview with Fox, “I don’t know how I got through it. But once I did, I realized that Playboy was very… They were very respectful. There weren’t people hanging around on set. The lighting was amazing.”
“Once I saw the photos, I was … I had to pinch myself. I couldn’t believe that I was actually in the magazine and going to be a part of such an iconic time, being a part of Playboy in general,” she added. “Marilyn Monroe started with Playboy, and those are the women that I admire and truly have been inspired by. So yeah, Playboy was a lot of fun, and I’m not shy at all anymore, by the way.”
In 1996, she got to be on an episode of Baywatch, and she became very famous.
She told ShotMagazine, “When I joined the cast of Baywatch, it was already the number one show around the world. My life changed overnight. I was excited and nervous but grateful to be part of a show that I also believe is a cult classic.”
Carmen managed to build a successful career and is currently living her best life today.