Athens, Georgia, United States
Kim Basinger Biography
Kim Basinger is an American model turned actress and singer who rose to prominence in the 1970s. With the prestigious Academy Award to her credit, Kim is globally revered for her illustrious body of work for over four decades now. From a Bond girl in ‘Never Say Never Again’ to Elana Lincoln in ‘Fifty Shades Darker’, her performance in a range of characters testifies her finesse as an artist. Kim Basinger’s roots in the film industry traces back to her actress mother who performed in the Esther Williams’s films. Though introvert as a child, and shy as a teenager, Kim Basinger grew into a confident young adult and is known for her stunning looks. After a glamorous modelling stint, she entered Hollywood in the late 70’s. Forty Four plus movies and countless awards later, Kim Basinger is remembered till date, as one of the most fertile artists of her time.
Donald Wade Basinger, Ann Cordell
At the age of 26, Kim Basinger met makeup artist Ron Snyder Britton on the sets of ‘Hard Country’. The couple tied knots after a year of courtship in 1980. Following a few episodes of intense agoraphobia, alleged extra marital affairs with co- stars and musicians (Richard Gere and Prince), the couple called it quits in 1988, when Kim fell for the producer of ‘Batman’ Jon Peters. They got divorced the following year in 1989. Kim Basinger married co-star Alec Baldwin in 1993. They met while filming ‘The Married Man’ in 1990. The couple was blessed with a daughter on 23 October, 1995. They named her Ireland Eliesse Baldwin. They separated in 2000 and got divorced in 2002, after a bitter custody battle over their daughter Ireland. Apart from her family struggles, Kim Basinger was faced with severe financial crisis when her plan, to convert a $20 million worth land into a tourist destination, fell apart. On withdrawing from the controversial movie ‘Boxing Helena’, she was charged with a penalty of whopping $8.1 million. She finally had to pay $3.8 million after declaring bankruptcy in a higher court. A strict vegetarian by diet, Kim Basinger is an ardent supporter of ‘Animal Rights’.
Kim Basinger was born on 8th December 1953, in Athens, Georgia, to Ann Lee and Donald Wade Basinger. Her mother was an actress and swimmer, while her father was a soldier in the U.S Army and a big band musician. Along with her siblings, James, Michael, Skip, Ashley and Barbara, she was raised a Methodist. Born with an interesting lineage of English, Swedish, German, Scot- Irish influence, Kim Basinger owes her good looks to her genes. An ardent student of ballet, Basinger had a decade long association with the dance form, right from the age of three. Perceived as an introvert, Basinger averted social interactions in school. In an interview, she recalls how she almost “fainted” if asked to address the class. Her shyness had an enduring impact in her early teens. Later in her mid- teens, she overcame her shyness and embraced the limelight. After acing the school cheerleading audition, she signed up for ‘America’s Junior Miss Scholarship’ at 17 and ended up winning the crown of Athens Junior Miss at the city level. At the state level, however, she failed to make the winning cut and lost the title to ‘Georgia’s Junior Miss’ Sue Whitted. Despite the setback, her beauty turned eye balls and she made waves in the national program. Another significant achievement in her early life was winning the ‘Breck Scholarship’ which paved her way into the modelling industry. Her first break was an advertisment for Breck where she shared the screen with her mother Ann Lee. Stuck in a dilemma to choose between modelling, singing or acting, she had initially leaned towards the latter. She chose University of Georgia over Ford Modelling Agency—a decision that she soon reversed in favour of Ford.• Ford Modelling Agency was one of the earliest agencies she had worked with as a model. She in fact shifted her base to New York to work full time with them. During her stint as a model, Kim Basinger was featured as a cover girl for a wide array of magazines. Popularly known as the ‘Breck Shampoo Girl’, she had appeared in scores of product ads in the 1970s which made her a household face of the time. Even with a whopping $1000 per day income, modelling was never her calling. Kim Basinger confesses how hard it was to slog from one booking to another in an obsessively look centric industry. Her modelling career rendered her so claustrophobic and uninspired that she even loathed admiring herself in the mirror. Juggling between her concerts at the Greenwich Village Club, a promising modelling career and her acting classes, Kim Basinger debuted in television with the hit series Charlie’s Angels. (1976). In the same year, she shifted to Los Angeles to give wings to her Hollywood dreams.
After a few sporadic guest appearances on TV shows like ‘McMillan & Wife’ and ‘Charlie's Angels’, Basinger got her first big break in television with ABC television series 'Dog and Cat' (1977). Her role as Officer J.Z. Kane was much appreciated across audiences and show makers. In 1978, she wowed the screen with a made-for-TV movie, 'Katie: Portrait of a Centrefold', in which she played a small- town girl whose ticket to Hollywood lands her to the centrefold of a Men's Magazine. While 'From Here to Eternity'(1979) presented her with the opportunity to work with legendary artists like Natalie Wood, Willam Devane, Steve Railsback, 'Hard Country'(1981) was critically appreciated. In 1982, she ventured into the adventure genre with 'Mother Lode' Meanwhile, her modelling career took a bold turn when she posed nude for the 1981 edition of the 'Playboy' 'Never Say Never Again' the 1983 Bond Movie remains one of her best performances till date. Starring opposite Sean Connery, Basinger played the coveted role of Bond Girl- Domino Petachi. The success of the Bond movie shot her to popularity and she went on to bag memorable roles in movies like 'The Natural' (1984). Kim Basinger won a Golden Globe nomination as Best Supporting Actress for it. She gained immense popularity in Europe and France for her erotic romantic drama '9 1/2' (1986), following which she was casted in 'Nadine' 1987 by the Academy Award winning writerdirector Robert Benton. Tim Burton's ‘Batman’ (1989) was her biggest commercial success where she impressed the audience with the spunk of Vicki Vale. Over the next six years, she worked on a mixed body of works including an animated film ' Cool World' and various singing assignments like 'Shake Your Head'. This was also the period when she took a break from her career to cherish motherhood. 1997 was a comeback year for Kim Basinger. 'L.A. Confidential' hit the screens with an applauding response from the audience. Starring opposite Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce, the role bagged her ‘Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, ‘Golden Globe Award’ and ‘Screen Actor's Guild Award’. From 2000 to 2002, she acted in blockbuster movies like ' I Dreamed of Africa' (2000) and ' 8 Mile' (2002) For the next decade of her career, Kim Basinger stretched her boundaries as an artist to experimental territories with films like ‘The Door in The Floor’(2004), ‘Cellular’(2004), ‘The Sentinel’(2006), ‘ The Mermaid Chair’(2006), ‘ The Informers’ (2009), ‘Charlie St Cloud’ (2010) and ‘ Grudge Match’(2013) In 2017, Kim Basinger was back in limelight with the movie ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ where she played Elena Lincoln. In keeping with the buzz of the movie, her role as a negative character was well received by the audience.
‘L.A Confidential’ stands out as the highlight of Kim Basinger’s long career. Loosely based on James Ellroy’s novel, the movie is a quintessential neo-noir crime film that revolves around LAPD officers of 1953. With crime, Hollywood, drama at the heart of it, the movie won her an Academy Award in 1997.
In 1997, Kim Basinger won the Academy Award for the Best Actress in Supporting Role for the movie ‘L.A Confidential’. In the same year, she also won a ‘Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role as well as Screen Actor Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role for L.A Confidential. In 2010, she won the ‘The Movies for Grown Ups Award’ in the category of the Best Supporting Actress for ‘The Burning Plain’ For her invaluable contribution to cinematic art and her lifetime association in films, she received the ‘Athena Award’ at the Kudzu Film Festival. She was also honoured with two stars in the ‘Hollywood Hall of Fame’.
As a singer, Kim Basinger performed under the stage name Chelsea. She made it to the Empire Magazine’s list as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in the history of films. After her first marriage, she suffered from a severe episode of agoraphobia that kept her homebound for over six months.