Kymberly Herrin, the model and actress who grabbed rock fans’ attention in ZZ Top’s 1984 music video for “Legs,” has died at the age of 65.
A cause of death has not been announced. An obituary published in the Santa Barbara News-Press simply stated that she “passed away peacefully” on Oct. 28.
After graduating from high school in 1975, Herrin began pursuing a modeling career. The statuesque blonde graced the covers of many magazines, including the March 1981 issue of Playboy, in which she was named “Playmate of the Month.”
Two years later, ZZ Top would release their hugely successful album Eliminator. Music videos for “Gimme All Your Lovin’” and “Sharp Dressed Man” featured a trio of beautiful women, generally referred to as the ZZ Top girls. Herrin was not originally part of the group, but prior to making the video for “Legs,” the third of the ZZ Top girls trilogy, a spot opened up.
“I was in L.A. partying with some friends. I was up late. I had a cold,” Herrin recalled in a 2013 interview. “I checked my [answering] machine in Santa Barbara and there was the [ZZ Top] casting call. Be there today and I had one hour. I flipped out.”
The model rushed to her audition and – without her traditional stylish clothes and makeup – made an impression on the band in a different way.
“They called my name and I met the boys in the band,” Herrin recalled. “I apologized for my appearance. Then I asked if anyone had mineral water—or better, a beer. They must have been thirsty, also. Out came the beer and we started talking about everything—motorcycles, chili cook-offs, Santa Barbara… They were super nice guys. We hit it off.”
Watch Kymberly Herrin in ZZ Top’s Video for ‘Legs’
Herrin would be enlisted for “Legs,” securing an eye-turning role as the blonde in the red top. The video became an MTV staple, winning the first VMA for Best Group Video in 1984.
Herrin reportedly kept in contact with ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons after the shoot, and occasionally joined the band backstage at concerts when their paths would cross. ZZ Top later brought her back for the video to their 1985 single “Sleeping Bag.”
The popularity of the “Legs” music video helped Herrin secure further notable work, including parts in the films Romancing the Stone, Road House and Beverly Hills Cop II. The model also had a memorable cameo in Ghostbusters, playing a dream ghost who appears above Dan Aykroyd’s character, Ray.
Herrin would also continue appearing in music videos throughout the ‘80s, including the David Lee Roth clip for “California Girls” and Kiss’ 1987 long-form video Exposed.
Outside of modeling, Herrin tried her hand at several other endeavors. She briefly owned a women’s apparel company and later wrote The Sexercise Book. She later made her own jewelry and continued living in Santa Barbara until her death.
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