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Kim Basinger

Basinger in 1989
Born Kimila Ann Basinger
December 8, 1953 (1953-12-08) (age 56)
Athens, Georgia, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1976–present
Spouse(s) Ron Snyder (1980–1989) (divorced)
Alec Baldwin (1993–2002) (divorced)

Kimila Ann "Kim" Basinger (pronounced /ˈbeɪsɪŋər/ BAY-sing-ər, often mispronounced /ˈbæsɪndʒər/ bass-in-jər; born December 8, 1953) is an American film actress and former fashion model.

Following her role as a Bond girl in Never Say Never Again (1983), Basinger received a Golden Globe nomination for her work in The Natural (1984). She won an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award as best supporting actress for her performance in L.A. Confidential (1997). Her films include Batman (1989) and 8 Mile (2002).


Early life

Basinger was born in Athens, Georgia. Her father, Don Basinger, was a big band musician and loan manager[1] who landed in Normandy on D-Day.[2] Her mother, Ann, was a model, actress, and swimmer who appeared in Esther Williams films. The third of five children, she has two brothers, Mick and Skip, and two sisters, Ashley and Barbara. Basinger's ancestry includes German, Swedish and Cherokee [3] and she was raised in the Methodist faith.[4]

When Basinger was 16, she started modeling by winning the Athens Junior Miss contest. She then won the title “Junior Miss Georgia”. She competed in the national Junior Miss pageant and was offered a modeling contract with Ford Modeling Agency. She turned it down in favor of singing and acting but reconsidered and went to New York to become a Ford model.


Not long after the Ford deal, Basinger was on the cover of magazines. She appeared in hundreds of ads throughout the early 1970s, most notably as the Breck Shampoo girl. She alternated between modeling and attending acting classes at the Neighborhood Playhouse as well as performing in Greenwich Village clubs.

In 1976, after five years as a cover girl, Basinger moved to Los Angeles to act. After small parts on TV shows such as Starsky and Hutch and Charlie's Angels, her first starring role was a made-for-TV movie, Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold (1978) in which she played a smalltown girl who goes to Hollywood to become an actress and winds up a famous centerfold for a men's magazine. She was then cast as a prostitute in From Here to Eternity (1979), in which she starred alongside Natalie Wood. Basinger played the same character in a 13-episode TV spinoff. She made her feature film debut in Hard Country (1981) with Jan Michael Vincent, followed by Mother Lode (1982) with Charlton Heston.

Basinger's breakout role was as Bond girl Domino Petachi in Never Say Never Again (1983), starring opposite Sean Connery. She posed nude for Playboy to promote the film. Basinger said Playboy led to opportunities such as Barry Levinson's The Natural (1984), co-starring Robert Redford, for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination as Best Supporting Actress. She starred opposite Mickey Rourke in the sexually provocative 9½ Weeks (1986). Oscar-winning writer-director Robert Benton cast her in the title role for the film Nadine (1987) with Jeff Bridges.

Basinger then played Vicki Vale in Batman (1989). Sean Young was originally cast as Vicki but dropped out due to an injury. Tim Burton recommended Michelle Pfeiffer to replace Young, but Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys. (Pfeiffer would be cast as Catwoman in Batman Returns.) Basinger was accepted and cast.

Directors repeated her in their films, such as Blake Edwards for The Man Who Loved Women (1983) and Blind Date (1987), as well as Robert Altman for Fool for Love (1985) and Prêt-à-Porter (1994). Other films made during that period were the comedies My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988) and Wayne's World 2 (1993).

In 1992, Basinger was guest vocalist on a re-recorded version of Was (Not Was)'s "Shake Your Head", which also featured Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, and reached the UK Top 5.[citation needed] In the video for Tom Petty's 1993 song "Mary Jane's Last Dance", Basinger played a dead woman whom Petty brings home from the morgue for dinner, dressing her in a wedding gown. Later, Petty is shown throwing her into the sea. In a macabre ending, she floats with her eyes open.

Basinger worked less for most of the 1990s to take care of her family. In 1997, she starred as a sophisticated call girl alongside Russell Crowe in the neo-noir L.A. Confidential. This earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, as well as the Golden Globe and Screen Actor's Guild Award. The film's director, Curtis Hanson, cast her once more as Eminem's troubled mother in 8 Mile (2002). More recently, she appeared mostly in television and independent films, with the exceptions of the mainstream thrillers Cellular (2004) and The Sentinel (2006). Basinger appeared in the 2008 film While She Was Out. Her 2009 film, The Informers, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2009. Her next film, The Burning Plain, was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2008 and at the Savannah Film Festival in October 2008. It is slated for wide release in 2009.[5]

Personal life

Basinger at the 1990 Academy Awards

On 12 October 1980, Basinger married makeup artist Ron Snyder-Britton, whom she met on the film Hard Country, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1989. He wrote a memoir, Longer than Forever, in 1998, about their time and her rumored affairs with singer Prince and actor Richard Gere, with whom she starred in No Mercy (1986) and Final Analysis (1992).[6]

In 1990, she met her Alec Baldwin when they played lovers in The Marrying Man. They married on 19 August 1993 and appeared in the remake of The Getaway (1994). They played themselves in a 1998 episode of The Simpsons (which includes Ron Howard), in which Basinger corrects Homer Simpson on the pronunciation of her last name and polishes her Oscar statuette.

Basinger and Baldwin have a daughter, Ireland Eliesse "Addie" Baldwin (born 23 October 1995). They filed for divorce in January 2001; it was finalized in February 2002. Since then, the couple have been in a contentious custody battle. Alec Baldwin's book A Promise To Ourselves[7] chronicles the lengths Basinger has gone to deny Baldwin access to their daughter since separation.

Some family members recommended Basinger buy the small town of Braselton, Georgia in 1989 for $20 million, to establish as a tourist attraction with movie studios and film festival, but she met financial difficulties and sold it in 1993. The town is now owned by developer Wayne Mason. In a 1998 interview with Barbara Walters, Basinger admitted that "nothing good came out of it," because a rift resulted within her family. Her financial difficulties were exacerbated when she pulled out of the controversial film Boxing Helena, resulting in the studio's winning an $8-million judgment against her. Basinger filed for bankruptcy[8] and appealed the jury's decision to a higher court, which sided with her. She and the studio settled for a lesser amount.[9]

Basinger is close to her sister Ashley and father, Don, but she is estranged from her brother Mick and her mother, Ann, who has been sympathetic to ex-son-in-law Baldwin in the aftermath of the divorce. "Kim has just written off the ones who don't agree with her", says a source close to the family.[10]

Basinger helps animal rights issues, notably posing for anti-fur advertisements with PETA.[11] She has written to fashion designers such as Yohji Yamamoto to ask that they stop using fur.[12]


Year Film Role Notes
1981 Hard Country Jodie
1982 Mother Lode Andrea Spalding
1983 Never Say Never Again Domino Petachi
The Man Who Loved Women Louise Carr
1984 The Natural Memo Paris Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
1985 Fool for Love May
1986 9½ Weeks Elizabeth
No Mercy Michele Duval
1987 Blind Date Nadia Gates
Nadine Nadine Hightower
1988 My Stepmother Is an Alien Celeste Martin Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actress
1989 Batman Vicki Vale Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
1991 The Marrying Man Vicki Anderson
1992 Final Analysis Heather Evans Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Most Desirable Female
Cool World Holli Would Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Most Desirable Female
The Real McCoy Karen McCoy
1993 Wayne's World 2 Honey Horné
Mary Jane's Last Dance music video for Tom Petty
1994 A Century of Cinema Herself documentary
The Getaway Carol McCoy Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Most Desirable Female
Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter) Kitty Potter
1997 L.A. Confidential Lynn Bracken Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
2000 I Dreamed of Africa Kuki Gallmann
Bless the Child Maggie O'Connor
2002 8 Mile Stephanie Smith
People I Know Victoria Gray
2004 The Door in the Floor Marion Cole
Elvis Has Left the Building Harmony Jones
Cellular Jessica Martin Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
2006 The Sentinel 1st Lady Sarah Ballentine
2007 Even Money Carol Carver
2008 While She Was Out Della Myers
2009 The Informers Laura Sloan
The Burning Plain Gina
2010 The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud Louise St. Cloud

Television work


  1. ^ Kim Basinger biography. Film
  2. ^ Kim Basinger. Yahoo Movies.
  3. ^ Baltake, Joe (1983-12-22). "Kim Basinger - Information on the Academy Award Winning Actress and former fashion model.". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 
  4. ^ Wuntch, Philip (1987-08-02). "NADINE IS THAT YOU? Robert Benton needed a down-home girl to play a manicurist in his movie. He found her in Kim Basinger". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 
  5. ^ Kemp, Stuart (2007-11-05). "Market buyers pick up pace, pics". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  6. ^ Britton, Ron. Longer than Forever. Blake Publishing. 1998. ISBN 978-1-85782-325-7.
  7. ^ Alec Baldwin, A Promise to Ourselves St Martin Press, 2008
  8. ^ Kim Basinger Files Bankruptcy. Straight
  9. ^ For Kim Basinger, the "fire ball" is out - and Veronica Lake is in. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 20 September 1997.
  10. ^ Smolowe, Jill (2002-11-25). "Kim Confidential - 8 Mile, Coping and Overcoming Illness, Kim Basinger".,,20138572,00.html. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  11. ^ Celebs that protest for PETA, some in the buff. (2008-07-21). "Kim Basinger - Protesting for PETA - Pictures - Homefamily". Virgin Media. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  12. ^ "Join Kim Basinger in Telling Yohji Yamamoto to Stop Using Fur! | PETA Asia-Pacific". Retrieved 2010-03-01. 

External links

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