There aren’t many forgotten sex symbols, but Peta Wilson–briefly a big deal as the star of the original La Femme Nikita television series–should definitely be remembered as she turns 43 years old today. If nothing else, Peta Wilson was one of the pioneering stars of basic cable. The beautiful Aussie actress had been knocking around L.A. and making indie films, and then auditioned for La Femme Nikita.
That was the original she-spy series based on the 1990 film Nikita (which had already been Americanized with Bridget Fonda as the big-screen Point of No Return). The USA network had picked up lots of Canadian/American original series, but La Femme Nikita was one of the first to really build a strong following on cable. The show ended up running for a respectable four seasons. A lot of that had to do with Peta Wilson’s work as the criminal waif turned international spy.
The CW has revived Nikita, of course, but Peta isn’t as high profile nowadays. (Nikita, however, has given us modern spies like Lyndsy Fonseca, Helena Mattsson, and Lina Shekhovtsova.) Peta’s career never quite recovered from her turn as Mina Harker in 2003’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. That was one of the most hated of the early comic-book movies. Before that, she’d played a nympho lesbian against Ellen Barkin in 2000’s Mercy. That movie barely got released, but you can be sure that we have a copy.
A lot of guys were pleasantly surprised when Peta showed up in a small role in 2006’s Superman Returns. It was less surprising when Peta returned to basic cable in Syfy’s Malibu Shark Attack. The really good news is that Peta started up a (pretty successful) lingerie line last year named Wylie Wilson.
She isn’t modeling her designs, but it’s a new twist from a gal who never seemed too interested in showbiz success. These pics will still show you how Peta stole the show as one of the ’90s big sex symbols…