Following Ghosts Can’t Do It Derek appeared in few films due, in part, to her husband's declining health (he would die in 1998).
Derek returned to acting in the television movies Hot Chocolate (1992) and Shattered Image (1994), and the straight-to-video film Woman of Desire (1994).
Directed by husband John Derek, the film dealt little with Tarzan and instead focused on Derek's character of Jane Parker, and specifically on Derek's physical attributes.
Several scenes of Derek wearing revealing outfits were featured, along with nude scenes of Derek being bathed and body-painted.
She remarked in a 1985 interview on Late Night with David Letterman, I was 16 when I quit high school. I spent about a month going to the beach surfing and sunbathing while I was supposed to be in school: when I got caught, my mom was furious.
Although the film received negative reviews from many critics, Tarzan, the Ape Man became a box-office success, making over million in ticket sales and becoming the 15th highest-grossing film of 1981. Directed by John Derek, the film explored the female protagonist's sexual awakening, and her journey around the world to find an ideal first lover to take her virginity.
She was directed by husband John Derek in Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981), Bolero (1984) and Ghosts Can't Do It (1989), all of which received negative reviews.
A widow since 1998, she lives with actor John Corbett.
The film received other Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Picture, Worst Director (John Derek), Worst Screenplay (John Derek), Worst New Star (Olivia d'Abo), and Worst Musical Score (Peter Bernstein and Elmer Bernstein).
After a five-year hiatus Derek returned to feature films with the drama/comedy/fantasy Ghosts Can't Do It, an apparent imitation of the successful Ghost, a fantasy movie released the same year in the United States.