Welcome to Life Lessons. This week, we revisit some highlights from our November 1998 cover story with Pamela Anderson. One year after her show Baywatch ended, Anderson sat down with Hal Rubenstein to discuss her relationship with Tommy Lee, navigating the Hollywood machine, and why she doesn’t consider herself to be successful. So sit back, and grab a pen—you just might learn a thing or two.

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“I’ve never seen an episode of Baywatch. I can’t watch myself on television. Believe it or not, neither could Tommy [Lee].”

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“I never felt really confident in what I was doing in the past. I don’t regret Baywatch. It was a positive experience for me, and it did me a lot of good. I mean, a lot of good! But, c’mon, what was I supposed to do? Go home and have Baywatch parties and have my friends come over and watch me on television?”

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“I have strong opinions about what I want to play.”

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“I’ve always been very positive, the eternal optimist. My brother—who runs my website, has been my best friend my whole life, and knows me better than anyone—always asks, ‘God, Pam, are you ever going to say a bad word about anybody?’”

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“Every once in a while, like a when a tabloid claims I’m a heroin addict and he knows I’m anti-drugs, my brother will call and go, ‘What’s going on?’ It’s kind of like getting caught in an amazing machine. But you have to laugh.”

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“Who would have thought it would have all gotten so huge in such a short amount of time? I mean, It’s not like I’ve done a lot. I don’t think I’ve been really successful at anything.”

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“I guess every now and then the media take one person or group and spin it out of control. Except I thought the novelty would wear off by now.”

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“[My kids] see me on TV sometimes, and go, ‘That’s Mommy!’ But actually, any blonde on television is ‘Mommy.’”

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“I’m a professional, a single mom, and I’m very independent. I make good money, so I can look after myself, my children. I don’t need anybody.”

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“Look, what I’ve gone through has only made me stronger. Anything you survive does. And I’ve learned a lot of lessons about patience and separating myself from all the garbage. One of them is that you have to believe that everything is a blessing, even if it’s one in disguise. You can get through it if you trust that it’s all for a reason.”

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“It’s dress-up. You know, child’s play. It’s amazing that we can make a living at having fun. I look around sometimes and say, ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this.’”

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“Tommy and I started out having a very intense, fun, crazy relationship because we were two kids. We were madly in love. It wasn’t like drugs or alcohol or anything like that. We were both just really passionate about life.”

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“It overwhelms me how much love I have for Brandon and Dylan. Watching them, caring for them, learning from them.”

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“I am an actress when I’m wearing hot pants and high heels. This is how I make my living. And I think it’s funny, and I think it’s fun. Whether people like it or not, I’m having a blast!”