In 1973 in Germany, John began to pursue making a film starring Cathleen.

Derek was born Mary Cathleen Collins in Long Beach, California.

Her father, Paul Collins, was a Hobie Cat executive, and her mother, Norma, a make-up artist and hairdresser to Ann-Margret.

Derek's parents divorced, and her mother married American stunt performer Bobby Bass. Patton Continuation School, both in Harbor City, California.

Bo Derek (born Mary Cathleen Collins; November 20, 1956) is an American film and television actress, movie producer, and model perhaps best known for her breakthrough role in the 1979 film 10.

The film also launched a bestselling poster for Derek in a swimsuit, and subsequently she became one of the most popular sex symbols in the 1980s.

She was directed by husband John Derek in Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981), Bolero (1984) and Ghosts Can't Do It (1989), none of which were critically well received.

A widow since 1998, she lives with actor John Corbett.

Derek remarked in a 1985 interview on Late Night with David Letterman, I was 16 when I quit high school. I spent about a month going to the beach surfing and sunbathing while I was supposed to be in school: when I got caught, my mom was furious.

I started to go back to school, and I was really enjoying it, and then I went to go do this film with John in Greece..." Cathleen became romantically involved with John Derek, a married man 30 years her senior.

Not long after the two started dating, John divorced his wife, actress Linda Evans.

The couple moved to Germany where John Derek would not be subject to prosecution under California statutory rape laws due to Cathleen's illicit underage association with Derek.