Back in the early 1980s, if you walked into a movie theater to see Hot Dog…The Movie, you walked out a skier. Especially if you were a teenage guy. A goofy comedy that transported the beach party genre to the mountains, Hot Dog featured radical—for its time—ski stunts, potty humor and the first screen appearance of a young Canadian-born Playboy model named Shannon Tweed. Hot-tubbing—and spring-break ski vacations—would never be the same.
Tweed spent a few minutes heating up a slopeside hot tub with a lucky Patrick Houser. It forever changed male expectations of skiing—and set her career in motion. Her playful sexiness perfectly captured the sex appeal of skiing.
Born in Newfoundland in 1957, the tall and curvy Tweed broke into the business as Playboy magazine’s Miss November in 1981. She was named Playmate of the Year in 1982 and—not surprisingly—was reported to be briefly involved with Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.
After Hot Dog, Tweed appeared in a number of prime-time television shows and soap operas, most notably Falcon Crest, Fantasy Island and Days of Our Lives. But it was in film that she found her groove. Tweed became the unapologetic Queen of the B Movie, with such credits as Assault on Devil’s Island, Cold Sweat and the late-night cable classic Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death—often delivering her roles with a knowing wink and nudge.
Her personal life is also fit for the screen—which is where it has landed. She has lived with Kiss frontman Gene Simmons since 1985. They have two children. In 2006 Tweed authored an autobiography, Kiss and Tell. These days, Tweed and Simmons are starring in the reality show Family Jewels, which follows the rock-star family through what passes for a rock-star family’s daily life. “He opted never to marry,” Tweed has famously said. “I opted not to bitch about it.”
Above: Shannon Tweed (left) and the cast of Hot Dog…The Movie nailed the good-natured—and often sexy—hijinks of the growing sport of skiing in 1984. A decade later, Tweed reigned as late-night movie queen in Indecent Behavior.