Unlike horses, sharks don’t have a great reputation among the public. However, true animal lovers know they are not only an essential part of the ocean’s ecosystem but also that their survival is also being threatened by humankind. Although people think of sharks as scary and dangerous animals that are a threat to humans, out of 470 species, only four have been known to attack humans, and even then, this perception is down to a few isolated incidents that are not necessarily reflective of their usual behavior towards humankind. Bo has been active with WildAid for nearly two decades, an organization whose goal is to stop people from buying wildlife products. Her activism for sharks even earned her a guest spot on the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week in 2020. Now that’s what you call a true animal lover.
Her love of animals has even led her to a new business venture — a pet care company named Bo Derek Pet Care. The brand includes a range of shampoos and products for animals, including dogs, horses and more. On the official website, Bo reveals how she came up with the idea, saying, “There was a time I found myself with a dozen, smelly dogs that wanted to live in the house with me.”
She continued: “All the dog shampoos I tried, felt more like harsh, household detergents. ‘If they are killing my own hands — what must they be doing to my dog’s skin and coat? I really think they’re contributing to all the skin problems some of my dogs have.’”
On July 19, 2018, Bo was once again recognized for her animal activism when the Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC) of Fairbanks Ranch, California, awarded the actress the prestigious “Humane Award.”
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.
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!