There is a universal nostalgia to look back at Hollywood icons from the past and see what they are doing now, especially if they’ve been out of the public eye for a little while. Actress Bo Derek may not be churning out blockbusters anymore, but she is certainly putting in the hard work for other causes close to her heart.
Now 65 years old, the actress and activist continues to use her name for good, as she supports a range of varying causes. These include campaigning for military veterans, as well as animal rights causes, and she even has her own pet shampoo line. While she’s known for being a bombshell, her kind spirit has also been captured onscreen. Despite being in her 60s, Derek has aged incredibly well and arguably looks just as beautiful as she did in her heydey, perhaps even more so now.
She’s also found love again in the last few decades after her first marriage to John Derek — her director husband who was 30 years her senior — ended in 1998 when he passed away. Her partner now is another actor, John Corbett, who is most recognizable as Aidan from the television show “Sex and the City.” Together, the couple shares a love of the outdoors and animals, and of course, they’re both in the same creative field of work. Bo still acts from time to time, but less so as the years have gone on. Let’s take a look at this stunning woman to see how incredibly she’s aged.
Derek was born Mary Cathleen Collins on Nov. 20, 1956, in Long Beach, California. In 1973, at the age of 16, she was cast in a movie titled “Once Upon a Love,” which was to be filmed in the Greek Islands. While there, she fell in love with the film’s director — former actor and filmmaker, John Derek, who was 30 years older than her. Their union wasn’t without controversy, as Bo was only 16 at the time. That meant that the couple had to stay in Europe for two more years, as it was legal for them to pursue their relationship there. John would direct some of the first movies that Bo appeared in, effectively helping to launch her acting career, as well as giving her her famous name. The couple got married in 1976 and had a seemingly happy marriage until John’s death in May 1998 from heart disease at age 71, reports Honey.
She would become a Hollywood icon throughout the ’70s and ’80s after her appearances in movies such as “10,” “Tarzan, the Ape Man,” “Bolero” and “Ghosts Can’t Do It.” Since that era, she has continued to act in movies and television from time to time, but for the most part, she has devoted herself to activism. Of the various causes she supports, Bo appears to be most passionate about horses, as she works alongside Horses In Our Hands to get the word out about how people can help to put an end to the export of horses for the purpose of slaughter and consumption.
Horses In Our Hands is an organization specifically dedicated to the welfare of equestrian creatures. They dedicate their time and resources to appealing to Congress to pass legislation they believe will make a difference. Bo is no stranger to horses, either, which is why protecting them is so important to her. Back in 1983, she fell in love with the majestic Andalusian breed and even became a breeder on her own ranch in California, reports Middleburg Life.
Now in semi-retirement, the 65-year-old continues her passionate horse welfare advocacy. Even though the last horse slaughterhouses were shut down in 2007 in the US, horses are simply being purchased by third-party buyers sent to neighboring countries such as Canada and Mexico, as The Humane Society explains. Bo has been campaigning against this process for many years.
According to the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act of 2019, this should actually be illegal. Considering the act has the support of Congress, and, as Bo stated to The Washington Post, “80% of Americans” support the act, it’s surprising this problem still persists in the modern world.
These days, she only has four horses, but the time she has spent with horses has been invaluable to her. She claims that horses have helped her to improve her instincts and become a better person. In an interview with The Daily Mail, she said,
“Tending to the loves of my life, whether human or animal, brings me great joy and comfort… My horses and my dogs are a source of comfort for me. And although I can’t ride horses right now, I love having them in my life.”
For nearly two decades, Bo has dedicated a huge portion of her life to standing up for horses and trying to prevent their slaughter. One of the obstacles showing no signs of backing down is the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association lobby. Their fear is that the strict regulation of animals such as horses could become a slippery slope that animal activists would try to apply to all such hoofed mammals, including cattle.
Bo says that she believes her triumph is inevitable. She insists that writing to Congressmen and calling them to make her case might seem like fruitless labor, but that it truly does pay off. Bo has gotten responses from legislatures who finally agree to give her their vote just so she’ll stop calling!
Bo stands by her methods and insists that anyone can participate in these efforts. Horses In Our Hands has been leading the way, trying to get the SAFE Act passed, trying to get as many people on board as possible — and according to the official website, they’ve been pretty successful.
It’s certainly not uncommon for humans to find horses to be majestic creatures and develop a strong bond with them, but the fact that Bo has spent her life campaigning on behalf of equine shows how truly passionate about the cause she is. However, her advocacy work is not only limited to good-looking animals that have a friendly relationship with humans. Another less common creature she spends her time advocating for is the shark, which some may find surprising.
Every year, the non-profit organization — whose motto is “people help animals and animals help people” — honors someone for their animal welfare advocacy. According to The Coast News, previous recipients include celebrities like Betty White, Diane Keaton, Kristen Bell and Linda Blair.
Back in 2018, CEO Mike Arms chose to bestow the honor on Bo for her work as the commissioner for the California Horse Racing Board, her time at the Animal Welfare Institute and her service as a special envoy of the Secretary of State for Wildlife Trafficking.
“(Bo Derek) decided she wanted to make a difference in this world — she wanted to make a difference in this life,” Arms said at the awards ceremony, according to The Coast News.
“She also travels the globe on behalf of the Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking,” Arms added. “It’s a united group of countries working together to fight the $10 billion black market trafficking of endangered species. Bo Derek is an incredible friend of animals, and we’re honored to call her a friend at the Helen Woodward Animal Center.”
Back in 2006, Deputy Secretary Robert Zoelick gave Bo the special envoy position, which, as Arms explained, is instrumental in helping the Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking to stop the black market trade of animals that remains a massive problem today.
“We have a dizzying array of platforms where all kinds of trade is going on, often with the illegal masquerading as legal,” said Craig Tabor, former special agent in charge of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s intelligence unit, in a 2020 interview with National Geographic.
“Criminals in the U.S. can communicate with people in China, Tanzania, and Indonesia in real time, and anonymously,” he added. “They’ll use any platform available, and they will adjust their methods to evade detection, like switching terminologies and using code words.”
For her help in fighting criminals like these and her lifetime of service, Bo accepted the Humane Award, saying that she was “proud” to support HWAC’s work.
“I commend you and respect you even more for supporting this (Helen Woodward Animal Center) local group,” Bo said at the ceremony. “I think that’s where the best work gets done.”
“I’ve met the most incredible people who are brave, courageous, and intelligent — they do great work,” Bo added. “And I am proud to support them as I am here tonight with everything that you’re doing.”
But beyond her love of animals, she is also dedicated to helping United States war veterans. A chairperson for Veterans Affairs’ (VA) National Rehabilitation Special Events, Bo often attends various events in support of disabled veterans. She has even received VA’s highest honor from Anthony Principi, the former Secretary of VA.
She has also appeared on United Service Organizations tours and has even been named an honorary Green Beret by the Special Forces Association. Her dedication to veterans is likely due to the men in her life who have served in the military, including her father Paul Collins, who was a radio operator during the Korean War, as well as her stepfather and late husband.
On the topic of relationships, Bo has also been lucky to find true love a second time in her life, after her first husband John passed away in 1998.
Following this, she was set up on a blind date by a friend in 2002 with none other than actor John Corbett, who audiences might know from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “Sex and the City.” The couple has been together for over 18 years now but sees no reason to get married.
“When you’re beginning a young family and you’re going to have children and set up this new family tree branch, it’s obviously a wonderful commitment and it’s meaningful,” Bo said of tying the knot in a 2020 interview with USA Today. “But for us in our lives, it hasn’t been yet.”
Corbett and Bo seem to be on the same page when it comes to marriage. In a 2016 interview with HuffPost, the actor explained that the secret to healthy relationships is not getting married.
“Don’t get married,” he explained in the interview. “I have a lot of friends that get divorces. It becomes this whole thing. I think the secret is just enjoy being together.”
They do, however, share a love of animals and the outdoors, and they currently reside on a ranch in Santa Barbara, California, with their two German Shepherds and four horses. In an interview with USA Today, Bo spoke about what attracted her to Corbett in the first place:
“He makes me laugh all the time. He’s full of life, full of joy. I became attracted to him and I still am. We take things day by day and I think we are still there.”
It’s wonderful to see Bo living her dream life, surrounded by animals, nature and the man she loves.
We are sure Bo Derek will make a huge success of her pet care brand, as she did with her acting career. And we are sure all animal welfare supporters appreciate her tireless hard work. How do you think she looks now at age 65? If you’re inspired by her heartwarming story, be sure to pass it on to your friends who might feel the same!