Elizabeth Hurley (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Elizabeth Jane Hurley (born 10 June, 1965) is an English actress, fashion model, producer and designer.
Elizabeth Jane Hurley was born in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England in 1965. Hurley's father, a lapsed Catholic of Irish descent, was a British Army major, while her mother, an Anglican, was a schoolteacher at Kempshott Infant School. She has an older sister, Debbie, and a younger brother, Michael.
Hurley took ballet classes as a child. She went to Kempshott Junior and Infants school, and the Harriet Costello School. Hurley later attended Queen Mary's College, Basingstoke, for one year, followed by Basingstoke College of Technology and won a scholarship to the London Studio Centre.
Whilst in her teens and before she was in the public eye, she became involved with both Septic (her boyfriend) and punk fashion. She associated with New Age Travellers who, typically, sat under The Buttercross monument and the grounds of the Cathedral in Winchester, near to where she lived.
A start in Hurleys' career came in the late 1980s, when she won a Face of the Year competition at a local newspaper in Winchester, England, and gained a year's modelling contract with a prestigious London firm as the first prize. She made her first film appearance in Aria in 1987 and attracted some attention with the Dennis Potter-directed UK TV movie Christabel in the late 1980s, and appeared in several low budget English and Hollywood films, including the 1992 thriller Passenger 57, in which Hurley played a stewardess. She also appeared on television on both sides of the Atlantic, appearing in the British series Rumpole of the Bailey and the George Lucas-produced The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.
In 1994 Hurley attended the London première of the film Four Weddings and a Funeral starring her then-companion Hugh Grant. Hurley's appearance in a black plunging Versace dress held together with gold safety pins gained her considerable media attention. It has often been referred to simply as "that dress" and is credited with the launch of her high profile career. Following Versace's murder in 1997, the London Times' obituary cited it as the thing for which the subject was best known.
In 1995 Hurley began working with top cosmetics company Estée Lauder as their main spokes model. Within her first month with the company, Hurley launched the best-selling perfume, Pleasures. In 2007 Hurley's contract with Estée Lauder was renewed for the 13th year with a subsequent contract extension.
Hurley and Grant had previously joined forces to create Simian Films, a production company, during their relationship. Through this joint venture Hurley produced two films starring Grant, Extreme Measures (1996) and Mickey Blue Eyes (1999). She also produced the 2004 film Method in which she starred. In 2006 the company was dissolved as both Hurley and Grant focused on other projects.
Hurley was cast as the female lead as Vanessa Kensington in the hit Mike Myers spy comedy Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery in 1997 which gained her further crucial exposure in the film industry. After the success of that film, she reprised the role of Vanessa in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me in 1999 and appeared in several more high-profile films, including EdTV, Bedazzled, Double Whammy and 2002's Serving Sara, which was her last American film to date. Hurley also hosted the first season of the British reality series Project Catwalk featuring novice fashion designers.
Hurley became a favourite with the press again in 2000 when she fell foul of US acting unions. She had filmed an advertisement for Estée Lauder which broke a five-month strike. She was subsequently fined £70,000 by the Screen Actors Guild. She apologised for breaking the strike but said she had been unaware that it was going on as she had been based in the UK and the union had not informed her of the industrial action. She was confronted by a protest of angry actors at the US première of her film Bedazzled in October. Protesters brandished banners stating "Elizabeth Scably".
In 2005 Hurley's beachwear line Elizabeth Hurley Beach debuted in select Saks Fifth Avenue stores in the United States, Harrod's in the UK, various other locations worldwide and through her website. In 2006, the line expanded its distribution among Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Asia.
Since she signed with Estée Lauder, Hurley has taken an active role in the company's breast cancer charity. Hurley revealed that her grandmother died from breast cancer because for a number of years she refused to reveal the existence of a lump. By the time this was revealed, it was too late to save her life. Hurley was the Mistress of Ceremonies at "The Hot Pink Party" at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City to mark the tenth anniversary of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Additionally, Estée Lauder created a lipstick named "Elizabeth Pink" after Hurley; proceeds from the sale of every tube of "Elizabeth Pink" benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Hurley has also acted as mistress of ceremonies for The Prince's Trust, a charity founded by Prince Charles which aids youth in Great Britain. She has also helped cricketer and friend Imran Khan with his cancer hospital in Pakistan. Ironically, Imran's ex-wife was the girlfriend of Hurley's ex boyfriend, Hugh Grant, connecting all four together.
Hurley had a high profile 13-year relationship with actor Hugh Grant, spanning from 1987-2001. After their relationship ended on May 24, the two remained cordial. Later in October 2000, Hurley began a relationship with multi-millionaire American film producer Stephen Bing. In 2001 Hurley revealed that she was pregnant with Bing's child, but the couple had already split before the announcement after 18 months together. However, this was a claim that Bing rejected and denied.
On 4 April 2002, Hurley gave birth to a son, Damian Charles Hurley. In June 2002 DNA test conducted four months after the child's birth vindicated Hurley and Bing was proven to be the father after much dispute. Damian was baptised a Roman Catholic. Grant is one of Damian's godfathers. Elizabeth Hurley maintains three homes: in London; in Ampney Crucis, a village in Gloucestershire; and in Beverly Hills, California. According to the Daily Mail in 2004, Hurley has made a wealth of £13 million through her career.
On 2 March 2007, Liz Hurley got married in a secret service to Indian businessman Arun Nayar at Sudeley Castle, near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. The couple were due to get married on March 3, 2007, but decided to keep the ceremony private so held it one day early but with only the guests being informed of this change in date. Hurley contracted an exclusive magazine deal with magazine Hello!, thought to be worth £2 to 5 million with the overall cost of the wedding being estimated at a total of £2 million. Many famous celebrities attended the wedding ceremonies and other celebrations. Some included Elton John (who gave her away), David Furnish, Elle Macpherson, Donatella Versace, Patsy Kensit, Trinny Woodall, Susannah Constantine, Tamara Mellon, Eva Herzigova, Janet Street-Porter, Valentino, Tracey Emin, Prince Pavlos, Marie-Chantal Miller, Tom Ford, Flavio Briatore, Tania Bryer, Charles Dean and Leonard Lauder.
The wedding festivities continued in Mumbai, India where they joined a private celebration held at Juhu Beach before moving on to Jodhpur, India. In Jodhpur, they held a private Hindu ceremony held at Umaid Bhawan Palace, where she wore couture sari made especially by her designer friend Donatella Versace. On the eve of the Hindu marriage, the couple held a sangeet, a traditional night of music, at the Nagaur Fort, 90 miles outside the city, where Hurley had her hands and feet decorated with intricate henna designs. The ceremony followed by private candle-lit reception on March 8 at Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. The whole fort was decorated with lights for the function. On Hurley and Nayar's arrival outside Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur, a fight broke out between reporters and security guards when reporters tried to block the celebrity couple's Bentley as it entered the venue for a dinner. The journalists then chased the car into the fort, forcing a lockdown.
Aria (1987) .... Marietta
Rowing with the Wind (1988) .... Claire Clairmont
Christabel (1988) (TV) .... Christabel Bielenberg
Act of Will (1989) (TV) .... Christina
Death Has a Bad Reputation (1990) (TV) .... Julia Latham