8 december, 1953
Kim Basinger was born December 8, 1953 in Athens, Georgia, the third of five children. Both her parents had been in entertainment, her father had played big-band jazz, and her mother had performed water ballet in several Esther Williams movies. Kim was introspective, from her father's side. As a schoolgirl, she was very shy. To help her overcome this, her parents had Kim study ballet from an early age. By the time she reached sweet sixteen, the once-shy Kim entered the Athens Junior Miss contest. From there, she went on to win the Junior Miss Georgia title and traveled to New York to compete in the national Junior Miss pageant. Kim, who had blossomed to a 5' 7" beauty, was offered a contract on the spot with the Ford Modeling Agency. At age 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, most notably as the Breck girl. Kim took acting classes at the Neighborhood Playhouse, performed in various Greenwich Village clubs, and sang under the stage name Chelsea.
Kim moved to Los Angeles in 1976, ready to conquer Hollywood. Kim broke into television doing episodes of such hit series as "Charlie's Angels" (1976). She also starred in several TV movies, including Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold (1978) (TV) and the award-winning remake of "From Here to Eternity" (1979). In 1980, Kim married Ron Snyder, a makeup artist who became known as Ron Britton after changing his surname to "something with a B" at Kim's request in order to match monograms on a set of luxury luggage (they divorced in 1989). Kim did good work in low-key movies like Hard Country (1981) and Mother Lode (1982) before achieving international fame for her performance in the James Bond film Never Say Never Again (1983), where she played Sean Connery's romantic interest. Kim was next starring opposite Burt Reynolds in The Man Who Loved Women (1983) and Robert Redford in The Natural (1984), receiving a Golden Globe nomination for the latter film. In 1985, Kim gave a tour-de-force performance in Robert Altman's screen adaptation of Fool for Love (1985). Kim's career flourished during the rest of the 1980s with high-profile roles in Nine 1/2 Weeks (1986), No Mercy (1986), Blind Date (1987), Nadine (1987), My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988), and Tim Burton's blockbuster redux of Batman (1989).
With perhaps too much disposable income, Kim headed up an investment group that purchased the entire town of Braselton, in her native Georgia, for $20 million (she would later have to sell it). In 1993, Kim married Alec Baldwin, and in 1995 they had a daughter, Ireland Eliesse. Kim took some time off to stay at home with her child. Kim, who loves animals and is a strict vegetarian, devoted energy to animal rights issues and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), even posing for some ads. In 1997, after several years away from the screen, Kim made a career comeback with an Oscar-winning performance in the film noir classic L.A. Confidential (1997). Her salary for I Dreamed of Africa (2000) was $5,000,000, putting her firmly in the category of big-name movie star. And no doubt there are still many great things ahead, in the career of cover girl turned Oscar-winning actress Kim Basinger.