The career of this Playboy Playmate of the Year for 1982 indeed has consisted of many erotic or quickie action films often released direct-to-video. Nevertheless, the statuesque blonde former model has moved into more mainstream vehicles, particularly in the 1990s, even appearing on allegedly substantive TV series such as "Frasier" and "Wings". A cool yet soulful performer, Shannon Tweed has also starred in the cult classic "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death" (1989), and opposite Andrew Stevens and Marc Singer in numerous soft-core thrillers. The same year she was Hugh Hefner's Playmate of the Year, Tweed was breaking into network TV and feature films, playing femme fatale Diana Hunter on "Falcon Crest" (CBS). Tweed made her TV-movie debut with a small role in "Drop Out Father" (CBS, 1982). During 1985-86, she was a regular on the NBC daytime drama "Days of Our Lives" as Savannah Wilder, head of a crime syndicate, and later played Kristy Fulbright on HBO's "First & 10: Do It Again" (1989-91). Tweed headlined the CBS late night light drama "Fly By Night" (1991) in which she was cast as Slick Monroe, the owner of a charter airline. (Although it only lasted less than a year, the show was seen in rebroadcasts through 1995.)
Tweed began earning larger roles in TV-movies in the 90s, playing a mother plotting against her own son in "Liar's Edge" (Showtime, 1992) and was a former Miss Galaxy turned martial arts expert battling terrorists in "No Contest" (HBO, 1995). She also had the lead in Showtime's 1996 "The Dark Dancer", playing a college professor-by-day, stripper-by-night. That same year, she made recurring appearances on the syndicated series "Pacific Blue" as the love interest of Rick Rossovich's Lt. Palermo.
TV episodics have provided some meatier roles. Despite her PLAYBOY roots, Tweed was chosen by Michael Landon for a guest appearance in the squeaky-clean "Highway to Heaven" (NBC) in 1986, and that broke some ice. Tweed then played a TV star doing on-site research in the squad room of "Cagney & Lacey". In a 1987 episode of "L.A. Law" (NBC), she was the TV star wife of a client who attracted the attentions of lawyer Arnie Becker (Corbin Bernsen). Despite some guest spots on prestige series in the 80s, Tweed was mostly locked out of the sitcom world until the 90s. She signed with personal manager Michael Wallach to put a new veneer on her career and in 1995 appeared in an episode of the acclaimed series "Frasier" playing a pop psychologist who is romanced by Dr Crane. This led to additional guest spots on NBC series such as "Wings" and eventually to the role of the TV star ex-wife of Tom Arnold in "The Tom Show" (The WB, 1997-98).
Tweed has acted in more than two dozen feature films, although few received mainstream distribution. Most were of the ilk of her film debut, "Of Unknown Origin" (1982), or such other efforts like "Hot Dog...The Movie" (1984). Closer to mainstream, perhaps, was the dismal teen movie "Meatballs III" (1986), in which she was the Love Goddess assigned to dweebish Patrick Dempsey's arm. Many of her other films have been either in the erotic or action genre. Her leading man has often been either beefcaker Marc Singer or Andrew Stevens. The latter also produced such joint efforts as "Night Eyes 2" (1992) and "Night Eyes 3" (1993). Other role have included the woman a man dreamed he tried to save in "In the Cold of the Night" (1991) and a sex therapist suspected of murder in "Indecent Behavior" (1993).