Name at birth: Mary Cathleen CollinsBo Derek was a breakthrough star of 1979 when she played Dudley Moore's lust object in the romantic comedy 10. Bo Derek grew up in California as Mary Cathleen Collins, and her life took a twist when at age 16 she met Hollywood director John Derek. They began an affair and moved to Germany together, where John Derek cast her in a fleshy low-budget romance titled Fantasies. They married in 1976 -- she was 19, he was 49 -- and she took the new name of Bo Derek. They returned to Hollywood, and Bo landed her image-making role in 10, wearing cornrows and jogging down the beach to the intense admiration of Moore's midlife-crisis-addled composer. The film, directed by Blake Edwards, was a huge success and Bo Derek was briefly the sex symbol of the day. But only briefly. Star vehicles Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981) and Bolero (1984), both directed by John Derek, left a stink that erased the pleasant memory of 10, and Bo's career never recovered. Her marriage lasted, however, and after John Derek's death in 1998, Bo returned to television in NBC's Wind on the Water. Her other films include Woman of Desire (1994) and Tommy Boy (1995, with Chris Farley).
Bo Derek’s cornrow braids in 10 sparked a short national craze… The movie also created a renaissance for the haunting tune “Bolero” by classical composer Maurice Ravel.
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