Worked With:

Gene Simmons

Toni Collette

Tom Kenny

Dorien Wilson

Sasha Barrese

Oliver Hudson

Kelsey Grammer

Pamela Anderson

Isabella Hofmann

Jon Tenney

Micky Dolenz

Shannon Tweed Biography

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Birth Name: Shannon Tweed
Born: 03/10/1957
Birth Place: Canada

Born March 10, 1957 in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, Shannon Lee Tweed grew up competing in beauty pageants, winning Miss Ottawa in 1978 and subsequently placing fourth in the Miss Canada pageant. Buoyed by her fame, she was chosen to appear on the reality show "Thrill of a Lifetime" (CTV, 1981-87), which granted average Canadians the chance to live out their wildest dreams. In Tweed's case, that involved meeting Hugh Hefner for a chance to pose for Playboy. So beautiful and charming was the young woman that she not only became November 1981's Playmate of the Month, but became 1982's Playmate of the Year and, briefly, Hefner's serious girlfriend. Though other Playmates tried and failed, Tweed used her Playboy cache to jumpstart what would become a full-fledged acting career. She recurred during the 1983-84 season on "Falcon Crest" (CBS, 1981-1990) as the glamorous assistant of the ruthless Richard Channing (David Selby). Working primarily on TV and in genre projects that took full advantage of her goddess-like beauty and lack of inhibitions, Tweed set male viewers' pulses racing with sultry turns in likably silly fare as "Hot Dog The Movie" (1984), "Meatballs III: Summer Job" (1986) and "Dragnet" (1987).

Tweed also notched an impressive number of more mainstream credits, including a year on "Days of Our Lives" (NBC, 1965- ) as new vixen in town, Savannah Wilder, and guest spots on everything from "Highway to Heaven" (NBC, 1984-89) to "Cagney & Lacey" (CBS, 1982-88) and "L.A. Law" (NBC, 1986-1994). Commanding and intelligent as well as gorgeous, Tweed channeled Indiana Jones when she played a feminist professor in search of "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death" (1989), which became an often-played cult cable TV staple. Although she continued to accrue both mainstream and more offbeat credits, Tweed became best known for her work in erotic thrillers such as "Night Eyes II" (1992), "Night Eyes Three" (1993), "Indecent Behavior" (1993), "Cold Sweat" (1994), "Illicit Dreams" (1994), "Indecent Behavior II" (1994), "Indecent Behavior III" (1995) and "Body Chemistry 4: Full Exposure" (1995). The undisputed queen of softcore erotica, Tweed's alluring image on countless video boxes and late-night cable offerings made her something of a household name among certain audiences and helped build enormous goodwill for her as a performer who also seemed to be refreshingly self-aware of the caliber of her films.

Unlike many of her peers, she was able to balance her more titillating roles with mainstream projects, including spots on "Pacific Blue" (USA Network, 1996-2000), "Wings" (NBC, 1990-97) and "Frasier" (NBC, 1993-2004). While she gracefully transitioned out of the erotic thrillers of her prime, Tweed appeared on "The Parkers" (UPN, 1999-2004) and "United States of Tara" (Showtime, 2009-2011) as well as lent her voice to "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Nickelodeon, 1999- ).What she achieved the greatest mainstream fame for, however, was her lengthy relationship, spanning back to 1983, with KISS rocker Gene Simmons. The two parlayed their fascinating and unorthodox partnership into wildly successful reality show, "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" (A&E, 2006-2012), that showcased their interaction as well as with their surprisingly well-adjusted children. Although some viewers and critics pointed out elements of the show that seemed scripted, "Family Jewels" retained a loyal audience and featured a dramatic arc towards the end of its run that saw Tweed and Simmons finally tying the knot after almost 30 years together on Oct. 1, 2011.

By Jonathan Riggs