Oscar Actors: Basinger, Kim–Background, Career, Awards

Occupational Inheritance: Yes; mother model and actress; father musician

Social Class: Upper-middle

Formal Education

Training: ballet, Neighborhood Playhouse

Career: Model; Cover girl; Bond Girl, 1989; age 26

TV Debut:

Film Debut: Hard Country, 1981; age 28

Oscar Award: 1 Supporting Actress, L.A. Confidential, 1997; age 44

Other Oscars: No

Other Awards: No

Marriage: makeup artist (divorce); Alec Baldwin, actor (divorce); affairs with Prince, Richard Gere and others.

Kimila Ann Basinger (born December 8, 1953)  followed a successful modeling career in New York during the 1970s, with acting career on television in 1976. She starred in several made-for-television films, including a remake of From Here to Eternity (1979), before making her feature debut in the drama Hard Country (1981).

Bond Girl

Basinger came to prominence for her performance of Bond girl Domino Petachi in Never Say Never Again (1983). She received a Golden Globe Award nomination for her role in The Natural (1984). She starred in the cult erotic film 9½ Weeks (1986), and in Tim Burton’s blockbuster Batman (1989), the highest-grossing film of her career.

For her femme fatale portrayal in L.A. Confidential (1997), Basinger won the Golden Globe, Best Supporting Oscar Actress, and SAG Award. She holds the distinction of being the only actress who has both posed nude in Playboy and won an Oscar.

Her other films include Blind Date (1987), Prêt-à-Porter (1994), I Dreamed of Africa (2000), 8 Mile (2002), Cellular (2004), Grudge Match (2013) and Fifty Shades Darker (2017).

Occupational Inheritance:

Born in Athens, Georgia, on December 8, 1953, she’s daughter of Ann Lee (née Cordell), a model, actress and swimmer who appeared in several Esther Williams films. Her father, Donald Wade Basinger was a big band musician and loan manager; as a U.S. Army soldier, he landed in Normandy on D-Day. The third of five children, she has two older brothers, Skip (b. 1950) and Mick (b. 1951), and two younger sisters, Barbara (b. 1956) and Ashley (b. 1959). Basinger’s ancestry includes English, German, Swedish, and Ulster Scots. She was raised a Methodist.

Training: Ballet

Basinger studied ballet from about age three to her mid-teens. By her mid-teens, she successfully auditioned for the school cheerleading team.

Miss Scholarship Pageant

At 17, she entered the America’s Junior Miss Scholarship Pageant, won at the city level and was crowned Athens Junior Miss. Although she lost in the state pageant to Sue Whitted, her beauty was profiled nationally. She had competed for the Breck Scholarship and was featured in an ad for Breck in a joint portrait with her mother.

Basinger was offered a modeling contract with the Ford Modeling Agency, but turned it down in favor of singing and acting, and enrolled at the University of Georgia. Despite earning $1,000 a day, Basinger never enjoyed modeling, saying: “It was very hard to go from one booking to another and always have to deal with the way I looked. I couldn’t stand it. I felt myself choking.”[2] Basinger has said that even as a model, when others relished looking in the mirror before appearing, she abhorred it and would avoid mirrors out of insecurity.

Neighborhood Playhouse

Not long after her Ford deal, Basinger appeared on the cover of magazines. She appeared in hundreds of advertisements throughout the early 1970s, the Breck Shampoo girl. She alternated between modeling and attending acting classes at the Neighborhood Playhouse, as well as performing in Greenwich Village clubs as a singer.

In 1976, after five years as a cover girl, Basinger quit modeling and moved to Los Angeles to act. She made guest appearances on TV shows such as McMillan & Wife and Charlie’s Angels, turning down a regular role in the latter series that eventually went to Cheryl Ladd.

Her first starring vehicle was a made-for-television film, “Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold” (1978), in which she played a small-town girl who goes to Hollywood to become an actress and winds up becoming a famous centerfold for a men’s magazine.

In 1979, she co-starred with Natalie Wood, William Devane and Steve Railsback in the miniseries remake of “From Here to Eternity,” reprising the role in a 13-episode spinoff that aired in 1980.

In 1981, Basinger posed for a famous nude pictorial for Playboy, and made her feature debut in the critically well-received rural drama Hard Country, which she followed with the Charlton Heston-directed adventure film Mother Lode (1982).