10 May 2019

Kim Basinger

American film actress and former top model Kim Basinger (1953) won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in L.A. Confidential (1997). Her other films include Never Say Never Again (1983), Nine ½ Weeks (1986), Batman (1989), and 8 Mile (2002). She was married to actor Alec Baldwin from 1993 to 2001.

Kim Basinger
French postcard, no. C 324. Photo: publicity still for Never Say Never Again (Irvin Kershner, 1983). The tiger print one piece Basinger wears in Never Say Never Again (1983)'s final scene was given to her by the Playboy organisation.

Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke in Nine 1/2 Weeks (1986)
French postcard by Editions F. Nugeron, Paris, no. 2. Photo: Collection de l'École de Cinéma CAMIRIS. Publicity still for Nine ½ Weeks (Adrian Lyne, 1986) with Mickey Rourke.

Kim Basinger in Nadine (1987)
French postcard by Editions F. Nugeron, no. 18. Photo: Collection de l'École de Cinéma CAMIRIS, Lyon. Kim Basinger in Nadine (Robert Benton, 1987).

Michael Keaton and Kim Basinger in Batman (1989)
French postcard by Editions Mercuri, no. 88. Photo: Warner Bros inc. Photo: publicity still for Batman (Tim Burton, 1989) with Michael Keaton.

Kim Basinger in Batman (1989)
British postcard by Heroes Publishing Ltd., London, no. SPC2429. Kim Basinger in Batman (Tim Burton, 1989).

Financial success came along with new found fame

Kimila Ann Basinger was born in 1953, in Athens, Georgia. She comes from an entertainment background. Her father was a musician, who played big-band jazz and her mother was a dancer, who had performed water ballet in several Esther Williams movies.

As a schoolgirl, she was very shy. To help her overcome this, her parents had Kim study ballet from an early age. At 16, Basinger branched out into beauty pageants. She won the title of Junior Miss Georgia and competed at the national Junior Miss event in New York City.

While in New York, Basinger caught the eye of a modelling agent at the Ford Modeling Agency. She soon landed a contract and first gained fame as a model for Breck Shampoo. At the age of 20, Kim was a top model commanding $1,000 a day. Throughout the early 1970s, she appeared on dozens of magazine covers and in hundreds of ads.

In the mid-1970s, Basinger moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. She landed a number of small parts at first, making guest appearances on such shows as Charlie's Angels. In 1978, Basinger starred in the TV movie Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold. She portrayed Lorene Rogers in the Miniseries From Here to Eternity (1979) and its short-lived spin-off series the following year.

In 1980, she married make-up artist Ron Snyder (they divorced in 1989). Basinger made her film debut in the Western drama Hard Country (David Greene, 1981) with Jan-Michael Vincent. Two years later, her career started to skyrocket with the James Bond film Never Say Never Again (Irvin Kershner, 1983) starring Sean Connery and with Basinger as the 'Bond girl'.

More major film projects soon followed, including The Natural (Barry Levinson, 1984) with Robert Redford, and the steamy romance 9 1/2 Weeks (Adrian Lyne, 1986) with Mickey Rourke. She played a small-town Texan beauty in Nadine (Robert Benton, 1987). Her breakout role was as photojournalist Vicki Vale in the blockbuster hit Batman (Tim Burton, 1989) with Michael Keaton.

Kim was a last-minute replacement for Sean Young. This took her to a career high. Financial success also came along with her new found fame. But Basinger became known for her unusual business decisions. In 1989, she and some other investors bought the town of Braselton, in her native Georgia, for $20 million. Basinger sought to make the community near Atlanta a tourist destination, but she ended up selling it five years later as she faced personal bankruptcy.

Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke, Nine and a half Weeks (1986)
Vintage postcard, no. X 142. Photo: publicity still for Nine ½ Weeks (Adrian Lyne, 1986) with Mickey Rourke.

Kim Basinger
French postcard in the Collection Cinéma by Studio Magazine, no. PSM 399. Photo: Christophe D'Yvoire.

Kim Basinger
British postcard, no. 1003.

Kim Basinger
British postcard by New Line, no. 146.

One of Hollywood's most attractive yet volatile couples

While making The Marrying Man (Jerry Rees, 1991), Kim Basinger fell for her co-star Alec Baldwin. The pair wed in 1993, becoming one of Hollywood's most attractive yet volatile couples. Basinger and Baldwin welcomed their only child together in 1995. They named their daughter Ireland. Kim took some time off to stay at home with her child.

Basinger's career had floundered a bit. In 1993, she found herself in an intense legal battle after breaking a verbal agreement to appear in Jennifer Lynch's Boxing Helena (1993). The court sided with the film's producers, ordering the actress to pay millions for breach of contract. The case was later overturned on appeal.

In 1997, Basinger gave one of her greatest performances in L.A. Confidential (Curtis Hanson, 1997) opposite Kevin Spacey and Russell Crowe. She starred as a high-end prostitute with an intentional resemblance to actress Veronica Lake in this 1950s crime drama. She won an Academy Award for her work on the film.

Despite this acclaim, Basinger soon appeared in more headlines than film roles. She filed for divorce from her husband Alec Baldwin in 2001 and spent years locked in a bitter custody dispute over their daughter.

After her divorce, Kim Basinger took on few acting roles. She reteamed with L.A. Confidential director Curtis Hanson for the rap drama 8 Mile (Curtis Hanson, 2002) in which she played the mother of Eminem. Two years later, she co-starred with Jeff Bridges in The Door in the Floor (Tod Williams, 2004) and with Chris Evans and Jason Statham in the thriller Cellular (David R. Ellis, 2004).

Basinger's later films include Charlie St. Cloud (Burr Steers, 2010) with Zac Efron, and Grudge Match (Peter Segal, 2013) with Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone. She has also made a return to modelling, signing with IMG Models in 2013.

Kim Basinger is a strict vegetarian, who devoted energy to animal rights issues and posed for anti-fur advertisements of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

Recently, she appeared in the film The Nice Guys (Shane Black, 2016) with Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling and the Fifty Shades of Grey (Sam Taylor-Johnson, 2015) sequels Fifty Shades Darker (James Foley, 2017) and Fifty Shades Freed (James Foley, 2018) with Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.

Michael Keaton and Kim Basinger in Batman (1989)
French postcard by Sonis, no. C 62. Photo: Warner Bros inc. Photo: publicity still for Batman (Tim Burton, 1989).

Kim Basinger
Italian postcard by Teletutto in the Le più belle del mondo series, no. 7.

Kim Basinger
British postcard, no. MM 196.

Kim Basinger
Belgian postcard in 'De 50 mooiste vrouwen van de eeuw' (The 50 most beautiful women of the century) series by P magazine, no. 20. Photo: Sante D'Orazio / Outline.

Kim Basinger
Spanish postcard in the Collecciòn 'Estrellas cinematográficas' by Cacitel, no. 39.

Kim Basinger
Vintage postcard, no. X238.

Sources: Biography.com, Wikipedia and IMDb.

No comments: