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Elizabeth Hurley

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 Parker.

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 in.

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.

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