Wishing For A Star
Baywatch-grade boobies don't a celebrity make
Published August 24, 1999 in Dirt

The Entertainment Tonight Linking Station is a compendium of celebrity Web site links. There's David Bowie, Spice Girls, good old Gwyneth Paltrow, and that star among the stars, Chantal Leduc.

See also...
... by Jenn Shreve
... in the Dirt section
... from August 24, 1999

Chantal Lewho?

Bless you, and that's a very good question.

According to her Official Web Page, Chantal Leduc is an "international actress and model." Next to an airbrushed photograph of Ms. Leduc herself, decked out in a half-shirt and shiny white hot-pants, is the declaration from Baywatch producer Michael Berk that "Chantal is perhaps the sexiest woman ever to appear on Baywatch."

Chantal was indeed on Baywatch. Once. The episode was called "Lifeguard Confidential." She has also, according to her biography, appeared in numerous other television shows, movies and commercials. "Europeans will remember her as Tarzan's Jane, swinging from jungle vines touting Europe's number one juice drinks, Oasis Juices," declares the site.

The bilingual Canadian won the international female spokesmodel competition on Star Search, where she impressed judges with her rendition of "We'll be back, right after these messages." (Her current gig with Trashy Lingerie, that's www.trashy.com, tells you what that kind of exposure yields.) She appeared (uncredited) in a movie starring Hulk Hogan. And, don't forget, Chantal was profiled in the "celebrity charged Derniere Heure (the Canadian version of People Magazine)."

I have news for Chantal: You are not a celebrity. You are not famous. You're not even a blip on the 15-minutes-of-fame radar, even if you do sell 8x10 photos of yourself for $12 a pop. How do I know this? Well, let me see. There's the obvious: If you have to tell people you're a celebrity, you aren't. Then there's this matter of the World Wide Web. I searched Hotbot, Yahoo, AltaVista and Lycos for the existence of Chantal Leduc fansites and maybe some bootlegged photos of her nipples.

I found out that René Leduc is a specialist in the design and manufacture of piston pumps, hydro-pneumatic accumulators, and custom hydraulics, and discovered a whole site dedicated to descendants of Pierre Leduc of Saint Laurent Parish, Rouen, France. But what of our Canadian celebrity extraordinaire? Nada. Leduc doesn't even register on the Internet Movie Database, where even extras great and small get their names in hypertext.

Let's face it, any cheesy tart with marketable hooters can make herself a Web page and call herself famous. But you need fan pages and illegally obtained beaver shots to be considered a somebody.

None of this explains how Chantal's site ended up on the ET Linking Station. Perhaps the editors of ET's online ventures felt their readers could benefit from Chantal's romantic advice ("buy yourself silk boxers") and the Java applet that allows you to plant kisses on her pancake-makeup-covered face. I have some theories (gives good head), but they're too impolite to share.

Jenn Shreve is a freelance writer in San Francisco and a media columnist for Salon.com.