Shawn Nichols Weatherly was born on 24th July 1959
in San Antonio, Texas, she was the youngest of three children. Her
father was stationed in San Antonio with the Air Force. When Shawn
was 5, her father retired and the Weatherly family relocated to
Sumter, South Carolina. Her mother Joanne was a former Christian
Dior model who was based in Paris. Shawn lost her mother to cancer
when she was 9 and her father passed away whilst she was away at sea
filming the oceanQuest series.
It was Shawn's brother Kurt who persuaded her to enter beauty
pageants. She was studying nursing at Clemson University in South
Carolina where she was also a member of the Delta Delta Delta
sorority. It was at this time that her brother Kurt, dared her
to enter a Miss 10 contest. Unsurprisingly, Shawn won
the contest and that's where it all started. She graduated from
Clemson in 1982.
In 1980, Shawn won the title of Miss South Carolina USA. The same
year, she also participated in the Miss USA pageant which was
broadcast live on television from Biloxi, Mississippi. Shawn easily
won the preliminary competition and continued on to win all three
rounds of the final competition which comprised of the interview,
evening gown and swimsuit contest. Shawn was the only woman to score
above 9.0 in the preliminary rounds as well as in the swimsuit and
evening gown contests. That made her the second woman from South
Carolina to win the title.
In July of the same year, Shawn participated in the Miss Universe
pageant which took place in Seoul, South Korea. Again she stunned
the judges with her natural beauty and won every round of the
competition. At the time of the event, Shawn was dating Dwight
Clark, a professional American football player who also hailed from
Carolina and whom she met at Clemson. Dwight was present at the Miss
Universe pageant to witness Shawn's triumphant victory.
Shawn was the fifth Miss Universe from the USA and the second woman
from South Carolina to win the title which made South Carolina one
of the most successful states in the pageant contest. There were no
further winners from the USA after Shawn until 1995.
According to IMDB (Internet Movie Database), Shawn is 5' 8"
(1.73m) in height with 35-25-35 measurements and has scars on her
knees from two operations which she had in high school to repair
cartilage damage from track injuries.
Following her pageant wins, Shawn relocated to Los Angeles where she
began to get offers of TV roles, firstly as a regular on the
short-lived TV series 'Shaping Up' as Melissa McDonald, followed by
guest roles on 'The Dukes of Hazzard', 'T.J. Hooker', 'Hunter', 'The
A-Team' and 'Happy Days'.
It was on the set of 'Happy Days', that she met actor Ted McGinley
and they dated for the next few years that were to follow.
One of Shawn's most notable TV appearances was in diver and explorer
Al Giddings' adventure series OceanQuest, in which she participated
in ocean dives all over the world, one of which brought her face to
face with the deadly Great White Shark, ironically the creature that
ended the life of lifeguard Jill Riley in Baywatch.
In 1984, Shawn landed a role alongside legendary singer Dean Martin
in the star studded movie 'Cannonball Run II', her next movie part
after that would be in 1986 starring alongside Steve Guttenberg as
Cadet Karen Adams in the third installment of the successful Police
Academy series - Police Academt III: Back in Training.
Nine years after her reign as Miss Universe, Shawn returned to prominence
and the limelight once again, when she took the
role of lifeguard Jill Riley in the first season of NBC's Baywatch. She became
highly dissatisfied with the character's lack of
development and left the series before the season ended in 1990, her
character suffered a fatal shark attack which meant that Shawn could
never return to the show.
Having already appeared in a string of other internationally
renowned TV shows prior to Baywatch, it was no surprised that
Shawn's film career began to take off following her departure from
Baywatch. Roles in the movies 'Thieves of Fortune', alongside Lee
Van Cleef, Amityville 1992: It's About Time and Shadowzone were just
a few in which Shawn played lead roles.
Nowadays Shawn is no longer in the spotlight and goes by her full
married name of Shawn Weatherly Harris. Her most recent TV role came
in 2010 in the US crime series Cold Case, this was her first acting
role since 2001.
She currently resides in Newport Beach, California with her husband
Chip Harris and their two children Jack and Jessica. She still visits
her hometown of Sumter from time to time but now works in California
mother-in-law Shirley Harris and her sister-in-law Susan in the real
Further to Shawn's real estate business, I'm informed that her
business has closed down - so exactly what she does nowadays is as
of yet unknown.