Oscar Actors: Basinger, Kim–L.A. Confidential (As Prostitute)

Kim Basinger received the Best Supporting Actress Award in 1997 for her role in Curtis Hanson’s critically acclaimed film L.A. Confidential, based on the James Ellroy classic crime novel of the same title.


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The film, directed by Curtis Hanson, earned nine Academy Award nominations and also earned Basinger a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a BAFTA nomination.

In this film, Basinger plays a prostitute, whose looks are inspired by Veronica Lake, though the latter was a star in the 1940s (the movie is set in the 1950s).

In what’s her best performance, she brought sort of tragic weariness and melanchole to a role that could be easily stereotyped as “the ice-blonde.”

Overall, Basinger’s career was more notable for offscreen legal woes (including well publicized divorce from Alec Baldwin) than onscreen accomplishments.

She herself has acknowledged: “I’m so happy to be in a good movie and play a decent role for a change.”

In 2000, Basinger starred in “Bless the Child,” directed by Chuck Russell and also starring Jimmy Smits and Rufus Sewell.

That year, Basinger also starred in Hugh Hudson’s “I Dreamed of Africa.” The film was shot entirely on location in Venice, Italy, and South Africa and is based on the best-selling true story by Kenyan activist Kuki Gallmann.

In 2002, she starred in “People I Know,” opposite Al Pacino and Tea Leoni.

In 2003, Basinger starred opposite Eminem in Curtis Hanson’s “8 Mile.” 

In 2004, Basinger received critical praise for her performance opposite Jeff Bridges in the “The Door in the Floor” based on the John Irving novel, “Widow for One Year.” In the same year, she also starred in “Cellular.”

In 2006 she starred in the TV film “The Mermaid Chair,” which was based on the novel by Sue Monk. The same year, Basinger starred in “The Sentinel” opposite Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland. Basinger portrays First Lady Sarah Balletine, who finds herself caught in the middle of a plot to assassinate the president. The film was directed by Clark Johnson.

Basinger also starred in Mark Rydell’s “Even Money” with Danny DeVito, Nick Cannon, Forest Whitaker and Jay Mohr.

Basinger appeared in “The Burning Plain,” written and directed by Guillermo Arriaga and co-starring Charlize Theron.

Basinger was seen in the independent film “While She Was Out,” directed by Susan Montford and produced by Guillermo Del Toro, which was released in December of 2008.

She then played Laura Sloan in “The Informers,” which was released in 2009 by Senator Distribution.

Basinger’s other film credits include the box office blockbuster “Batman;” Adrian Lyne’s sensual thriller “9 1/2 Weeks;” “No Mercy;” Robert Altman’s “Ready to Wear” (“Prêt-à-Porter”) and “Fool For Love;” “Final Analysis” opposite Richard Gere; “The Marrying Man” and “The Getaway;” Blake Edwards’ “Blind Date” opposite Bruce Willis; “Cool World;” “The Real McCoy;” and “Nadine” opposite Jeff Bridges.