Where do we start when it comes to Tara Leigh Patrick? Most people know Tara as Carmen Electra. Her career has, for the most part, leaned toward the erotic side of entertainment, but Electra has kept her clothes on for many ventures. Throughout the years, the model, actress, singer, and dancer has kept herself busy professionally and personally.
Most recently Electra figured prominently in the Netflix documentary The Last Dance where she revealed her experiences as the girlfriend of Chicago Bull Dennis Rodman. But outside of that appearance, Carmen Electra has largely vanished from the spotlight. Here’s why she’s gone and what she’s doing now.
CARMEN ELECTRA AND PRINCE
Not many may know this or remember, but Carmen Electra got her start as a singer. Her first love was dancing, which she was able to do early on as a dancer at a local amusement park. But in 1991, she decided to move to Minneapolis, Minnesota where she just so happened to meet singer, songwriter, and superstar Prince.
Not long after, Prince signed Carmen Electra to his own record label, Paisley Park Records, where Electra recorded her one and only album, self-titled. It was not very well received and pretty much ended her singing career. One thing she did gain while working with Prince was the name, Carmen Electra.
CARMEN ELECTRA DOES PLAYBOY
With her singing career in the tank, Carmen Electra needed a career boost and she went all-in on it. By that, we mean the bunny ears. Hef. It was the May 1996 issue of Playboy where Electra had her coming-out party. Her nude pictorial put her on the map and has pretty much kept her there ever since. She found out what worked for her, so she kept at it.
Not only did Carmen Electra appear in the May 1996 issue, she went back time and time again. Five times in all. She also appeared in June 1997, December 2000, April 2003, and the January 2009 issues of Playboy, the last one at the age of 32. Of those five appearances, Electra graced the cover three times.
CARMEN ELECTRA: ACTRESS
Carmen Electra may have first made her name with Playboy, but she didn’t hurt her erotic star power when she boarded the Baywatch train. The TV series was a massive hit and had a massive following. The David Hasselhoff-led show lasted for eleven seasons in which Electra portrayed Lani McKenzie for two. Watching Electra bounce around on the beach in a bathing suit for two seasons was not the worst thing that could happen. She would eventually return to her Baywatch roots in the 2003 reunion movie, Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding.
Carmen Electra’s career, as it began to grow, was not so much a who’s who but more like a what’s what. She tried to catch on to various TV series (Summerland, Tripping the Rift), she appeared in many series as herself (Joey, Suburgatory), she has even appeared in quite a few feature films, most notably Scary Movie, Starsky & Hutch, Cheaper By The Dozen 2, Scary Movie 4, Epic Movie, and Disaster Movie.
Carmen Electra has also spent some time on the Reality TV circuit. In 2002 she appeared alongside then-boyfriend Dave Navarro (lead guitar for rock band Jane’s Addiction) for MTV’s Carmen and Dave: An MTV Love Story. After the two married, they would return for ‘Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen and Dave. That show lasted seven episodes and shortly after the two divorced.
HOSTING NAKED WRESTLING
In what may also be a little-known fact, there was the NWWL, also known as the Naked Women’s Wrestling League. Yes, it was an actual thing. As in ladies would get into a wrestling ring naked and wrestle. Naked. And Carmen Electra found herself as the hostess of this show.
The “league” began in 2004 and had a decent run until 2007. It featured many adult film stars (imagine that) and one used-to-be prominent pro wrestling manager, Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Hart. Electra ended her run as hostess in 2007 when she filed a lawsuit against the company for breach of contract and failure to pay.
DATING DENNIS RODMAN
Carmen Electra’s career and personal life would not be complete without the detour called Dennis Rodman. It was the late 90s when Electra and Rodman had already begun to date.
This was a sad time for Carmen Electra in her personal life as she had just lost her mother to brain cancer and not even two weeks later, she lost her sister to a heart attack. In Vegas that the two married and nine days later Rodman filed for an annulment, claiming that HE was of unsound mind when he married Electra.
They had a brief reconciliation but then decided to formally divorce in April of 1999. It didn’t come as a shock, though, when the pair were arrested in November of that same year for misdemeanor battery at a Miami Beach Hotel.
CARMEN ELECTRA NOW
Carmen Electra has had an interesting career. It’s had many ups and many downs and much in between. She has hit on all things she had hoped for early on, singer, dancer, turning that eventually into modeling and acting. She has also done some charity work, organizing a fundraiser for Head to Hollywood, which is a non-profit that offers support for brain tumor survivors. Her other charity work includes Elevate Hope and the HollyRod Foundation.
The last time we saw Carmen Electra on screen (outside of The Last Dance) was in the 2018 series Alone Together. Since that time, Electra has been vocal on social media, staying away from Hollywood for the time being and posting about her daily life.
Who knows what the future has in store for Carmen Electra. Let’s just hope for her sake it has nothing to do with Dennis Rodman.