Elizabeth Hurley won a 1997 libel suit against the tabloid that dared imply she could be “rented out to the highest bidder.”
She successfully stifled paparazzi claims that she intentionally flashed her undergarments at a gala event, arguing that only their camera angles made the peek-a-boo possible.
Finally, in relationship-hopping Hollywood, she has continued to stand fiercely by long-time partner, fellow actor Hugh Grant, even after his indulgence in a sordid and very public scandal. Hurley briefly attended a ballet boarding school in her native England at age 12, and continued with her performance bent when she won a scholarship to the dance and theatre college, London Studio Centre.
After changing her image from pink-haired punk to glam conformist, the actor was cast in Aria (1987).
She met Grant during her next movie, Remando al Viento/Rowing With The Wind (1987 - re-release 2000). British TV appearances followed, in two Inspector Morse episodes (1987 and 1988), the Christabel miniseries (1988), and the movies Act of Will (TV - 1989) and Death Has A Bad Reputation (1990). Her European big and small screen roles continued with Der Skipper/Kill Cruise (1990), Orchid House (TV - 1991), and El Largo Invierno (1991). Hurley broke into Hollywood in 1992 with The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (2 episodes, TV) and Passenger 57. Steady work followed in Beyond Bedlam (1993), Nightscare (1993), Sharpe’s Enemy (TV - 1994), Shameless (1995), Mad Dogs and Englishmen (1995), The World of 007 (TV - 1995), The Shamrock Conspiracy (TV - 1995), Harrison: Cry of the City (TV - 1995), Samson and Delilah (TV - 1996), and Happy Birthday Elizabeth: A Celebration of Life (TV - 1997). Hurley’s blockbuster stardom began with the successful Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) and its sequel Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999). In between were roles in the films Dangerous Ground (1997), Permanent Midnight (1998), My Favorite Martian (1999), and Edtv (1999).
Behind the camera, Hurley has produced the Grant vehicles Extreme Measures (1996) and Mickey Blue Eyes (1999) as head of development of Simian Films.
As well, she is instantly recognizable as the Estee Lauder spokesmodel -- a contract she was awarded in 1994 at the advanced (for models) age of 29. She has the dubious distinction of being named, recently, the IGN For Men magazine ‘Babe of the Century.’ Coming up for the actor/producer/model are roles in The Weight of Water and Bedazzled. With before- and behind-the-camera success, Hurley -- “every English schoolboy’s fantasy” -- has a solid career as more than a pretty face. Just don’t cross her...