The Babe of the ‘90s
Heather Locklear rose to fame as a soap opera star in the ‘80s. But as the ‘90s rolled around, the actress transformed from a Hollywood sweetheart into a sex symbol. Although she appeared to have it all, Locklear couldn’t hide her personal problems. After marrying two famous rock stars, her life went on a downward spiral.
It took her a while to turn her life around, but finding love outside the world of rock and roll helped her get on the right path. Today the former Melrose Place star is working on herself, but it wasn’t easy to get there. Here’s the truth about Heather Locklear.
Her Highschool Sweetheart
Heather Locklear was considered a bombshell in high school. Her golden locks and wide, bright smile shone around the halls, and she was showered with flattering comparisons to the late Farrah Fawcett. One of her fans at the time was a young boy named Chris Heisser.
Their love was naïve, optimistic, and sweet. But, like many high school romances, it ended as they both grew older and went their separate ways. Amazingly, fate would bring them back together.
Before we get back to her first love, let’s meet the rest of the guys she’s dated over the years.
Before we get back to her first love, let’s meet the rest of the guys she’s dated over the years.
Her Off-Putting Date With Tom Cruise
Heather Locklear didn’t technically date Tom Cruise. It was just a one-time thing. Still, this story is too funny to skip. Locklear met Tom Cruise in the early ‘80s at an audition, and after chatting it up in the waiting room, they decided to continue bonding over some drinks later on that night. Cruise didn’t have many friends in L.A. at the time, so he was delighted to be seen dancing with a beautiful star like Locklear.
Cruise might have been a bit TOO delighted. Because, according to Locklear, when they hit the dance floor, the actor reenacted the dancing bit from his film “Risky Business” (where he boogies in his underwear and does the splits). “We were dancing at a club, and he went into that! He started doing the splits,” she revealed on Chelsea Handler’s talk show. “You just kind of stand there and don’t know what to do. Do you dance around him?” Locklear sat the whole night and never went on a date with him again.
Scott Baio Couldn’t Keep His Hands to Himself
“Heather Locklear was the first girl I was ever in love with,” actor Scott Baio told People, “She is the greatest chick in the world, and I just ruined it.” The ‘80s heartthrob teamed up with Locklear in 1983 to compete together on the set of Battle of the Network Stars and he fell in love in the process.
Too bad Baio couldn’t keep his hands to himself. The young couple ended up breaking up because Baio was struggling to commit. Unfortunately, he hasn’t gotten any more “commitment ready” over the years. The struggling womanizer has a sad and long history of cheating scandals to his name.
Her Fling With Mark Harmon
Once crowned as the second Sexiest Man Alive, Mark Harmon was (and still is) a charming heartthrob. Naturally, he gravitated towards Locklear, one of the most sought-after bachelorettes of the ‘80s. They could have made a great-looking couple, but their affair was short-lived.
Harmon once revealed that their fling began sometime in Christmas and was over by New Year’s. So, while the two looked like the perfect Hollywood couple, their relationship was clearly not meant to be. A one-month romance suggests that they probably lacked any deep connection.
Tommy Lee Was Too Shy to Approach Her
Mötley Crüe’s bad boy Tommy Lee wasn’t so bold and loud the first time he laid eyes on Locklear. They met back in 1985 while hanging out backstage at an REO Speedwagon concert. For the wild drummer, it was love at first sight.
He asked a mutual friend to introduce them because, “I was so shy I couldn’t possibly have gone up to her myself, but it was Heather or bust,” he told People magazine. After chasing her around for some time, the two started dating seriously, and within three short months, Lee proposed.
She Teased Her Hair to Make It Wilder
Their first date involved a romantic dinner at an Italian restaurant and a late show at the Comedy Store. When Lee arrived to pick her up, he was dressed as his usual rocker self. Heather, on the other hand, felt like she had to tease her hair a bit to “fit the part.”
“I came downstairs,” she recalled, “saw Tommy and ran back upstairs to make my hair wilder. It was great.” Lee, on his end, was already smitten by the Dynasty beauty. “The first time I saw Heather, I got so flipped out I think I lost part of my mind,” Lee revealed once in an interview.
Tommy Was Worried Heather’s Father Wouldn’t Approve
Though the tattooed drummer managed to charm Locklear’s parents after just one meeting, preparing for it was nerve-wracking. Lee was originally worried about how they would react to his ink-covered body and pierced face. When asked to recall the meeting, he stated:
“I’m pulling earrings out, putting on a long-sleeve shirt, and when he comes in, I’m sitting like a gentleman on the couch.” Locklear’s stern father may have seemed tough to win over at first, but he was easily convinced by how much Tommy loved his daughter.
Locklear Believed They Would Grow Old Together
The enamored couple said “I do” in front of a crowd of 500 guests at the Santa Barbara Biltmore. 24-year-old Locklear wore a delicate fishtail gown, and 23-year-old Tommy Lee sported a white leather tuxedo. Looking into each other’s eyes, they genuinely believed this marriage was for good.
“I think we’ll be the coolest grandma and grandpa in the world,” Tommy Lee enthusiastically stated in an interview with People magazine a little after the wedding. “We’ll be like 85 or 90; I’ll still be a rock pig, and Heather will still be gorgeous.”
Trouble Wasn’t Far Behind
Locklear and Lee tried their best, but despite all their efforts to remain happily married, Lee’s wild tours with Mötley Crüe, as well as Locklear’s numerous acting gigs, made it virtually impossible for them to align their schedules. It certainly didn’t help that Lee was still a party animal who cheated on Locklear on multiple occasions.
Unfortunately for the drummer, one of his infidelities was caught on camera, and after seven years of marriage (impressively long, we must admit), Locklear called it quits. She was not staying with a man who slept with adult movie stars behind her back.
A Widely Publicized Split
The split from Tommy was terribly painful for Locklear. News of their divorce was all over the place, with stuff like “She grew sick of the groupies” and “It took her that long [7 years] to end a marriage that went bad on the honeymoon” written all over the tabloids.
Despite the way things ended, time seems to have healed the wounds between these two former lovers. In 2016, in what would have been their 30th anniversary, Locklear uploaded an old photo of the two making out with a caption that read “Happy 30 Years Baby.”
Rock Star Number Two: Richie Sambora
Rather than taking time to heal from the harsh divorce, Heather began dating another fellow rocker: Bon Jovi’s guitarist, Richie Sambora. The two were introduced through a mutual friend in 1994, but their relationship was problematic from the very beginning, perhaps because the two lived on opposite coasts.
Somehow, they managed to make it work, and less than a year after her divorce from Tommy Lee, she tied the knot with Sambora. They welcomed their daughter, Ava, in 1997. For a few years, it seemed like things were going pretty well for the three of them. Until, in 2007, seemingly out of nowhere, Locklear filed for divorce.
Rumor has it that Sambora didn’t see the divorce coming and felt completely blindsided by Locklear’s decision. But it didn’t really come out of nowhere. Heather reportedly came across some disturbing evidence on Sambora’s computer.
She found an inappropriate e-mail that was sent to Sambora by a mutual friend of theirs. An e-mail that apparently contained some racy pictures. Sambora insisted that it meant nothing, but Locklear wasn’t having it. A source close to her told People Magazine, “She’s absolutely devastated.”
She Lost More Than Just Her Husband
Unlike her first divorce, Heather’s second split hurt a lot more. She not only lost her husband during that time but also had a falling out with her good friend Denise Richards. Apparently, Richards wasn’t there for Locklear during the divorce. On the contrary, she was hanging out with Sambora at his concerts.
Not only did they hang out, but they eventually hooked up and started dating for real. In her defense, Richard stated: “You know, she wasn’t my best friend. She was a close friend in the last couple of years. I hadn’t known her my whole life [like people are] portraying this.”
They Get Along Thanks to Their Daughter
Despite their rocky divorce, Locklear and Sambora have managed to keep it together for the sake of their teenage daughter, Ava. Sambora has great respect for the mother of his child and has stated that they’re “better friends now than ever before.”
The guitarist told People magazine, “If you don’t get along you are messing the kid up.” The two have miraculously managed to put their differences aside and have even celebrated several Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners together (something that most divorced parents aren’t able to do).
Venturing Outside the Rock ‘N’ Roll World
After dating two rock stars, Locklear steered clear from the scene and ended up in the hands of someone from her own field, actor David Spade. The main reason Locklear was extremely attracted to him had to do with his great sense of humor. The second reason had to do with the size of his private parts.
“He has a big ****,” she told TMZ when asked about Spade’s womanizing secrets. While they didn’t date for too long (six months), they seemed to make quite the connection. Spade revealed in an interview with Radio Andy, “She was nice to go out with me, and I will always be indebted to her because she was so nice, so fun.”
Jack Wagner, Her On-And-Off Screen Lover
Wagner and Locklear first met in the late ‘90s on the set of Melrose Place. They starred as a married couple, but kept it solely professional, as each of them was busy with their own private lives. Nearly a decade later, in 2007, the on-screen spouses became actual lovers.
They tried to hide it by arguing that they were just good friends, but Locklear eventually gave it away by confessing to People that their relationship was “wonderful, exciting, and blossoming.” They went out for four years until Wagner popped the question.
They Called It Off to Avoid Blending the Families
After only a few months of walking around with the six-carat diamond ring Wagner had gifted her, the couple called off the engagement. The duo came to the conclusion that going through with the marriage wasn’t the right thing for their kids.
Wagner told TMZ that the wedding plans had consumed so much of their time that they both realized they had little to no time to spend with their respective kids. Moreover, a blended family (Wagner’s son and Locklear’s daughter) seemed a bit too disruptive and complicated at the time.
On the outside, Wagner and Locklear’s split seemed mature and sane. But as we all know too well, breakups rarely end on a bright and friendly note. During one of Wagner’s visits to Locklear’s Sherman Oaks home (returning some of the personal stuff she left behind at his place), the exes apparently got into a physical altercation.
An anonymous source reported to The Daily Mail that, “A huge argument erupted as they insulted each other’s families. As Heather went to her car, Jack lunged at her, trying to grab or push her. Her reaction was to swing. She caught Jack with a right hook across his face, knocking him to the ground.”
Police arrived at the scene, but ultimately no charges were pressed by either side.
Police arrived at the scene, but ultimately no charges were pressed by either side.
Rushed to the Hospital
After her split with Wagner in 2011, Locklear spiraled into some troubling behavior. Two months after they canceled the engagement, she was rushed to the hospital in Thousand Oaks, California. Her sister was worried she might have overdosed on a mixture of alcohol and prescription pills.
Even though Wagner had reportedly “begged her to go to rehab” before they split, it was only after their breakup that the actress made the decision to finally enter a treatment program, which her family was able to keep quiet about.
Arrested on Suspicions of DUI
Locklear has been through some serious downs through the years. Her troubles began in 2008, when a call was made to 911 by someone claiming to be Heather’s doctor, saying she was suicidal. A while later, the actress checked herself into an Arizona medical center to treat her anxiety and depression.
In 2008, Locklear was pulled over by Highway Patrol for driving under the influence. Her blood tests showed she hadn’t been drinking, but her prescription pills “could have impaired her ability to safely drive a motor vehicle.”
More Pills, More Troubles
Locklear sadly began to abuse her prescription pills and had to complete a 30-day inpatient rehab program to rid herself of her addiction. Things were looking pretty bleak for the Melrose Place star. In 2010, she hit a no-parking sign and tried to brush it off by keeping it a secret.
She was ultimately arrested and charged with a misdemeanor hit and run, but because no one could prove who was driving that night (the car was registered to both Locklear and her ex-husband Sambora), no criminal charges were filed.
Larry Porush, a Breath of Fresh Air
After her split from Wagner, Locklear dated Larry Porush, a tech industry guy she met on a blind date. For a while there, it was nice to see Locklear date someone unlike her previous guys. Someone who wasn’t a “bad boy rocker” or an actor with a busy schedule.
Things were looking good for the two, and they even got engaged just a year later in 2013. But despite many of her claims that “he is the one,” they called it off and parted ways. Looks like Porush wasn’t the one after all.
Then Came Mani
Locklear’s next man was a surgeon named Dr. Marc Mani. The two began dating in 2013 and were spotted several times out and about looking content and in love. Locklear was relatively quiet about this relationship, with little to no comments about him.
Despite not being a huge part in the entertainment industry, Mani was by no means a stranger to the spotlight. The Harvard alumni doctor was voted in 2008 as the most eligible plastic surgeon bachelor and, a year later, Forbes magazine chose him as one of their “10 Leading Providers” among plastic surgeons in America. As good as they looked together, their relationship ended three years later in 2016.
Back to a Simpler Life
Remember Chris Heisser from the beginning of this article? Locklear’s adorable high school sweetheart? After years apart, Locklear and Hessier rekindled their romance in 2018. A source close to the star revealed that, “After all the fame, she found her way back to a simpler life with the boy she dated in high school.”
A year after their reunion, Locklear flaunted a beautiful diamond ring, saying she was engaged to her “favorite person!” She celebrated the event right around the time of her one-year sobriety anniversary. After years of struggling, Locklear has finally managed to keep her head clear and calm.
A Sweet Reunion
In 2019, Locklear shared a photo of her and her ex Jack Wagner on Instagram in what appeared to be a beauty salon. The two had their hair wrapped up in tin foil and were looking happily pampered! Locklear wrote over the photo, “Look who I ran into!”
The two have clearly worked out whatever misunderstandings they previously had! Wagner uploaded the same photo on his account and captioned the moment with: “Sooo much fun catching up with one of my favorite people in the world!! We’re still tryin to look our Best. Love you @HeatherLocklear #Recovery#Grateful #TYGod”
Her Fruitful Career
The actress may have had her fair share of dark times throughout her life, but it hasn’t been grim for Locklear all the time. With respect to her career, she’s had the luck of being cast on hit shows like Melrose Place and Spin City.
Her role as the driven boss Amanda Woodward in Melrose Place earned her praise and a whole lot of recognition and respect. The same thing can be said about her part as Caitlin Moore in Spin City, where she starred alongside Michael J. Fox and Charlie Sheen.
An Award-Nominated Actress
Her incredible performances in Melrose Place and Spin City made Locklear an award-nominated starlet. She received her first Golden Globe nomination in 1994, when she was nominated for the title of Best Performance in a TV Series for her work in Melrose Place. This exciting nomination came just one short year after she was cast as Amanda Woodward in the hit show.
Throughout her impressive career, the skilled actress has been nominated for the same category an additional five times but, unfortunately, never managed to take the award home. Still, it’s an incredibly respectable achievement.
Not All Awards Are the Same
Locklear received her first award nomination after she took part in the film The Return of Swamp Thing. However, this nomination wasn’t as favorable as the ones we mentioned before. This time, it was for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress.
Although this can’t be called a “career highlight,” Locklear snatched the award, along with another prize, the First American in the Arts award. These two trophies are the only ones Locklear has received during her career.
TV Over Movies
Even though we’re used to seeing Locklear on the small screen, she’s made several appearances on the silver screen as well. Heather has starred in films like Wayne’s World 2 and Scary Movie 5. However, it’s pretty obvious that her success has come from her roles on TV.
She earned much recognition after starring on Melrose Place and Spin City and has also been praised for her recurring role on the show Going Places. Locklear remains best-known for her great performances in the shows mentioned above.
Her Native Roots
The star’s last name, Locklear, is a Tuscarora word that translates into “hold fast.” Even though her bright blonde looks suggest otherwise, Heather’s roots can be traced back to a Native American tribe. This isn’t 100% confirmed, but there’s more evidence to suggest that she has Native American ancestry.
Many people from the Tuscarora tribe can be located in places like North Carolina, New York, and Ontario because they initially established themselves in the large communities surrounding the Great Lakes. Tuscarora people are also known as the “shirt-wearing people.”
She Went to UCLA
Even though she became a famous Hollywood actress, Locklear attended university before making it big on TV. Straight out of high school, she attended UCLA where she tried out for sororities and got involved with different extra-curricular activities.
Although she wasn’t officially initiated, she pledged to both Chi Omega and Delta Delta Delta. During her studies, Locklear began modeling and was cast to star in sever commercials during that time of her life. The girls around her were surely a tad jealous.
Rejected by the Squad
Apparently, the girls Locklear grew up with weren’t her biggest fans. In high school, she was turned down by the cheerleading squad, and it’s unclear whether it was out of jealousy or because Locklear really sucked at it.
But her rejection ended up being the best thing possible for the young darling. She made her way to the drama club instead, where she was accepted with no hesitation at all! Locklear fell in love with acting and enjoyed every second of it as a student.
A Cameo Star
Even though Heather is known for her roles on hit TV sitcoms, she also made guest appearances on several other popular shows. She starred as a guest on Muppets Tonight in 1997, where she did a Muppet spoof of Melrose Place.
In addition, she starred in a brief recurring role on Scrubs, and just a few years later, in 2003, she made a cameo in Two and a Half Men where she was worked yet again with her Spin City co-star and former friend’s (Denise Richards), ex-husband Charlie Sheen.
A Terrifying Crash Into a Ditch
A little before sobriety, in 2017, Locklear scared everyone around her when she crashed her car into a ditch just outside of L.A. She was rushed to the hospital where she was treated for her injuries. The actress made sure to let all her fans know that all was good via her social media accounts.
She wrote, “I’m home and good. Thank you for your concern!” While the police never said what caused the crash, they clarified that no illegal substances or alcohol were involved in the accident. Locklear never spoke up about the scary event.
Arrested for Domestic Violence
I think we can all agree that 2017 wasn’t Locklear’s best year. Apart from crashing into a ditch, the actress was arrested at her home for domestic violence and battery of a police officer. It was suspected that she assaulted her boyfriend (now fiancé), Chris Heisser.
She was allegedly all over the place when police arrived. She threatened the officers by yelling that she would, “shoot them if they ever came to her house again!” It’s clear that the actress wasn’t in her right mind when the deputies paid her a visit.
Chris Heisser Was Found Bleeding
According to the report from that night: “Deputy Alldredge saw that Chris Heisser was bleeding from the bridge of his nose and he had redness on his chest.” When the officers arrived, Heisser told Deputy Alldredge that Locklear had attacked him while he was resting on their bed.
Heisser said that Locklear had bit his face and she was “all over” him for at least 20 minutes acting all “crazy, angry, and wild.” During the investigation, it was said that “Locklear exhibited combative, belligerent, and aggressive behavior toward deputies.”
The Charges Were Dropped
Even though the domestic violence charges were eventually dropped, Locklear still faced four counts of misdemeanor battery on an officer and one charge of resisting a police officer. She plead not guilty to both of them. From what we know, the star is banned from owning a gun since the incident.
Having police come into her house and charge her with domestic violence was probably the lowest point in her life. Thankfully, she’s left those issues behind and is working today to live her life in the best possible way, even if that means staying away from the spotlight.
Her Source of Pride, Ava Sambora
Locklear and Richie Sambora gave birth to Ava Sambora in 1997. Despite all of Locklear’s ups and downs, Ava has always been the one person to stick by her side and serve as her rock. And the opposite is true as well! Heather has always been there for her daughter, helping her deal with her mental issues.
When Ava was in college, she suffered some paralyzing panic attacks. Ava told People: “I struggle with anxiety, but about a year ago it was very debilitating. And when I would have anxiety attacks, she would drive over and visit me. She would stop what she was doing and come to comfort me.”
Kindness Is Everything
Not only did Heather help her daughter deal with her demons, but she also taught her important values. Ava told People that her mom never judged her and always made sure she felt she wasn’t alone. This was crucial for her healing process.
The way her mom treated her helped her see that being kind to someone is the most important thing in the world. “She helped me see that it was possible for others to relate to me and understand my experience,” Sambora said.
Her Fans Have Always Been There for Her
Locklear has been through some difficult stuff in her life, from numerous visits to rehabs to DUI charges to domestic abuse cases. Thankfully, she’s always had her fans to support her and make her feel less alone.
Her fans have given her advice throughout the years on social media, writing sentences like “take it easy,” and “take good care of yourself.” After she crashed her car in 2017, her fans were delighted to hear she was doing well. One fan wished her a speedy recovery and commented on her Instagram picture, “watch a whole bunch of funny shows!”
Her First Soap Opera
Landing a part in her first soap opera was life changing for Locklear. In 1981, she was cast to play the role of Sammy Jo Dean Carrington in the show Dynasty. Her squeaky-clean look and heartwarming smile captivated the show’s viewers and instantly catapulted her into the spotlight.
She was cast by producer Aaron Spelling who was working for the show at the time. Her character in the series lasted seven years after she joined in the show’s second season. She was loved so much by everyone that she was made a full-time cast member by the time they got to Season Six.
Throughout the years, Heather Locklear has kept herself extremely busy with all the work she had done. She’s even made history with all the work she took on. Heather is one of the few actresses who has ever worked on two TV series at the same time.
While working on the hit show Dynasty, the star was also acting in T.J. Hooker from 1981 to 1982. The only other stars workaholic enough to pull of something like that are Niecy Nash, Jon Hamm, and Lisa Kudrow.
The Roles She’s Turned Down
In her glory days, Locklear was one of the most sought-after stars in Hollywood, and to this day, her name is still being recognized all over the world. Due to her popular status, she was able to choose the roles she wanted to play.
In 2002, she turned down a recurring role in Good Morning, Miami. The role was similar to her character in Spin City, and after she turned it down, it eventually went to Ashley Williams. It was around this period in her life that Locklear also appeared in shows like Scrubs and Ally McBeal.
Hit After Hit
Over the years, the actress has appeared in not one, not two, but three Lifetime Original Movies. This includes Flirting with 40, a film that was rated as one of the top three movies made for the use of the network, just like Angels Fall.
Angles Fall is still ranked as one of the top ten movies for the highest number of views in the network’s whole history. The third movie on the list is He Loves Me, which also did pretty well with the critics who praised Locklear’s acting and the movie’s storyline.