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It was 1979 when the movie 10 hit the big screen, launching Bo Derek, a sexy blonde with braids, into overnight stardom. "Suddenly, everybody—and their white sisters—were wearing cornrows, trying to look just like her," Oprah says.
Bo's photo was everywhere—on the the covers of magazines, as well as respected newspapers. "Walter Cronkite was talking about me on the evening news," Bo says. "It was a bit overwhelming."
At the time 10 hit the big screen, Bo had met and married a man 30 years her senior. Bo met John Derek, a 46-year-old director, when she was just 16 years old. "We lived together since I was 17," she says. "But we had to live in Europe for a few years, because I was underage."
Bo says her parents tried to forbid her from dating John, but she says they couldn't be stopped. "They were not happy," she says. "But I have to say, when I was 17, 16, I thought I knew it all."
Adding to the drama, John was married to actress Linda Evans when he first started dating Bo. "I'll never forgive myself for being part of that," Bo says. "Sometimes we do things that don't fit with who we think we are, and I can't believe I was part of that."
Despite early obstacles, Bo and John's romance stood the test of time. The couple was married for 22 years when John died in 1998 at the age of 71. For the first time, Bo says she was alone. "I'd never dated," she says. "I just decided I would wait until I had that moment of being crazy in love, or not at all. I had a great life with all my friends."