Pamela Anderson's mother convinced her to appear in Playboy magazine.

The 50-year-old actress shot to fame when she appeared on the publication's cover in the October 1989 issue and moved to Los Angeles to further her modelling career, and while she initially had reservations about doing scantily-clad photoshoots for the magazine, her mum Carol encouraged her.

Pamela - who was born in Ladysmith, British Columbia - said: ''It was the woman's choice to be in the magazine. It was my choice to be in the magazine, I wasn't made to do anything I was uncomfortable with.

''My first reaction was no and I talked to mother and she said, 'Why not? Get out of this small town, go to Los Angeles. How exciting.'

''I'd never been on a plane before, I'd never gotten out of my little town and I was scared to death by it.

''I overcame a lot of my painful shyness. That's for sure.''

While Pamela didn't go to university, the 'Baywatch' learnt a lot in Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion, and she credits the late businessman - who died last year aged 91 - with giving her a post-school education.

She said: ''Playboy was my university, I always say. I learned a lot.

''I met activists and great people, and I learnt about art. And Hef was a real pioneer and I hate when someone says something bad about him, because he really empowered women.

''He was great for civil rights. The articles in Playboy are fantastic.''

Pamela went on to have kids Brandon, 21, and Dylan, 20, with her ex Tommy Lee, and she is ''so proud'' of how her children have turned out, after insisting in her latest book that they had been ''raised by wolves'', referring to herself and her former husband.

She said: ''They were raised in a really wild experience and very colourful life and around colourful people, and they have a lot to draw from in their lives.

''They're just wonderful kids, and very open. I'm just so proud of both of them. How they act amongst people - it's really nice to see grown men act like this.''

Brandon was recently accused of punching his dad Tommy, leaving him with a swollen lip, but Pamela remained coy when asked about the incident, insisting it is ''their business''.

Speaking on ITV's 'Good Morning Britain', she added: ''That's between a father and a son. I just think it's their business. It's not something to talk about publicly.''