Being declared one of the sexiest women in film history by Empire magazine would be a title which many actresses would find difficult to live up to, but Elizabeth Hurley was unlike most of the models-...
Basingstoke, Hampshire, GB
|Samson and Delilah||Actor||Delilah||1|
|Harrison: Cry of the City||Actor||Cecilia Harrison||1|
|All The Pretty Sources||Actor||Diana Payne||1|
|Salon of the Dead||Actor||Diana Payne||1|
|Mad Dogs and Englishmen||Actor||Antonio Dyer||1|
|The Big Sleep No More||Actor||Diana Payne||1|
|The Jewel of Denial||Actor||Diana Payne||1|
|The World of James Bond (1994-1995)||Actor||Host||1994||1|
|I Am Number Nine||Actor||Diana Payne||1|
|It Girl, Interrupted||Actor||Diana Payne||1|
|Raiders of the Lost Art||Actor||Diana Payne||1|
|Double Whammy||Actor||Doctor Ann Beamer||1|
|Serving Sara||Actor||Sara Moore||1|
|Harrison: Cry of the City (1994-1995)||Actor||Cecilia Harrison||1994||1|
|The Comedy Central Roast of Denis Leary (2001-2002)||Actor||n/a||2001||1|
|Samson and Delilah (1995-1996)||Actor||Delilah||1995||1|
|The Shamrock Conspiracy (1993-1994)||Actor||Cecilia Harrison||1993||1|
|Despicable B||Actor||Diana Payne||1|
|The Fasting and the Furious||Actor||Diana Payne||1|
|Memoirs of an Invisible Dan||Actor||Diana Payne||1|
|Beyond Bedlam||Actor||Stephanie Lyell||1|
|Skipper - Bloody Atlantic||Actor||Lou||1|
|My Favorite Martian||Actor||Brace Channing||1|
|The Orchid House||Actor||Natalie||1|
|Beauty and The Feast||Actor||Diana Payne||1|
|Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery||Actor||Vanessa Kensington||1|
|El Largo Invierno||Actor||Emma Stapleton||1|
|Yes, Then Zero||Actor||Diana Payne||1|
|Rumpole and the Barrow Boy (1988-1989)||Actor||Rosie Japhet||1988||1|
|The Wild Bunch||Voice||n/a||1000008|
|The Weight of Water||Actor||Adaline Gunne||1|
|The Fugitives||Actor||Diana Payne||1|
|Rowing With the Wind||Actor||Claire Clairmont||1|
|The Human Face With John Cleese (1999-2000)||Actor||("Beauty") ("Fame")||1999||1|
|VH1 97 Fashion Awards (1996-1997)||Actor||Presenter||1996||1|
|The ShoWest Awards (1995-1996)||Actor||n/a||1995||1|
|Passenger 57||Actor||Sabrina Ritchie||1|
|The VH1 Fashion Awards (1995-1996)||Actor||Presenter||1995||1|
|Austin Powers: the Spy Who Shagged Me||Actor||Vanessa||1|
|VH1 Divas Live '99 (1997-1998)||Actor||n/a||1997||1|
|Happy Birthday Elizabeth -- A Celebration of Life (1995-1996)||Actor||n/a||1995||1|
|The VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards (1999-2000)||Actor||n/a||1999||1|
|Sharpe II (1993-1994)||Actor||("Sharpe's Enemy")||1993||1|
|Aria||Actor||("Die Tote Stadt")||1|
|Mickey Blue Eyes||Producer||n/a||3|
|Formed Simian Productions with Hugh Grant|
|Feature debut as producer, "Extreme Measures"|
|Produced "Mickey Blue Eyes," starring Hugh Grant|
|Had a small part in Ron Howard's "EDtv"|
|Toured in theater productions in Asia and the Middle East|
|Introduced as an Estée Lauder spokesmodel|
|Had breakthrough role as Mike Myers' leading lady in "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery"|
|Had a supporting role in "The Weight of Water"|
|Hosted the inaugural season of the British reality series "Project Catwalk" on Sky1|
|Briefly reprised role in the comedy sequel, "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me"|
|Co-starred with Matthew Perry in the romantic comedy, "Serving Sara"|
|Appeared in John Cleese's "The Human Face"|
|Played the wife of a drug addicted writer (played by Ben Stiller) in "Permanent Midnight"|
|Formed dance troupe, Vile Bodies|
|Played the female lead in the TNT miniseries, "Samson and Delilah"|
|Played a sexy temptress in the remake of "Bedazzled"|
|First American film, "Passenger 57"|
|Had first leading role in "Rowing with the Wind," opposite Hugh Grant|
|Played the lead role in the TV drama, "Christabel" (aired in the U.S. on PBS)|
|Made her first film appearance in "Aria"|
Born June 10, 1965, in Hampshire, England, Hurley was one of three children born to her parents, a British Army major and a schoolteacher. She was fascinated by dance at an early age, attending a private boarding school that specialized in ballet at the age of 12. As they often do with children, her girlhood dreams fell away soon afterwards after Hurley began finding more excitement with the New Age Travellers, a UK hippie group, and later, in the burgeoning punk movement, whose fashion sense she adopted with glee.
Hurley's first brush with modeling success came in the late eighties when she won a "Face of the Year" competition sponsored by a local newspaper. The prize was a year-long contract with a top agency in London, providing Hurley with an opportunity to make the rounds in print modeling. She also made her film debut in 1987 with "Aria," an anthology film in which famous directors created short scenarios based on classical and operatic music pieces. Her segment, inspired by "Die tote Stadt," was directed by Bruce Beresford. She followed this with roles in several popular English television productions, most notably "Christabel" (1988), with a script by Dennis Potter. She also appeared in a number of Continental productions, including a Spanish drama called "Remando al viento" (1988), which was top-billed by her future boyfriend, Hugh Grant.
Despite her popularity as a print model, Hurley had a difficult time making the transition to full-time actress. Even a turn as a villainous terrorist in the Wesley Snipes action picture "Passenger 57" (1992) failed to elevate her beyond the "occasional actress" standard. What did push her to "It Girl" status was not a film role or a model layout, but a dress - specifically, a slinky black number by Versace that was held together by gold safety pins and gravity - that she wore to the premiere of Grant's film "Four Weddings and a Funeral" (1994). The image of Hurley in "that dress," as it was referred to in the media, was reproduced around the world, and made her an overnight hot commodity.
The legendary cosmetics firm Estee Lauder certainly thought so, signing her to become their spokesmodel in 1995. Hurley's face graced more pages and billboards than ever before, and her perfume line, "Pleasures," was a best seller. She also became involved with the company's breast cancer charity, citing her grandmother's death from the disease as the impetus for her involvement. Lauder's faith in their official face never faltered. In 2007, the company not only renewed the then 41-year-old Hurley's contract, but also extended it for several more years.
But success as an actress continued to dog Hurley; she appeared in several television productions, most notably "Sharpe's Enemy" (1994), which was part of the immensely popular historical drama series based on the novels of Bernard Cornwell. She also played the Biblical temptress Delilah in the TNT movie "Samson and Delilah" (1996). But again, it was a media event that brought her to the forefront of the news - this time, the arrest of her then-boyfriend Hugh Grant for solicitation in Los Angeles. Writers, pundits, and the public at larger were baffled by her decision to remain with Grant after the incident, even after his celebrated and humorous mea culpa on "The Tonight Show" almost immediately after the arrest. In fact, the pair's relationship grew stronger in the coming years - presumably, because Grant knew how close he had come to losing a good thing over his careless tryst with Divine Brown (whom herself enjoyed a certain notoriety as the Hollywood hooker he picked up). The reunited couple formed a production company, Simian Films, in 1996, which yielded two starring vehicles for Grant - "Extreme Measures" (1996) and "Mickey Blue Eyes" (1999) - and one for Hurley, "Method" (2004), in which she played a serial killer.
In 1997, Hurley found the starring vehicle she was hoping for in "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery." A broad and ribald spoof of '60s spy films, Hurley was a surprising match for Mike Myers' comic skills - to say nothing of looking terrific in her Emma Peel-style zip-up leather jumpsuit. She returned briefly to the franchise in 1999 for "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" (she filmed a cameo for 2002's "Austin Powers in Goldmember," but the scene was cut from the theatrical release).
For the next few years, Hurley appeared regularly in major Hollywood films, including Ron Howard's "EdTV" (1999), "My Favorite Martian" (1999), and "Permanent Midnight" (1998). Most of the roles were limited in scope - Hurley played several variations on the predatory vamp - but several were successful, solidifying her status as a full-time, viable actress.
But the bloom began to leave the rose in 2000, starting with the end of her 13-year-relationship with Grant - though they remained cordial afterwards and continued their business partnership through Simian Films until 2006. Hurley then fell afoul of film unions in the United States when she broke an actor's strike to film an Estee Lauder commercial. She would later release a public comment that she was not aware of the strikes, but this did little to quell the anger from working actors without her clout. Finally, her relationship with producer Stephen Bing came to an ugly end when they became embroiled in a paternity suit after a son, Damien Charles Hurley, was born in 2002. Bing was later revealed to be the father, following a DNA test. The often brutal British press universally stood behind their girl, calling Bing a "cad" and "deadbeat dad" - much like they had stood behind Hurley when her boyfriend Grant had publicly embarrassed her years before with Divine Brown.
Despite the spate of dreadful luck, Hurley continued to appear in feature films. She made a fetching Devil in Harold Ramis' woebegone remake of "Bedazzled" (2000) - complete with red underwear and a python wrapped around her neck. She also impressed critics with her turns in several intriguing independent features, including "The Weight of Water" (2000) with Sean Penn, and Tom DiCillo's "Double Whammy" (2001) co-starring Dennis Leary. However, Hurley stopped making features in the United States after the failure of her comedy "Serving Sara" (2002), turning her focus back to UK productions and her modeling career.
In 2005, Hurley launched her own swimwear line, Elizabeth Hurley Beachwear, in selected department stores around the world and on her web site. The following year, she served as an executive producer and occasional host of "Project Catwalk" (Sky One, 2006- ), a UK version of the popular American reality series "Project Runway" (Bravo, 2004- ). On a personal note, Hurley had begun dating a wealthy Indian businessman and software magnate, Arun Nayar, who offered her and her son Damien a stable figure in their high-profile lives. Instantly smitten, the couple would date happily for several years.
In 2007, Hurley married Nayar in two ceremonies - one in England; the other in Mumbai. The resulting weddings - which cost an estimated 2 million pounds - earned worldwide press, thanks to a deal Hurley struck with British tabloid Hello! and the fact that it was a star-laden affair, with Elton John giving away the bride and much "will he or won't he show?" speculation of whether old flame Grant would show up to support his ex-turned-best-friend's nuptials. The fact that Grant had broken off a long-term relationship with Jemima Khan only days before the wedding fueled speculation within the ever imaginative British tabloid press, that he had broken it off so that he could attend Hurley's wedding. Khan, it was said, was not a fan of Grant's affection for his ex.
The ceremony also took a decidingly darker turn when, not long after the happy nuptials, the couple attracted strong criticism from the deeply religious Hindu community of India, which filed criminal charges against Hurley and Nayar for violating wedding customs in their ceremony (such as kissing and not removing their shoes). Nayar's parents also made a public display of disowning their son for his transgressions. Never one to back down, Hurley's critical reaction to her new in-laws' behavior led to more international coverage. Further unpleasantries were cast upon the union when violence broke out between security guards and paparazzi that tried to block the couple's car from entering the wedding reception at a military fort in Jodphur. Despite the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the affair, all in attendance said Hurley made a beautiful bride and that the couple were destined to make it last.
|Stephen Bing||Companion||Dated from 2000-2001; Father of her son Damian; Denied paternity, but a DNA test established Bing as the child's father|
|Ted Forstmann||Companion||Dated briefly in 2000; No longer together|
|Hugh Grant||Companion||Began dating in 1986; Formed Simian Films together; Ended their 14 year relationship|
|Damian Hurley||Son||Born April 4, 2002; father, Steve Bing|
|Roy Hurley||Father||Was a Major in the British Army|
|Arun Nayer||Husband||Textile heir and CEO of a software company; Married March 2, 2007 at Sudeley Castle, U.K., followed by a second traditional Hindu wedding at Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India; Separated in the fall of 2010; Filed for divorce in April 2011, citing his "unreasonable behavior" as the reason; Divorce finalized in June 2011|
|Shane Warne||Companion||Began dating in December 2010 after her split from husband Arun Nayar; Engaged on Oct. 1, 2011|
|London Studio Centre|
|While in her teens, she became involved with punk fashion, dying her hair pink and piercing her nose.|
|In 2000, Hurley was publicly criticised for breaking a five-month acting strike to film an Estée Lauder advertisement, for which she was fined $100,000 by the Screen Actors Guild.|
|In April 2005, Elizabeth Hurley Beach, her beachwear line that she also models every summer, was launched at Harrods in the UK.|
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