Interviews


Michelle Pfeiffer


Occupation: Actress
Date of Birth: April 29, 1958
Place of Birth: Santa Ana, Calif., USA
Sign: Sun in Taurus, Moon in Virgo
Relations: Husband: David Kelley (producer); ex-husband: Peter Horton (actor); kids: Claudia Rose, John Henry
Education: Attended Golden West College

 

AT the moment, no other 40-something actress combines so much physical beauty and dramatic versatility as Michelle Pfeiffer, which is why she tops every producer's list. She has moved seamlessly between meaty, serious roles (Dangerous Liaisons, Love Field, The Age of Innocence, Dangerous Minds) and lighter fare (Married to the Mob , Batman Returns, One Fine Day). A former Miss Orange County, Pfeiffer was a checkout girl at her local supermarket before she took the short drive to Hollywood, where she followed up her acting debut in an episode of Fantasy Island with TV commercials and a string of thankless bimbo roles. Though she was good in the very bad Grease 2, it was as the wife of Scarface's Tony Montana (Al Pacino) that her stunning looks and haunting style made a strong impression. In The Witches of Eastwick and Married to the Mob, Pfeiffer offered solid proof that she was more than just a gorgeous face. Then the one-two punch of Dangerous Liaisons, followed by some memorable writhing and torch-singing atop the grand piano in The Fabulous Baker Boys, clinched her mega-stardom. Her asking price went way up with the surprising box-office success of Dangerous Minds, which provided further evidence that a strong female lead can mean big box office.

After marriage to thirtysomething's Peter Horton and a clandestine affair with a soon-to-be-divorced John Malkovich, Pfeiffer adopted a baby daughter in 1993. Just as she was getting the hang of diapering, the actress met wildly successful TV writer-producer David E. Kelley (Chicago Hope, Picket Fences, Ally McBeal). After they married, Kelley adopted Pfeiffer's baby, and together they co-produced a son.

Now that she has arrived, and then some, Pfeiffer has tended to shy away from the blockbusterish roles she is constantly offered (she turned down the titular role in Evita to spend more time with her family) to develop her own modest projects, like the 1997 adaptation of Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres, in which she co-starred with Jessica Lange, and forthcoming biopics of artist Georgia O'Keeffe and '60s siren-songstress Marianne Faithfull. 1999 witnessed her starring turn in the filmization of the best-selling novel The Deep End of the Ocean and in the immortal role of Titania in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Both films sagged at the box office, prompting some to question her choice of material. Just as her follow-on co-starring role (opposite Bruce Willis) in Rob Reiner's contrivance-laden romantic dramedy The Story of Us hit theaters, Pfeiffer announced in a Harper's Bazaar interview that she intended to temporarily put her movie career on hold to focus her energies on being a mom.

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