Kimila Ann "Kim" Basinger (pronounced /'be?s???r/ BAY-sing-?r, often mispronounced /'bæs?nd??r/ bass-in-j?r; born December 8, 1953) is an American film actress and former fashion model.
Following her role as a Bond girl in Never Say Never Again (1983), Basinger received a Golden Globe nomination for her work in The Natural (1984). She won an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award as best supporting actress for her performance in L.A. Confidential (1997). Her film work includes major roles in Batman (1989) and 8 Mile (2002).
When Basinger was sixteen, she started her modeling career by winning the Athens Junior Miss contest. She followed that by winning the title Junior Miss Georgia. Basinger then competed in the national Junior Miss pageant. It was there that Basinger was offered a modeling contract with Ford Modeling Agency. Initially turning down the offer in favor of singing and acting, Basinger reconsidered and went to New York to become a Ford model.
In 1976, after a five-year stint as a cover girl, Basinger decided to put her modeling career on hold and move to Los Angeles to begin a career in acting. After appearing in small parts on a few TV shows such as Starsky and Hutch and Charlie's Angels, her first starring role was a made-for-TV movie, Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold (1978) in which she played a small town girl who goes to Hollywood to become an actress and winds up becoming a famous centerfold for a men's magazine. She was then cast as a prostitute in From Here to Eternity (1979), in which she starred alongside Natalie Wood. Basinger played the same character in a 13-episode TV spinoff. She made her feature film debut in Hard Country (1981) with Jan Michael Vincent, followed by Mother Lode (1982) with Charlton Heston.
Basinger's breakout role was as a Bond girl, Domino Petachi in Never Say Never Again (1983), starring opposite Sean Connery. She did a nude pictorial for Playboy to promote her role in the Bond film in 1983. Basinger said the Playboy appearance led to good opportunities, such as Barry Levinson's The Natural (1984), co-starring Robert Redford, for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination as Best Supporting Actress. She starred opposite Mickey Rourke in the sexually provocative film 9½ Weeks (1986), which was a flop upon release. Oscar-winning writer-director Robert Benton cast her in the title role for the film Nadine (1987) with Jeff Bridges.
Basinger then played Vicki Vale in the blockbuster hit Batman (1989). Sean Young was originally cast as Vicki, but dropped out due to an injury prior to filming. Tim Burton recommended Michelle Pfeiffer to replace Young, but Pfeiffer was doing The Fabulous Baker Boys at the time. (Pfeiffer would be cast as Catwoman in Batman Returns.) After interviewing with Burton, Basinger was accepted and cast.
Directors repeated her in their films, such as Blake Edwards for The Man Who Loved Women (1983) and Blind Date (1987), as well as Robert Altman for Fool for Love (1985) and Prêt-à-Porter (1994). Other films made during that period were the comedies My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988) and Wayne's World 2 (1993).
In 1992, Basinger was the guest vocalist on a re-recorded version of Was (Not Was)'s "Shake Your Head", which also featured Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, and reached the UK Top 5. In the video for Tom Petty's 1993 song "Mary Jane's Last Dance", Basinger played the role of a deceased woman Petty brings home from the morgue for a dinner date, dressing her in a wedding gown. Later, Petty is shown carrying her to a rocky shore and throwing her into the sea. In a macabre ending, she is seen floating in the water with her eyes open.
Basinger scaled back her work for most of the 1990s to take care of her family. In 1997, she then starred as a sophisticated call girl alongside Russell Crowe in the neo-noir drama L.A. Confidential. This performance earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, as well as the Golden Globe and Screen Actor's Guild Award. The film's director, Curtis Hanson, would cast her once more as Eminem's troubled mother in the hit film 8 Mile (2002). More recently, she appeared mostly in television and independent films, with the exceptions of the mainstream thrillers Cellular (2004) and The Sentinel (2006). Basinger appeared in the 2008 film While She Was Out. Her 2009 film, The Informers, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2009. Her next film, The Burning Plain, was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2008 and at the Savannah Film Festival in October 2008. It is slated for wide release in 2009
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