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Birth Name: Kimila Ann Basinger
Date of Birth: December 8, 1953
Place of Birth: Athens, Georgia, USA
Height: 5' 7½"
Best Known For: L.A. Confidential
|Kim Basinger Biography
Kim Basinger was born on December 8, 1953, in Athens, Georgia. She is of German, Irish, Swedish and 1/8 Cherokee descent. Basinger started modeling when she was 16 years old by entering and winning the Athens Junior Miss contest. She went on to be crowned Junior Miss Georgia. Basinger then headed to New York City to compete in the national Junior Miss pageant. It was there that Basinger was discovered by Eileen Ford, who offered the young beauty queen a modeling contract with Ford Modeling Agency. Basinger initially turned down the offer, as she wanted to pursue singing and acting, but eventually changed her mind and returned to New York and signed with Ford.
Under contract with Ford, Basinger found herself on the cover of numerous magazines and she appeared in hundreds of advertisements throughout the early 1970s, most notably appearing as the Breck shampoo girl. By age 20, Basinger was earning $1,000 a day. Basinger then began to pursue her initial dream of acting professionally by attending acting classes at the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse as well as performing in various Greenwich Village clubs.
In 1976, Basinger decided to take a break from modeling and she moved to Los Angeles to find acting work. She started out with guest appearances on popular television shows including Starsky and Hutch and Charlie's Angels. She then landed a regular role on the short-lived series Dog and Cat in 1977, before winning the lead role in the television film Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold in 1978. The following year, Basinger played Lorene Rogers in the miniseries remake of From Here to Eternity and its short-lived spin-off in 1980.
Basinger made her big screen debut playing the forlorn girlfriend of high-living cowboy Jan-Michael Vincent in the low-budget but well-received Hard Country in 1981. The next year, she co-starred with director Charlton Heston in The Mother Lode. Her career gained momentum in 1983 after she appeared as Bond Girl Domino Petachi in Never Say Never Again and co-starred with Burt Reynolds in Blake Edwards' remake of The Man Who Loved Women (both 1983). A nude layout in Playboy the same year also garnered her much attention and she began to be considered for better quality roles, such as the femme fatale Memo Paris who romances Robert Redford in The Natural (1984). Basinger then appeared as Sam Shepard's half-sister in Robert Altman's film of Shepard's Off-Broadway hit Fool for Love (1985).
Despite her best efforts to demonstrate her range and capabilities, Basinger had a string of misfires in the late 80s, beginning with Adrian Lyne's style-over-substance examination of an obsessive relationship in 9 1/2 Weeks (1986). Her attempts at comedy, while admirable, were often sabotaged by the material as in Blake Edwards' Blind Date (1987) or My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988). The actress finally found better material as the voluptuous Vicki Vale, love interest for Michael Keaton's Batman (1989). In 1991, she was seen in the remake The Marrying Man opposite her future husband, Alec Baldwin.
Continuing to capitalize on her Marilynesque persona, Basinger was a cartoon vamp who becomes human in Ralph Bakshi's live action/animated mishmash Cool World (1992) and in a cameo as Honey Hornee in Wayne's World 2 (1993). Teaming with Baldwin, she inherited the role originated by Ali MacGraw in The Getaway (1994), a pointless, inferior remake (although she acquitted herself in a gritty change-of-pace role). That same year, Basinger was quite good as a pushy fashion reporter in Robert Altman's overblown and meandering Ready-to-Wear. After a three-year hiatus which included giving birth to a daughter, she triumphantly returned to films in a much-lauded, Oscar-winning portrayal of a 50s-era Hollywood call girl in Curtis Hanson's L.A. Confidential in 1997. She received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.
Basinger has also received much off-screen publicity for her work on behalf of animal rights and for her 1993 legal battles over an alleged verbal contract to appear in the controversial film Boxing Helena (1993). When the court ordered her to pay in excess of $8 million, the actress was forced to declare personal bankruptcy and sell her interest in the town of Braselton, Georgia (which she and a group of investors had purchased in 1989). Eventually, the ruling in the breach of contract suit was overturned on appeal.
Basinger seemed unable to capitalize professionally on her Oscar triumph, making only two tepidly received films from 1997 to 2001: I Dreamed of Africa (2000), in which she played a woman recently transplanted to the Dark Continent who discovers both the splendors and the shadowy underbelly of her new home, and Bless the Child (2000), a dreary Satanic thriller. But things changed in 2002 when Basinger starred as Eminem's troubled mother in 8 Mile, a fictionalized telling of the hip-hop artists rise from the streets of urban Detroit. She followed this role with an appearance opposite Al Pacino in People I Know in 2003.
In 2004, Basinger starred with Jeff Bridges and Jon Foster in The Door in the Floor, an adaptation of John Irving's A Widow For One Year. That same year she played a kidnapped woman in the thriller Cellular. In 2006, Basinger acted alongside an all-star cast in Even Money, appeared in the crime thriller The Sentinel with Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland, and had a lead role in the television movie The Mermaid Chair.
In 2008, Basinger will play a woman stranded in a forest with 4 killers in While She Was Out, and she will appear in an all-star cast in The Informers, a crime thriller based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel of the same name. In 2009, will be seen as Charlize Theron's mother in The Burning Plain.Basinger was married to actor Alec Baldwin from 1993 to 2002. They have one daughter, Ireland Eliesse (born October 23, 1995). Since their divorce, they have battled for custody of Ireland.
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