film producer, and former fashion model. She achieved international recognition for her role in the erotic thriller Basic Instinct. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for her performance in Casino.
Early lifeStone was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania. The second of four children, she is the daughter of Dorothy (née Lawson), an accountant and homemaker, and Joseph William Stone II, a tool and die manufacturer.Stone graduated in 1975 from Saegertown High School in Saegertown, Pennsylvania, graduating early in an accelerated study program in conjunction with Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and briefly attended Edinboro.
ModelingStone won the title of Miss Crawford County in Meadville. One of the pageant judges said she should quit school and move to New York City to become a fashion model. 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.
1980–1989While 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, who recognized her from the pageant she competed in, and the two became friends. Stone was cast for a brief 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.
After starring on the short-lived TV series Bay City Blues in 1983, her next film role was in Irreconcilable Differences (1984), starring Ryan O'Neal, Shelley Long, and a young Drew Barrymore. Stone played a starlet who breaks up the marriage of a successful director and his screenwriter wife. The plot was based on the real-life experience of director Peter Bogdanovich, his set designer wife Polly Platt, and Cybill Shepherd. In 1984, she appeared in a two-part episode of Magnum, P.I., titled "Echoes of the Mind", where she played identical twins, one a love interest of Tom Selleck's character.
Through the rest of the 1980s she appeared in King Solomon's Mines (1985), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1987), Action Jackson (1988), and Above the Law (1988). Stone was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Actress for her performance in Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold.
Also in 1988, Stone took over the role of Janice Henry for the filming of the miniseries War and Remembrance.
1990–2002Total Recall (1990) with Arnold Schwarzenegger gave Stone's career a boost. To coincide with the movie's release, she posed nude for Playboy, showing off the muscles she developed in preparation for the movie (she lifted weights and learned taekwondo). 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 alleged serial killer, in Basic Instinct (1992). Stone had to wait and actually turned down other offers for the mere prospect to play Tramell (the part was offered to 13 other actresses and considered to 150 women before being offered to Stone). Several better known actresses of the time 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 is not wearing any underwear.According to Stone, 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.
- "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. 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."
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 November 1995, Stone received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located at 6925 Hollywood Blvd. That same year, Empire 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 1995, 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 De Niro. She also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for the role. The same year she starred opposite Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio in the Sam Raimi western The Quick And The Dead. That same year, she was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award.
Stone starred opposite actress Ellen DeGeneres in the 2000 HBO movie If These Walls Could Talk 2, in which she played a lesbian trying to start a family. For her work on 'Walls', she was again recognized by Women in Film, this time with the Lucy Award.
In 2001, Stone was linked to a biopic of the German film director Leni Riefenstahl. The prospective director Paul Verhoeven and Riefenstahl herself favoured Stone to portray Riefenstahl in the film. According to Verhoeven, he discussed the project with Stone and she was very interested. Subsequently, Verhoeven pulled out of the project as he wanted to hire a more expensive screenwriter than the producers did.
Stone was hospitalized on September 29, 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.
2003–presentThe Practice. For her performances, she received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.
Stone attempted a return to the mainstream with roles in the films Cold Creek Manor (2003) with Kristen Stewart and Catwoman (2004) with Halle Berry; however, both movies were critical and commercial flops.
After years of litigation, Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction was released on March 31, 2006. 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 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?"
Despite an estimated budget of $70 million, it placed only 10th in gross on its debut weekend with a meager $3,200,000, and was subsequently declared a bomb. It ultimately ran in theaters for only 17 days and finished with a total domestic gross of under $6 million. Despite the failure of Basic Instinct 2, Stone has said that she would love to direct and act in a third Basic Instinct film.
She appeared in the 2006 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, 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."
In December 2006, she co hosted the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway together with Anjelica Huston. The concert was in honor of the Nobel Peace Prize winners Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank.
In 2007, she appeared in a television commercial to raise awareness of the symptoms of a stroke.
On January 5, 2010, it was announced that Stone would be joining the cast of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for a four-episode arc beginning in April 2010. She portrayed Jo Marlowe, a former cop-turned-prosecutor. Her performance has been met with lukewarm reviews.
TanzaniaOn 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.
Chinese earthquakeStone sparked a storm of 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 then the bad things happen to you?Observers have 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 dropped from all ads in China amid the public uproar. Stone was 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, but Stone later denied 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". While Stone cited the Dalai Lama as her "good friend" when she made the remark at the Cannes film festival, the Dalai Lama has reportedly distanced himself from her remark, stating, "yes, I've met that lady".
MensaFor many years, Stone maintained that she had an IQ of 148 and 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." However, Stone went on to claim that she "went to a Mensa school." In response to this new claim, Blackmore said that would not have been possible as there had been no Mensa schools since the early 1960s.
Personal lifeStone suffers from diabetes and asthma. 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.
ReligionStone became a Buddhist, after fellow actor Richard Gere introduced her to the Dalai Lama.She believes in God and is religious by self-description. She is an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church.
RelationshipsStone married television producer Michael Greenburg in 1984 on the set of The Vegas Strip War, a TV movie he produced and she starred in. The couple separated three years later, and their divorce was finalized in 1990.
In 1993, Stone met William J. MacDonald (aka Bill MacDonald) on the set of the film Sliver, which he co-produced. McDonald left his wife Naomi Baca for Stone and became engaged to her. They separated one year later in 1994.
While working on the movie The Quick and the Dead in 1995, Stone met Bob Wagner (a second assistant director) and they became engaged. After they separated, Stone returned the engagement ring via FedEx.
On February 14, 1998, Stone married Phil Bronstein, executive editor of the San Francisco Examiner and later San Francisco Chronicle. Stone and Bronstein were divorced in 2004. They adopted a baby son, Roan Joseph Bronstein, in 2000. Stone adopted her second son, Laird Vonne Stone in 2005 and her third son, Quinn Kelly Stone, in 2006.
In 2005, during a television interview for her movie Basic Instinct 2, Stone hinted at an interest in bisexuality, stating "Middle age is an open-minded period". Stone also has said that in the past she's "dated" girls. Furthermore, in Naked Instinct, an unauthorized biography of Stone, author Frank Sanello details a sexual liaison between Stone and a woman in the bathroom of the Beverly Hills Hotel.In an interview on the Michael Parkinson talk show in Britain 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".
In 2011, Stone stated on Piers Morgan Tonight that she was never married to George Howe Englund Jr., despite contrary internet rumors
Year Film Role Notes
1980 Stardust Memories Pretty Girl on train Debut
1981 Les Uns et les autres Girl with Glenn Senior Uncredited
Deadly Blessing Lana Marcus
1982 Not Just Another Affair Lynette TV movie
Silver Spoons Debbie (TV series)
1983 Bay City Blues Cathy St. Marie (TV series)
Remington Steele Jillian Montague (TV series)
1984 The New Mike Hammer Julie Eland (TV series)
Magnum, P.I. Diane Dupree and Diedra Dupree (TV series)
Calendar Girl Murders Cassie Bascomb TV movie
The Vegas Strip War Sarah Shipman
Irreconcilable Differences Blake Chandler
1985 T. J. Hooker Dani Starr
King Solomon's Mines Jesse Huston
1986 Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Ashley Hamilton Ryan TV movie
Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold Jesse Huston
1987 Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol Claire Mattson
Cold Steel Kathy Connors
1988 Tears in the Rain Casey Cantrell TV movie
Action Jackson Patrice Dellaplane
Above the Law Sara Toscani
Badlands 2005 Alex Neil TV movie
1988–1989 War and Remembrance Janice Henry
1989 Beyond the Stars Laurie McCall
Blood and Sand Doña Sol
1990 Total Recall Lori Quaid
1991 He Said, She Said Linda Metzger
Scissors Angie Anderson
Year of the Gun Alison King
Diary of a Hitman Kiki
Where Sleeping Dogs Lie Serena Black
1992 Basic Instinct Catherine Tramell MTV Movie Award for Best Female Performance
MTV Movie Award for Most Desirable Female
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actress
1993 Last Action Hero Catherine Tramell Cameo
1993 Sliver Carly Norris Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Most Desirable Female
1994 The Specialist May Munro
Intersection Sally Eastman
1995 The Quick and the Dead Ellen 'The Lady' Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actress
Roseanne Trailer Park Resident (TV series)
Casino Ginger McKenna Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Female Performance
1996 Diabolique Nicole Horner
Last Dance Cindy Liggett
1998 Sphere Dr. Elizabeth 'Beth' Halperin
Antz Princess Bala voice
The Mighty Gwen Dillon Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
1999 Gloria Gloria
The Muse Sarah Little Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Simpatico Rosie Carter
Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Henny Penny voice
2000 If These Walls Could Talk 2 Fran TV movie
Picking Up the Pieces Candy Cowley
Beautiful Joe Alice 'Hush' Mason
2001–2002 Harold and the Purple Crayon Narrator (TV series)
2003 Cold Creek Manor Leah Tilson
2004 A Different Loyalty Sally Cauffield
Catwoman Laurel Hedare
The Practice Sheila Carlisle Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress – Drama Series (TV series)
(Eng. Valley of the Wolves) Lisa Turkish TV serial
2005 Higglytown Heroes Nicky – Blind Art Teacher voice
Will & Grace Dr. Georgia Keller (TV series)
Broken Flowers Laura Daniels Miller
2006 Alpha Dog Olivia Mazursky
Basic Instinct 2 Catherine Tramell
Huff Dauri Rathburn (TV series)
Bobby Miriam Ebbers Hollywood Film Festival for Cast of the Year
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Democrazy Patricia Hill short
2007 If I Had Known I Was a Genius Gloria Fremont
When a Man Falls in the Forest Karen Fields
2008 The Year of Getting to Know Us Jane Rocket
Five Dollars a Day Dolores Jones
2009 Streets of Blood Nina Ferraro
2010 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Jo Marlowe Four episodes (TV series)
2011 Largo Winch II Diane Francken
2012 Gods Behaving Badly Aphrodite
Waco Judy Schneider