Yasmine Bleeth gained worldwide fame with her role on Baywatch, but it might be hard for fans to pick her out of a lineup these days.
This week, Page Six published pictures of the 51-year-old actress, with the outlet claiming that she had grown "unrecognizable" since she left the Baywatch beaches in 1997. The shots showed Yasmine taking her dog for a walk in Southern California, wearing a hooded sweatshirt with a flowing dress underneath. She looked little like she did on television more than two decades ago, as she appeared to have gained weight since leaving the spotlight.
As the report noted, Bleeth had a difficult time coping with her fame, developing a cocaine addiction and eventually going to rehab, only to be arrested for cocaine possession the next year.
The new look for the Baywatch actress may be for the best. She explained in a 2003 interview with Glamour magazine that her addiction to cocaine left her ravaged, causing her to lose a dangerous amount of weight.
"By the end of 1999, I'd stopped looking like myself," Bleeth shared, via E! News. "I'm a fleshy girl, very curvy and round, but I'd lost my softness. My friends said I looked like an alien, that my eyes were bulging out of my face. I wasn't anorexic-looking, but instead of being a size 6 with a 29-inch waist, I was 110 pounds and a size 0."
Page Six's focus on Bleeth and her weight gain also drew pushback online. Many commented on the story on social media, saying it was inappropriate for the outlet to cast her in a negative light.
"Leave her alone," one person wrote. "This is why people have body issues- because you SAY you dont care and then post crap like this. Again, leave her alone."Bleeth is not the only Baywatch cast member to struggle with addiction. Star Pamela Anderson has also been open about her own struggles, saying that she turned to drugs to deal with her pain after being raped and molested as a child.
Bleeth said in her 2003 interview that she would be working to stay off drugs the rest of her life, and that was also the time she left the spotlight. After a series of television and movie appearances following her Baywatch fame, Yasmine last appeared in a project that year -- a television movie called Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding.
But that will be changing soon. Yasmine has signed on to a new project, her first in nearly two decades, appearing in a movie called Beautiful Evil. The film, which is still in the early stages of production, is about someone murdering prostitutes on Hollywood's Sunset Strip.