The Real Reason We Don't Hear From Carmen Electra Anymore

Entertainer Carmen Electra was a permanent fixture of the '90s and early '00s. The Ohio native shot to fame under Prince's watchful eye and rode the wave to super-stardom following her role in Baywatch from 1989 to 2001. The tabloids became obsessed with her, following her every move through a number of rocky high-profile relationships, including two divorces. 

But in recent memory, Electra (real name Tara Leigh Patrick) has been relatively absent from television, film, and the press, prompting the question: Where in the world is Carmen Electra? We've tracked her down for you, and unfortunately it looks like her career could still use a metaphorical life preserver. How is it possible that Hollywood was unwilling to perform showbiz CPR on this former beach babe, you ask? Please stop with the lifeguard references, you're probably also begging. Fine, we'll go hydrate and stay out of the sun as you check out the real reason we don't hear from Carmen Electra anymore. 

Carmen Electra's music career was mediocre...

Carmen Electra launched her music career in 1993 with a self-titled album. Fast forward 20 years: she released a catchy dance single called "I Like It Loud" in 2013 that reached no. 24 on the Billboard dance club songs chart, followed that up in 2014 with "Werq," and kept the party anthems coming in 2015 with "Around the World." Despite all three tunes breaking into the top 25 on the charts, her marginal success failed to translate into widespread pop appeal.

But Electra's talents shouldn't be counted out just yet. She's got music running through her veins. According to The Huffington Post, her father played guitar, uncle played drums, and mom sang background for funk singer Bootsy Collins. Electra has been candid about her desire to jump-start a music career, telling The Grid (via the Daily Mail), "I've been wanting to get back to music for quite some time now. It's been a passion of mine since before I started to work with Prince back in the '90s, but my life and career just happened to take a different path."

... even though it was Prince who launched it

Few people got to know Prince as intimately as Carmen Electra, who reportedly received her powerful stage name from the "Kiss" singer when she was 18, per Us Weekly. The pair worked together in the early '90s and even briefly dated. When Prince passed away in April 2016, Electra probably took some time to mourn the loss of a great friend and advisor.

Describing the late legend as her "mentor," Electra said in a statement (via People), "The world has lost a truly incredible spirit and musical genius. What a blessing it is to be one of the chosen ones who had the chance to work so closely with him. ... He has inspired an entire generation. I will always love him." 

The former couple reportedly met when Prince was forming a girl band. Although Electra didn't make the final cut, he still launched her career in the entertainment industry by penning a song for her called "Carmen on Top." Of the opportunity, Electra told Us Weekly in May 2016, "As an artist and as a person Prince was so extraordinarily generous. ... And I'll always be grateful that he believed in me and took a chance on me."

Wait, Carmen Electra is insecure?

Believe it or not, Carmen Electra considers herself her own "worst enemy," according to HuffPost. Comparing herself to Beyonce — which, admittedly, could be the whole problem here — Electra settled some of her own insecurities over restarting her music career after watching the superstar's documentary and realizing that "this super-powerful woman who is brilliantly-talented with the world at her feet ... still has struggles."

Electra claims to have grown a thicker skin over the years. "There are many ups and downs in this business but I've learned to appreciate everything and not be as sensitive," she said. "Obviously there are times when you read something about yourself and it affects you. It's even harder when things aren't true. But I believe what I read! I pick up a tabloid and even knowing things are exaggerated, I still believe it, so I understand why other people do."

The constant battle between one's personal identity and public persona has driven many a celeb far way from the spotlight, and it could be that Electra isn't cut out to contend with the unruly attitudes of today's social media landscape.

Carmen Electra ended up on reality TV, which is never good

While attempts to re-launch her music career have stalled, in early 2016 Carmen Electra put herself out there as the host of a WE tv series entitled "Ex Isle." According to Deadline, the premise of the show was to help on-again, off-again couples decide if they want to make their relationships work or take a chance at new love, all while stuck on an island, of course. Electra joined forces with Dr. Ish Major to help these troubled pairs figure out what's best for their love lives.

WE tv reportedly ordered 10 episodes and, at the time of this writing, has not made any formal announcements about a second season. We can't help but think that if another season was in the works, Electra would be promoting it by now. This could very well become another notch in Electra's lengthy list of projects that crashed and burned shortly after liftoff.

She's still defined by her failed romances

Many years have passed since Carmen Electra's brief marriage to former NBA star Dennis Rodman, but she's still seemingly embarrassed by the mistake. The pair eloped to Las Vegas in 1998, shortly after her mother passed away, but the dynamic duo split about a year later. The entire debacle played out in the tabloids.

"People couldn't understand why I loved him," Electra told Oprah Winfrey's Where Are They Now? "Because he had a reputation for being a bad boy." She said it didn't take long to realize she'd made a mistake. "It happened so fast. It was so spontaneous, and I remember right after, 'Oh God, what did we do?'" She added, "Our relationship was very passionate. So, when it was good, it was amazing. When it was bad, it was the worst."

Another possible romantic sore spot for Electra is Dave Navarro. Like Rodman, Navarro also has a rocky personal history. In June 2019, Electra paid tribute to her rockstar ex-husband by posting a wedding photo on Instagram, and declaring her "eternal love" for him. According to People, they split up after two and a half years of marriage in 2006. However, In 2017, the exes made headlines when they were spotted together, after which Electra bizarrely told Life&Style, "Maybe we'll surprise everybody and get married again!" As far as we can tell, there's been no word from Navarro on the matter. Yikes. 

Carmen Electra is not coming to a theater near you soon

There was a time when Camren Electra was in demand on the small screen and the big screen, but at the time of this writing, her IMDb account is a blueprint for fading star power. In 2014, she reportedly landed a total of four ho-hum projects: guest appearances in The Birthday Boys and Franklin & Bash, the role of Lexus in a movie called Lap Dance, and a gig in the a short titled Dragula. Need we say more? Okay, let's try 2015, when she appeared in a little-known flick called Book of Fire and the box office blunder Chocolate City. That's two jobs. Electra's 2016 was even worse. Her only scripted TV series appearance was playing herself in a single episode of Jane the Virgin.

While this shrinking list of credits is not the stuff comebacks are made of, there is always a nostalgia play for bygone cult icons like Electra. In fact, she parlayed that sex symbol status into a 2019 partnership with Tubi, which she described to Extra as a free streaming service that carries "a variety of movies that you won't find on other services." We wonder if Dragula is included. 

Eau de Carmen Electra?

In 2015, Carmen Electra launched a namesake fragrance with fruity and floral notes. "Creating my own signature scent is something I've always wanted to do," she told "I was given the opportunity to be part of the process from the ground up; everything that went into it, including the design of the bottle. I feel grateful to have the opportunity to be creative and express myself in a way I have never done before. It was also a wonderful learning experience." She claims to have been inspired by "the magic that links scents with memory and emotions." Okay, that's cool, but in a market saturated with celebrities selling scents, Electra has a long way to go before she competes with the likes of Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds.

The one time baring it all didn't work for Carmen Electra

According to Women's Health, Carmen Electra posed nude for famed photographer Eli Russell Linnetz in 2018 at the age of 46. Lying atop "silk, lavender sheets" and leaving "little to the imagination," the Baywatch beauty proved she's still got it after all these years, and yet the sexy spread didn't really catapult her back into mainstream consciousness. 

Perhaps that's because this risqué shoot wasn't the first time Electra bared it all for a photographer. In 2008, she made her fifth appearance in Playboy (via The Daily Telegraph). In a 2016 interview with The Cut, Electra shared her secrets to keeping it tight."When I started dancing again and working on music, I noticed that I was dehydrated from being so active and consistently sweating," she explained. "I started drinking water and noticed a change in my body overnight. It's easier for me now to keep the weight off, whereas before, it was more of a struggle." She added, "Water has changed my life."

Stay hydrated, friends.

She tried selling water ... sorta

If you love something, why not sell it, right? Apparently, Carmen Electra didn't get the memo. 

In January 2016, she scored some sophisticated press when she was asked to detail her daily diet and beauty regimen for The Cut. She said the key to her glowing skin wasn't makeup (So not the aforementioned skin cream?), but water. "I made it a rule that I have to drink two bottles of water before I start my day," she said, noting that she tries to stay away from soda and doesn't workout every day. When asked what wellness meant to her, she said it's a "lifestyle," adding, "I can't say that I'm 100 percent perfect. My doctors always tell me that I have vitamin deficiencies. It's hard to be consistent with taking vitamins, that's the honest truth. Wellness is about finding your balance, it's not what someone tells you."

Ideally, Electra would have forayed that high-profile press into additional health and wellness opportunities: a blog, guest appearances, an Evian commercial — anything. Maybe she tried, but that great publicity at the start of the new year faded like a midnight resolution.

Notice to strip clubs: Carmen Electra does not play

According to the Dayton Daily News, Carmen Electra and "two other models" sued a strip club called Cheeks "for allegedly using their likenesses in online advertising." Electra, Jessica Hinton, and Heather Rae Young sought "damages and other relief arising from the misappropriation, misuse, and alteration of plaintiffs' images" in the amount of $75,000.

Cheeks allegedly used Electra's photos "in select online ads and their website between November 2015 until December 2017" without her expressed consent. "At all times relevant to this complaint, defendant developed and instituted a policy of misappropriation, alteration, and publication of images (including plaintiffs') on its web pages and social media platforms that it had not paid for, and to which it had no legal right, in order to promote" their establishment, the complaint filed in Dayton's U.S. District Court said. The filing goes on to say that the plaintiffs' "career in modeling, acting, and private enterprise has value stemming from the goodwill and reputation they have built, all of which are critical to establishing a brand, being selected for jobs, and maximizing earnings."

It's tough to say whether this lawsuit caused Electra to retract from the public eye at all, but it's clear there is one kind of attention she doesn't want. 

With Love From Carmen sounds like a time-consuming passion project

In 2017, Carmen Electra launched the lingerie line, With Love From Carmen, which easily could have cut into time she had for entertainment pursuits. "I've always wanted to have my own lingerie line since I started doing all the sexy photo shoots and then when I merged that with dancing and burlesque," she told Fox News. "I learned a lot of tricks along the way ... what materials are good materials. I remember traveling around the world and I would go to vintage stores and try to find anything from comfortable and cozy, to stuff I could wear on stage. Something very dramatic."

Not only does the collection include swimsuits and home wear, it also includes some advice for the men from the creator herself. "If you're a man out there, I would pay attention to what your woman is into," she explained. "Just put a lot of thought into it. But also, think about how you want to see her. I think that's fun, too. You can also grab your girlfriend and have her try on lingerie for you at the store and pick it out together. I think that's so, so sexy and fun."

Carmen Electra's skin cream sounds like a miracle

After launching her fragrance, Carmen Electra tried hawking anti-aging products. She became the spokesperson for SkinCeuticals Skin Firming Cream. "I tried many other products in the past, but they usually left my skin way too dry or too oily. I use it on my face every day before I apply makeup, and after I wash my face with SkinCeuticals Purifying Cleanser, which I'm also obsessed with," she told People in 2016, sounding suspiciously like an infomercial. "I highly recommend this cream if you are looking for something to enhance, hydrate, and improve the health and appearance of your skin!"

Three years later, she launched her own line: Carmen Electra by Vilact Skin Cream. "For me personally it was important that this cream was more than just another luxury product, but a skin cream that can be used not only to obtain gorgeous facial skin but vibrant skin on your entire body," the former Baywatch star said of the product (via Radar Online).

Vilacto Bio Inc., Electra's partner in the endeavor put out a press release in June 2018 announcing its win of "the buyers choice award" at a Las Vegas trade show for beauty products. It also noted, "Everyone at the event showed interest in our Carmen Electra By Vilact products and the Company hopes to receive orders imminently." Those products have since hit the retail market, which we imagine was the end result of a lot of time and effort on Electra's behalf — all outside of the entertainment biz, of course.