‘Baywatch”s Alexandra Paul: Where Is She Now?

Name: Alexandra Paul

Age: 46

Show: Baywatch (Lt. Stephanie Holden, 1992 – 1997)

How She Got the Part: You’ll remember Alexandra Paul as David Hasselhoff’s boss, Lt. Stephanie Holden, the striking brunette, but did you know she helped come up with the part? “One of the producers knew I was a great swimmer. We swam at the same pool even though I never met him. David Hasselhoff was in the room when I auditioned. But there was no part of Stephanie Holden — they actually wrote the part of Stephanie Holden for me after I auditioned for them. They asked me what kind of character I wanted. I think maybe they suggested I could be a lieutenant. I liked that, and I wanted to make sure she was a powerful character. So that was it.”

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How We Were First Introduced: Pamela Anderson, Nicole Eggert and David Charvet and Alexandra Paul debuted in the same 1992 season. “I met them all on the first day I was on the set. I thought (Pamela) was lovely and sweet and that remained my impression for the next four years…Back then in the early to mid 90’s at its height for Baywatch, they didn’t have paparazzi like they do now. Back then, there would be one National Enquirer guy following Pamela from her house — but not the hordes they have now.”

I thought ‘wow, Heather Locklear won’t

get into a bathing suit, and I am in one every day.

I must be pretty brave.’

Behind the Scenes Tricks You Don’t Know About Baywatch: “There’s June gloom in California. We’re supposed to be shooting on the sunny beaches of California, but it could be gray and gloomy until 2 pm on the beach. So they would just have to make it look sunny with bright umbrellas, bright bathing suits. David Hasselhoff’s stand-in figured out to make a boomerbang with dog food in it. He somehow knew the seagulls liked dog food. He would just fling it up in the air. And the seagulls would come! We had dogfood flying around us. But it looked really beachy. We also shot our the underwater scenes in an above-ground pool, because the Pacific Ocean is not that clear. Because it wasn’t very deep, we had to swim sideways and hold our breath so the bubbles would not give away that we were going sideways instead of going up to surface. There was a lot of ingenuity in shooting this show.”

See Alexandra Paul videos.

How She Kept Up Her Beach Body: “I was not naturally that tan. I’m not a lie-in-the-sun person. I don’t like tanning beds. I wore body make-up all the time, and that protected me. It was kind of a blessing. But of course I thought about my weight, and what I looked like. Every woman does that. I once read that Heather Locklear — she was on Melrose Place at the time — would not get into a bathing suit. I thought ‘wow, Heather Locklear won’t get into a bathing suit, and I am in one every day. I must be pretty brave.’ You know, you get used to it. Everyone has their fat days, that they don’t feel great or feel like they don’t look great. I also knew they hired me for my swimming and my experience an an actress — they didn’t hire me to be a beauty queen.”

Claim To Fame: Besides the brainy tall, lean and nearly lone dark-haired beauty on Baywatch, Alexandra has been a long-time peace activist since the early 80’s. She is a champion of electric cars. “When I was in front of a judge for the electric car protest — and this is only in Hollywood — the judge said to the prosecutor ‘I need to know if you want me to excuse myself from this case because I have actually worked with this actress.’ He’d been a judge in a TV Perry Mason movie I had done in like 1990. It was very funny. The prosecutor said ‘no, that’s okay your Honor, I’m sure you’ll be unbiased.'”

Favorite Episode: “I loved all the episodes with David Hasselhoff. I loved working with him. I especially liked Masquerade, where we dressed up as a wealthy couple under cover. I wore a blonde wig. It was fun.”

Why Her Character Died: Just as Alexandra helped envision the part of Lt. Stephanie Holden, she also planned her heroic demise when she left the show. “I had told them I wanted to leave the show. We discussed the finale for the following season. I came back to shoot my death scene. I had long discussions about it with the producers. At first they didn’t want my character to die because we had a lot of young viewers, and they thought it would be too traumatic. A main character had been killed off before, attacked by a shark, and that upset some viewers. We had some really strict rules because we had a lot of viewers under 10. Like we could not point a gun, never point a gun at anyone. Finally we decided how she would die, and it would be heroic and bloodless. So it was really nice. The producers were incredibly respectful.”

On Playing Her Look A-like for the ‘Baywatch Reunion’ in 2003: “The first incarnation, they wanted me to play my ghost. I was like ‘yeah, sure.’ Then they changed it (for Hawaiian Wedding). I had never played a bad girl. I was always the good girl. So it was different.”

What She’s Doing Now: “I starred in three films last year and co-starred in a fourth. They haven’t yet aired. I love television, the roles for women are excellent in television. I did several series after Baywatch. I consider myself very much a fixture on television. I would love to play in an ensemble show where I can play someone who is sexy, wild and not only good — maybe of dubious moral character, a very free spirit. With a lot of drama!”

Personal Life: Her husband actor Ian Murray is a triathlon trainer, and she continues to swim. “I can’t do triathlons anymore because of my knee. But I am training for an 11-mile swim off Fiji on August 13th. It’s the Fiji Swim (Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa to Beachcomber Island Relay).”

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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