Born: 8 December 1953
Birthplace: Athens, Georgia
Best known as: Oscar-winning blonde star of L.A. Confidential
Kim Basinger won an Oscar for playing a mysterious Hollywood blonde in the 1997 drama L. A. Confidential (opposite Russell Crowe). Until then, Basinger had been known more as a beauty than as a serious actress; she had started in beauty pageants, moved to modeling, then on to Playboy magazine and to television and the movies. She had parts in the James Bond movie Never Say Never Again (1983, opposite Sean Connery) and the baseball classic The Natural (1984, with Robert Redford), but it was her pairing with bad boy Mickey Rourke in the sexually-charged film 9 1/2 Weeks that gained her a real audience. Her other films include 8 Mile (2002), in which she played Eminem's mother, Batman (1989, as journalist Vicki Vale), The Door in the Floor (2004), and The Informers (2009). Offscreen, Basinger made headlines when she bought the small town of Braselton, Georgia in 1989; she was forced to sell it when she declared bankruptcy in 1993.
Extra credit: Basinger is 5'7" tall, according to the IMDB... She and actor Alec Baldwin were married in 1994 and had a daughter, Ireland, in 1995. The couple divorced in 2001 and had an angry and much-publicized custody battle over their daughter.
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