Sharon has aged exceptionally gracefully – with or without the help of plastic surgery (depending on who you believe) but this monochrome shot captured all her youthful beauty and those come-hither eyes. Even in black and white – she still managed to shine.
In her lifetime Sharon has been widely recognized for her beauty. In 1995 she was chosen as number 49 in Empire Magazine’s “100 Sexiest Stars in Film History” and in 1999 Playboy put her at number 54 on their “100 Sexiest Stars of the Century” list. In 1997 she was ranked number 77 in Empire magazine’s “The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time” list and she is one of People magazine’s “25 Most Intriguing People” and “50 Most Beautiful People”. She’s just stunning – period.
Hungry for Fame
So fresh faced – even in black and white – it’s easy to see why a young Sharon Stone was so sought after. But she didn’t just walk into top roles. Like many young starlets, hungry for fame, she first had to make a name for herself. When she arrived back in New York after a modelling stint overseas, she stood in line, along with many other hopefuls, for a role as an extra in Woody Allen’s movie Stardust (1980) and then moved on to a speaking role in the horror film Deadly Blessing a year later. Her next project was Les Uns et les Autres (1982) where she only had two minutes of screen time, followed by a part in an unsuccessful TV series called Bay City Blues.
Total Recall Wow
After a number of movie and TV show appearances, Sharon finally landed a part that would help elevate her career. That role was as Lori in director Paul Verhoeven’s original Total Recall (1990). After ten years of small, barely noticeable roles this must have come as a huge relief. What helped boost her career, even further at this time, was a decision she made to appear nude for Playboy – showing off the sexy muscles she developed in preparation for the film.
It was this role, alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, which also helped her to land her role in Basic Instinct. Paul Verhoeven – who would go on to direct the erotic crime thriller – decided to cast her in the leading role due to her ability to play a character that easily switches between saccharine sweet and wholly diabolical.
Quite a few actresses, including Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Geena Davis and Michelle Pfeiffer turned down the role of Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct due to the film’s content and the nudity required. Director Paul Verhoeven was impressed with Stone’s work on Total Recall and when he needed a leading lady he offered her the role, which she accepted. When it came to filming the famous flashing scene Sharon agreed to do the scene without her underwear, but when she sat for the first screening, she seemed surprised at how explicit the shot actually was, saying “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.”
Costumes for Casino
In the film Casino (1995), Sharon Stone played the role of trophy wife Ginger McKenna. It was a hectic role, but another opportunity for her to extend her already impressive fan base. The work was grueling – she had more than 40 costumes throughout the movie (Robert De Niro had more than 70!) and one of the dresses was exceptionally difficult to tolerate. It was the infamous gold and white beaded gown and the reason it was hard for her to shoot scenes in this costume was due to its weight – it tipped the scales at a hefty 45 pounds!
It was worth it – the role got her nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and ensured her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama.
Sharon’s fame was hard won – she inched her way up the ladder, going from role to role until she finally broke out. In 1995 she was honored with her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Sharon and Modelling
Sharon started life in a middle-class family. She was the second child of a tradesman and an accountant and grew up in a strict household. She was a bookworm, and it was believed that she had the brains to become a lawyer, although a young Sharon insisted that she was “the next Marilyn Monroe”. While she was still in high school she even had a job working part time as a counter girl at the local McDonald’s.
After winning a number of beauty contests she was signed by Ford Modelling Agency and went on to appear in publications like Vogue and Elle and did print and TV ads for products like Diet Coke, Clairol, and Revlon.
At the age of 57 Sharon, who once posed nude for Playboy, stripped down again and blew fans away with pictures of her bare body in Harper’s Bazaar.
Not Just Another Blonde
Many people seem to think that becoming a film star is something that happens overnight. Sometimes it does, but those examples are rare – most of the time it’s a tough struggle to finally “make it”. Sharon Stone is no exception. Not only did she struggle to make it onto the silver screen, but once she was there she found herself typecast as a blonde bimbo, and she had to break out of that as well.
This picture of a 31-year-old Sharon Stone was taken in 1989 at a Bernie Boudreau photoshoot. It’s easy to place the picture thanks to the black crushed velvet material and dark berry stain lip colors that were popular during this era. These snaps were taken 3 years before she landed the part in Basic Instinct, which helped launch her acting career into the stratosphere.
It’s not really visible in this picture, but you may have noticed that Sharon has a small scar on her neck. There were stories that this scar was the result of a violent encounter with a stalker in the nineties but it wasn’t true. In fact, she sustained the injury as a child. She was riding a horse and went straight into a clothesline which ripped her neck open and required surgery to repair.
Smart and Sexy
Sharon was lucky enough to be blessed with both smarts and looks. As a child, she was considered to be intellectually advanced and was able to go on into the second grade when she was only five years old. After she finished high school in her home state of Pennsylvania, she started going to Edinboro University, where she became involved with beauty pageants. The judges were often impressed with her and she scooped up loads of wins– even coming close to winning Miss Pennsylvania. After only two years at university, she quit and moved to New Jersey to live with an aunt and was soon signed up by the Ford Modelling Agency in New York City. She lived briefly in Europe, but returned two years later, after deciding she wanted to try her hand at acting.
Well, when she was a child Sharon did say that she wanted to be the “next Marilyn Monroe” and in this black and white glamour picture she certainly looks the part with that soft blonde hair and those seductive eyes. This photo was taken along with others by George Hurrell in 1982, when Sharon was 24 years old, long before she found acting fame.
As a young girl, Sharon would often put on her own theatrical shows in her parents two-car garage. The “audience” comprised of the neighbors who would be seated at a picnic table in the driveway. Sharon would set up different sets on each side of the garage and open one door for one scene and then close it and open the other door for the next scene.
These daring pictures of a nude Sharon Stone barely covered by a white sheet were taken in 1995 around the same time as Casino came out. At this time Sharon was reaching the height of her stardom and judging by these pictures it’s easy to see how she became one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood.
But Sharon is so much more than just a pretty face – she’s used her celebrity to help others in all sorts of ways. At the World Economic Forum in 2005, she stood up after a debate on funding poverty and pledged $10 000 and asked people to follow her lead. She managed to raise more than $100 000 in under five minutes to help buy mosquito nets to curb the spread of malaria in developing countries.
Despite her drop dead gorgeous looks and smoking body Sharon has been unlucky in love; racking up numerous engagements and two failed marriages. Her first husband was Micheal Greenburg, a television producer who she married in 1984 but separated from just three years later. They were divorced in 1990. In 1993 she became involved with Bill MacDonald, the co-producer of Sliver. MacDonald was so infatuated with her that he left his wife to become engaged to her but they parted ways less than a year later. While working on The Quick and the Dead, she met and accepted a marriage proposal from assistant director Bob Wagner but they soon separated as well.
In 1998 she married Phil Bronstein, executive editor of the San Francisco Examiner, and they adopted a son, Roan, together. He filed for divorce in 2003 citing “irreconcilable differences”.
Ups and Downs
Looking at this picture it’s easy to believe that Sharon has led a charmed life but that’s far from true. Just like everyone else she has certainly suffered many ups and downs. But what’s so inspiring about her is the fact that she just keeps on going.
In 2001 she collapsed at a fashion show after complaining of a severe headache and was rushed to the hospital where doctors diagnosed a bleeding brain aneurysm, which lasted for nine days. This medical setback left her with permanent damage and when she was released from the hospital, she found it difficult to talk, walk, and even read. When she split from her husband Phil Bronstein she lost custody of her eight-year-old son as well. But in 2010 she was back in front of the camera playing an assistant district attorney on Law & Order.
In 2008 Sharon found herself at the center of controversy after she publicly remarked that the May 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China may have been karmic payback because of the country’s treatment of Tibet. Almost 69 000 people lost their lives in this event.
At the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival, Sharon made the following statement about the tragedy, “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?”
She later apologized and recanted this statement.