Who is Shannon Tweed?
Shannon Tweed is a Canadian actress and model who first rose to fame as the ‘Playboy Playmate of the Year’ in 1982. Her popularity as a sexy and busty model with ‘Playboy’ appearances to her credit helped her venture into the field of television and films as well. While residing at the Playboy Mansion for around 14 months, she became acquainted with several prominent celebrities, including her future husband, Gene Simmons, a popular musician and co-founder of the rock band KISS. After beginning her acting career by playing minor roles in a few TV programs, she was offered a role in the teen sex comedy ‘Hot Dog... The Movie’ which marked her entry into erotica. Over the ensuing years, she appeared in several other sex-oriented films which established her as a well-known figure in the genre of erotic thriller. Since she is a popular actress and her husband is a well-known entertainer, their family life gets a lot of media attention. Leveraging this fact, the A&E Network premiered a reality series based on their family life, tilted ‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels.’
Shannon Tweed underwent a breast enhancement surgery at the age of 20 and embarked on a modelling career. She participated in several beauty pageants and emerged as the third runner-up in the Miss Ottawa event in 1978 and won the Miss Canada talent competition for her singing the same year. As an upcoming model, she desired to pose for ‘Playboy’ magazine and this wish was fulfilled through the wish-fulfilment TV series ‘Thrill of a Lifetime’ which arranged for her modelling stint with the adult magazine.
Tweed was selected to be the Playmate of the Month for the November 1981 issue and the Playmate of the Year for 1982. Around this time, she also resided at the Playboy Mansion for around 14 months as Hugh Hefner's partner. Her association with Playboy catapulted her to fame and soon she found herself a much sought-after model.
She then decided to explore newer avenues and started appearing in TV series, such as ‘Falcon Crest’ and ‘Frasier.’ As a sexy and daring young woman, she ventured into B movies as well and made her first major theatrical film appearance in ‘Hot Dog... The Movie,’ a teen sex comedy, in 1984. Since then, she has acted in a number of low-budget movies, many of them erotic thrillers.
In the 1980s and 1990s, she appeared in numerous low-budget flicks including ‘Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death’ (1989), ‘Last Call’ (1991), The Naked Truth (1992), ‘Possessed by the Night’ (1994), ‘Body Chemistry 4: Full Exposure’ (1995), ‘White Cargo’ (1996) and ‘No Contest II’ (1998).
Shannon Tweed, along with her long-term partner and now-husband Gene Simmons and their children, was featured on the reality TV show ‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels’ from 2006 until 2012. The show captured some of the family’s most poignant moments, including Simmons’ marriage proposal to Shannon and the couple’s subsequent marriage at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, US. Shannon’s sister Tracy also made occasional appearances on the super-hit reality TV series.
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Shannon Lee Tweed was born on March 10, 1957 in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, to Donald Keith Tweed and Louise Tweed. Her father worked as a mink rancher. She has six siblings, including her sister Tracy Tweed, who is also an actress. Her father met with an unfortunate accident when Shannon was a teenager. He subsequently went into coma, plunging the family into financial crisis.
Shannon, who was at that time studying nursing, underwent breast enhancement surgery and started her career as a model. It was during her stay at the Playboy Mansion at the beginning phase of her career that she first met musician Gene Simmons. The two started dating in 1983 and had two children, Nicholas Adam Tweed-Simmons and Sophie Alexandra Tweed-Simmons. After being in a relationship for almost 30 years, the couple finally got married in a lavish outdoor evening ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel on October 1, 2011.