contest Demi Moore's expertise in the titillation game.
Perhaps she has become the queen of titillation because
she throws her clothes off with great abandon; perhaps
because she infuses nearly every interview she gives
with her own special brand of in-your-face sass. But
regardless of how she goes about it, Moore has managed
to turn her sexual charisma into a job as one of the
highest-paid actress in Hollywood.
Moore's childhood was anything but titillating. Born
into the vagabond household of Danny and Virginia
Guynes, a couple that married and divorced twice, Moore
seemed destined for a white-trash existence. Her father
was unemployably inept and gambled away what little
money he made. As if that weren't enough, through part
of her childhood, Demi was cross-eyed¨a condition
that required two operations to correct. But by 16,
Moore was out on her own, doing a little modeling, and
putting her husky voice to use at a collection agency.
At 18, she married Freddy Moore, a rock musician 12
years her senior. Though the marriage didn't last long,
it held an unexpected key to her career: the Moores
happened to live next door to an actress named Nastassja
Kinski, who imposed upon Demi to help her rehearse
scripts. Eventually, Moore decided to try acting
herself. A year later, she beat out a thousand actresses
for a continuing role on the daytime drama General
Hospital. She made a couple of forgettable films
during her Hospital days (Choices,
Parasite), and left the soap when she landed the
role of Michael
Caine's daughter in Blame It on Rio (1984).
Moore's big breakthrough came in 1984, when she was
cast as a cokehead in the seminal Brat Pack flick St.
Elmo's Fire. Her role didn't require much
preparation, since she had a drug problem herself, and
one day, when she showed up snookered for wardrobe,
director Joel Schumacher delivered an ultimatum: get
sober or get fired. Moore used Schumacher's mandate to
steel her resolve to kick her cocaine addiction and
succeed as an actress. She met Emilio Estevez during
filming, and the two began a three-year, on-again,
off-again engagement, during which her career languished
in duds like No Small Affair and Wisdom.
Shortly after breaking up with Estevez for the last
time, Moore crossed paths with Bruce
Willis, the cheeky star of TV's Moonlighting.
They married after a three-month courtship.
Just when it seemed Moore had suffered the curse of
the Brat Pack, her mawkish film Ghost (1990)
exploded at the box office. Moore was suddenly on the
A-list; she survived a couple of duds, Mortal
Thoughts and The Butcher's Wife, and, in
1992, found her way into A Few Good Men with Tom
Cruise and Jack
Nicholson. She then won the lead in Indecent
Proposal, the first in a string of controversial
roles she has since undertaken: in 1994's
Disclosure, she played a ruthless sexual
harasser; in The Scarlet Letter, she gave
Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic tragic novel a happy
ending (she later justified the wrongheaded decision by
claiming that "not many people have read the book"); in
the salacious Striptease, she proudly bared her
considerable assets for an equally considerable
Moore's personal life has been as much a saturnalian
spectacle as any movie in which she has appeared. She
and Willis became famous for their enormous entourage
and for the extravagant bacchanals they
hosted¨their wedding ceremony alone (performed by
Little Richard) cost a reported $875,000. (On the other
hand, they proved decidedly more mindful where the
bottom line was concerned. They zealously helped along
their Planet Hollywood investment by appearing at the
frequent openings of the ever-mushrooming empire.)
Moore and Willis even went a little nuts when it came
time to name their three daughters: Rumer Glenn, Scout
Larue, and Tallulah Belle. Scout made her national
magazine debut in utero when Moore posed pregnant
and nude on the cover of Vanity Fair.
Nudity, of course, has always been a favorite
attention-grabbing tactic of Moore's¨she first
posed nude in the early '80s for the skin magazine
Oui, and her obviously enhanced breasts have
continued to be a main attraction in such films as
The Scarlet Letter and Striptease. In
promotion of the latter film, Moore appeared on the
Late Show With David Letterman sporting the
top-ten list on cards all over her tiny-bikini-clad
body. Sure, that was impressive, but not quite as
impressive as her next Letterman appearance,
during which she plugged her follow-on film, G.I.
Jane, by displaying a shorn head and an eye-popping
ability to do one-arm push-ups.
In June 1998, Moore and Willis went public with their
intention to separate, but were not forthcoming about
whether or not they intended to actually divorce, or
about how they planned to deal with the custody of their
children and the division of their considerable assets.