Bo Derek became a sex symbol after her perfect performance in Blake Edwards's 1979 blockbuster "10," then she assumed the role of the dominated after news of her relationship with John Derek, a man 30 years her senior, went public, but, who is she?
The world is a long, winding experience for everyone involved; however, some people get into a channel that somehow accelerates events in their life, making them encounter them at much earlier points in time.
It is a subtle difference that people who have noticed it call it the fast life, and it can't be denied. Just take Bo Derek's life as an example.
Bo Derek and John Derek at La Guardia Airport on July 22, 1981 [left]. John Corbett and Bo Derek attend Celebrity Fight Night XXV on March 22, 2019 [right] | Photo: Getty Images
At 16, she got the job to appear in "Greece," and before she knew it, she was hopping on planes and spending a beautiful winter with her mother on the gorgeous island of Mykonos.
And that's not all; by 17, she had gotten the attention of John Derek, a man 30 years her senior who was already married to a woman Bo adored.
Although things really moved quickly for her for a long time, and despite her early wild years, the talented actress turned out pretty well, and now that life has slowed down enough for her to catch up, she no doubt relishes it more.
Bo Derek and John Derek, circa 1983. | Photo: Getty Images
SHE WAS ADVENTUROUS AS A TEEN
Bo was born Mary Cathleen Collins in Long Beach, California, in 1959. She was the oldest of four kids, so she grew up with a bossy streak.
The name "Bo" was made up by her around the same time she met the director, John Derek — as earlier stated, she was 16 when they first met, and he cast her in his movie "Fantasies."
Bo was raised by a single mother who did her best to instill value in her but was also very supportive of her. One time Bo, who loved surfing and sunbathing on the beach, was busted for skipping school for a whole month.
Bo Derek attends at a Private Residence on July 26, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. | Photo: Getty Images
Her mother would drive her to the bus stop herself, but rather than get on the bus, Bo would join her merry band of girlfriends and hitchhike to the beach.
It was their idea of fun, but it quickly got boring for Bo. In hindsight, Bo admitted she couldn't believe she did that, as she said, "It scares me to death now."
Eventually, she was caught when a truant officer appeared at her home to report her, but the girl was ready to return fully to school by then.
Shortly after, she got the chance to act, and even though she would have to leave school behind, Bo was excited about her new path, and fortunately, her mother was very supportive.
Bo Derek attends her a press conference for her 1980 film, "A Change of Season." | Photo: Getty Images
SHE WAS A SEX SYMBOL
When she was cast on "Fantasies," Bo looked like a goddess, and John was very keen on using that to his advantage.
To that end, he came up with multiple risqué scenes that he worked into the film, and some of them featured brief nude shots of Bo — it was during that production that their affair started.
This was only the beginning, and in "10," the movie that shot her to stardom, there was a scene that confirmed Bo's status as a sex symbol.
Iconic star Bo Derek visits the SiriusXM Studios in 2009 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images
It featured her with bleach-blonde braids and a scene showing her racing across a beach dressed in a nude-colored swimsuit that showcased her bountiful assets.
In the years that followed, John photographed her twice for Playboy magazine and directed her in a series of R- and X-rated films for which she now seems eternally famous.
A CATACLYSMIC LOVE TRIANGLE
At 17, Bo Derek was doing quite well, even by the standards of her mom, who watched her receive attention from a big shot like John Derek.
Bo Derek and John Derek during "The Field" Premiere - December 12, 1990 at Academy Theater in Beverly Hills, California, United States. | Source: Getty Images
At first, John only looked at her for professional reasons; he saw a chance to make a star out of her. What he did not expect was the cache of feelings that would come with the opportunity.
Bo proved to be irresistible, and right under the nose of her mother, who followed her to Mykonos to spend the winter filming, she and the already married John started an affair.
The romance had a stunted growth initially because her mom was always around her and also because he was a married man who was more than two decades her senior.
Linda Evans on NBC News' "Today" show. | Getty Images
Not only that, the woman the handsome director had been married to, Linda Evans, was already acquainted with Bo, who worshipped her.
Bo had no idea at the time, but her relationship with John triggered the end of his marriage to Linda; however, in the years since, her choices have lost haziness, and she has become certain of the part she played in that messy yet romantic love triangle.
Bo still feels shame at the sort of pain she must have caused Linda, especially since the woman has been nothing but gracious to her; however, the actress can't deny how much she enjoyed her time with John.
REACTIONS TO THEIR LOVE
The age gap between John and Bo was large back then, and many people had strong opinions about their relationship, ranging from acceptance to repulsion.
Her family was the closest to her, and they were an easygoing bunch who found no cause to outrightly stand against Bo and John since they could confirm that she was not being abused.
The love blossomed under her mother's nose, and even after it became a big scandal, the woman trusted her daughter enough to not weigh in too much with her own opinions. Instead, she chose to keep a concerned watch over her by not stopping her from visiting her lover.
Bo Derek in a publicity portrait for the film 'Tarzan, The Ape Man', circa 1981. | Photo: Getty Images
The same could not be said for one of Bo's agents, who got so concerned with her getting involved with a man famous for temperamental directing at her age that he threatened to level viable charges.
This made them decide to remain in Europe because had they stepped foot in the U.S., they would have been subjected to the statutory rape law and the Mann Act.
With the difference in their age, it was easy for people to assume that John had all the control in the relationship, but that's not exactly true.
John Corbett and Bo Derek at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on November 09, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. | Photo: Getty Images
Bo once revealed that the late director had a thing for strong women, which meant that part of his attraction to her had to do with her strength of being.
BO THESE DAYS
Bo made some regrettable decisions as a teenager, but so does everyone else. These days, the actress has moved on to become a much better person.
Her first husband, John Derek, died in May 1998 from heart disease at age 71, but she has found love again with John Corbett, an actor.
John Corbett and Bo Derek at the Founder's Club dinner on March 27, 2009, in Phoenix, Arizona | Photo: Getty Images
During an interview on "The Talk" on Tuesday, August 3, the "Sex and the City" actor revealed that he and Bo had secretly gotten married.
He claimed that friends and family were aware, but neither had mentioned it to the public until then because of how private they are. The ceremony happened in 2020, a year that was the end for many and a beginning for others.
That's why Bo and Corbett, who started dating in 2002, chose to consummate their 20-year-old relationship — they wanted a positive memory attached to the year that had brought many a lot of pain.
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