All About Pamela Anderson's Parents, Carol and Barry Anderson

Pamela Anderson’s parents, Carol and Barry Anderson, married each other twice

<p>Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty</p> Pamela Anderson and her parents.

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty

Pamela Anderson and her parents.

Pamela Anderson’s 2023 documentary, Pamela: A Love Story, did more than reintroduce the Chicago star to the public eye on her terms. Fans also got to know her parents, Carol and Barry Anderson.

The pair, who have been together since they were teenagers, had a tumultuous relationship in Pamela’s youth. According to Pam, Carol left Barry at one point to live in an apartment with her daughter and Pam’s brother Gerry.

The family also struggled financially. The Baywatch alum recalled growing up in “a tiny little shack” in Ladysmith, British Columbia.

Times became even harder when her parents split up. “We were living on welfare,” Pamela said.

Despite the chaos, the actress said In a journal entry from the documentary that she didn’t hold her childhood against her mother or father. “I certainly don’t blame my parents for my upbringing,” the entry read. “I’m grateful because I gained a lot of good qualities along with the bad.”

Keep reading to learn more about Pamela Anderson’s parents and her relationship with them over the years.

Carol and Barry wed as teenagers

<p>Courtesy of Netflix</p> Carol Anderson and Pamela Anderson in 'Pamela, a love story'.

Courtesy of Netflix

Carol Anderson and Pamela Anderson in 'Pamela, a love story'.

Though it’s unclear exactly how they met, Pamela’s parents tied the knot when they were still in their teens. “My parents were married, I think when they were like, 17 and 19, when my mom was pregnant with me,” the actress said in her Netflix documentary, adding, “They were still just raging.”

Barry was known as a “bad boy” about town

In her 2023 documentary, Pam noted that her dad was fairly wild in his younger days. “Everyone has a story about my father, the notorious bad boy of Ladysmith,” she said in Pamela: A Love Story.

One such story involved a crash he and Carol got into while he was racing his car. "Mom has a scar across her forehead because her head went through the windshield when she was pregnant with me,” Pam said, adding, “We like to joke [that] it’s probably the reason I’m a little bit crazy.”

They had ordinary jobs

Unlike their famous daughter, Pam’s mother and father had more humble beginnings.

Pam discussed her parents’ occupations in her Netflix documentary. "My mum was a waitress and she worked at Smitty's Pancake House,” she shared.

As for her dad, Pam said Barry had several odd jobs. “My dad was a poker player, con man, chimney sweep with a top hat and everything.”

Barry also worked as a furnace repairman, according to the Regina Leader-Post.

Carol and Barry share a son

<p>Laurence Cottrell/FilmMagic</p> Pamela Anderson and her brother Jerry during 'A Day at The Mansion' in Los Angeles, California.

Laurence Cottrell/FilmMagic

Pamela Anderson and her brother Jerry during 'A Day at The Mansion' in Los Angeles, California.

In addition to Pam, who was born on July 1, 1967, in B.C, Canada, Barry and Carol also share a son.

Pam’s brother, Gerry Anderson, was reportedly born in 1971.

As well as attending public events together in the past, the siblings ran side-by-side in the ING New York City marathon in May 2013. “So proud of my brother Gerry,” she wrote in a now-deleted tweet on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Thank G. For running next to me today—love you lots.”

Carol encouraged Pam to do her first Playboy shoot

<p> Barry King/Alamy</p> Pamela Anderson and mother Carol Anderson attend 'Baywatch' Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Tour on April 17, 1993.

Barry King/Alamy

Pamela Anderson and mother Carol Anderson attend 'Baywatch' Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Tour on April 17, 1993.

The Associated Press reported in 2018 that Pam’s mom was a driving force behind her decision to fly to Los Angeles to shoot for Playboy. “My first reaction was ‘no,’ and I talked to mother and she said, ‘Why not?’ " she recalled, adding that her mom had also told her. " 'Get out of this small town, go to Los Angeles. How exciting!’ "

The model revealed in Pamela: A Love Story that she also had her mom’s blessing when she decided to be a playmate in 1990.

According to the Barb Wire star, the opportunity came on the heels of her first big cover for the magazine in 1989, after which photo editor Marilyn Grabowski took her out to lunch. “She said that Hefner really wanted me to be a playmate,” Pam recalled in her documentary.

Carol encouraged the Star author to stay in Los Angeles and pursue the opportunity. “I called my mom, she said, ‘Do it,' ” Pam remembered.

Carol also reflected during the documentary on the advice she had given her daughter, saying, “I told her to live her life. Be free!”

Carol and Barry have appeared on multiple reality shows with their daughter

Carol and Barry’s cameos in their daughter’s 2023 Netflix documentary didn’t mark their first time in front of the camera.

Both of the Scary Movie 3 star’s parents appeared in her 2008 reality series on E!, Pam: Girl on the Loose. In one memorable episode, Pam even made a return visit to her native country with a present for Barry.

In 2022, the couple hit the small screen once more for Pamela’s Garden of Eden, an HGTV Canada series focused on Pam’s renovation of her family’s property in Ladysmith, where Carol and Barry spent their early days as a couple.

Carol was mad that Pam eloped with Tommy

<p>Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage</p> Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee at the Planet Boom in North Hollywood, California in 1996.

Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee at the Planet Boom in North Hollywood, California in 1996.

Pam famously married Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee after spending just four days with the rock star in Cancun, Mexico. “I got married in a bikini and Tommy was in board shorts,” she recalled in Pamela: A Love Story. “My maid of honor was somebody that we met in the club that night," she added.

So fresh was their love, Pam didn’t even know her new surname. “I remember asking him, ‘What’s our last name?’ ” she remembered. “It was really just full-on, heart-to-heart, explosive, kind of, love.”

Carol wasn’t as thrilled by her daughter’s decision to throw caution to the wind when it came to love, however.

Pam detailed her mother’s reaction to the news in her 2023 memoir, Love, Pamela. “She was furious,” she wrote. “‘Who is Tommy?’ She couldn’t believe I had gotten married, cried that she had always dreamed of being at her only daughter’s wedding.”

Carol and Barry got married twice

Growing up, Pam recalled her parents having a rather rocky relationship. “They fought quite a bit,” she said in her Netflix documentary.

According to the animal activist, the pair would often make up in a passionate manner. “We just had to wait for them to stop screaming, then we’d come in and they’d be like, up against the wall or on top of the table, just kissing,” she said.

Pam said Carol ended things with Barry on more than one occasion. “We ended up leaving my dad a couple of times,” she said.

However, the couple would always reconcile eventually. “He came and got us and we moved back to the island,” Pam remembered of one such instance, adding. “They just moved a couple towns up [from Ladysmith].”

The documentary also revealed that the twosome had tied the knot for the second time. “Are you guys getting married?” Pam asked in a clip that showed her mom and dad dressed in white. “Yeah,” they responded.

When Pam asked, “‘Again?’” Barry confirmed: “We’re gonna try again.”

As the actress summarized: “My parents, they fought a lot, but they also made up.”

As of 2022, West Coast Now reported that Carol and Barry still lived “nearby” to their daughter in Ladysmith, B.C.

“I love the island,” Carol said in Pamela: A Love Story. “Living by the water. People are very friendly. Ladysmith is a beautiful little town.”

Carol and Barry’s relationship impacted Pam’s love life

Pam admitted in Pamela: A Love Story that her parents’ tumultuous relationship affected her own love life. “I would pick people similar, I guess, in some ways,” she said.

According to Pam, Carol also took on some responsibility for her daughter’s failed marriages. (Pam has been married five times to Lee from 1995 to 1998, Kid Rock from 2006 to 2007, Rick Saloman in 2007, which was later annulled, according to Reuters, and again to Lee in 2014, Dan Hayhurst from 2020 to 2022, and hopes to get married a sixth time.)  “My mom used to always say to me, ‘I feel bad, I set an example for you,” Pam remembered in her documentary.

She concluded: “Maybe because of how I grew up and how I saw my parents, and maybe because of some of the relationships that I’ve had, I didn’t equate being in love with being nice, maybe.”

Carol found healing through Pam’s self-reflection

<p>Netflix</p> Carol Anderson in 'Pamela, a love story'.


Carol Anderson in 'Pamela, a love story'.

Pam told PEOPLE that reflecting on her life for her Netflix documentary and best-selling memoir not only affected her, it had a profound impact on her family members.

"I had no idea how much anger I had inside, or how therapeutic it was going to be for not just me, but for people around me, like my mother," she told PEOPLE in 2023. "It's been a healing process. I'm so happy to share it and hopefully people will be inspired."

The Broadway star contemplated her journey’s positive impression, saying, "I think a lot of it has to do with keeping secrets and keeping things kind of [repressed]. In my case, there's been stories written and things happening, but you can't really know somebody unless you hear the whole story.”

Pam told PEOPLE that while she did have an editor for her memoir, she got to the root of things herself, penning the book without the help of a ghostwriter. "I wanted to go through all the chapters of my life and feel those feelings,” she said. “It was hard. It was very hard.”

In an earlier interview with PEOPLE, she described the finished product as “a raw, unpolished attempt—a very personal true account of my life, from my first memory to my last.”

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