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Elizabeth Hurley Biography

Born on June 10, 1965, in Hampshire, England, Elizabeth Hurley is the daughter of an army officer and a schoolteacher mother. While growing up in Basingstoke, England, Hurley dreamed of becoming a dancer, which prompted her to attend a boarding school that specialized in ballet at the age of 12.

Her attendance at the boarding school was short-lived, and Hurley then went through an English punk phase. Although it's hard to imagine the now glamorous Hurley with pink hair and a nose ring, she was in fact a victim of early-'80s punk fashion.

elizabeth hurley meets hugh grant
At age 21, Hurley got her first film role in the 1987 film Aria, after having attended the London Studio Centre on scholarship. Hurley's role in the film Remando al viento (a.k.a. Rowing In the Wind) that same year also starred her future boyfriend Hugh Grant. One year later, Hurley received critical acclaim for her role as Christabel Bielenberg in the BBC miniseries Christabel.

Hurley gained some recognition in the United States for her role in the 1992 action film Passenger 57, starring Wesley Snipes. Although it was a Hollywood movie, she was still having difficulty receiving quality roles and consequently returned to England.

Whoever said that clothing isn't important doesn't know about Elizabeth Hurley's claim to fame. Apparently, Versace did Hurley a huge favor by giving the statuesque beauty an unsold dress to wear to the 1994 London premiere of Hugh Grant's film Four Weddings and a Funeral. The low-cut, risqué dress held together by safety pins became Hurley's ticket to stardom, as she made heads turn at the premiere.

elizabeth hurley is the face of estee lauder
More attention followed when Estée Lauder signed Hurley to be the face of the international cosmetics company. And who can forget Hugh Grant's arrest due to a one-night tryst with prostitute Divine Brown?

Contrary to public belief, Hurley and Grant remained a couple after the incident; they even founded the production company Simian Films together. Its first production was the film Extreme Measures, a 1996 thriller starring Hugh, Gene Hackman and Sarah Jessica Parker.

elizabeth hurley stars in austin powers
If anyone had still not heard of Elizabeth Hurley at this point, 1997's Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery -- the little movie that became a smash hit -- surely got her the recognition she deserved. Thanks to her comedic turn as agent Vanessa Kensington alongside Austin Powers, played by Mike Myers, Hurley began seeing movie scripts roll in.

Several film roles followed, including parts in 1998's Permanent Midnight and 1999's My Favorite Martian, EDtv and Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me. That same year, Hurley worked as a producer for Mickey Blue Eyes, which starred boyfriend Hugh Grant and marked the second film for Simian Films.

elizabeth hurley has a baby
However, after a 13-year relationship, Elizabeth and Hugh Grant parted ways in 2000, triggering rumors that the breakup stemmed from a disagreement over having children together. Liz began a romance with millionaire movie producer Stephen Bing in 2001 and gave birth to a son, Damian Charles, on April 4, 2002.

Bing initially denied that he was the baby's biological father, claiming that he and Liz had a non-exclusive relationship. DNA testing has since proven that Bing is indeed the child's father, although he and Liz are no longer romantically involved.

elizabeth hurley in bedazzled
Despite all the drama in her life, Hurley continued to appear in smaller productions, including 2000's The Weight of Water and Bedazzled, 2002's Bad Boy with Denis Leary, and Serving Sara, a comedy costarring Matthew Perry. In 2004, Elizabeth was seen in Method, in which she starred as a serial killer.

The following year, Elizabeth launched a beachwear line called Elizabeth Hurley Beach, which is sold at Saks Fifth Avenue in the U.S. and Harrod's in the UK. In 2006, the distribution was expanded to Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East.

elizabeth hurley hosts project catwalk
Also in 2006, Elizabeth served as host and executive producer for Project Catwalk, a UK reality show that is focused on fashion design and based on Heidi Klum's Project Runway.

In March 2007, Elizabeth married Indian textile magnate Arun Nayar, whom she had been dating since 2003, in a lavish ceremony.


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