In the late 80s and early 90s, Erika Eleniak was one of the most popular faces on American TV. This was thanks to her turn as one of the stars of the hit show, Baywatch. Baywatch revolved around a group of L.A. County lifeguards and Eleniak played the sexy Shauni McClain. Her portrayal of the role not only made her a household name in America but also elevated her to ‘It Girl’ status. Fans were therefore shocked when she up and quit the show during its third season. So, what made Eleniak abandon such a career-defining role? All this and much more will be unveiled below.
Erika Eleniak Bio
Erika Maya Eleniak was born on the 29th of September 1969 in Glendale, California. Her father’s name is Dale Alan Eleniak while her mother’s name is Iris Maya Arnold. Her dad is of Ukrainian descent while her mom has German and Estonian ancestry. The actress also has four younger sisters (one of whom is named Alexis) and one younger brother. Eleniak grew up in Van Nuys, Los Angeles and attended Robert Fulton Junior High School. She later obtained her high school diploma from Van Nuys High School. Having grown up near Hollywood, Erika Eleniak caught the showbiz bug when she was just a child. She, therefore, begged her mom to allow her audition for roles and her mom agreed on the condition that she won’t abandon her studies. Eleniak thereafter commenced her career with an appearance in a Star Wars Underoos commercial when she was just 10. She landed her debut movie role three years later in the 1982 Stephen Spielberg movie, E.T the Extra-Terrestrial.
Other Facts About Erika Eleniak
Family (Husband and Daughter)
Elena Eleniak has had an interesting love life. She dated her Baywatch co-star, Billy Warnock between 1988 and 1991. They even got engaged but never made it to the altar. Eleniak also dated actors, Scott Baio and William McNamara in the 90s. She even got engaged to McNamara but they still did not exchange wedding vows. The actress finally made it to the altar in 1998 with a gentleman named Phillip Goglia. The couple tied the knot in May 1998 but divorced, six months later, in 1999. Eleniak found love again in 2001; this time with a Canadian man named Roch Daigle. The two met during the shooting of the movie, Snowbound, in Calgary, Alberta. Eleniak was one of the stars of the movie while Roch was a member of the camera crew. The two commenced a relationship and the actress later relocated to Calgary in order to be close to her man. Eleniak and Daigle dated for four years before tying the knot in 2005. Their union produced a daughter named Indyanna and the couple divorced in 2007. After the divorce, the Baywatch star relocated back to Los Angeles with her daughter.
Height and Weight
Eleniak is 5 feet 6 inches tall (1.68m) and her weight is given as 53 kg or 117 lbs. Her hair colour is blonde while her eye colour is green. Other additional measurements are bust – 24 inches (86cm), waist – 24 inches (61cm) and hips – 35 inches (89cm). The Baywatch star has struggled with weight issues for most of her life. Sometimes, she will be underweight while at other times, she will be overweight. In 2006, she was overweight and thus participated in a reality TV series titled Celebrity Fit Club. The VH1 series featured some celebrities competing to lose the most weight.
Erika Eleniak has a net worth estimated at $4 million and her source of income is her career earnings over the years. The Glendale native has appeared in numerous movies and TV series including Strike Force, Betrayal, Bordello of Blood, One Hot Summer Night, Vegas, City of Dreams, A Pyromaniac’s Love Story, Girl in the Cadillac, Snowbound, Under Siege, Charles in Charge, Full House, The Blob and Chasers. Chasers is a 1994 comedy about two naval officers who are tasked with transporting a beautiful female prisoner to a designated camp. The movie featured Tom Berenger and William McNamara while Eleniak played the role of the beautiful felon. Asides acting, Erika Eleniak was a prolific model during her heydays. She featured in ads for companies such as Leg Warmers and Nexus, and also appeared in several calendars and magazine. Additionally, she was also a Playmate and appeared in the July 1989 issue of Playboy Magazine.
The Truth Behind Eleniak’s Baywatch Departure
Baywatch debuted on NBC in 1989. The show revolved around a group of LA. County lifeguards, their rescue work, as well as their personal lives. Eleniak played one of the female leads, Shauni McClain, and appeared in the first two seasons of the show. She also appeared in a few episodes of the third season before dropping out entirely. Eleniak’s unforeseen departure predictably led to speculations about why she left. The actress later cleared the air and stated that she felt uncomfortable with the evolution of the show. According to her, at the onset of the show, NBC was quite conservative and they were a lot of things that you couldn’t say or show. However, with time, the show became more risqué and that was incompatible with her personal character hence her departure. Another reason why Eleniak left Baywatch was her desire to have more time to do feature-length films.