Kim Basinger has made her fortune as a model, singer and award winning actress. The actress has admitted to being painfully shy and insecure growing up and even suffered a severe episode of agoraphobia. However, acting helped her get over those fears. Kim worked successfully as a film actress beginning in the 1980's. Despite suffering two occasions of major financial losses and suffering an expensive divorce and an even more expensive custody battle, Kim has maintained a healthy net worth. She is worth at least $20 million today.
She's from Georgia
Kim Basinger was born in Athens, Georgia, on December 8, 1953. She is the middle child of parents Ann Lee and Donald. Her two older brothers are Skip and Mick, and her two younger sisters are Barbara and Ashley. Ann Lee was a model and actress performing in swimming scenes of Esther Williams movies. Donald was a musician in a big band and worked as a loan manager. He served in the US army and was present at the battle of Normandy during World War II. As a young girl, Kim dealt with shyness. This continued through her life. However, she found ballet and cheerleading helpful during her school years. Kim also competed in several beauty and scholarship pageants. She won the Athens Junior Miss Pageant. She won the Break Scholarship contest for the state of Georgia. The win offered her a college scholarship and the opportunity to appear in a print advertisement for Breck Shampoo.
She had a successful modeling career & she sang
After graduating from high school, Kim was offered a contract with Ford Modeling Agency. She turned it down at first deciding, instead to attend the University of Georgia. However, after starting college, Kim decided to accept the modeling contract and moved to New York City. Working as a model in print ads and magazine covers earned Kim about $1,000 a day. Despite her success as a model, Kim still felt shy and insecure. She studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse in Greenwich Village and at William Esper Studio. She also sang at Greenwich Village Clubs which helped bring her out of her shell.
She followed her dream to become an actress
Finding more fulfillment in acting, Kim moved to Los Angeles in 1976. She had several guest appearances on television shows including "Charlie's Angels" for which she was offered the part that would eventually go to Cheryl Ladd. In 1979 Kim was the lead in the television movie "Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold". This was followed by a roll in the mini series remake of "From Here to Eternity". In 1981 Kim posed for Playboy Magazine.
Her film career
Kim's biggest break as an actress came in 1983 when she was chosen to be the next "Bond Girl". She played Domino Petachi in "Never Say Never" starring with Sean Connery. The Playboy spread was released that same year in part to promote the film. The following year, Kim was in "The Natural" with Robert Redford and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. She continued to get great roles throughout the 1980s most often working with directors Barry Levinson, Robert Altman, Blake Edwards. In 1986 she starred with Mickey Rourke in the controversial erotic drama "9 1/2 Weeks". Kim's biggest box office success was 1989's "Batman" with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. She continued to work regularly through the early 1990's starring in films including "The Marrying Man", "Final Analysis", "Wayne's World 2", "The Getaway" and "Prêt-a-Porte". Kim took a break from filming during the late 1990's due to financial difficulties, but came back with some of her greatest work. In 1997 she starred in "LA Confidential" with Russel Crowe". For her role as a high priced call in the film noir, Kim won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Oscar. She followed up the film with "I Dreamed of Africa" which wasn't a box office success but was a passion project for Kim because of her love of animals and the environment. Kim continued to act regularly in films through the 2000's although nothing compared to her success during the last two decades. She played a rapper's mom in Eminem's semi-autobiography "8 Mile". She starred in movies including "The Door In the Floor", "The Sentinal", "The Informers", "Charlie St. Cloud" and the 2 sequels to "Fifty Shades of Grey".
Despite the wealth made during the course of her career, Kim Basinger suffered two major financial losses. In 1989, at the encouragement of some of her family members, Kim purchased 1,691 acres of land in Braselton, Georgia for $20 million. She was encouraged to do so with a plan to use the land to build movie studios and hold an annual film festival. Needless to say, the plan didn't work. Kim never got back the money she invested. The incident caused a terrible rift with her and some of her family members. Kim suffered another major financial blow in a few years later in 1993. She signed on to play the lead in the controversial Jennifer Lynch film "Boxing Helena". Madonna also signed to play the part but, like Kim Basinger, backed out of the project. The movie's production company, Main Line Pictures, sued Basinger for breach of contract. The studio won a $8.9 million against Kim. She appealed and settled to pay the studio $3.8 million.
Her personal life
In 1980 Kim married Ron Snyder-Britton. The marriage lasted nearly 10 years. During her marriage, Kim suffered a major panic attack that led to agoraphobia. She couldn't leave her house for about 6 months. The divorce came about when Snyder-Britton accused his wife of having an affair with co-star Richard Gere. Kim was ordered to pay her ex-husband $9,000 a month in spousal support. Kim married a second time in 1993. She married her "The Marrying Man" co-star Alec Baldwin. The couple welcomed a daughter, Ireland, in 1995. Unfortunately the marriage ended in divorce in 2002. It was followed by a contentious 7 year battle for custody of Ireland. Alec Baldwin claims that Kim spent a million dollars denying him parental access to their daughter. Kim Basinger has suffered estrangement from many of her family members. Much of this is due to the bad real estate deal in 1989. Prior to that, Kim's dad and mom separated in 1980 and Kim had no contact with her dad for many years. During the 1990's Kim became estranged from her mother and three of her siblings. She reunited with her dad and remains close to her youngest sister Ashley.
Kim is an avid supporter of the environment and animal rights. She has offered her time and money to support these causes close to her heart. She is a staunch vegetarian. She posed for PETA anti-fur campaigns. She filmed a public service announcement with Farm Sanctuary in support of the rights of farm animals. Today, Kim lives with her partner Mitch Stone. She owns homes in Los Angeles and California. In 2017 she sold her Woodland Hills, LA home for $1 million. She purchased the home in 2001 for $500,000. She lives in the home on the property next door.
Written by Allen Lee
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