'Baywatch' Cast Reveals Their Fave Episodes for the 30th Anniversary (PHOTOS)

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Erika Eleniak

“Now Sit Right Back and You’ll Hear a Tale,” Season 2, Episode 16

Eleniak, who played rookie lifeguard Shauni McClain for the first two seasons, has a soft spot for this take on Gilligan’s Island: Her colleague Eddie (Billy Warlock) hits his head and dreams he finds the 1960s series’ characters Gilligan and Mary Ann (guest stars Bob Denver and Dawn Wells) stranded. Gushes Eleniak, “It was so much fun!” Particularly because she assumed the role of movie star Ginger in the fantasy sequence (“I love being a redhead,” she says) and shared an intimate moment with a TV icon. Says Eleniak, “I got to kiss Bob!”

baywatch jeremy jackson
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Jeremy Jackson

“Lover’s Cove,” Season 4, Episode 3

Hobie (Jackson), the son of team leader Mitch Buchannon (Hasselhoff), falls for a terminally ill junior lifeguard trainee and whisks her away to a secluded spot. “Most of the episode [I was] filming on a WaveRunner,” Jackson recalls. “For a 12-year-old kid to spend hours on end jumping waves and doing turns was a dream come true.” Fun fact: Jackson (he took over playing Hobie from actor Brandon Call in Season 2) says fans still call him “Hobie-Wan,” the nickname coined for the character in this episode.

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Nicole Eggert

“Tentacles, Part 1,” Season 4, Episode 6

“This embodied the whole essence of Baywatch,” says former Charles in Charge star Eggert, who starred as troubled Summer Quinn for two seasons. “We were tackling real-life issues, like confronting my character’s stress-induced bulimia, while at the same time having fun, like being attacked by a giant octopus.” Don’t fret, Summer fans: She’s saved from the sea creature by Matt (David Charvet), who dives under water, pulls out a knife and slices off one of the tentacles. “It’s stories like this that made Baywatch so entertaining,” says Eggert.

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David Chokachi

“Rendezvous,” Season 7, Episode 17

“Pam and I had so much fun shooting together,” Chokachi says of Anderson, his onscreen girlfriend. “Our chemistry was just so strong.” That’s on display here when Chokachi’s character, the “fun-loving, slightly goofy” Cody, who appeared on Seasons 6 through 9, free-dives in the ocean and encounters a mermaid. “Cody and C.J. end up discovering the mermaid is real, but no one believes us,” says Chokachi, who was also fond of this episode because of the work he got to do on the water: “I’ve always loved scuba diving and driving boats.”

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Nancy Valen

“Golden Girls,” Season 7, Episode 21

Jealousy! Drama! Jiggling! For Valen, aka lifeguard captain Samantha Thomas on Season 7, this episode stands out for three reasons: There’s the “soapy love triangle” between Samantha, her boss Mitch and her ex-fiancé Adam (Justin Carroll), a touching story dealing with mental illness and, of course, slo-mo running. Decades later, the actress (who had a guest spot on the pilot as a character named Hallie) is still awed by the series’ popularity: “I never would have imagined it would become the most watched show in the world.”

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Say the word "Baywatch" and folks are likely to think of the same few things: tiny red swimsuits, slow-motion running, slow-motion bouncing and maybe a corny play on the title (Babewatch, anyone?). However, the hourlong drama was much more than a punchline.

"While people were making so many jokes about us," star David Hasselhoff told TV Guide Magazine in a 1994 cover story, "we became a real show." A beloved one.

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In celebration of the 30th anniversary, we’re rounding big names like Bryan Cranston and Sofia Vergara, who appeared on the show.

At the height of its popularity in the 1990s, the syndicated series was one of the most watched programs on the planet, thanks to an estimated one billion viewers in 142 countries who tuned in to see gorgeous L.A. lifeguards keep equally gorgeous beachgoers safe.

"There is this mystery about California that everybody in the world is sort of drawn to," Pamela Anderson, who played bombshell C.J. Parker for five seasons, recalled 25 years ago. "Baywatch gives people a great escape."

It still can. Every episode from the first nine seasons, including the movie-length pilot, "Panic at Malibu Pier," which aired on April 23, 1989, is available on Prime Video. To celebrate the big birthday, stars recall their favorite installments.

Baywatch, Seasons 1-9, Streaming Now, Amazon Prime Video