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Elizabeth Hurley - Biography & Career

Born on June 10, 1965, in Hampshire, England, Elizabeth Hurley is the daughter of an army officer and an elementary schoolteacher mother. While growing up in Basingstoke, England, Hurley dreamed of becoming a dancer, which prompted her to attend a boarding school that specialized in ballet at the age of 12.

Her attendance at the boarding school was short-lived, and Hurley then went through a different phase: the English punk stage. Although it must be hard to imagine the now glamorous Hurley with pink hair and a nose ring, she was a victim of early '80s punk fashion, since this was the thing to do at that time and place.

At age 21, Hurley got her first film role in the 1987 film Aria, after having attended the London Studio Centre on scholarship. Hurley's role in the film Remando al viento (a.k.a. Rowing In the Wind) that same year also starred her future boyfriend Hugh Grant. One year later, Hurley received critical acclaim for her role as Christabel Bielenberg in the BBC miniseries, Christabel.

Hurley gained some recognition in the United States for her role in the 1992 action film Passenger 57, starring Wesley Snipes. Although this was a Hollywood movie, she was still having difficulty receiving quality roles, and consequently returned to England.

Whoever said that clothing isn't important doesn't know about Elizabeth Hurley's claim to fame. Apparently, Versace did Hurley a favor by giving the statuesque beauty an unsold dress to wear to the 1994 London premiere of Hugh Grant's film, Four Weddings and a Funeral. The low-cut, risqu dress held together by safety pins became Hurley's ticket to stardom, as she made heads turn at the premiere.

More attention followed when Estee Lauder signed Hurley to be the face of the international cosmetics company. And who could forget Hugh Grant's arrest, due to a one-night tryst with prostitute Divine Brown?

Contrary to public belief, Hurley and Grant remained a couple, and together founded the production company Simian Films. Its first production was the film Extreme Measures, a 1996 thriller starring Hugh, Gene Hackman and Sarah Jessica Parker.

If by this point, anyone had still not heard of Elizabeth Hurley, 1997's Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery -- the little movie that became a smash hit -- surely got her the recognition she deserved. With her comedic turn as agent Vanessa Kensington alongside Austin Powers, played by Mike Myers, Hurley was now seeing movie scripts roll in.

Several movie roles followed, including parts in 1998's Permanent Midnight, and 1999's My Favorite Martian, EDtv and Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me. That same year, Hurley worked as producer of Mickey Blue Eyes, which starred boyfriend Hugh Grant and marked the second film for Simian Films.

Hurley has continued to appear in smaller productions over the past couple of years, including 2000's The Weight of Water and Bedazzled, 2002's Bad Boy with Denis Leary, and Serving Sara, a comedy co-starring Matthew Perry. In 2004, Elizabeth can be seen in Method, in which she stars as a serial killer.

After a 13-year relationship, she and Hugh Grant parted ways in 2000, triggering rumors that the breakup stemmed from a disagreement over having children together. Liz began a romance with millionaire movie producer Stephen Bing in 2001, and gave birth to a son, Damian Charles, on April 4, 2002.

Bing initially denied that he was the baby's biological father, claiming he and Liz had a non-exclusive relationship. DNA testing has since proven that Bing is indeed the child's father, although he and Liz are no longer romantically involved.

Hurley is now currently dating Indian textile magnate Arun Nayar, and although they are reportedly engaged, the rumors have yet to be confirmed.