Barbie: Pamela Anderson Remembers Her Time Being Neighbors With Doll's Creator Ruth Handler

Pamela Anderson reveals the gift Ruth Handler gave her.

Barbie was released in theaters last month, and it's become a huge hit at the box office. The film was helmed by Greta Gerwig and is based on the iconic Mattel doll, who is being played by Margot Robbie. Barbie was originally created in 1959 by Ruth Handler, who also co-founded Matell. In Barbie, Handler is played by Cheers alum Rhea Perlman. Handler died in 2002 at the age of 85 in Los Angeles, which is where some of Barbie takes place. In fact, Handler had more of a Hollywood life than one would expect. Turns out, she was actually neighbors with Pamela Anderson at one point and gave the star a perfect gift.

"Ruth Handler actually gave me one of the first Barbies. She was a neighbor. It was the first platinum Barbie, in a red bathing suit," Anderson recently shared with Elle. Of course, Anderson rose to fame playing C.J. Parker in Baywatch, which saw her constantly donning a red swimsuit. "I resonated more with Barbarella, or maybe Barb Wire, than Barbie," Anderson joked, referring to the 1968 film starring Jane Fonda (which is set to be remade with Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney) and her own film, Barb Wire, which she starred in with The Book of Boba Fett's Temuera Morrison in 1996. 

Greta Gerwig Talks Pop Culture Barbies:

In the vast world of Barbies, Mattel has made many pop culture-themed dolls throughout the years. There are collectible Barbies from Disney, Star Trek, and so much more. However, you won't spot any of the movie-themed and television-themed Barbies in the new film. Recently, had the chance to chat with director Greta Gerwig about the movie, and she explained why those versions of the doll are left out of the story. 

"I definitely looked at a lot of, there were the pop culture versions, and then there was also just other toys that Mattel has because they have a bunch of different toys. They have Hot Wheels and they have Barney, and they have all these different things. But it ultimately felt like we wanted to stay within the realm of the things that are only self-referential to Barbie, if that makes sense," Gerwig explained. "Except for Proust Barbie."

You can watch our interview with Gerwig at the top of the page.

What Is Barbie About?

In Barbie, to live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you're a Ken. From Oscar-nominated writer/director Greta Gerwig comes Barbie, which hit theaters on July 21st. Barbie stars Oscar-nominees Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken, alongside America FerreraKate McKinnonMichael CeraAriana GreenblattIssa RaeRhea Perlman, and Will Ferrell. The film also stars Ana Cruz Kayne, Emma MackeyHari NefAlexandra ShippKingsley Ben-AdirSimu LiuNcuti GatwaScott EvansJamie Demetriou, Connor Swindells, Sharon Rooney, Nicola Coughlan, Ritu Arya, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Dua Lipa and Oscar-winner Helen Mirren. Gerwig directed Barbie from a screenplay by Gerwig & Oscar nominee Noah Baumbach, based on Barbie by Mattel