Due to the Pam & Tommy miniseries, there has been renewed interest in Pamela Anderson. The Baywatch star is many things: actress, animal rights activist and, once, flat out broke. Once upon a time, the ’90s pin-up was raking in a huge salary for her role as lifeguard C.J. Parker. The image of Parker gracefully running across the golden California beach has undoubtedly become an iconic emblem of ’90s nostalgia. It’s therefore hard to believe that Anderson did not benefit so much from the immortalization of her image.
The truth is, Anderson has suffered some major monetary woes for quite some time now, despite having amassed millions at the height of her fame. Let’s explore how Pamela Anderson went from earning $6.6 million a year to being flat out broke.
Updated on January 2, 2023: Pamela Anderson has thankfully found stable ground once again with a net worth of $20 million. In 2022, she rejoined Hollywood for the first time in four years to appear on the film Alone at Night. Though she hasn’t been screen-acting much, she also joined Broadway in March 2022 to play Roxie in the production of Chicago, helping to contribute to her high net worth.
Baywatch was one of the biggest shows of the ’90s, with lead actress Pamela Anderson epitomizing the beauty ideal of the decade. With her beach blonde locks and famously tanned curves in a red swimsuit, Anderson was an immensely popular addition to the show, in which she joined in 1992.
Her popularity helped her in earning big bucks from the show. According to Celebrity Net Worth, she was raking in $300,000 per episode, which amounts to around $6.6 million per season.
It didn’t take long for the financial troubles to begin for Pamela Anderson. In 2000, she bought a Malibu home for $1.8 million. Dissatisfied with the property, she decided to spend a further $8 million to tear it down and completely renovate it. But the venture saw her lose vast sums of cash and accumulate debts, as she struggled to pay the builders.
Excessive Spending Was Pamela Anderson’s Downfall
Like many celebs who ended up broke, Pamela Anderson has a penchant for lavish spending. As stated in a 2010 Mirror profile, “her taste for all things expensive – first-class travel, sprawling properties decked with gold, lavish cars – have emptied out the bank balance as the flood of mega-money roles slowed to a trickle.”
Unpaid Taxes Saw Pamela Anderson’s Net Worth Drop Significantly
It wasn’t just trips to the mall that saw Anderson lose her fortune. No matter how rich and successful a celeb may be, the taxman will always come knocking. Branded a “tax delinquent” in California, it was revealed that Anderson owed a whopping $493,000 in unpaid taxes.
Pamela Anderson Had To Sell Off Essential Items To Pay Her Debts
Sadly, mounting financial woes resulted in Anderson having to sell off items she loved. As highlighted by The Mirror, “Pamela had to start selling furniture and other contents just to pay the builders.”
Sadly, this is a common story for celebs who suffer monetary issues. For instance, big spender Nicolas Cage had to sell off many of his prized possessions due to extravagant expenditure that left him broke.
Anderson’s Debt Mounted To Shocking Levels
“Events occurred outside of my control which caused this temporary but embarrassing situation. All my tax obligations will be resolved in the very near future,” she tweeted in 2010.
In 2010, it was revealed by The Mirror that Anderson owed a whopping $1 million to building contractors, as well as the taxman. However, Pam was hopeful that her financial issues could be resolved.
Pamela Anderson Had To Move To A Trailer Park
Unfortunately, Anderson had to give up her elaborate mansion and move into a trailer. Around ten years ago, Anderson began living in a trailer park in Malibu. In 2018, she put her trailer on the market for $1.75 million, which is undoubtedly a hefty price tag for a mobile home. However, it is unclear how much the trailer ultimately sold for.
She isn’t the first celebrity who has had to move into a trailer. For instance, fellow TV actress Erin Moran, who played Joanie on Happy Days, lived in a trailer park after facing foreclosure on her home.
By 2010, Pamela Anderson Was Earning Minimum Wage
Pamela Anderson featured in the British theatrical tradition of pantomime in 2010, playing the Genie of the Lamp in a bawdy production of Aladdin. A far cry from the huge salary she commanded on Baywatch, Anderson was paid minimum union wage, which is the standard salary of pantomime performers.
Her Ex, Jon Peters, Claimed He Paid Off Some Of Her Debts
In 2020, Anderson was briefly married to film producer Jon Peters. And when we say briefly, we mean briefly. The couple were married for all but 12 days, though Anderson claims that the union technically wasn’t legal.
Peters has alleged that he paid off some of Anderson’s debts, describing his ex-partner as “broke”.
“I dropped everything for Pam. She had almost $200,000 in bills and no way to pay it so I paid it and this is the thanks I get. There’s no fool like an old fool,” Peters wrote in an email obtained by Page Six.
What Is Pamela Anderson’s Net Worth Now?
After years of financial instability, Pamela Anderson regained a net worth of $12 million, which then continued to grow to the $20 million figure it sits at today. While that figure is less than what the actress would have made from just 2 seasons of Baywatch — and just a fraction of the $35 million net worth she once enjoyed — Anderson finally finds herself in a stable financial situation. Let’s hope it stays that way.