Carmen Electra (born April 20, 1972) is an American glamour model, actress, television personality, singer, and dancer. She gained fame for her appearances in Playboy magazine, on the MTV game show Singled Out, on the TV series Baywatch, and dancing with the Pussycat Dolls, and has since had roles in the parody films Scary Movie, Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans, and Disaster Movie. She hosted MTV Spring Break for some time.
Carmen Electra was born in Sharonville, Ohio to Harry Patrick, a guitarist and entertainer, and his wife Patricia (d. 1998), a singer. The youngest of six children (she has four brothers and one sister), Electra attended Ann Weigel Elementary School and studied dance under Gloria J. Simpson at Dance Artists studio in Western Hills until age nine, when she enrolled in the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), a magnet arts school in the Cincinnati Public School District. There, she was an older classmate of Nick Lachey, with whom she appeared in a production of Peter Pan.Electra, who told People Magazine in 1997 that she’d “wanted to dance on Broadway,” graduated from Princeton High School in Sharonville in 1990, having transferred there from SCPA two years prior.Additionally, Electra attended and graduated from Barbizon Modeling and Acting School in Cincinnati.
Electra has English, Irish, German, and Dutch ancestry, and was very close to her family. She said of her mother, “My mom was my rock,” and described her older sister Debbie as being “like a second mother to me.” After Debbie moved to Illinois, Electra said her life “revolved around my mom. She was my best friend, in my life 24/7 whether I wanted her there or not.”
Electra started her professional career in 1990 as a dancer at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, in the show “It’s Magic”, one of the more popular shows in the park’s history. In 1991, she moved to California and met Prince. Soon after, Electra signed a recording contract with Prince’s Paisley Park Records and began a short-lived singing career. During her time at Paisley Park Records, she officially became known as Carmen Electra.
In 1995, Electra started appearing in television shows. In May 1996, she was featured in a nude pictorial in Playboy magazine, the first of several. This exposure led to higher profile television appearances, including Baywatch (cast member in 1997–1998, as Leilani “Lani” McKenzie) and MTV’s Singled Out. She returned to Baywatch for the 2003 reunion movie, Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding.