Michelle Pfeiffer was born in Santa Ana, California on April 29, 1958. A winner of the Miss Orange County beauty pageant, she landed her breakthrough role in Scarface in 1983. Pfeiffer earned an Oscar nomination (for best actress) for the film The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989). Her later films include Batman Returns and Hairspray. Pfeiffer has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She's married to television producer David E. Kelley.
Born on April 29, 1958 in Santa Ana, California, Michelle Pfeiffer is known for her stunning looks and versatility, and has enjoyed great popularity as a film actress. As a teenager, Pfeiffer won several beauty contests. After briefly studying to be a court reporter, Pfeiffer decided to pursue an acting career. She started acting on television, appearing on such shows as Fantasy Island.
Pfeiffer had a small part in 1980's Falling in Love Again, but had a breakthrough with Grease 2. While the sequel to the hit musical proved to be commercially and critically disappointing, it helped introduce movie-goers to Pfeiffer. She soon moved on to the now-classic crime drama Scarface (1983), and showed critics that she could hold her own, starring opposite acting powerhouse Al Pacino.
Over the next few years, Pfeiffer took on a variety of roles. She starred as the tragically cursed lover Isabeau opposite Rutger Hauer and Matthew Broderick in the fantasy adventure film Ladyhawke (1985). She played one of the title characters in 1987's The Witches of Eastwick, with Cher and Susan Sarandon. Turning to historical drama, she starred in Dangerous Liaisons (1988), opposite John Malkovich and Glenn Close. In Liaisons, Pfeiffer plays an unwitting pawn in a bet between Malkovich's and Close's characters. For her performance, she received her first Academy Award nomination.
Pfeiffer showed off her comedic side by starring in the 1988 comedy Married to the Mob. Two years later, she won wide acclaim as a sultry singer in The Fabulous Baker Boys, starring opposite real-life brothers Beau and Jeff Bridges. For the 1991 romantic comedy Frankie and Johnny, Pfeiffer tried to tone down her remarkable good looks to play a lonely waitress who gets involved with another restaurant employee (Al Pacino). She quickly turned up the heat with Tim Burton's Batman Returns (1992), in which Michael Keaton plays the title character. For the film, Pfeiffer tackled a legendary villainess, "Catwoman," and more was made of her skin-tight suit than her performance.
Pfeiffer continued to win starring roles in later films. In 1996, she played a harried single parent who eventually falls for George Clooney in One Fine Day. In another romantic tale, Up Close and Personal (1996), set in a television newsroom, she appeared opposite screen legend Robert Redford.
By the late 1990s, Pfeiffer was focusing more on her family than her career. She had adopted her daughter, Claudia, in 1993, and married TV writer-producer David E. Kelley later that year. The couple added to their family in 1994, with the birth of their son, John Henry.
Selective about her work, Pfeiffer starred opposite Sean Penn in I Am Sam (2001), the heart-wrenching story of a mentally challenged man who is fighting to keep his young daughter. She continued to explore family issues with 2002's White Oleander, playing a mother whose life is ruined when she's sentenced to prison, and her daughter is put into foster care.
In 2007, Pfeiffer returned to the big screen after being absent for several years. She gave an impressive, humorous performance in the hit musical Hairspray, co-starring with John Travolta, Christopher Walken and Nikki Blonsky. She then appeared in a number of films that met with little success, including the family friendly adventure Stardust (2007), with Robert De Niro; and the drama Personal Effects (2009), with Ashton Kutcher.
Pfeiffer reunited with Tim Burton for 2012's Dark Shadows, co-starring with actor Johnny Depp. She also appeared in the family drama People Like Us (2012).
In 2019, she made headlines again, but this time it was not for her movie roles, it was for the clean fragrance line she had launched, Henry Rose. Every ingredient used has been certified as safe and environmentally sound by the nonprofit watchdogs Cradle to Cradle and the Environmental Working Group, where Pfeiffer serves as a board member. The $120 scents come in 1.7-ounce bottles made of 90% recycled glass with soy-based caps, and are shipped in bio-based, biodegradable packaging. [Photo: Danielle Levitt]
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