Sharon Vonne Stone (born March 10, 1958) is an American Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning actress, producer, and former fashion model. She came to international attention for her performance in the 1992 Hollywood blockbuster film Basic Instinct. She was nominated for an Academy Award for best actress for her role in Casino, won a Golden Globe for her role in Casino, and has won an Emmy Award.
Early life[edit | edit source]
As a teen, she worked at a McDonald's restaurant. When she was a young woman her IQ was tested at 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 2007 for academic purposes, and there, to her surprise, she received an honorary doctorate from former university president Frank Pogue.
Career[edit | edit source]
1970s[edit | edit source]
Stone 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[edit | edit source]
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. While auditioning, she met Michelle Pfeiffer, recognized her from the pageant she competed in, and the two began a friendship that lasts to this day. Stone 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). 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 had starred in Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show (1971). The highlight of Stone's performance is when her cocaine-addict character plays Scarlett O'Hara in a musical pitched as a remake of Gone with the Wind.
Through 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). She also played the wife of Steven Seagal's character in Above the Law (1988). She appeared in an episode of Magnum, P.I., titled "Echoes of the Mind", where she played a love interest of Thomas Magnum (1984).
1990-2004[edit | edit source]
Her appearance in Total Recall (1990) with Arnold Schwarzenegger gave Stone's 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). 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. When seeing her own vulva in the leg-crossing scene during a screening of the film, she went into the projection booth and slapped director Paul Verhoeven. "I knew that we were going to do this leg-crossing thing and I knew that we were going to allude to the concept that I was nude, but I did not think that you would see my vagina in the scene," she said. "Later, when I saw it in the screening I was shocked. I think seeing it in a room full of strangers was so disrespectful and so shocking, so I went into the booth and slapped him and left." Stone claims to have been tricked into the stunt and considered a lawsuit.
Stone claimed that although she agreed to film the flashing scene with no panties, and although she and director Paul 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". Verhoeven denied these claims 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". Following this film, she was listed 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 a 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.
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 opposite Robert DeNiro. She also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for the role.
Stone was hospitalized in late 2001 for a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which was diagnosed as a vertebral artery dissection rather than the more common ruptured aneurysm, and treated with an endovascular coil embolization.
Stone starred opposite actress Ellen DeGeneres in the 2001 HBO 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[edit | edit source]
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. After earning $3,200,000 in its debut weekend, the movie was declared a bomb. A reason for a long delay in releasing the film was reportedly Stone's dispute with the filmmakers over the nudity in the movie; she wanted more, while they wanted much much less. A group sex scene was cut in order to achieve an R rating from the MPAA for the U.S. release; the controversial scene remained in the U.K. version of the London-based film. Stone told an interviewer, "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.
A subsequent film role came in the drama Alpha Dog opposite Bruce Willis, 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".
Personal life[edit | edit source]
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.
Chinese earthquake controversy[edit | edit source]
Stone sparked criticism for her comments made in an exchange on the red carpet with Hong Kong's "Cable Entertainment News" during the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 25, 2008. When asked about the 2008 Sichuan earthquake she remarked:
- "Well you know it was very interesting because at first, you know, I'm not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don't think anyone should be unkind to anyone else. And so I have been very concerned about how to think and what to do about that because I don’t like that. And I had been this, you know, concerned about, oh how should we deal with the Olympics because they are not being nice to the Dalai Lama, who is a good friend of mine. And then this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and then I thought, is that Karma? When you're not nice that the bad things happen to you?"
Observers have also noted that Wenchuan County, the epicenter of the earthquake, is located in Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, where ethnic Tibetans comprise over half of the population. According to the Hollywood Reporter, after her comments, one of China's biggest cinema chains released statements stating its company would not show her films in its theaters. The founder of the UME Cineplex chain and the chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Filmmakers, Ng See-Yuen called Stone's comments "inappropriate" and said the UME Cineplex chain would not be releasing her films in the future. Christian Dior advertisements featuring Stone's image were also dropped from all ads in China amidst the public uproar. Stone was also struck from the 2008 Shanghai International Film Festival guest list, with the event's organizers considering a permanent ban for the actress.
Dior China had originally posted an apology in Stone's name, however, Stone later denies making the apology during an interview with the New York Times, saying "I'm not going to apologize. I’m certainly not going to apologize for something that isn’t real and true — not for face creams," although she does admit she had "sounded like an idiot". The Dalai Lama reportedly has distanced himself from the Hollywood star.
Tanzania controversy[edit | edit source]
On January 28, 2005, Stone helped solicit pledges for $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 of what happened with the bed nets. Some were delivered to the local airport. These reportedly were stolen and later resurfaced as wedding dresses on the local black market.
Stone hosted the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Concert.
AIDS research support[edit | edit source]
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.
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[edit | edit source]
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[edit | edit source]
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. In an interview on the Michael Parkinson talk show in England on March 18, 2006, she said she was "straight". However, in January 2008, she was quoted as saying, "Everybody is bisexual to an extent. Now men act like women and it's difficult to have a relationship because I like men in that old-fashioned way. I like masculinity and, in truth, only women do that now".
Mensa controversy[edit | edit source]
For many years it was believed that Sharon Stone was a member of Mensa, but in April 2002, she admitted she was not, and had never been, a member of the high-IQ society. 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." Blackmore said that would not have been possible as there have been no Mensa schools since the early 1960s.
Filmography[edit | edit source]
|2009||Streets of Blood||TBA||filming|
|2008||Five Dollars a Day||Dolores||awaiting release|
|2008||The Year of Getting to Know Us||Jane Rocket||awaiting release|
|2008||If I Had Known I Was a Genius||Gloria Fremont|
|2008||When a Man Falls in the Forest||Karen Fields|
|2007||Alpha Dog||Olivia Mazursky|
|2006||Basic Instinct 2||Catherine Tramell|
|2005||Broken Flowers||Laura Daniels Miller|
|2004||A Different Loyalty||Sally Cauffield|
|2003||Cold Creek Manor||Leah Tilson|
|2000||Beautiful Joe||Alice 'Hush' Mason|
|2000||Picking Up the Pieces||Candy Cowley|
|2000||If These Walls Could Talk 2||Fran||TV movie|
|1999||The Muse||Sarah Little||Golden Globe Nomination|
|1998||The Mighty||Gwen Dillon||Golden Globe Nomination|
|1998||Sphere||Dr. Elizabeth 'Beth' Halperin|
|1996||Last Dance||Cindy Liggett|
|1995||Casino||Ginger McKenna||Academy Award Nomination, Golden Globe Win|
|1995||The Quick and the Dead||Ellen 'The Lady'|
|1994||The Specialist||May Munro|
|1992||Basic Instinct||Catherine Tramell||Golden Globe Nomination|
|1991||Where Sleeping Dogs Lie||Serena Black|
|1991||Diary of a Hitman||Kiki|
|1991||Year of the Gun||Alison King|
|1991||He Said, She Said||Linda Metzger|
|1990||Total Recall||Lori Quaid|
|1989||War and Remembrance||Janice Henry||TV Mini-series|
|1989||Blood and Sand||Doña Sol|
|1989||Beyond the Stars||Laurie McCall|
|1988||Above the Law||Sara Toscani|
|1988||Action Jackson||Patrice Dellaplane|
|1988||Tears in the Rain||Casey Cantrell||TV Movie|
|1987||Cold Steel||Kathy Connors|
|1987||Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold||Jesse Huston|
|1987||Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol||Claire Mattson|
|1985||King Solomon's Mines||Jesse Huston|
|1984||Irreconcilable Differences||Blake Chandler|
|1984||The Vegas Strip War||Sarah Shipman||TV Movie|
|1984||Calendar Girl Murders||Cassie Bascomb||TV Movie|
|1984||Magnum, P.I.||Diane Dupree and Diedra Dupree|
|1983||Bay City Blues||Cathy St. Marie||TV Series|
|1982||Not Just Another Affair||Lynette||TV Movie|
|1981||Deadly Blessing||Lana Marcus|
|1981||Les Uns et les autres||Girl with Glenn Senior||Uncredited|
|1980||Stardust Memories||Pretty girl on train||Debut|
References[edit | edit source]
- Cigar Aficionado | People Profile | Sharon Stone
- Sharon Stone Biography (1958-)
- McDonald's Most Famous Employees - AOL Money & Finance
- Sharon Stone biography. Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 17 April 2006.
- Screencap taken from the classic interview scene where Stone's genitalia are displayed Caution: image includes nudity. Screencap from DVD. Retrieved 14 June 2006
- ContactMusic.com Stone Attacked Basic Instinct Director Over Vagina Shot
- Stone Ready to Bare All...Again. FilmStew Staff Report, FilmStew.com. 13 March 2006. Retrieved 17 April 2006.
- ContactMusic.com Stone Tricked Into Contoversial Basic Instinct Scene
- Movie & TV News @ IMDb.com - WENN - 23 August 2000
- Mike Falcon. "Basic instinct may have saved Sharon Stone", USA Today, 2003-10-23. Retrieved on 2008-06-03.
- Tatiana Siegel. Erotic thrillers lose steam at box office. The Hollywood Reporter. 3 April 2006. Retrieved 17 April 2006.
- Sharon Stone sought "brazen" nude scenes. KP International. March 2006. Retrieved 17 April 2006.
- "STONE STRUGGLES TO LOOK BAD IN A FAT SUIT", Contact Music, 2006-12-11. Retrieved on 2006-12-11.
- "Sharon Stone Film Challenges 'Prozac Society'" Reuters, February 12, 2007.
- I am a stroke video - Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
- Sharon Stone talks about peace, her naked body, and Jews in her employ.. Defamer. 14 March 2006. Retrieved 17 April 2006.
- YouTube - Sharon Stone calls China quakes "karma" for tibetans
- "Sharon Stone: Was China quake 'bad karma?'", Yahoo!, 2008-05-28. Retrieved on 2008-05-28.
- "Sharon Stone apologises for China quake 'karma' remark", AFP, 2008-05-29. Retrieved on 2008-05-29. Archived from the original on 2008-05-31.
- Sharon Stone not welcome at Shanghai film fest: organisers
- "Actress Stone and Dior Differ Over Apology", NYT, 2008-06-01. Retrieved on 2008-06-01.
- AFP: Dalai Lama baulks at Sharon Stone's 'karma' quake remark
- "Sharon Stone raises $1 mil. for Tanzania in 5 minutes", Daily Yomiuri, January 30, 2005.
- Sharon Stone recognized by lesbian group. CATV.ca (2004-04-26). Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
- Sharon Stone-Balancing Religion and Acting, Buddha and God
- ChicagoScope Podcast
- Observer | The Hollywood hitman
- Sharon Stone promises "lesbian love" in Basic Instinct 2. AP. 25 February 2006. Retrieved 17 April 2006.
- Planetout.com Retrieved September 20, 2007
-  Stone tempted to date women, keyetv.com, retrieved 11 January 2008
- Sharon Stone Has a Romantic Relationship with Craig Ferguson - Stone happy again - Softpedia
- Sharon Stone - Trailer - Showtimes - Cast - Movies - New York Times
- "Sharon Stone's Mensa Madness", IMDB.com, April 4, 2002
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