Name: Gena Lee Nolin
Show/Character: Baywatch/Neely Capshaw (1995 – 1998)
How We Were First Introduced: Bob Barker’s game show The Price Is Right is the first place Gena Lee Nolin showed up on the small screen. In 1994/95 she was one of those showcase models that gets to give a regal arm wave at the merchandise. On Baywatch she was brought in as a replacement for Heather Campbell, who was the first actress to play Neely Capshaw on the series. As a scheming bad girl, Nolin got to play a lifeguard “on drugs, kind of slutty,” as she described her character on a David Letterman appearance in 1997.
Claim To Fame: Got to marry David Hasselhoff on the show. From the dregs of pain killer addiction and boyfriend stealing, Gena’s shameless character was rehabilitated to become Mrs. Mitch Buchannon. The happy couple were married on The Dawn Princess Cruise Ship in a two-parter called Baywatch: White Thunder At Glacier Bay. Even better, the show was actually shot on location in Alaska, so Gena had a chance to see Sarah Palin’s home state first hand.
Why She Disappeared: The super blonde left Baywatch in 1998 to pursue her own series Sheena “Queen of the Jungle.” As title character Sheena, she put her athletic Baywatch skills back to work defending wild animals. The series was cancelled in 2002, after running for 34 episodes. Nolin returned for Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding in 2003.
Memorable Quote: Like Pam Anderson, Gena is a staunch animal rights advocate. So much so, that in The Year of the Snake she allowed herself to be painted to look like a python. Clad only in full body make-up, Nolin took part in PETA’s “Exotic Skins Belong in the Jungle — Not in Your Closet” campaign which was supposed to raise awareness about how innocent reptiles end up as shoes and handbags. “Even if snakes or crocodiles aren’t cute and cuddly, it isn’t right to cause them needless pain and fear,” she said. “Let’s celebrate by not killing them or their friends.”
Personal Life: Third time must be a charm for this actress. In 2008, Gena gave birth to her third child with her third husband, retired NHL hottie Cale Hulse. She married Hulse in 2004, following her divorce from video producer Greg Fahlman (with whom she has a son). The first marriage to David Felier was so brief, a month in 1991, that it is barely worth a mention.
What She’s Doing Now: Although she just attended the Transformer’s premiere and made rounds on the red carpet, Gena is mainly raising her children and staying out of the spotlight for now.