Heather Locklear

Heather Locklear Headshot

Model • Actress

Birth Name: Heather Deen Locklear

Birth Date: September 25, 1961

Age: 62 years old

Birth Place: Westwood, California

Spouses: Tommy Lee, Richie Sambora

An archetypical California blonde beauty, actress Heather Locklear became one of television's most bankable stars by appearing concurrently on not one, but two of producer-extraordinaire Aaron Spelling's most successful series. At the age of 20, Locklear burst onto the scene as one of the stars of Spelling's glitzy primetime soap opera "Dynasty" (ABC, 1981-89), even as she moonlighted on another Spelling production, "T.J. Hooker" (ABC 1982-85; CBS 1985-86).

In 1993, she did her benefactor a return favor when she joined Spelling's then-floundering romantic melodrama "Melrose Place" (Fox, 1992-99) as the Machiavellian ad executive Amanda Woodward. Still in demand and enjoying a sizable fan base, the actress later came aboard another hit series, the Michael J. Fox sitcom "Spin City" (ABC, 1997-2002). Although Locklear did make occasional forays into feature film territory with such efforts as the romantic comedies "Uptown Girls" (2003) and "The Perfect Man" (2005), none provided her with anything approaching the phenomenal success she enjoyed for decades on television as America's favorite vixen.

The youngest of four children, Heather Deen Locklear was born on Sept. 25, 1961, in Los Angeles and raised in the San Fernando Valley. By the time she graduated from Newbury Park High School in 1979 and entered University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Locklear had no firm career plans and at that point, still had never contemplated acting. A friend suggested she audition for commercials as a fun way to make money, and the sweet-faced girl with the megawatt smile hit the circuit with almost instant results. She was spotted by an agent, landed in over a dozen commercials, and began to study with acting coaches - her destiny seemingly carved out by her undeniable blonde beauty.

By the end of her freshman year, she abandoned school altogether and opted to ride the wave of her blossoming, if accidental, acting career. She appeared in guest spots on shows like "CHiPs" (NBC, 1977-1983) and "Eight Is Enough" (ABC, 1977-1981), and had a supporting role in the TV movie "Return of the Beverly Hillbillies" (CBS, 1981).

In late 1981, Locklear landed a coveted role on the top-rated nighttime soap opera, "Dynasty" (ABC, 1981-89), and began her longtime working relationship with the show's creator Aaron Spelling - a producer who was nothing if not loyal to his stable of actors. She was signed to 12 episodes as Sammy Jo Dean, the seemingly innocent niece of Krystle Carrington (Linda Evans) in town for a brief visit. Unsure about the future of her character, Locklear covered her employment bases and also accepted a recurring role on Spelling's police drama "T.J. Hooker" (ABC 1982-85; CBS 1985-86), where she co-starred alongside William Shatner and Adrian Zmed, bringing fresh-faced enthusiasm and girl-next-door sexiness to the otherwise testosterone-fueled show. She stayed with "Hooker" until its cancellation in 1986, by which time she had been bumped up to a more permanent role on "Dynasty" - leading Locklear to become a rarity in the business: starring on two shows at the same time.

Only five years into her career, Locklear was already a certified TV star with an enthusiastic fan base, not surprisingly, made predominately of men. Among that fan base was Tommy Lee, the bad boy drummer of metal band, Motley Crüe. The pair met at a concert in 1985 and married the next year, suggesting that maybe there was an unseen wild side to this otherwise mild-mannered California girl. When "Dynasty" finally came to its campy conclusion in 1989, Locklear found herself in the unique and not altogether pleasant position of being a TV veteran, but still roundly considered a young ingénue. Haunted by the specter of "Dynasty" and its melodramatic reputation, the actress landed a spate of unremarkable TV movies including "Rock 'n' Roll Mom" (1988) and "Rich Men, Single Women" (1990), as well as a starring role on the short-lived sitcom "Going Places" (1990-91), all on ABC. In 1989, she made her feature film debut in the sci-fi clunker "Return of the Swamp Thing" (1989), which did little to suggest much promise for a big screen career.

In 1992, Locklear marked the 10-year anniversary of her acting career with a comeback, joining Aaron Spelling's recent outing "Melrose Place" (Fox, I992-99) and breathing new life into the flailing, twenty-something nighttime soap. As the tart-tongued and conniving advertising executive Amanda Woodward, her steamroller personality and skirts as short as her temper were just the boost "Melrose" needed ratings-wise. As the show was energized by her very presence, so too was Locklear's career. Initially signed on as a "guest star," Locklear soon became anchor of the ensemble cast, but her invaluable contribution to the show's popularity was reflected in her continued "guest star" billing and a significantly higher salary to match. Another attempt to translate her TV success on to the big screen failed with the 1992 thriller "Illusions," which actually bypassed theaters and was herded into the direct-to-video queue. She fared better in a humorous nod to her "super-babe" status with a cameo as herself in "Wayne's World 2" (1993).

While her career was back on track, Locklear's personal life went off the rails in 1994 when she and husband Lee were divorced. Citing the rocker's numerous and none-too-subtle infidelities on the road, Locklear - who managed to keep the details of their marriage under wraps - expressed sadness, rather than anger over the split. Meanwhile, during Locklear's run on "Melrose," she starred in the ABC miniseries "Texas Justice" (1995) and "Shattered Mind" (NBC, 1996), in which she skillfully handled the challenging role of a woman suffering with multiple personality disorder. By now, she managed to find new love with Bon Jovi's slightly more stable guitarist Richie Sambora, whom she married in late 1994 before giving birth to their only child, Ava, in 1997 after 35 grueling hours of labor.

Ever loyal to her mentor Aaron Spelling, she returned to "Melrose Place" until its cancellation in 1999, despite the show's sinking ratings and descent into higher-than-usual camp. And while Locklear had always been a popular actress, public opinion and critical acclaim had never been as high as it was when the show finally bid farewell. So naturally, it was not long before Locklear was snapped up by a new network suitor, but one she had been long comfortable with during her 1989s heyday: ABC.

Locklear was immediately cast on the New York-set political sitcom "Spin City" (ABC, 1997-2002) as Caitlin Moore, the driven campaign manager spearheading the mayor's bid for the U.S. Senate. Again part of a quirky ensemble, but this time a comedic one, the actress made the most of her talents and quickly insinuated herself into viewers' good graces yet again by showing a whole new side to herself. In 2002, Locklear decided to end her run with the sitcom that earned her two Golden Globe nominations. Before making her way back to the big screen, she guest starred in three episodes of the NBC hit comedy "Scrubs" (NBC, 2001-08) as a drug sales rep who raises Dr. Cox's (John C. McGinley) temperature.

In one of her more successful film roles, she co-starred in the dramedy "Uptown Girls" (2003) as precocious Dakota Fanning's upwardly mobile but neglectful mother. The following year, she returned to television as a producer and star of the one-hour airport drama "LAX" (NBC, 2004-05), but even Locklear's appeal was not enough to snag viewers, and the show was cancelled after only 13 episodes. It was her first real failure in television as the lead actress. Undeterred, she was cast in another big screen mother-daughter comedy, "The Perfect Man" (2005), as the hapless, peripatetic mom of a teen girl (Hilary Duff) who tries to play matchmaker. Not surprisingly, the film suffered at the hands of merciless critics inundated with tween stars like Duff, Lindsay Lohan, and Amanda Bynes, whose schlocky teen angst now played out on the big screen.

Over the next several years, Locklear's guest appearances on "Boston Legal" (ABC, 2004-08) and "Rules of Engagement" (CBS, 2007-13) did not earn her nearly the same amount of ink as did her suddenly melodramatic personal life. In early 2006, she filed for divorce from Sambora, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split. While the couple had signed a prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage, Sambora filed to enforce the terms of the agreement and asked for joint custody of nine-year-old Ava. The divorce was finalized amicably in early 2007. Shortly after filing for the divorce, however, Locklear was stung by the news that Sambora had become involved with her former close friend and neighbor, actress Denise Richards, who had recently filed for divorce from Locklear's former "Spin City" co-star, Charlie Sheen.

In a show of how beloved the star was, "Team Heather" definitely prevailed over "Team Denise," with the majority of celebrity watchers siding with the perceived wronged party, Locklear.

After a brief rebound relationship with the unlikely - but no doubt amusing - comedian David Spade in 2007, "Melrose Place" junkies were delighted to hear that Locklear and her long-ago onscreen flame, Jack Wagner, had become a real-life couple. The same year, she appeared in the Lifetime TV adaptation of Nora Robert's "Angels Fall" as a crime victim trying to rebuild a new life, which she followed by playing a divorced 40-year-old who embarks on a romance with a younger surf instructor in "Flirting With Forty" (Lifetime, 2008). Making big news once again, Locklear delighted fans when she reprised the wicked Amanda Woodward in the revamped version of "Melrose Place" (The CW, 2009-2010), a much-hyped appearance that the networked hoped would boost ratings for their beleaguered freshman series. Unfortunately, the program only lasted a season, even with Locklear's help.

In August 2011, the actress announced her engagement to Wagner, delighting longtime "Melrose" fans.

Credits

The Dynasty Reunion with Scott Mills

Guest
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2022

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff: The Kristine Carlson StoryStream

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Kristine Carlson
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2021

The Drew Barrymore ShowStream

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2020

The Kelly Clarkson ShowStream

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2019

Too Close to Home

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2016

The Game of Love

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Frankie
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2016

Fresh Off the BoatStream

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Sarah
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2015
94%

Scary Movie 5Stream

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Barbara
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2013
4%

Dynasty: The Reunion

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2012

Franklin & BashStream

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Rachel King
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2011
61%

He Loves Me

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Laura
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2011

ConanStream

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2010

Hot in ClevelandStream

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Chloe
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2010

The Jay Leno Show

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2009

Melrose Place

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2009

The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien

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2009

Flying By

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Pamela
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2009

Flirting With FortyStream

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Jackie Laurens
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2008

Chelsea Lately

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2007

Rules of EngagementStream

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Barbara
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2007

Nora Roberts' Angels Fall

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Reese Gilmore
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2007

Game of Life

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Irene
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2007

Rachael Ray ShowStream

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2006

Hannah MontanaStream

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Heather Truscott
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2006

The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

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2005

Serial Bowl

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2005

Idealny facet

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Jean Hamilton
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2005

The Perfect Man

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Jean Hamilton
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2005

Boston LegalStream

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Kelly Nolan
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2004
86%

LAX

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Harley Random
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2004

Two and a Half MenStream

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Laura Lang
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2003
65%

Uptown GirlsStream

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Roma Schleine
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2003
13%

Looney Tunes: Back in Action

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Dusty Tails
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2003

ScrubsStream

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Julie Keaton
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2001
83%

Live With Regis and Kelly

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2001

The Daily Show With Jon StewartStream

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Ally McBeal

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1997
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King of the HillStream

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Peggy Donovan
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1997

Double Tap

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Agent Katherine Hanson
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Money TalksStream

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Grace Cipriani
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1997
16%

Spin CityStream

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Caitlin Moore
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1996
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Access HollywoodStream

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1996

Muppets Tonight

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1996

Shattered Mind

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Suzy/Bonnie/Ginger/Victoria/D.J.
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1996

Texas Justice

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1995

Extra

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1994

Fade to Black

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Victoria
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1993

Melrose PlaceStream

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Amanda Woodward
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1992

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

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1992

Highway Heartbreaker

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Alex
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1992

Body Language

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Betsy
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1992

Illusions

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Jan Sanderson
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1992

Her Wicked Ways

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Melody Shepherd
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1991

Going Places

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Alex Burton
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1990

The Big Slice

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Rita
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1990

Jury Duty: The Comedy

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Rita Burwald
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1990

Rich Men, Single Women

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Tori
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1990

Charme mortel

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1990

Le Jury du sexe

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1990

The Return of Swamp Thing

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Abby Arcane
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1989

Rock 'n' Roll Mom

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Darcy X
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1988

Mamá Rockera

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1988

Blood Sport

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Officer Stacy Sheridan
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1986

City Killer

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Andrea McKnight
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1984

FirestarterStream

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Victoria "Vicky" Tomlinson McGee
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1984
38%

Hotel

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1983

T.J. HookerStream

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Officer Stacy Sheridan
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1982

The Fall GuyStream

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1981

DynastyStream

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Sammy Jo Dean
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1981

Tales of the Unexpected

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Pat Ward
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1979

Fantasy Island

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1978

Eight Is EnoughStream

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1977

Good Morning America

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1975

Saturday Night LiveStream

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1975

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