Though I've long been familiar with actress Yasmine Bleeth from her work on Baywatch, I've never been lucky enough to catch one of her rare talk-show appearances. That's why I was so thrilled when I passed a newsstand and happened to notice her on the cover of this month's Maxim magazine. Eager to learn more about what makes this up-and-coming young actress tick, I purchased the issue. It was the best decision I've made in quite some time.

Maxim has always impressed me with its in-depth coverage of leading Hollywood personalities. Sure, it offers indispensable advice on how to get one's abs rock hard and what cool gear to buy, but it's the engaging profiles of entertainment-industry figures that keep me coming back for more. Where else can I learn how Carmen Electra feels about joining the cast of Hyperion Bay? Or how Voyager star Jeri Ryan manages to squeeze into that form-fitting costume? Or how Jenny McCarthy is coping with the cancellation of her sitcom?

From the moment I picked up this month's Maxim, I could tell the Yasmine Bleeth story was going to be every bit as illuminating as those other terrific profiles. I knew it wouldn't be long before I finally discovered what it is about Bleeth that millions of Americans find so compelling.

And boy, did I ever! It turns out Bleeth, who was voted one of People's 50 Most Beautiful People of 1995, credits her success to never giving up. (Who knew?) And by approaching life like it's a big adventure, Bleeth has been able to continue making a splash after walking away from a hugely successful stint on Baywatch, keeping busy with TV appearances, music videos, CD-ROMs, and even her own poster.

The in-depth article, accompanied by six or seven full-page photos thrown in here and there, also explained that Yasmine loved working with David Hasselhoff and considers him a real professional. It went on to note that Yasmine, who somehow finds time for modeling on the side, is a real professional herself, having been in front of the camera since she was six months old, getting her start in commercials. I had no idea!

I also had no idea that this buoyant brunette has appeared in several recent made-for-TV movies, including one co-starring Jennie Garth that dealt with the serious issue of stalking. Or that she has done guest spots on programs ranging from Veronica's Closet to Boy Meets World. Or that she loves sports and keeps active with everything from beach volleyball to horseback riding. Or that she recently overcame heartbreak. Fortunately, though, Maxim was there to clue me in.

It's so nice to see a men's magazine chronicle the unique talents of a fresh-faced young actress and publish pictures of her. It doesn't happen every day, but when it does, it's a real joy.

Inspired by this article, I now plan to seek out more information about Ms. Bleeth. Perhaps another magazine, such as Details or Loaded, has profiled her at some point. Or perhaps someone has thought to create a website that offers insightful commentary on her work. Whatever the case, it's clear to me that, as Maxim so aptly put it, I am now one of the millions of Americans who's got Yasmania.