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‘Baywatch’ alum Donna D’Errico says she nonetheless doesn’t know find out how to swim: ‘I can’t even tread water’

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Donna D’Errico was able to make a splash for her “Baywatch” audition — besides the actress didn’t get one necessary memo.

“The one factor I needed to do was go a swim take a look at,” the actress advised Fox Information. “Besides I couldn’t swim. I had a critical water phobia. I couldn’t even tread water. The [‘Baywatch’ swim coach] requested me, ‘You would swim proper?’ I mentioned, ‘In fact!’ I lied.”

The star recalled how her take a look at happened on the YMCA pool situated at California’s Pacific Palisades. The starlet mentioned she was decided to develop into one of many present’s coveted lifeguards. D’Errico, nevertheless, had no concept how she was going to persuade a complete crew that she may take a dip — or three — with ease.

“You get to be a part of the most-watched present on this planet,” mentioned the 53-year-old. “It was the chance of a lifetime. And right here I’m, figuring out full nicely, that I can not swim. It was all alleged to be primary stuff, nothing technical. However all I stored pondering was, ‘What the heck am I alleged to do?’ I nonetheless confirmed up at 5 a.m. I used to be advised, ‘Get within the pool, do a few laps to heat up.’ Right here I’m holding onto the sting like a terrified little one. And he’s like, ‘Donna, what are you doing?’ Go do a few laps. It’s freezing in there.’ I couldn’t let go. I used to be going to sink. And at last, he’s like, ‘Donna, get out of the pool. You possibly can’t swim.’”


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Donna D’Errico starred as Donna Marco in ‘Baywatch’.
(Getty Photos)

“My preliminary response was, ‘Are you going to inform the producers?'” D’Errico chuckled. “And he’s like, ‘Properly, yeah, in fact, I’m going to inform them you could’t swim. It is a present about lifeguards!’ I used to be so upset as a result of I didn’t wish to miss out. So I took swimming classes with their predominant man 5 instances every week at 5 o’clock within the morning on that pool. I made that drive each morning. And I had somewhat boy on the time. They gave me fins, which made it simpler to swim and tread water.”

Weeks later, D’Errico was given one other swim take a look at — and she or he failed once more. She took extra classes and barely handed the next examination. However that didn’t matter — she made it. And D’Errico went on to star within the sequence as Donna Marco from 1996 till 1998.

“To at the present time, I nonetheless can’t swim,” she admitted. “I’m scared of water. I can’t even tread water. There’s one scene, and I feel it’s the one one, the place my character was within the water to do a rescue. And I’m fairly certain I practically drowned attempting to do it. I’m alleged to rescue a boy and you may see my lips saying the f-word attempting to swim on this pool. It’s one factor when you’ve gotten your fins, however it’s one other once you don’t have them. You possibly can’t actually swim and also you’re terrified. I’m fairly certain they by no means made me do one other rescue once more. However in case you lookup that one episode, I’m fairly certain you possibly can see my mouth say the f-word!”

Regardless of her aquatic mishap, D’Errico insisted she beloved being part of the present and shortly bonded together with her castmates.


Donna D'Errico (r) alongside ‘Baywatch' castmate Traci Bingham.

Donna D’Errico (r) alongside ‘Baywatch’ castmate Traci Bingham.
(Photograph by Fiona Hanson – PA Photos/PA Photos through Getty Photos)

“Once I first began, I used to be actually nervous as a result of everybody was a big celeb and there’s me, model new and shy,” she mentioned. “Even I might suppose to myself, ‘How did I land this present?’ However I bear in mind one time, I used to be in my trailer and I had to make use of the restroom. I used to be in my swimsuit, and once you’re sporting a one-piece bathing go well with, you must pull the entire thing down. I lifted the bathroom seat up, and there’s this huge, foot-long lizard. It was enormous. I simply flew out of there screaming. I busted that trailer door open, and there’s David Hasselhoff and a few crew members laughing hysterically. Fortunately I pulled up my swimsuit in time! They have been simply cracking up. However that set the tone.”

D’Errico famous how Hasselhoff, now 69, was decided to verify everybody felt welcomed on set.

“He was only a sensible jokester,” she mentioned. “He was very lighthearted and was keen to interrupt the ice. That was his means of letting me know to loosen up. And you recognize, I had an excellent snicker afterward. It was a really enjoyable, stress-free environment. He was all the time making folks snicker. And I look again on these recollections very fondly as a result of everybody was so welcoming. Even once we needed to movie a tense scene, he would do or say one thing afterward to get everybody laughing and smiling once more. I used to be all the time grateful.”

Following her time on “Baywatch,” D’Errico mentioned she was typecast in Hollywood. Nevertheless, she continued to make her mark as an actress by taking up roles that have been utterly completely different from Marco.


The Girls Of ‘Baywatch’, circa 1996. From L-R: Traci Bingham, Donna D'Errico, Yasmine Bleeth, Gena Lee Nolin And Nancy Valen.

The Ladies Of ‘Baywatch’, circa 1996. From L-R: Traci Bingham, Donna D’Errico, Yasmine Bleeth, Gena Lee Nolin And Nancy Valen.
(Photograph By Getty Photos)

“I simply did ‘Survive the Recreation’ with Bruce Willis and I used to be actually pleased to be solid in a task the place I’m type of the antagonist,” she defined. “I’ve been coaching with firearms and firearm dealing with for a really very long time. So I used to be comfy in that function. And my character Carly is ex-military. I selected to do all my stunts. I skilled with the stunt coordinator and the entire stunt staff so I may do my combat scenes. That was actually cool. It’s not a reasonably function. I selected to put on no make-up and have my hair again. Carly’s a tricky woman, and it was enjoyable.”

“We simply accomplished Sean Patrick Flanery’s ‘Frank and Penelope,’ which goes to be out subsequent yr, and I’m tremendous enthusiastic about that,” she shared. “I’m in all probability extra enthusiastic about this movie and the character than I’ve been about something in a extremely very long time. We shot it 12 miles from the Mexican border the place it’s sizzling and desolate. In order a solid, we relied on one another, and it reveals on display. I’m actually excited for folks to see it.”


Donna Donna D'Errico filming a scene for ‘Frank and Penelope’, Sean Patrick Flanery’s directorial debut film.

Donna Donna D’Errico filming a scene for ‘Frank and Penelope’, Sean Patrick Flanery’s directorial debut movie.
(Photograph courtesy of Tiiu Loigu)

D’Errico is raring for what the long run holds for her. However she doesn’t thoughts wanting again at her “Baywatch” previous.

“That was fairly life-changing,” she mentioned.

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