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How Bo Derek Achieved a Net Worth of $40 Million

Bo Derek

Bo Derek is one of the few people who go after what they want without caring what others think. Her first husband was 30 years older, and she did not care that she was still a minor when she met him. Now she is married to her second husband, four years her junior, and they are comfortable being without children. The actress and model did not even care baring it all for the cameras during her heyday. Luckily, it came with lucrative checks that saw Bo Derek’s net worth rise to $40 million. As a young girl, she thought she would work in a surf shop. Now, she is focused on keeping canines clean through a shampoo line. Let’s take you through how she has accumulated the millions.

Dropping Out of School

Derek, born Mary Cathleen Collins, was the daughter of Paul Collins, a boating company executive. Her mother, Norma Collins, was a hairdresser and make-up artist. According to Everyday Koala, even when she was young, Derek’s destiny to be a star was evident from her personality, talent, and determination. Since Norma worked for Ann-Margaret, a Hollywood legend, Derek fell in love with the entertainment industry. Furthermore, her parents divorced, and her mother married a stunt performer, further deepening the allure to the show business. Still, she had to be a normal child and go to school. The model attended George S. Patton Continuation School and Narbonne High School. However, she was not an exemplary student. According to Interview magazine, she took advantage of her mother working long hours to be a truant. She would hitchhike to the beach and go sailing-Derek had bought her first surfboard in junior high. She skipped school for a month, preferring to be on the beach, but the freedom soon got boring, and she was ready to go back to school. However, it was not before a truant officer caught her and informed Derek’s mother. Unfortunately, the model’s desire for learning was cut short by an offer she could not refuse.

Introduced to Show Business

She went back to school and began enjoying the experience because, unlike before, when she felt she was being forced, this time it was out of her own interest. Nonetheless, the desire to be in Hollywood was still deeply rooted in her heart and tramped her thirst for education. Therefore, when she heard about auditioning for the movie “Fantasies,” she went to try her luck. The movie director, John Derek, was captivated by the teenager’s beauty and had to have her despite being a married man. Derek landed the part and was supposed to fly to Greece for ten weeks for the film’s shooting. John explained to her that she would have to leave school for a while. The model said it took only two seconds to decide that school was not as important as getting her head start in the film industry. To this day, she has no regrets for dropping out of school, reasoning that the school was not in a great neighborhood anyway. During filming, she and John were inseparable. They began a steamy affair that infuriated Derek’s parents, but the 17-year-old girl did not mind being with the married man, 30 years her senior. Since John would not take Derek to the US due to the strict laws concerning relationships with a minor, the couple stayed in Europe until the young girl was an adult. Derek even decided to shelf the film’s release until 1981 since Derek had several nude scenes.

Making Money from Modeling and Acting

According to The Washington Post, John took over Derek, exploiting her body as he had done with his previous wives. The article said that Derek had been molded according to John’s specifications, and she would end up making lots of money from it. The author of that article was right because after the model was cast in “10,” she became an instant sex symbol. Although Derek's part in the movie lasted around ten minutes, it made such an impact on her career. All Derek expected from the film was traveling to Mexico, where filming took place. However, she earned $35,000, and magazines wanted to feature the beautiful model on their cover.

Therefore, Derek graced the cover of Playboy magazine, March 1980 issue. FindAnyAnswer estimates that in the 1970s, the playmate of the month (POTM) earned $5,000. Derek’s earnings from Playboy were significant since she appeared twice in the magazine in 1980 and then several times in the following years. It is not just Playboy that saw her beauty; other magazines like Kwik, Lui, Caballero, Continental, and High Society featured the model on their covers. Gracing a men’s magazine cover must have its perks considering that models are willing to pay as much as $12,000. John continued casting his wife in the movies he made. “Tarzan the Ape Man” earned Derek $1 million; she received $1.5 million for her role in “Bolero.” Of course, her salary continued increasing as her popularity soared. Therefore by the time she appeared in “Ghosts Can Do It,” “Masters of Disguise,” and “Woman of Desire,” she was raking in substantial sums of money. Although she was nominated for Worst Actress of the Century in 2000, it did not affect her salary. However, it might have made her realize that she would not last in Hollywood; therefore, she became a businesswoman. She established Bless the Beasts in 2000. According to Animal Fair, the idea came after she asked a chemist to make products for her use because she owned nine dogs and twenty-six horses. The products were amazing, and she began marketing through her line, Bless the Beasts. She now has Bo Derek Pet Care, a shampoo line that supports retired military working dogs.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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