Demi Moore has remained a public figure for the last 20 years, despite the fact that in that time she starred in only two, maybe three bona fide hit movies. There’s just something about her that we can’t get enough of.
Born in Roswell, New Mexico, on November 11, 1962, Moore’s given name was Demetria Guynes. Before dropping out of school at the age of 16, Moore, with her mother, stepfather, and half-brother, moved over 30 times. The stress of moving so frequently was compounded by the abusive relationship between Moore’s mother and stepfather, ultimately resulting in her stepfather’s suicide when Moore was 15.
After his death, Moore, who had been under the assumption that he was her father, discovered that he was not, in fact, her biological father. At 16, she dropped out of school and began her career modeling in Europe. By 18, she began her first of two unsuccessful marriages.
Although Moore landed small parts in a couple of movies in the early 80s (Parasite and Young Doctors in Love), it was not until 1985’s St. Elmo’s Fire that Moore established herself as a presence in Hollywood. However, during shooting Moore is rumored to have been fired for drug use and rehired after going through rehab. After the failure of her first marriage, Moore became engaged to St. Elmo’s Fire costar Emilio Estevez, with whom she would stay for three years before marrying Bruce Willis in 1987.
Moore’s next successful movie was 1990’s Ghost, in which she played Patrick Swayze’s girlfriend. Ghost‘s success, however, couldn’t keep Moore away from a string of more or less memorable flops, from The Butcher’s Wife to Mortal Thoughts, from Indecent Proposal to Disclosure, Now and Then, The Scarlet Letter, and perhaps most memorably Striptease. Salvaging her acting career, she took on a role in Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1996.
In 1997, Moore starred in what, to-date, has been the last of her major roles. G.I. Jane, however, was a box office disappointment. In 1998, Moore’s 11-year marriage to Bruce Willis was finished, and until 2003, so too was her onscreen career. Meanwhile, she produced all three Austen Powers movies. In 2003, Moore took a role in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and, her acting career never really having a chance to outshine her offscreen persona, took a role as Ashton Kutcher’s girlfriend.
Demi Moore’s career has been marked by controversy both onscreen and offscreen. In 1991, she posed pregnant without any clothes on for Vanity Fair, the uproar over which was matched the following year when, after giving birth to her child, she appeared again on the cover of Vanity Fair, this time clothed only in paint.
In 1993, her role in Indecent Proposal evoked the anger of feminist groups and critics alike. And none who have lived through the ’90s can forget the enormous fanfare behind the enormous flop Striptease, for which Moore took flak for her role as a stripper.