Kari Wuhrer is an American actress, model, and singer known for her roles on MTV’s Remote Control, science fiction series Sliders, and in horror movies including Anaconda, Eight Legged Freaks, and Sharknado 2: The Second One.
Background Info and Early Life
Kari Wuhrer was born on April 28, 1967 in Brookfield, Connecticut. It was clear she would gravitate to show business from the age of 13, as she was known to sneak out of the house to sing at nightclubs.
Wuhrer also began studying acting at age 13 at the Wooster School. She would continue on to attend classes at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Marymount Manhattan College, Columbia University, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Kari Wuhrer landed her first film role in 1986 at the young age of 19, playing Gloria in the movie Fight Fire with Fire alongside Victoria Madsen, Craig Sheffer, and Jon Polito.
In 1988, Wuhrer was hired to be the hostess of MTV’s Remote Control for its second and third seasons. Remote Control was a historical program, as it marked the first original non-musical program aired on MTV as well as the first game show to be featured on the network.
Her work on Remote Control created a working relationship with MTV and Wuhrer transitioned from her role on the show to a role as a VJ between 1991 and 1992.
Kari Wuhrer’s career was gaining traction at this juncture, and she landed a main role as Abigail on the first season Swamp Thing, a 1990 TV series based on the Vertigo/DC Comics character and two films from the 1980s.
The show originally aired on the USA Network and was the top-rated program despite poor critical reception and general campiness. The campy vibes cemented the show as a cult classic, and it enjoyed reruns on the Sci Fi Network following its three season run on USA.
Class of ’96
In 1993, Kari Wuhrer was cast as Robin Farr on Fox drama series Class of ‘96, which followed seven freshman at fictional Havenhurst College as they navigated issues concerning clashing personalities, social status, racism, sexism, and other tribulations associated with acclimating to a new environment.
Wuhrer’s character was an “it girl” from Florida. Unfortunately, the show’s ratings could not compete with shows like Full House and Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper and it was canceled after its first season.
Luckily, Kari Wuhrer’s work on Swamp Thing helped her land a guest role on then Fox sci-fi series Sliders. Wuhrer was cast for a guest role as Captain Maggie Beckett, but the role was expanded and the character joined the main cast from season 3 until the finale in season 5.
Unfortunately, Fox canceled the show after season 3, but it was picked up by the Sci Fi Network and given new life. Some cast changes occurred, most notably the departure of Sabrina Lloyd. Rumors circulated that it was due in part to Lloyd’s jealousy of Wuhrer, and it was later revealed that Lloyd’s departure did have to do with dissension between the two cast members.
Most people remember 1997’s Anaconda for the enormous CGI snake, campy horror vibes, and Jennifer Lopez looking as stunning as ever while exchanging smart banter with Ice Cube.
Kari Wuhrer had a minor role in this film as Denise Kalberg, a production manager shooting a documentary on an alleged long-lost Amazonian tribe. Although she did not receive top billing, her involvement in the movie helped her move towards more campy horror roles moving forward.
Eight Legged Freaks
Kari Wuhrer would continue to land minor roles in films and TV until 2002 when Eight Legged Freaks, a classic monster comedy horror fusion, would release. Wuhrer starred alongside David Arquette, Scott Terra, and Scarlett Johansson.
The campiness is palpable in this flick, and critics lambasted it upon release. However, the silliness of the premise juxtaposed with cast performances that range from deadpan serious to pure slapstick help this movie achieve its notoriety as a cult classic today.
Eight Legged Freaks gave a starring role to Kari Wuhrer and remains her most notable performance to date.
The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes
In 2010, the gargantuan that is Marvel began putting numerous films and TV shows into production, including the animated The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes which aired on Disney XD and streaming.
Kari Wuhrer would lend her voice to the character of Commander Maria Hill of S.H.I.E.L.D., a role that Cobie Smulders would portray on the big screen starting in 2012.
Wuhrer did voicework for 14 of the 52 episodes of the show between 2010 and 2012.
Sharknado 2: The Second One
Then the unexpected happened…
An unassuming 2013 Syfy television film called Sharknado aired, starring Tara Reid, Ian Zeiring, and John Heard. The premise was exactly what it sounds like– a literal tornado filled with sharks ravages Los Angeles much to the cast’s chagrin. Because of the extremely ridiculous concept, it immediately garnered national attention, created a cult following, and spawned a series of films.
Kari Wuhrer would star alongside Reid and Ziering in the sequel, Sharknado 2: The Second One. Whereas the first film attempted to implement an air of seriousness despite the slapstick nature of the plot, the second one doubles down on the campy vibes and offers a ludicrously silly thrill ride.
Given her experience on Swamp Thing and Eight Legged Freaks, Wuhrer was excellent.
Secrets of a Psychopath
In 2015, Kari Wuhrer would star in a horror film titled Secrets of a Psychopath alongside Mark Famiglietti, Mia Serafino, and Ty Fanning. Wuhrer and Famiglietti played two siblings that used a dating site to lure in victims to their death.
The movie received overwhelmingly negative reviews.
A singer from age 13, Kari Wuhrer was always passionate about music.
In 1999, Wuhrer met famous producer Rick Rubin and signed a record deal. Her sole album, Shiny, released that year and featured 10 tracks of alt rock, dance, and pop amidst Wuhrer’s singing.
Wuhrer shows a range of talent on the album. She is recognized instantly as the singer, but wrote many of the album’s songs while also playing guitar and flute as well. The album received favorable reviews, but never charted or received wide radio play.
What is Kari Wuhrer doing now?
Kari Wuhrer has not acted since 2018’s Fiancé Killer, a TV movie. She has not officially retired from acting as of 2022.
Kari seems to have settled into family life and is content with being a mother and raising her three children.
She maintains an active social media presence on Instagram, where she post photos of her family and pictures of her life.
Kari Wuhrer married curator, producer, and musician Daniel Salin in 1995. The two had no children together and divorced in 1999.
In 2003, Wuhrer married James Scura, the film producer known for Leverage, Legit, and S.W.A.T.. The two have three children together– Evangeline Lotus Scura, Echo Luna Scura, and Enzo Scura.
Wuhrer has recently divorced Scura according to a recent Instagram post from April 3, "Going through a very difficult divorce and struggling."
Wuhrer is also living a life of sobriety. In a few of her Instagram post, you can see her talk about sobriety and drinking non-alcoholic beer.
Other Fun Facts
Kari Wuhrer was often typecast due to her attractiveness, but received a number of accolades related to it. In 1999, Maxim ranked her No.36 on the 50 Sexiest Women Countdown, whereas FHM would feature her on the 100 Sexiest Women list in both 2000 and 2001.
Conan O’Brien Interview
While she was known for her looks, she was not known for her social abilities and famously bombed on a 1999 appearance with Conan O’ Brien. Immediately, Wuhrer insults fellow guest Steven Wright and all are unsure if she is joking. Wuhrer flutters wildly from manic energy to telling stories to inappropriate touching. The tension is palpable.
Her interview has often been touted as the most awkward interview that Conan O’Brien has ever given.