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Kim Basinger was born December 8, 1953 in Athens, Georgia, the third of five children. Both her parents had been in entertainment, her father had played big-band jazz, and her mother had performed water ballet in several Esther Williams movies. Kim was introspective, from her father's side. As a schoolgirl, she was very shy. To help her overcome this, her parents had Kim study ballet from an early age. By the time she reached sweet sixteen, the once-shy Kim entered the Athens Junior Miss contest. From there, she went on to win the Junior Miss Georgia title and traveled to New York to compete in the national Junior Miss pageant. Kim, who had blossomed to a 5' 7" beauty, was offered a contract on the spot with the Ford Modeling Agency. At the age of 20, Kim was a top model, commanding $1,000 a day. Throughout the early 1970s, she appeared on dozens of magazine covers and in hundreds of ads, most notably as the Breck girl. Kim took acting classes at the Neighborhood Playhouse, performed in various Greenwich Village clubs, and sang under the stage name Chelsea.In 1976, Kim moved to Los Angeles, ready to conquer Hollywood. Kim broke into television doing episodes of such hit series as "Charlie's Angels" (1976). Kim also starred in several TV movies including Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold (1978) (TV) and the Golden Globe-winning remake of "From Here to Eternity" (1979). In 1980, she married Ron Snyder (aka Ron Britton), a makeup artist she had met in 1979 on the set of her film Hard Country (1981). Kim asked him to change his surname to "something with a B" so as to match a luxury set of luggage they owned, hence the name Britton. Kim did good work in a few low-key movies like Mother Lode (1982), but it was her role opposite Sean Connery in the James Bond film Never Say Never Again (1983) that brought her fame and made her in demand. Kim was next paired with Burt Reynolds in The Man Who Loved Women (1983) and Robert Redford in The Natural (1984) (for which she received a Golden Globe nomination), and gave another critically acclaimed performance in Fool for Love (1985). Kim was Hollywood royalty for the rest of the 1980s, with starring roles in the high-profile films Nine 1/2 Weeks (1986), No Mercy (1986), Blind Date (1987), Nadine (1987), My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988) and Batman (1989).With perhaps too much disposable income, Kim headed up an investment group that purchased the entire town of Braselton, in her native Georgia, for $20 million (she would later have to sell it). In 1989, Kim divorced Ron Britton and began a relationship with Alec Baldwin the following year. They married in 1993 and had a daughter, Ireland Eliesse, in 1995. Kim took some time off to stay at home with her child. Kim, who loves animals and is a strict vegetarian, devoted energy to animal rights issues and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), even posing for some ads. She and Baldwin ended their marriage in 2000.Kim made an Oscar-winning comeback in the film noir L.A. Confidential (1997). Her salary for I Dreamed of Africa (2000) was $5,000,000, putting her firmly back in the category of big-name movie star. Kim later played Eminem's alcoholic mother in the hit film 8 Mile (2002). More recently, Kim has starred in the thrillers Cellular (2004) and The Sentinel (2006), and there are still many great things ahead, in the career of cover girl turned Oscar-winning actress Kim Basinger.