Full Name: Elizabeth Jane Hurley
Birth Date: June 10, 1965
Birth Place: Hampshire, England, UK
Height: 5' 9"
Quote: "Being English, I always laugh at anything to do with the lavatory or bottoms."
Elizabeth Jane Hurley was born on June 10, 1965 in Hampshire, England, United Kingdom. The daughter of an army officer father and an elementary schoolteacher mother, Hurley grew up in the suburb of Basingstoke, England. Her dream as a youth was to become a dancer, so she went to a boarding school for ballet instruction when she was twelve years old.
She soon returned home, however. Around the age of sixteen, Hurley became caught up in the English punk-rock scene and even wore pink hair and a nose ring. Hurley says, "When I was sixteen the thing to be in Basingstoke, the suburb I grew up in, was punk. Which, as any hip person will tell you, was way past its sell-by date. But the thing to do was to have a pierced nose and spiky hair. And I loved the music. Still do." Despite her punkiness, Hurley won a college scholarship to the London Studio Centre, which taught courses for dance and theater.
Hurley parlayed her training at the London Studio Centre into theatre work and made her screen debut at the age of 21 in Bruce Beresford's movie Aria in 1987. Several roles in television and the film Remando al viento (1987) with young actor (and future beau) Hugh Grant soon followed. Continuing her streak of success, Hurley drew accolades for her portrayal of the title role of Christabel Bielenberg in the BBC mini-serial Christabel in 1988. Then, in 1992, Hurley made her Hollywood film debut as a terrorist in the Wesley Snipes action drama Passenger 57. Despite this appearance, Hurley was disappointed in the lack of meaty roles she received after two years of auditioning in Hollywood, so she returned to England.
Unbeknownst to Hurley, her fame was soon to skyrocket for two reasons. Reason number one was the London premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral, where Hurley wowed the crowd by wearing a black Versace dress that was held together by nothing more than safety pins. Hurley says, "That dress was a favor from Versace because I couldn't afford to buy one. His people told me they didn't have any evening wear, but there was one item left in their press office. So I tried it on and that was it."
Reason number two for Hurley's fame taking off was her becoming the spokesmodel representing top cosmetics house Estée Lauder. This assignment, along with the Hugh Grant/Divine Brown incident, thrust Hurley squarely into the public eye. Despite the chaos created by the incident, Hurley and Grant founded Simian Films in partnership with Castle Rock Entertainment in 1994. Soon afterwards, Hurley, Simian's Head of Development, discovered the script for and produced the film Extreme Measures (1996), starring Hugh Grant, Gene Hackman, and Sarah Jessica Parker. Extreme Measures, a medical mystery thriller, is Simian Films' first production and a departure from what Hurley and Grant had planned on doing in their first production - comedy. Hurley found out about Extreme Measures after Simian Films was established, during her first meeting with executives from Castle Rock Entertainment. Elizabeth liked the story and read Tony Gilroy's script eagerly. "I found the moral intricacies of the script so complex that even now, nearly two years after reading the first draft, I still can't decide exactly where I stand on the ethical issues," said Hurley during an interview.
Since producing Extreme Measures, the well-rounded Hurley has continued to be very busy with a plethora of projects. The film Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) was probably the biggest and and most successful of those projects. On Austin Powers' impact on her career, Hurley says "thanks to Austin Powers, I'm earning more money acting than I have before and getting better scripts. But that film was not what I feel comes naturally to me. I'm actually a more melancholy, more serious actress. I mean, in England I got known for very sad, dramatic, quite heavy emotional BBC dramas."
Hurley has appeared in several movies since portraying the "shagadelic" Vanessa Kensington in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. She had a major role in the film Dangerous Ground in 1997. After a brief absence from the big screen in 1998, Hurley reappeared with a vengeance. She starred in several films that were released within a year of each other -- Permanent Midnight (Fall 1998), My Favorite Martian (Spring 1999), Ed TV (Spring 1999), and Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me (Summer 1999). In addition to her starring roles in the above movies, Hurley served as a producer of Simian Film's second film, Mickey Blue-Eyes, which premiered Fall 1999.
Elizabeth Hurley Filmography
The Last Guy on Earth (2006)
Method (2004) .... Rebecca Fairbanks
... aka Dead Even
Serving Sara (2002) .... Sara Moore
Bad Boy (2002) .... Anna Lockheart
... aka Dawg
Double Whammy (2001) .... Dr. Ann Beamer
Bedazzled (2000) .... The Devil
The Weight of Water (2000) .... Adaline Gunne
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) .... Vanessa Kensington
... aka Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me
Edtv (1999) .... Jill
... aka Ed TV
My Favorite Martian (1999) .... Brace Channing
Permanent Midnight (1998) .... Sandra
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) .... Vanessa Kensington
Dangerous Ground (1997) .... Karen
Samson and Delilah (1996) (TV Movie) .... Dalila
Harrison: Cry of the City (1996) (TV Movie) .... Cecilia Harrison
Mad Dogs and Englishmen (1995) .... Antonia Dyer
... aka Mad Dogs & Englishmen
... aka Shameless
The Shamrock Conspiracy (1995) (TV Movie) .... Cecilia Harrison
Sharpe's Enemy (1994) (TV Movie) .... Lady Isabella Farthingdale
Beyond Bedlam (1993) .... Stephanie Lyell
... aka Nightscare
Passenger 57 (1992) .... Sabrina Ritchie
"The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" .... Vicky Prentiss (1 episode: "London, May 1916" 1992)
Largo invierno, El (1992) .... Emma Stapleton
... aka The Long Winter
... aka The Long Winter of '39
"The Good Guys" .... Candida (1 episode: "Relative Values" 1992)
The Orchid House (1991) (TV) .... Natalie
Skipper, Der (1990) .... Lou
... aka Kill Cruise
... aka The Storm
Death Has a Bad Reputation (1990) (TV Movie) .... Julia Latham
Act of Will (1989) (TV Movie) .... Christina
"Rumpole of the Bailey" .... Rosie Japhet (1 episode: "Rumpole and the Barrow Boy" 1988)
Christabel (1988) (TV Movie) .... Christabel Bielenberg
Remando al viento (1988) .... Claire Clairmont
... aka Rowing in the Wind
... aka Rowing with the Wind
"Inspector Morse" .... Julia (1 episode: "Last Seen Wearing" 1988)
Aria (1987) .... Marietta (segment "Die tote Stadt")
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