Gena Lee Nolin (born November 29, 1971 in Duluth, Minnesota) is an American Model, actress, and author. She is best known to primetime audiences as Neely Capshaw on the long-running series Baywatch from 1995-1998, the starring role of Sheena from 2000-2002, and as one of Barker's Beauties on The Price is Right from 1994-1995.
Hailing from the intellectual capital of the Midwest, Duluth, Minnesota but she spent most of her childhood living in Colorado. From middle school until her junior year of high school, Gena was a star athlete in track and basketball. When she was a senior in High School, the family packed up and moved to Las Vegas, Nevada.
Not too long after making their new residence in Las Vegas, Nolin entered a Beauty Pageant where she won the title of "Miss Las Vegas" as well as having the honor of winning the "Look of the Year" award from the prestigious Elite and Ford modeling agencies, as well as the "Miss Barbizon USA" title, all of this at just the ripe old age of 18.
Career for "Price"Edit
After competing and winning local beauty pageants, Nolin was soon on the move again. She packed her bags and moved to Los Angeles to further her career in the entertainment field. One day, Gena was reading the newspaper and came across an ad announcing that The Price is Right was holding auditions to find a new Barker's Beauty (replacing longtime ex-model Dian Parkinson). Nolin jumped at the chance as she sent in her resume' and portfolio to the show's producers.
After reviewing Gena's resume' and headshots, the producers of The Price is Right liked what they saw and Gena was granted an audition and on May 3, 1994, she made her very first appearance on the show as the model tryouts continued and just a few short weeks afterwards, Nolin was brought back to The Price is Right stages and remained for the remainder of that season (Season 22).
Hundreds of auditions and beating out hundreds of other tryout models, a then-22-year-old aspiring model and actress by the name of Gena Lee Nolin was selected as the new, permanent Barker's Beauty as she made her nationwide, official debut on the 23rd Season Premiere episode (airing on September 12, 1994) of The Price is Right.
Shortly after making her official debut as the new Barker's Beauty, Nolin soon began to be noticed by the producers of the soap opera The Young and the Restless (which tapes across the hall from Price) and wanted her to come in for a screen test for a new character. Gena aced the audition and soon began pulling double duty as she was now not only modeling sofas, boats, and cameras on The Price is Right, she was also posing in front of them on The Young and the Restless, playing a character named Sandy, a fashion model.
After her stint of Y&R, Gena continued with The Price is Right as she completed her first official, full season with the show. Thanks to her exposure on the CBS Game Show, Gena began to receive offers for roles on other TV shows, one of them being Baywatch. A casting producer on the Lifeguard-Bikini-Beach-clad show spotted Nolin on Price and wanted her to come in and audition for the role of the controversial character Neely Capshaw. Gena agreed to read for the role of Neely as she took a leave of absence from The Price is Right with Cindy Margolis and Annette Marroquin, both of whom also auditioned for the new Barker's Beauty, rotated back and forth as the temporary fill-in.
Career for BaywatchEdit
Some time after taping her auditions for Baywatch, Gena received word that she won the role of Neely on the program which meant that she would have to bid adieu to being a Barker's Beauty on The Price is Right as she traded in modeling swimsuits to wearing that iconic red one on Baywatch.
Playing the role of Neely on Baywatch gave Gena even more maximum exposure, popularity and fame as she became second and more recognizable actress to play the controversial character, who was originally created to appear as a one-episode part. Nolin continued on as Neely on Baywatch until 1998 where she parted ways with the show and later in 2003, she reprised the Neely character role for the TV movie Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding.
After Gena left the role of Neely on Baywatch, fans would soon see her on the small screen again. She starred in her own TV series titled Sheena, a syndicated/action-packed series based off of the popular 1940s comic book: Sheena: Queen of the Jungle and the show ran from late 1999/early 2000 to 2002.
Aside from all of her TV credentials, Nolin also graced the covers of various magazines including Maxim and FHM. She also took it all off for Playboy after being offered to pose nude in the magazine several times by it's creator/founder Hugh Hefner but turned down the offers. Gena finally agreed to do a nude photo spread for Playboy as she posed in the Christmas 2001 issue of the magazine. FHM magazine also listed Gena as one of sexiest women in the world.
Gena has been married three times. She was first married to David Feiler in March 1991 but divorced just a month later. She then married Greg Fahlman in 1993 and divorced in 2004 and have one child together, a son named Spencer. Gena's current husband is retired NHL Hockey player Cale Hulse, they married in September 2004 and together they have two children: son Hudson Lee Hulse (born 2006) and daughter Stella Monroe Hulse (born in 2008).
After giving birth to Stella, Nolin was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and has since become a strong campaigner for thyroid gland screenings. After Gena gave birth to her first child, she was misdiagnosed and treated for postnatal depression and suffered greater symptoms during her second pregnancy and suffered Arrhythmia during her third pregnancy. A thyroxine level check within a blood test found a low level, and she was immediately diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Nolin now campaigns for regular thyroid gland checks and blood tests.
Besides her work with bringing global awareness to thyroid disease, Gena also worked with the Make A Wish Foundation and in 2007, she was named “Honorary Woman of the Year” by the Crohn's and Colitis foundation and in October 2013, Nolin released her book with Simon & Schuster titled Beautiful Inside and Out, Conquering Thyroid Disease with a Happy, Healthy, "Thyroid Sexy" Life.