Erika Maya Eleniak (born September 29, 1969) is an American Playboy Playmate and actress, perhaps best known for her role in Baywatch as Shauni McClain.
Eleniak was born in Glendale, California. She is the eldest daughter in her family of four girls and one boy whose parents divorced. Her father, who was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, is of Ukrainian descent, and her mother is of Estonian and German ancestry. During the late 1970s, Eleniak's father introduced her to her future career in the movie industry when his then girlfriend got Eleniak a part to model children's clothing for TV commercials. Her first acting role was in the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) - as the girl kissed by Elliott in the school classroom scene
Eleniak went on to have several small roles in television. She played Stephanie Curtis, Scott Baio's on-screen girlfriend in Charles in Charge (and was also his off-screen girlfriend), and Jamie Coburn in Broken Angel. In 1989 Eleniak decided that appearing in Playboy would help boost her career, and Ferguson put her in contact with a Playboy photographer. Playboy featured her on two covers and later as the centerfold in the July 1989 issue. After an audition and three call backs, Eleniak won a role in Baywatch as Shauni McClain. She was the lead female character for three seasons until Pamela Anderson replaced her in 1992. While working on the series, Eleniak became romantically involved with Billy Warlock, who played Eddie Kramer, her character's boyfriend. He was the reason why Eleniak ended up leaving the show after only two seasons. The two announced their engagement in 1993, but the relationship didn't last due to Warlock's jealous nature - he later confessed in an interview, "I can't bear anyone else to see her body".
In 1992, Eleniak returned to film acting, playing Jordan Tate, a Playboy Playmate hired to do a striptease for the captain of a U.S. Navy ship, in Under Siege, a film that was one of the year's biggest hits. In the film, she is described as "Jordan Tate, Miss July 1989"which is the month that Eleniak was Playmate of the Month. She plays a character that is supposed to be purely decorative but is actually intelligent, brave, and resourceful.