Tara Leigh Patrick (born April 20, 1972), professionally known as Carmen Electra, is an American glamour model, television personality, dancer, singer and actress.
Tara was born in Sharonville, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, to Patricia, a vocalist, and Harry Patrick, an entertainer and guitarist; her mother died of a brain tumor in 1998. She had an older sister, Debbie, who died from a heart attack, also in 1998. Tara attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati and graduated Princeton High School in Sharonville.
After moving to California, she met singer Prince (a Minneapolis native), who persuaded her to change her name to Carmen Electra. Soon after, she signed a recording contract with Paisley Park Records, Prince's company, marking the start of a short-lived rap career, which included one album.
In 1995, Electra started appearing in various television programs. Then, in May of 1996 she was featured in a nude pictorial in Playboy magazine, the first of several. This exposure led to higher profile television appearances, including Baywatch (cast member from 1997-1998) and MTV's Singled Out. She returned to Baywatch for the 2003 reunion movie, Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding.
Carmen Electra became so popular among readers of Playboy that she was featured in the magazine three more times, with her second appearance in June 1997. She subsequently graced the cover twice, in December 2000 and April 2003. In the Playboy Cyber Club, she was the first woman invited to be a celebrity guest photographer; she chose Playmate Jennifer Walcott as her subject model.
Electra has appeared in several films, such as Good Burger (1997), The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human (1999), the horror spoof Scary Movie (2000) and also appeared in Scary Movie 4 (2006), Epic Movie (2007), "Date Movie" (2007) and the remake of the 1970s TV show Starsky & Hutch (2004). She won an MTV Movie Award (best kiss) for Starsky & Hutch. Her acting work is generally panned by critics.
In 1999, she appeared in the Bloodhound Gang's music video of "The Inevitable Return of the Great White Dope."
In 2005, she joined the voice cast of the animated series Tripping the Rift, replacing Gina Gershon as the voice of the sexy android "Six". In late 2006, Carmen began to be featured in commercials by Taco Bell.
Electra is the current spokesmodel for Ritz Camera Centers, appearing in their television and print ads with CEO David Ritz. She is featured in some video spoofs of Lonelygirl15 that are advertising Epic Movie.
She is a playable character in the video game Def Jam: Fight for New York and is one of the celebrity challenges in the video game, ESPN NFL 2K5, along with Steve-O, Jamie Kennedy, and others.