Sharon Stone Biography

Sharon Stone Biography on Monsters and Critics

Summary

"Sharon Vonne Stone" (born March 10, 1958) is an American actress, producer, and former fashion model. She came to international attention for her performance in the 1992 Hollywood blockbuster film "Basic Instinct". She has been nominated for an Academy Award and has won Golden Globe and Emmy Awards.

Early life

Stone was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania, located between Pittsburgh and Erie, Pennsylvania. The second of four children, she is the daughter of Joseph Stone, a tool and die manufacturer, and Dorothy (née Lawson), an accountant and homemaker. She has Irish ancestry, with roots in Galway.

She has described herself as 'a nerdy, ugly duckling who sat in the back of the closet with a flashlight, and a set of C cell batteries. I was never a kid. I walked and talked at 10 months. I started school in the second grade when I was five, a real weird, academically driven kid, not at all interested in being social. Recess was a drag until I realized I didn't have to play, that I could lean up against a wall and read.' Most of the kids disliked her because she was standoffish and did not play children's games. One day on the playground she announced, 'I am the new Marilyn Monroe.' Her mother once said: 'Sharon has been posing from the day she arrived. She came out posing.'

Tested as a young woman, her IQ was 154 points. After skipping a grade in school, she was involuntarily transferred from Saegertown High School to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, enrolling at the age of fifteen years. She returned for a visit to her college in March of 2007 for academic purposes, and there to her surprise she received an honorary doctorate from their president.

Career

1970s

Her uncle bribed her with US$100 to enter a local beauty contest in order to improve her self-esteem. She entered the contest because she needed the money to help pay her college tuition. She lost the contest, but one of the judges encouraged her to enter the Miss Pennsylvania contest, which she declined. Instead, she entered the county contest and won the title of Miss Crawford County in Meadville. One of the pageant judges said she should quit school and move to New York to become a fashion model. When her mother heard this, she agreed, and, in 1977 Stone left Meadville, moving in with an aunt in New Jersey. Within four days of her arrival in New Jersey, she was signed by Ford Modeling Agency in New York. After signing with Ford, Stone spent a few years modeling, and appeared in TV commercials for Burger King, Clairol and Maybelline, but she did not enjoy her work.

1980-1990

While living in Europe she decided to quit modeling and become an actress. 'So I packed my bags, moved back to New York, and stood in line to be an extra in a Woody Allen movie,' she later recalled. She was cast for a brief but memorable role in Allen's "Stardust Memories" (1980), and then had a speaking part a year later in the horror movie "Deadly Blessing" (1981), which was a big box-office success. When French director Claude Lelouch saw Stone in "Stardust Memories" he was so impressed that he cast her in "Les Uns et Les Autres" (1982), starring James Caan. She was only on screen for two minutes, and did not appear in the credits.

Her next role was in "Irreconcilable Differences" (1984), starring Ryan O'Neal, Shelley Long, and a young Drew Barrymore. Stone plays a starlet who breaks up the marriage of a successful director and his screenwriter wife. The story was based on the real-life experience of director Peter Bogdanovich, his set designer wife Polly Platt, and Cybill Shepherd, who as a young actress starred in Bogdanovich's "The Last Picture Show" (1971). The highlight of her performance is when her cocaine addict character plays Scarlett O'Hara in a musical pitched as a remake of "Gone with the Wind". Later that year, she took a part on "Magnum, P.I.", the highest-rated television show at the time.

Throughout the rest of the 1980s she appeared in "Action Jackson" (1988), "King Solomon's Mines" (1985) and "Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold" (1987), movies which have become cult classics in recent years. She also played the wife of Steven Seagal's character in "Above the Law" (1988).

1990-2004

Her appearance in "Total Recall" (1990) with Arnold Schwarzenegger gave her career a much-needed jolt. To coincide with the movie's release, she posed nude for "Playboy" magazine, showing off the buff body she developed in preparation for the movie (she pumped iron and learned Tae Kwon Do). She said she posed for the magazine because she needed the money. 'I had just remodeled my house. I was broke. I needed the bread.' In 1999, she was rated among the 25 sexiest stars of the century by "Playboy".

The role that made her a star was that of Catherine Tramell, a brilliant, bisexual serial killer in "Basic Instinct" (1992). Stone had to wait and actually turned down offers for the mere prospect to play Tramell (the part was offered to 13 other actresses before being offered to Stone). Several better known actresses of the time such as Geena Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan, Melanie Griffith, Kelly Lynch and Julia Roberts turned down the part mostly because of the nudity required. In the movie's most notorious scene, Tramell is being questioned by the police and she crosses and uncrosses her legs revealing the fact she was not wearing any underwear.

Stone claimed that, although she agreed to film the flashing scene with no panties, and although she and Verhoeven had discussed the scene from the beginning of production, she was unaware just how explicit the infamous shot would be. Despite having earlier claimed 'it was so fun' watching the film for the first time with strangers she later said it was 'so disrespectful, and so shocking, so I went into the booth and slapped him (Verhoeven) and left'. Director Paul Verhoeven denied the claims that the actress was unaware and said, 'as much as I love her, I hate her too, especially after the lies she told the Press about the shot between her legs, which was a straight lie'. Later she admitted that the scene helped make the movie the number one box office hit of the year. That year, she was rated by "People" magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world.

In 1992 photographer George Hurrell took a series of photographs of Stone, Sherilyn Fenn, Julian Sands, Raquel Welch, Eric Roberts and Sean Penn. In these portraits he recreated his style of the 1930s, with the actors posing in costumes, hairstyle and makeup of the period.

In November 1995, Stone received her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located at 6925 Hollywood Blvd. That same year, "Empire" magazine chose her as one of the 100 sexiest stars in film history. In October 1997, she was ranked among the top 100 movie stars of all time by "Empire" magazine.

In 1996, she received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Dramatic Motion Picture for her role as 'Ginger' in Martin Scorsese's "Casino" (1995). Later that year, she also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for the role.

In 2001, she starred opposite actress Ellen Degeneres in the movie "If These Walls Could Talk 2", in which she played a lesbian trying to start a family.

In 2003, she appeared in three episodes from the 8th season of "The Practice" as Sheila Carlisle. For her performances, she received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.

2004-present

Stone attempted a return to the mainstream with a role in the film "Catwoman" (2004); however, the film was a critical and commercial flop.

After years of litigation, "Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction" was released on March 31, 2006. By Sunday, April 2, 2006, after earning $3,200,000 in its debut weekend, the movie was declared a bomb. Much of the cause of the delay in releasing the film was Stone's dispute with the filmmakers over the amount of nudity in the movie: she wanted a lot, and they wanted much much less. An orgy scene was cut in order to achieve the R MPAA rating for the U.S. release; the controversial scene remained in the UK version of the film. Stone told an interviewer that 'We are in a time of odd repression and if a popcorn movie allows us to create a platform for discussion, wouldn't that be great?' Stone has said that she would love to direct and act in a third "Basic Instinct" film.

Stone's subsequent film role was in the drama "Alpha Dog", playing Olivia Mazursky, the mother of a real-life murder victim; Stone wore a fatsuit for the role. In February 2007, Stone found her role as a clinically depressed woman in her latest film "When a Man Falls in the Forest", strangely uplifting, as it challenged what she called 'Prozac society.' 'It was a watershed experience,' she said. 'I think that we live in a... Prozac society where we're always told we're supposed to have this kind of equilibrium of emotion. We have all these assignments about how we're supposed to feel about something'.

Presently she is being sponsored by Badgley Mischka and Dior.

In 2007, Stone appeared in new television commercial personifying the symptoms of a stroke.

Personal life

Israel

Stone lives in Beverly Hills, California, and owns a ranch in New Zealand. In March 2006, Stone traveled to Israel to promote peace in the Middle East through a press conference with Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres.

Tanzania Controversy

On January 28, 2005, Sharon Stone helped raise $1 million in five minutes for mosquito nets in Tanzania, turning a panel on African poverty into an impromptu fund-raiser at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Many observers, including UNICEF, criticized her actions by claiming that Stone had reacted instinctively to the words of Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa, because she had not done her research on the causes, consequences and methods of preventing malaria; if she had done so, she would have found out that most African governments already distribute free bed nets through public hospitals.

Of the $1 million pledged, only $250,000 was actually raised. In order to fulfill the promise to send $1 million worth of bed nets to Tanzania, UNICEF contributed $750,000. This diverted funds from other UNICEF projects. According to prominent economist Xavier Sala-i-Martín, officials are largely unaware as to what happened with the bed nets. Some bed nets were delivered to the local airport. These were then reported as stolen, but later resurfaced as wedding dresses on the local black market.

Stone believes that there is no doubt that celebrity involvement in philanthropy can have many positive effects. Stone has vowed to consult with Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey, two prominent philantropists, before making another effort to help another African nation. Stone hosted the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Concert.

AIDS Research Support

In April 2004, she was awarded the National Center for Lesbian Rights Spirit Award in San Francisco for her support and involvement with organizations that serve the lesbian, gay and HIV/AIDS community and performed "Can't Get You Out of My Head" with Kylie Minogue in Cannes for AIDS research. She was presented the award by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, then embroiled in a national controversy over his decision to allow same sex marriage in his city.

It has been said that her parents raised her with feminist values. 'My dad never raised me to believe that being a woman inhibited any of my choices or my possibilities to succeed. To be a feminist like Dad in that blue-collar, middle-class world is a big stand.'

Religion

In the early 1990s, Stone became a member of the Church of Scientology. Stone remained with the religion until recently when she converted to Buddhism, after fellow actor Richard Gere introduced her to the Dalai Lama. She is an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church.

Relationships

She married television producer Michael Greenburg in 1984 on the set of "The Vegas Strip War", a TV movie he produced and she starred in, along with Rock Hudson and James Earl Jones. They separated three years later, and their divorce was finalized in 1990.

She was engaged to producer Bill McDonald after they met on the film "Sliver" (1993). McDonald left his wife, Naomi Baca, for Stone. The tabloids initially labeled her a homewrecker, but their attention turned to Baca after she got involved with "Basic Instinct" screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who would leave his wife for her. Stone and McDonald would later end their engagement.

On February 14, 1998, she married Phil Bronstein, executive editor of the "San Francisco Examiner" and later "San Francisco Chronicle". Stone and Bronstein were divorced in January 2004, after he had suffered a severe heart attack. They have an adopted son named Roan Joseph Bronstein, born on May 22, 2000. She also adopted her second son, Laird Vonne Stone on May 7, 2005. On June 28, 2006, Stone adopted her third son, Quinn Kelly.

In 2005, during a television interview for her movie "Basic Instinct 2", Stone hinted an interest in bisexuality stating 'Middle age is an open-minded period'. Stone has said that in the past she's 'dated' girls. While filming Basic Instinct, her best girlfriend was there to hold her hand out of camera range during some of the scenes. And in a biography, "Naked Instinct", author Frank Sanello details a sexual liaison with a woman in the bathroom of the Beverly Hills Hotel . However, in an interview on the Michael Parkinson talk show in England on March 18, 2006, she said she was 'straight'.

It has been rumored that Stone has recently been dating Scottish comedian Craig Ferguson, host of "The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson".

Medical problems

Shortly after the release of "Total Recall" (1990), Stone was involved in a car accident on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Immediately after the accident, she went home, allegedly not knowing she had just suffered a concussion and broken bones.

She allegedly woke up almost completely paralyzed and ended up lying on the floor, crying, for three days. This has never been proven and may be fabricated as was her mensa membership claim. She claims that when she finally went to a hospital, the concussion was diagnosed along with a dislocated shoulder and jaw, several broken ribs, and three compressed discs in her back. The accident left scars that are visible in some of her later screen appearances. Controversy remains over the cause of the accident.

Mensa Controversy

For many years Sharon Stone claimed to be a member of Mensa, but in April 2002, she admitted she was not, and had never been, a member of the high IQ society. She later claimed to have been educated in a Mensa school, which according to a Mensa spokesperson, would not have been possible as there were no Mensa schools after the early 60's. Jim Blackmore of Mensa said, 'It's delightful to finally see Ms. Stone admit that she's not and never has been a member of our society. But then she goes on to say, 'I went to a Mensa school.' Not so.'

Trivia

In 2007 the Spanish Singer-songwriter Luis Eduardo Aute, in his record 'A dia de hoy', dedicated her the song 'Alone with you', hoping Sharon would like it so much, she would like to meet the author and spend a couple of wild nights with him.

External links

(Sharon Stone Europe)

Credit

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article about Sharon Stone.