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One of Our Favorite British Babes: Elizabeth Hurley

December 27th, 2005 2:52pm EST
Elizabeth HurleyAlthough we haven't seen Elizabeth Hurley truly light up the big screen like she did in Austin Powers, we keep hoping she'll make headlines for more than her personal woes. Known for being Hugh Grant's ex-lover, as well as enduring a paternity battle with Steve Bing, Hurley has also made a name for herself through several other films and projects.

Hurley, who was born in Basingstoke, England, on June 10, 1965, originally wanted to be a dancer. Her interest in dancing soon gave way to acting pursuits, and following studies in dance and theater at the London Studio Centre, she began going on casting calls. The aspiring actress found work in a number of forgettable films and TV miniseries, and it was while working on a film set that she met fellow actor Hugh Grant. Thanks to Grant's notorious dalliance with a prostitute by the name of Divine Brown, Hurley was thrust into the public eye with little room to hide. Further complicating the situation was her work as the spokesmodel for Estee Lauder at the time, a position that both heightened her fame and compounded the problems associated with Grant's infamous behavior.

After the ruckus surrounding the Brown scandal died down, Hurley began earning more recognition for her work in Hollywood, both as a producer (she and Grant founded the production company Simian Films in 1994) and an actress. Perhaps her most famous role to date has been as Vanessa Kensington, sidekick and eventual paramour of Mike Myers in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997). She reprised the role for the film's 1999 sequel, although her character was killed off only minutes into the movie.

Hurley has also appeared in such films as Permanent Midnight (1998), in which she played the wife of a heroin addict; and EdTV (1999), which featured her as a model who provides heady temptation for the film's titular protagonist (Matthew McConaughey). Hurley would play a temptress of a different sort -- a busty, female version of Satan -- in 2000's Bedazzled with Brendan Fraser. In 2001, Hurley took part in the four part documentary The Human Face and later starred as a beautiful doctor in Double Whammy.

Hurley met up with Denis Leary once again for Dawg, the follow-up to Double Whammy (2002). Unfortunately for Hurley, most of the notoriety the young actress gained during 2002 was, once again, of the tabloid variety -- a heated paternity battle with former boyfriend Steve Bing made more headlines than Dawg or Serving Sara. In 2004, Hurley starred in the the thriller Method.

Related Links:
Elizabeth Hurley biography, photos and more on Starpulse


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