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|Also Known As:||Denny Meadows, Denny Meadows, Dennis "Smoky" Moore, Dennie Meadows, Denny Moore||Died:|
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Husky-voiced with a vulnerable charm, Demi Moore transformed herself from an abused trailer park child into one of the most powerful women in the film industry. A thoroughly American success story, Moore's rise from "General Hospital" (ABC, 1963- ) ingénue to "St. Elmo's Fire" (1985) Brat Pack queen to the titan powering blockbusters like "Ghost" (1990), "Indecent Proposal" (1993) and "Disclosure" (1994) was the stuff of movie lore itself. Her marriage and divorce to fellow superstar Bruce Willis, their three daughters, her nude Vanity Fair pregnancy portrait, her groundbreaking $12.5 million payday for "Striptease" (1996) - all of it left Moore the most talked-about actress of the 1990s. Although she left Hollywood at the peak of her powers to move to Idaho and raise her children, Moore returned in a big way with "Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle" (2003). But it was her May-December to the considerably younger Ashton Kutcher that kept her a constant tabloid topic, though in the end such media fascination led to her personal embarrassment due to Kutcher's alleged infidelities and their eventual separation. Still, Moore maintained a steady onscreen presence, playing a lounge singer in "Bobby" (2006),...
Husky-voiced with a vulnerable charm, Demi Moore transformed herself from an abused trailer park child into one of the most powerful women in the film industry. A thoroughly American success story, Moore's rise from "General Hospital" (ABC, 1963- ) ingénue to "St. Elmo's Fire" (1985) Brat Pack queen to the titan powering blockbusters like "Ghost" (1990), "Indecent Proposal" (1993) and "Disclosure" (1994) was the stuff of movie lore itself. Her marriage and divorce to fellow superstar Bruce Willis, their three daughters, her nude Vanity Fair pregnancy portrait, her groundbreaking $12.5 million payday for "Striptease" (1996) - all of it left Moore the most talked-about actress of the 1990s. Although she left Hollywood at the peak of her powers to move to Idaho and raise her children, Moore returned in a big way with "Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle" (2003). But it was her May-December to the considerably younger Ashton Kutcher that kept her a constant tabloid topic, though in the end such media fascination led to her personal embarrassment due to Kutcher's alleged infidelities and their eventual separation. Still, Moore maintained a steady onscreen presence, playing a lounge singer in "Bobby" (2006), a jewel thief in "Flawless" (2008) and a Wall Street executive in "Margin Call" (2011). While she found many detractors and critics throughout her career, Moore was a dependable performer who remained a savvy media presence and viable pop culture personality.
Born Nov. 11, 1962 in Roswell, NM, Demetria Gene Guynes never had an easy life. Her biological father left her mother before Moore's birth, and Moore's stepfather and mother had a contentious, difficult relationship marked by a series of dead-end jobs, abuse and addictions. Moore's family moved around the country almost constantly, and the young girl - named after a brand of shampoo her mother saw in a magazine - suffered from health problems, including having to wear an eye patch to correct her crossed eyes. Moore's family finally settled in Los Angeles in 1976, and the teen befriended several other future Hollywood players, including Nastassja Kinski, who convinced her to drop out of high school to pursue an entertainment career. While Moore found success as a model in Europe, her stepfather committed suicide in 1980, and her volatile relationship with her alcoholic mother deteriorated even further. The same year, she married singer Freddy Moore and took his last name; even sharing a few songwriting credits with him. At 19, her beauty, husky voice and charisma helped land Moore the role of Jackie Templeton - "a Margot Kidder/Karen Allen type" - on "General Hospital" (ABC, 1963- ). Playing an aggressive reporter searching for her sister (Janine Turner) who resembled the soap's biggest star, Laura Spencer (Genie Francis), Moore's star power quickly helped her stand out.
Moore soon segued to features, making her debut in the high school drama "Choices" (1981), as the supportive girlfriend of a deaf football player. She went on to appear in Charles Band's drive-in horror hit "Parasite" (1982) and made a cameo as her soap opera character at the end of Garry Marshall's "Young Doctors in Love" (1982). In 1984 she became a Hollywood mainstay, playing Michael Caine's vulnerable young daughter in "Blame It on Rio" and a callous model in "No Small Affair." Moore graduated to full-fledged stardom as one of the iconic members of the 1980s "Brat Pack," co-starring in the post-college drama "St. Elmo's Fire" (1985) along with Ally Sheedy, Mare Winningham, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez and Andrew McCarthy. Moore was fired by director Joel Schumacher after three days of filming on "St. Elmo's" for her cocaine addiction - she was ironically playing an addict in the film as well - but she was allowed to return when she entered treatment and signed an agreement pledging to get and stay clean.
That same year, she and Freddy Moore divorced, and she began a romance with fellow Brat Packer, Emilio Estevez, appearing in his road trip movie "Wisdom" (1986). The beautiful actress continued her professional ascent, starring in "About Last Night." (1986) opposite the equally beautiful Rob Lowe, and playing an aspiring singer (as well as lending her husky vocals) in the cult classic "One Crazy Summer" (1986) opposite John Cusack and Bobcat Goldthwait. After breaking it off with Estevez, she met and married fellow Hollywood heavyweight Bruce Willis in 1987, giving birth to their eldest daughter, Rumer, the following year. Moore moved on to adult roles as the prophecy-bearing mother in the apocalyptic "The Seventh Sign" (1988) and a quick-witted hooker in Neil Jordan's misfire "We're No Angels" (1989), but launched into superstardom as Molly, Patrick Swayze's gorgeously teary-eyed lover in the surprise hit "Ghost" (1990). The film reached heavenly heights at the box office and earned two Oscars, while Moore herself took home the Saturn Award for Best Actress for her emotional, tender performance. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe. If that were not enough, women the world over vied for the pixie haircut Moore sported so stylishly throughout the film.
Now more powerful than ever, Moore flexed her considerable clout to co-produce and star in Alan Rudolph's intriguing drama "Mortal Thoughts" (1991). She received some of her best acting reviews as a woman ensnared in a plot to murder her best friend's husband (Bruce Willis), but the film underperformed at the box office, as did "The Butcher's Wife" (1991) which saw the actress sporting long blonde tresses, a Southern drawl, and psychic powers. She also appeared in Dan Aykroyd's colossal comedy bomb, "Nothing But Trouble" (1991), but rebounded hugely in the public eye by posing nude and pregnant with her second daughter, Scout, on the cover of Vanity Fair in an iconic, controversial Annie Leibovitz portrait. Reaction was rabid and immediate, with some finding the image distasteful or exploitative and others embracing the portrait as a celebration of the beauty of pregnancy. The image achieved pop culture immortality and inspired many parodies. Adding to her clout, she - along with Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone - invested in the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain that was lucrative for over a decade before tanking in the new millennium.
The extremely popular "A Few Good Men" (1992) kept her in the public eye but the military courtroom proceedings sidelined her in favor of male co-stars like Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson. Moore scored another massive hit as Woody Harrelson's wife who sleeps with Robert Redford for $1 million in Adrian Lyne's smash "Indecent Proposal" (1993), and she rode another zeitgeist-capturing wave in the thriller "Disclosure" (1994), where she played a ruthless corporate exec accused of sexually harassing Michael Douglas. While many reviewers slammed the film for glamorizing the hot-button issue, Moore impressed with her steely, icy turn. That same year, she gave birth to her third daughter, Tallulah, and once again, she and Willis received their share of scorn for naming their children with monikers most deemed plain odd. Next, Moore made her debut in a costume epic as Hester Prynne in the wildly revised, tarted-up adaptation of Hawthorne's classic "The Scarlet Letter" (1995) opposite Gary Oldman. Moore suffered some fallout for the increased sexual content of the movie as compared to the novel, as well as a drastically different ending.
The actress - an outspoken feminist - helped put together, produce and star in the coming-of-age woman-centric comedy/drama, "Now and Then" (1995), uniting Moore, Melanie Griffith, Rosie O'Donnell, Thora Birch, Christina Ricci, and Gaby Hoffmann. She followed with the title role of "The Juror" (1996) as a single mother pressured by a gangster (Alec Baldwin) to influence a jury. Moore could also be heard as the voice of the empowered, independent Gypsy Esmeralda in Disney's animated version of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1996). At her peak, Moore made Hollywood history when she earned a $12.5 million salary to play a single mother who turns to exotic dancing in the comedy "Striptease" (1996), making her the highest-paid actress in Hollywood. Unfortunately, the highly-hyped film failed to entice critics or moviegoers, and effectively hobbled Moore's box office prowess. While she earned a second Golden Globe nomination for a heartbreaking performance as a 1950s nurse seeking an abortion in the anthology "If These Walls Could Talk" (HBO, 1996), Moore found high-profile work increasingly difficult to book after the epic failure of "Striptease."
She took part in the groundbreaking coming-out episode of "Ellen" (ABC, 1994-98) with a cameo as a grocery clerk, and wowed the world yet again with her iron will and discipline by sculpting her body into a formidable weapon and shaving her head for "G.I. Jane" (1997), in which she played a female recruit training for the Navy SEALs. Although the film received mixed reviews, it debuted at the top of the box office. The actress also earned a featured role in Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry" (1997) before suddenly disappearing from movie screens for a lengthy stretch, retreating to Idaho to raise her daughters. Her only appearances in the public eye at the time were during media coverage of her 1998 split with Bruce Willis. Dipping her toes back into Hollywood waters in 2000, Moore took the lead role in the little-seen fantasy drama "Passion of Mind," in which she played a woman living two entirely different lives - a mother in the French countryside and a fast-track Manhattan literary agent in two separate timelines, each dreaming about the other and neither knowing which life is actually the real one.
Another three years would pass before Moore would make another film - although she charmed with a guest spot on "Will & Grace" (NBC, 1998-2006) as Jack's former babysitter - playing the villainous "fallen Angel" Madison Lee in the 2003 sequel, "Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle" after being heavily recruited by producer-star Drew Barrymore, who conceived the role specifically for Moore. Looking unbelievably well-preserved and gorgeous at age 40 - with the help of some strategic plastic surgery, speculation abounded - Moore made a major impact onscreen and off, nearly walking away with all of the film's publicity due to her high-profile relationship with 25-year-old actor Ashton Kutcher, then best known for his role on the fluffy sitcom, "That '70s Show" (Fox, 1998-2006). Though many initially scoffed at the coupling and claimed it was a publicity stunt - with many pointing out Kutcher was closer in age to Rumer than to Demi - the relationship endured and they married in September 2005 in a traditional Kabbalah ceremony. Surprising many, Bruce Willis appeared with the couple and their children frequently in public, speaking well of Kutcher and Moore and sending a message of a thoroughly modern and happy family, no matter how unconventional the arrangement might be.
Moore returned to the big screen in an attempt to remake herself into a critically respected actress with a strong performance in "Bobby" (2006), former fiancé Emilio Estevez's engaging look at the 16 hours prior to Senator Robert F. Kennedy's assassination at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles as seen through the eyes of several guests and employees. She played aging lounge singer and raging alcoholic, Virginia Fallon, a role Moore was at first was reluctant to take because of the similarities to her own late mother, but Estevez was determined she play the part. Starring opposite Anthony Hopkins, William H. Macy and Helen Hunt, Moore held her own - and even stole a few scenes - with her mature and emotionally charged performance. After a nine-minute standing ovation at the 2006 Venice Film Festival, critical kudos were heaped upon the film and talk of an Oscar nod for Moore circulated. Moore continued her comeback with starring roles in "Mr. Brooks" (2007), a thriller in which she played a detective investigating a serial killer (Kevin Costner), and "Flawless" (2006), where she played an executive at a London-based diamond firm who teams up with an almost-retired janitor (Michael Caine) in a plot to steal from their employers. The actress earned further good reviews for her work in the indies "Happy Tear" (2009) and "The Joneses" (2010), cementing yet another career transformation, from box office megastar to respected indie actress.
Moore continued starring in lower profile movies, including "Margin Call" (2011), an ensemble drama starring Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany and Jeremy Irons that was centered around the goings-on inside an investment firm during the first 24 hours of the 2008 financial crisis. Moore played the firm's risk assessment manager who is offered up as a sacrificial lamb for doing nothing about the impending market explosion. The film earned rave reviews, but remained nothing more than an art house curiosity. Meanwhile, Moore's personal life took a drastic turn when rumors began to swirl regarding Kutcher's alleged infidelities with other women. The fractures in their sturdy marriage began to form when a young woman claimed to have had sex with Kutcher in July 2010, which caused major public embarrassment for Moore. The couple's relationship was already under strain and they were spending more time apart. They tried to reconcile with a spiritual journey to Israel, but new accusations surfaced in September 2011, when Kutcher allegedly had a one-night stand on their sixth wedding anniversary. Moore again tried reconciliation via their Kabbalah instructor, but later felt that their time was over and announced their separation on Nov. 17, 2011. Her statement alluded to Kutcher's alleged affairs with inferences that vows she held sacred were violated and that had prompted her to move on. Only two months later, Moore was rushed to the hospital for what her publicist stated was "exhaustion." The couple's divorce was finalized November 27, 2013. During this period, Moore largely curtailed her screen appearances, taking supporting roles in a pair of dramas about troubled teens: the critically-lambasted "LOL" (2012) starring Miley Cyrus and "Very Good Girls," an indie drama starring Elizabeth Olsen, Dakota Fanning and Clark Gregg.
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