Christopher Atkins : biography
Atkins was born in Rye, New York, to Donald Bomann and Bitsy Nebauer. In high school, he was a lifeguard and sailing instructor, where he was discovered for The Blue Lagoon.
He had no previous interest or experience in acting, but an agent he knew persuaded him to audition for The Blue Lagoon, a role he won over 2,000 other actors. In the film, he and co-star Brooke Shields played two teenage cousins who have lived alone together since they were marooned as children in a tropical paradise, eventually falling in love. The film was a huge box office success, grossing over US$58 million with a production cost of US$4.5 million.
He went on to star with Kristy McNichol in The Pirate Movie (1982), an update of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta The Pirates of Penzance. He hit #71 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with the song "How Can I Live Without Her?", which appeared in The Pirate Movie. Atkins again appeared shirtless in this film, which was to become a recurring theme in his acting career. Atkins commented, "What do you mean as soon as I get a job where I don’t have to wear a loincloth, I will be wearing a speedo swimsuit! Will I ever have an acting job when I don’t have to be shirtless?"
In A Night in Heaven (1983), also starring Lesley Ann Warren, Atkins played Rick Monroe, an outspoken and overconfident student working his way through college as a male stripper. For one season (1983–1984), Atkins had a recurring role as swimming instructor Peter Richards in the hit CBS prime time soap opera Dallas in which his character has an affair with Sue Ellen Ewing.
Atkins has been the cover boy of innumerable teen magazines and has appeared in several television commercials representing big brand names such as Coke and Adidas, all of which capitalized on Atkins’ youth and appearance. He appeared on the cover of the September 1982 Playgirl magazine, and posed nude for a pictorial. He posed nude for the magazine again in December of the same year, but was not fully exposed in either issue.
In the 1990s and 2000s, he drifted into made-for-network and cable movies, such as Fatal Charms, Project Shadowchaser III and Angel Flight Dawn. Recent projects include Caved In, Spiritual Warriors, 13th Child, The Employee of the Month, Tequila Express, Quigley and True Legends of the West. Comic roles include Mortuary Academy (1988), Shoot (1992) and he even re-united with Brooke Shields on her show Suddenly Susan as a fellow journalist who is uninterested in her.
In 2007, he starred in the direct-to-DVD sci-fi movie 100 Million BC. In 2009, he appeared on VH1’s Confessions of a Teen Idol, a reality show in which former teen idols attempt to revitalize their entertainment careers.
Atkins was nominated for a Golden Globe Awards for New Star of the Year in a Motion Picture – Male for The Blue Lagoon as well as Best Young Actor for the Young Artist Awards.
Atkins twice won a Golden Raspberry Award, first for Worst Actor for his role as Rick Monroe in the 1983 film A Night in Heaven, later winning Worst Supporting Actor in the 1989 film Listen to Me.
He’s ranked #76 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Teen Stars.