What the Hell Happened to Kelly LeBrock?
Kelly LeBrock was “the woman in red”. When Anthony Michael Hall employed weird science to create his idea woman, it was LeBrock who stepped out. She even had to remind us not to hate her for her beauty. LeBrock was definitely a model first and an actress second. But her acting career stalled out following her marriage to a high profile action star. When that marriage fell apart, LeBrock went into hiding?
What the hell happened?
LeBrock was born in New York City but raised in London, England. She returned to New York at the age of sixteen to pursue her modeling career. According to LeBrock:
I was 15 and a half when I started modeling. It’s a familiar tale, but I was at a party, and some dirty old man saw me and thought I was pretty. The next thing I knew I was on an airplane to the Seychelles to shoot an advertisement for British Airways. My father got me an agent and quickly, to my surprise, my modeling career took off and I became the new face of ’70’s fashion.
LeBrock’s modeling career took off. But she found the modeling world to be a dangerous place for a girl her age:
I decided to move out of England to survive the drug scene and thought New York would be a safer place, but I was mistaken.
The model scene in New York was every bit as treacherous as the one LeBrock had left behind in London:
I did take it too far, and when my weight dropped from 135 to 90 pounds my agent, Eileen Ford, called my mother and said, “You better get over here.” I took my mother to Studio 54 and we danced all night, but she had no idea why I was so energetic.
Back in London I had been sheltered from the real world, but in America I was all alone and this terrified me. In England we were all genuine and nice, then suddenly I went straight to America and it was a foreign land. It was full of dangerous people, and I found it frightening and intimidating.
One of LeBrock’s more high profile modeling jobs was for Pantene hair care products. In the commercial, LeBrock famously asked audiences “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” and a catch-phrase was born.
LeBrock’s nerves almost cost her the job. She said she was initially too shy to utter the bold tagline. But once she worked up the courage, she made advertising history. LeBrock continued working as a Pantene spokeswoman into the mid-nineties.
In the early 80’s, LeBrock decided to ditch New York and the runway in favor of an acting career in Hollywood:
I didn’t want to get hooked on heroin and die like some of my friends. I decided to change my lifestyle and quit modeling and go to the next obvious thing, movies.
In California, LeBrock met aspiring film producer Victor Drai. The couple began dating and in 1982 they flew off to Paris together:
We went to Paris, fell in love and rented a bunch of French movies. We saw Pardon Mon Affaire and decided it was a good film to remake in Hollywood.