Born June 10, 1965, in Hampshire, England, Elizabeth Hurley
is the daughter of an army officer and an elementary schoolteacher
mother. While growing up in Basingstoke, England, Hurley dreamed
of becoming a dancer, which prompted her to attend a boarding
school specializing in ballet at the age of 12.
Her attendance at the boarding school was short-lived, and
Hurley then went through a different phase; the English punk
stage. Although it must be hard to imagine the now so glamorous
Hurley with pink hair and a nose ring, she was a victim of
punk fashion of the early '80s, since this was the thing to
do at that time and place.
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 (aka Rowing In
the Wind) that same year could be considered a crucial one,
as it 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 this was a Hollywood role, she was still
having difficulty receiving quality roles, and consequently
returned to England.
Whoever said that clothing is not important must not know
about Elizabrth Hurley's claim to fame. Apparently, Versace
did Hurley a 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.
More attention followed when Estée Lauder signed Hurley
to be the face of the international cosmetics company. And
who can forget the Hugh Grant scandal (what was he thinking?)
when he was arrested for his one-night tryst with prostitute
Divine Brown? Contrary to public belief, Hurley and Grant
remained a couple, and together founded the production company
Simian Films. Its first production was the film Extreme Measures,
a 1996 thriller starring Hugh, Gene Hackman and Sarah Jessica
If by this time someone had still not heard of Elizabeth
Hurley, 1997's Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,
the little movie that became a smash hit, was sure to get
her the recognition she deserved. With her comedic turn as
agent Vanessa Kensington alongside Austin Powers, played by
Mike Myers, Hurley was now seeing the movie scripts rolling
Several movie roles followed the huge success of the film,
including roles 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 producer of Mickey Blue
Eyes, which starred her boyfriend Hugh Grant, and marked the
second film for Simian Films.
Hurley has continued to appear in smaller productions over
the past couple of years, including 2000's The Weight of Water
and Bedazzled, 2002's Bad Boy with Denis Leary, and Serving
Sara, a comedy co-starring Matthew Perry.
After a 13-year relationship, she and Hugh Grant parted ways
in 2000. Rumors that the breakup stemmed from a disagreement
over having children together abounded. Liz began a romance
with L.A. millionaire producer Stephen Bing in 2001, and gave
birth to a son, Damian Charles, on April 4, 2002. Bing initially
denied being the baby's biological father, claiming 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.
Hurley is now currently dating Indian textile magnate Arun
Nayar, and they are allegedly planning on getting married.