Birth Place: Athens, Georgia, USA
Height: 5' 7½"
"I think any girl who comes to Hollywood with sex symbol or bombshell hanging over her has a rough road."
Born December 8, 1953, in Athens, Georgia. A former fashion model, Basinger worked for several years to establish credibility in Hollywood. Her parents both had some experience with the entertainment world: her father played in big-band jazz bands, and her mother was a swimmer and model who appeared in several Esther Williams films.
Basinger began her acting career with appearances on television series like Charlie's Angels and The Six Million Dollar Man. Her feature film debut came in 1981 with Hard Country, and her breakthrough role came two years later opposite Sean Connery's James Bond in Never Say Never Again.
In 1984, Basinger starred with Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, and Glenn Close in The Natural. She steamed up the screen with Mickey Rourke in 9 1/2 Weeks (1986), and cemented her reputation as a sexy screen star with a turn as Vicki Vale, the love interest in 1989's Batman, starring Michael Keaton. While filming the less-successful The Marrying Man (1991), she met her future husband, Alec Baldwin.
Basinger suffered through a difficult professional period int he early 1990s. Her investment in a small town, Braselton, Georgia, went sour, and a lawsuit filed against her by Main Line Pictures for breach of contract in a movie deal caused her to file for bankruptcy in the early 1990s.
Divorced from make-up artist Ron Britton, Basinger married Baldwin in 1994. The couple had a daughter, Ireland Eliesse, in 1995.
After taking off a few years to devote time to her family, Basinger came back with the biggest role of her career, as a gorgeous Veronica Lake look-a-like prostitute in the critically acclaimed L.A. Confidential (1997), also starring Kevin Spacey and Russell Crowe. She earned an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the role, an accolade that gave her a career a much needed boost.
Basinger's next big screen appearance came three years later in the adventure drama I Dreamed of Africa (2000), in which Basinger starred as a young Italian wife and mother who settles on a ranch in Kenya. The film was based on a memoir by Kuki Gallmann, Basinger's character in the movie. Her next project, a horror film called Bless the Child, was released later that year. Both films were critical and commercial disappointments. In 2003, Basinger will be filming A Good Woman, an adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic play Lady Windermere's Fan. She is also set to star in the thriller Cellular and the romantic comedy Elvis Has Left the Building.
Basinger filed for divorce from Baldwin in January 2001, after seven years of marriage. The tabloid press had speculated the two were having marital troubles for months beforehand. Basinger now lives in Los Angeles with their daughter, while Baldwin remains at the couple's residence in New York.
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