Born: March 10, 1958 in Meadville, PA
Height: 5' 7"
Education: Saegertown High School in PA; Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in Edinboro, PA (creative writing, fine arts)
PO Box 7304
N. Hollywood, CA 91603-7304
Production company: Chaos
This former beauty pageant contestant and Ford model made her film debut with a non-speaking part as a beautiful woman fleetingly glimpsed from a moving train in Woody Allen's Stardust Memories (1980), and thereafter clawed her way to a stardom that has brought back an old-fashioned, high-octane glamour to the role of "movie star." Stone, who grew up a bookworm in a large family in Northwest Pennsylvania, worked her way up from McDonald's counter-girl to successful Ford model (both in print ads and TV commercials) by the late 1970s.
Through the 1980s, Stone appeared as a stereotypical blonde in mostly forgettable roles: in Wes Craven's Deadly Blessing (1981); as a down-and-out waitress turned petulant movie star in Irreconcilable Differences (1984); an archaeologist's daughter in King Solomon's Mines (1985) and its sequel, Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1987). Other unmemorable early credits include Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Action Jackson (1988) and the umpteenth remake of Blood and Sand (1989).
Stone also struggled in TV, beginning with a tiny part in "Not Just Another Affair" (CBS, 1982), the short-lived series Bay City Blues (NBC, 1983) and gradually bigger (though not better) roles in the TV movies "Calendar Girl Murders" (ABC, 1984), "The Vegas Strip War" (NBC, 1984), the failed cop-show pilot "Hollywood Starr" (ABC, 1985), "Mr. and Mrs. Ryan" (ABC, 1986), "Badlands 2005" (ABC, 1988) and "Tears in the Rain" (Showtime, 1988). Probably her only TV success was a supporting role as Robert Mitchum's daughter-in-law in the epic miniseries War and Remembrance (ABC, 1988-89).
Stone's first real break was playing Arnold Schwarzenegger's kick-boxing, secret agent "wife" in Paul Verhoeven's sci-fi actioner Total Recall (1990). After five more forgettable thrillers and comedies, she finally achieved the proverbial "overnight" stardom as a sexually voracious crime writer opposite Michael Douglas in Verhoeven's controversial and popular erotic thriller, Basic Instinct (1992). Her pantie-less leg-crossing scene brought Stone much-needed notoriety, but has haunted her ever since.
In a more conventionally sympathetic role, Stone followed up with another sizzling sex melodrama, Sliver (1993), which did middling business stateside but proved a solid success overseas. Trying to escape the sex-bomb trap, she begged for the frigid wife role in Intersection (1994), which met with limited success. She again flexed her international box-office clout paired with Sylvester Stallone in the explosive actioner The Specialist (1994) but fared much less well commercially with her next project, The Quick and the Dead (1995), which marked her producing debut. Stone looked terrific in Western duds playing something of a distaff version of a Clint Eastwood-like gunfighter. Her directorial choice, Sam Raimi, helmed the smartly derivative tale with style to spare but the critical reception was uneven and the public stayed away. She rebounded with her widely acclaimed performance as Ginger, the Vegas hustler who wins the heart of Robert De Niro, in Casino (also 1995).
The highly-paid, much-in-demand star (she has her own production company, Chaos, and has signed a first-look deal with Miramax) next filmed a remake of the noir classic Diabolique with Isabelle Adjani and Chazz Palmentieri and played a death-row inmate whose lawyer (Rob Morrow) works to save her from execution in Last Dance (both 1996). Stone, a diva who thoroughly enjoys her hard-won stardom, is a clever manipulator of her public imageon heavy press days, she reportedly changes outfits between each interview and photo session, a practice unheard of since the days of Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer. She lives, fittingly enough, in a gated French chateau in Beverly Hills.