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Michelle Pfeiffer Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (90)  | Personal Quotes (37)  | Salary (7)

Overview (3)

Born in Santa Ana, California, USA
Birth NameMichelle Marie Pfeiffer
Height 5' 7½" (1.71 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Michelle Pfeiffer was born in Santa Ana, California, to Donna Jean (Taverna) and Richard Pfeiffer, a heating and air-conditioning contractor. She has an older brother and two younger sisters - Dedee Pfeiffer and Lori Pfeiffer, who both dabbled in acting and modeling but decided against making it their life's work. Her parents were both originally from North Dakota. Her father had German and British Isles ancestry, and her mother was of half Swiss-German and half Swedish descent.

Pfeiffer graduated from Fountain Valley High School in 1976, and attended one year at the Golden West College, where she studied to become a court reporter. But it was while working as a supermarket checker at Vons, a large Southern California grocery chain, that she realized her true calling. She was married to actor/director Peter Horton ("Gary" of Thirtysomething (1987)) in 1981. They were later divorced, and she then had a three year relationship with actor Fisher Stevens. When that did not work out, Pfeiffer decided she did not want to wait any longer before having her own family, and in March 1993, she adopted a baby girl, Claudia Rose. On November 13th of the same year, she married lawyer-turned-writer/producer David E. Kelley, creator of Picket Fences (1992), Chicago Hope (1994), The Practice (1997), and Boston Public (2000). On August 5, 1994, their son John Henry was born.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Natica Jackson <natica@cris.com>

Spouse (2)

David E. Kelley (13 November 1993 - present) ( 2 children)
Peter Horton (5 October 1981 - 1988) ( divorced)

Trivia (90)

Used to work in a clothing store.
In October 1997 she was ranked #39 in "Empire" (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list.
Born at 8:11am-PDT.
Had thought about looking for someone to father a child with "no strings attached," but decided to adopt instead. She adopted a daughter, Claudia Rose, born in 1993. Also that year, she married David E. Kelley, with whom she also had a son, in 1994.
Won the Miss Orange County beauty pageant.
In 1997 was voted Best Dressed Female Movie Star.
Studied acting at The Beverly Hills Playhouse.
Her name was misspelled as "Michele" in the credits of Callie & Son (1981).
In 1995 was ranked #3 by "Empire" magazine on its list of 00 Sexiest Stars in film history.
Replaced Annette Bening as Catwoman in Batman Returns (1992), due to the former actress' pregnancy.
Does her own singing in Grease 2 (1982), The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), The Prince of Egypt (1998) and Hairspray (2007).
In 2000 the character Catwoman/Selina Kyle, who she played in Batman Returns (1992), was voted #3 in "Empire" magazine's "69 Sexiest Movie Characters of All Time".
Turned down the Sharon Stone role in Basic Instinct (1992).
As a teenager working as a clerk at a Vons Grocery Store in southern California in 1974, she learned to tie maraschino cherry stems in knots with her tongue.
Has an adopted daughter named Claudia Rose (born in 1993) and a son named John Henry (born in 1994) with husband David E. Kelley, named after David's father.
Accidentally cut Al Pacino with broken glass while auditioning for Scarface (1983).
Studied acting under Geraldine Page in a workshop at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles.
Her first job as a performer was playing "Alice" from Alice in Wonderland (1951) at Disneyland in the Main Street Electrical Parade in the mid-1970s.
There was a study done of the faces of beautiful women, quantifying the ratio of the width of the mouth to the width of the nose, attempting to find the perfect proportions for the perfect face of feminine beauty (the ratio turns out to be something like 1.7). The movie star with the most perfect proportions for feminine facial beauty, based on this measure, turns out to be Michelle Pfeiffer.
Attended Fountain Valley High School in Fountain Valley, CA, and graduated in 1976.
Older sister of Lori Pfeiffer and Dedee Pfeiffer.
Val Kilmer wrote poetry for her.
Her paternal grandfather was of German descent, and her paternal grandmother had English, Welsh, French, German, Dutch and Irish ancestry. On her mother's side, she is of Swiss-German and Swedish descent.
During an A&E Biography (1987), she said that her Catwoman costume from Batman Returns (1992) was vacuum-sealed once she was fitted into it for scenes, so she actually had only a short amount of time to perform before she would have to have it opened or she could become light-headed and pass out.
Was chosen to be on the cover of the first ever "People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in the World" issue in 1990; appeared on the list a record six times (1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1999) and the first person to appear on the cover of the special issue twice (1990 and 1999).
Barbara Walters called her and Julia Roberts the most beautiful people she has ever interviewed.
Voted by "Biography" Magazine readers as the most beautiful woman of the 1990s.
Chosen by "People" Magazine as one of the most intriguing people of 1988 and 1989.
Turned down the role of the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005); she was the only major Hollywood star offered the role.
Sister-in-law of Jude Cole and Kevin Ryan. Ex-sister-in-law of Gregory Fein.
Was considered for the role of Eva Perón in Evita (1996), and when the film was to be directed by Oliver Stone she had taken a few months of voice training for the role.
In 1998, joined the "12 Million Dollar Club" along with Meg Ryan and Jodie Foster (knocking Demi Moore off the list). Michelle would only earn this salary for one picture.
In September 1999 In an "Entertainment Weekly" on-line poll, she placed second in the category of Best Modern Actress; beaten only by Meryl Streep.
She was the original choice for Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs (1991), but her asking price was too rich for Orion Pictures.
Received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6801 Hollywood Blvd. on August 6, 2007.
Has been an an avid oil painter for most of her life.
Has worked with four live-action Batmans. First, she appeared in Batman Returns (1992), with Michael Keaton. She worked with Val Kilmer on ABC Afterschool Specials: One Too Many (1985) and The Prince of Egypt (1998). In One Fine Day (1996), she works with George Clooney, and in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999), she works with Christian Bale.
Was nominated for six consecutive Golden Globe Awards from 1989-94.
One of her favorite films is The Wizard of Oz (1939).
When she was in her 20s, strangers would come up to her thinking she was Debbie Harry from the band Blondie. Not surprisingly, Harry stated in an interview that if she could choose any actress to play her in a film, she would choose Pfeiffer.
In 2004 she was voted by "Empire" Magazine as 13th Greatest Actress of Her Time (out of 50 actresses).
In December of 2007 "Empire" Magazine voted her the 33rd sexiest movie star.
Was considered for the lead role in Mamma Mia! (2008) that eventually went to Meryl Streep.
According to her interview in "Premiere Magazine" in 1999, she would really like to work with Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt.
Turned down two roles that went to Sharon Stone: Catherine Trammel in Basic Instinct (1992) because she refused to do any nudity and Ginger McKenna in Casino (1995), because she had already played a similar role in Scarface (1983).
In the mid-'90s she was attached to star in a remake of The Innocents (1961) starring Deborah Kerr, based on the Henry James novel "The Turn of the Screw".
Was considered for the role in Bugsy (1991) that eventually went to Annette Bening.
Auditoned for the role in Urban Cowboy (1980) that eventually went to Debra Winger.
Was attached to star in two romantic comedies in 2004. One was "Taming Ben Taylor" (2004) with Kevin Costner and the other was "She's Gone" (2004), a romantic comedy about a couple whose marriage is at a crossroads. It was to be produced by Armyan Bernstein and Mark Johnson for Disney.
Said she wanted to star in a Grease (1978) remake with Jessica Simpson.
Was considered for a part in Working Girl (1988) along with Meryl Streep. The roles eventually went to Melanie Griffith (replacing Pfeiffer) and Sigourney Weaver (replacing Streep).
Before the role in Chéri (2009) went to Pfeiffer, Jessica Lange was attached to play the lead, and was attached to the project for a number of years. She has credit as a producer on the film.
Turned down the role of the Angel of Death in A Prairie Home Companion (2006). It went to Virginia Madsen.
Tested and rejected by Franco Zeffirelli for the role of Jade Butterfield in Endless Love (1981). In the end, Zeffirelli chose Brooke Shields, a very young actress for the role, a decision she later came to regret.
Was considered for the role in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) that was played by Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Passion of Mind (2000) was originally developed for her in the late 1980s, but by the time it was finally ready to go into production a decade later, she was unavailable due to scheduling conflicts, and the film became a vehicle for Demi Moore.
A role that got away from her was "Mistress of the Seas", to be directed by Paul Verhoeven and produced by Jon Peters. It was to have centered around the true story of two female pirates, Anne Bonney and Mary Read, who sailed with a pirate named Calico Jack in the Caribbean in the 18th century. Michelle and Geena Davis were to be involved, but Davis had already signed up to do her own pirate flick, Cutthroat Island (1995), and Michelle, after meetings with Verhoeven, withdrew from the project, stating that all the conversations "were about how much skin I would show".
Turned down the Ashley Judd role in Double Jeopardy (1999).
She was offered the role of Slim Keith in Infamous (2006) but turned it down. It eventually was then given to Hope Davis.
She had a film production company from 1990-2000, Via Rosa Productions, in which she had a number of projects in development. They included a biopic on singer Marianne Faithfull another on artist Georgia O'Keeffe, as well as a sci-fi/alien abduction drama, a story of a female basketball coach and another called "Privacy" in which she would play a tabloid journalist. Also included was a film about the Rosewood Education Center in south-central Los Angeles, where gang members help and work with handicap[ed kids. There was also a script in development called "The Ice Queen", in which she would play an undercover drug agent, based on the true story of DEA agent Heidi Landgraf, who went undercover as a drug trafficker and ended up helping send 200 dealers to prison.
Was considered for the role of Golly in Nickelodeon's screen adaptation of Harriet the Spy (1996) that went to Rosie O'Donnell.
In 1995 "Empire" Magazine made a list of the sexiest movie star of all time. She was third. First was Johnny Depp and second was Marilyn Monroe.
Was considered for the Marcia Gay Harden's role in Mystic River (2003).
Was offered the Julia Roberts role in Pretty Woman (1990) because she didn't like the script's "tone.".
She was already in the process of adopting a child by the time she met future husband David E. Kelley. They had only been together for two months when they adopted daughter Claudia Rose.
Kate Nelligan has been her co-star in three films: Frankie and Johnny (1991), Wolf (1994) and Up Close & Personal (1996).
She was under serious consideration for the role of "Maria" in the big-screen adaptation of The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990). Brian De Palma, who had directed her in Scarface (1983), was eager to work with her again. However, she instead opted for the role in another literary film adaptation, The Russia House (1990). Melanie Griffith was then cast as "Maria" and received a Razzie nomination as Worst Actress for the role, while Michelle went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for her performance.
Briefly considered taking on the lead role in the boxing drama Against the Ropes (2004). When she passed, Meg Ryan was cast in the film, which flopped at the box office.
Was the original choice for the female lead in City Island (2009).
Reportedly turned down the chance to star opposite Pierce Brosnan in the romantic comedy, Some Kind of Beautiful (2014).
After almost 20 years to the day, she has reunited with two former directors for new projects. Garry Marshall, who directed Pfeiffer in Frankie and Johnny (1991), is directing her in New Year's Eve (2011), and Tim Burton, who directed her in Batman Returns (1992), is directing her in Dark Shadows (2012).
Has been vegan since June 2012.
In March 2004 she was attached to star in a remake of Billy Wilder's Witness for the Prosecution (1957) as Christine Vole, the character played by 'Marlene Dietrich' in the original. Her husband David E. Kelley was writing and adapting the screenplay. Agatha Christie's grandson Mathew Prichard advised, "The role of Christine was written for someone like Michelle Pfeiffer. She'd be perfect in it. She's gorgeous, sultry and superbly talented. Would my grandmother approve? Definitely. It'll be one of the biggest films ever based on an 'Agatha Christie' work." Unfortunately, the project was put on hold.
She was considered for Nicole Kidman's roles in Days of Thunder (1990) and To Die For (1995).
Was offered a role in Lorenzo's Oil (1992) but backed out due to scheduling conflicts from Batman Returns (1992). The role ultimately went to Susan Sarandon.
Was considered for the part of Marilyn Lovell (née Gerlach, wife of astronaut Jim Lovell) in Apollo 13 (1995).
Lost out to Daryl Hannah for the lead role in Ron Howard's Splash (1984).
Auditioned, and was rejected, for the role of "Tiffany Wells" in Charlie's Angels (1976).
Mentioned in the songs "Riptide" by Vance Joy and "Uptown Funk" by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson.
Shortly after coming to Hollywood, she was introduced to "Breatharianism", a cult that follows the belief that a person can live without food and water, receiving sustenance only from air and sunlight. She didn't realize anything was wrong until she met her first husband, Peter Horton, who was working on a documentary about Rev. 'Sung Myun Moon''s Unification Church. She realized that the psychological manipulation described by former Moon members was similar to her experience with Breatharianism, and left.
Turned down Still Alice (2014). Julianne Moore was cast instead and ended up winning an Oscar for the role.
Before moving to Northern California in 2003, she lived in the affluent Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Her neighbors included Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, O.J. Simpson and Roseanne Barr.
Has twice missed the opportunity to work with one of her idols, Meryl Streep , first in Working Girl (1988) and then in A Prairie Home Companion (2006) , which she dropped out of to film I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007).
She was considered for Vicki Vale in Batman (1989), but was dating Michael Keaton at the time and he didn't think it would be right. She did play Catwoman in the sequel, Batman Returns (1992).
Despite playing her granddaughter in The Age of Innocence (1993), she is just 17 years younger than Miriam Margolyes.
Claims she never watches any of her films after they've been completed.
Had worked with Ralph Fiennes and Joseph Fiennes on two DreamWorks animated features: with Ralph on The Prince of Egypt (1998) and Joseph on Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003).
Met husband-to-be David E. Kelley at the Santa Monica, California, "Chez Jay" restaurant & bar, a location he would use years later for his TV series Goliath (2016).
Turned down the role of Elena in Fifty Shades Darker (2017) that went to Kim Basinger.

Personal Quotes (37)

I still think people will find out that I'm really not very talented. I'm really not very good. It's all just been a big sham.
[on playing her part of Claire Spencer in What Lies Beneath (2000)] "I thought about Drew Barrymore in the first Scream (1996) - I mean, ultimately that movie was more funny than scary, but the opening sequence was quite terrifying, and she portrayed terror in a way I'd never seen an actress do."
[on wearing her costume in Batman Returns (1992) for the first time]: "I thought to myself 'I can't move, I can't breathe, I can't think. I'm unhappy. I can't act'."
[on cosmetic surgery] "If that nose or those jowls bother you, do it! But this epidemic of people losing sight of what looks good, the distortion that has been going on is creepy."
I act for free, but I demand a huge salary as compensation for all the annoyance of being a public personality. In that sense, I earn every dime I make.
Ultimately, I believe the only secret to a happy marriage is choosing the right person. Life is a series of choices, right?
I was shocked at the prejudice, voiced in some quarters, over my decision to adopt a mixed-race baby. It's really surprising that people still put so much emphasis on it. None of us are pure anything. We're all a mixture. Claudia is a beautiful child, and some of the most beautiful people I've seen in the world have been of mixed race. As mother of both an adopted child and my own birth-child, there is absolutely no difference in the huge amount of love I feel for both my children. I always knew I wanted to adopt a child and also have one of my own. There is no difference at all.
I have to say this singing was harder than any I've done before. The melodies are so fast that you can barely get a breath in. But once I got past the 'Oh my God, what have I gotten myself into' phase, it was so much fun to sing again.
For me, getting comfortable with being famous was hard - that whole side of it, the loss of anonymity, the loss of privacy. Giving up that part of your life and not having control of it.
Acting's an odd profession for a young person; it's so extreme. You work, and the conditions are tough and the process is so immersive, and then it stops, and then there's nothing. So you have to find ways of making you feel productive when you're not actually producing anything. For a young person, that's really challenging.
[on her role as "Velma Von Tussle" in Hairspray (2007)] It's a lot of fun to play mean and sinister - but you certainly put yourself at risk for scenery chewing. And, every once in a while, Adam [Adam Shankman, the director] would come over to me after a take and say, "Hey, Michelle - is there a chair leg in your teeth?"
(From Movieline magazine April 2002) People like Susan Sarandon and Meryl Streep have paved the way and our window of opportunity expands incrementally year by year. Obviously, the kind of roles I'm offered are different than before, but I feel like the roles have only gotten more interesting. I want to grow up to be Judi Dench or Ellen Burstyn. The older we get, the less we work, but look at the work just those two women are doing. It gets deeper.
It's my profound fear of embarrassment that's kept me going. That's the key to my success.
It seems that my leading men just keep getting younger the older I get. [at the Berlin Film Festival whilst promoting Chéri (2009)]
If you think hitting 40 is liberating, wait till you hit 50 - and I was surprised at how liberating it was. The anticipation of something is always much worse than the reality.
Interview with Movieline April 2002: (On being asked who do you find ravishing?) I find Cate Blanchett just so beautiful, so chameleon-like, so good in such different things. Brad Pitt is great looking. He's pretty cute and I'd like to work with him, too. There are people I love on- screen that I would love to work with. I adore George Clooney and I'd love to work with him again. I'd love to work with Ralph Fiennes. I'd love to work with Sean Penn again. I also find my husband very, very attractive.
[on having to turn down the part of Evita which eventually went to Madonna)] It was a very hard decision. I worked my ass off for that part. I was 6 months pregnant, doing Dangerous Minds (1995), taking voice lessons, and making demos on the weekend. Then, it got too expensive to keep the production in Los Angeles.
I look over and I've cut Al Pacino. This is the guy who already hates me. So, well, there goes that, I guess! But I actually think it's when he began to like me. And we've been good friends ever since. I got the job. (July 2007 Inside the Actors Studio (1994)).
[on George Clooney while on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross (2001) BBC, 1 August 2007] He's just a great guy, great with kids. I bet him he would get married and he keeps inflating the bet - from 100 dollars to 100,000 dollars. I still think he will, he's a handsome devil.
I remember that I used to get on the phone with Ellen Barkin. We were both unemployed. Nobody would hire us. For every part that we wanted, Debra Winger would steal. We could not get a job and we'd be hysterical for hours on the phone, bitching and moaning and kvetching. [Interview in Esquire, 1990].
There's always those performances which are so inspiring they are reminders of why you're in this business, and what you strive for and they continue to raise the bar for everyone. Like seeing Daniel Day-Lewis in just about anything that he does. He continues to inspire me.
I love Robert Zemeckis. I would do the yellow pages if he was directing [October 2000 while promoting What Lies Beneath (2000)].
I can't see myself ever retiring. Ever. I started working part-time when I was 14 and still at school. And I've never stopped. From the moment I started, I loved it, and I feel like I always need to be productive in some way. But who knows? I may not always be acting; I hope I am. [2012]
I still think I'm going to be fired in the first week of every new job I take. Always. In fact, before I even start a movie I'll try to get myself fired or think of a reason I should quit. I guess it's fear of failure.
The loss of youth, the loss of beauty - it definitely plays havoc with your psyche. There's this transition from, 'Wow, she looks really young for her age,' to, 'She looks great for her age.' There is certainly a mourning process to that. I used to think I would never have surgery but it's really hard to say never.
I can't believe I'm saying this but I'd like to do an action movie. Yeah (I have done some action), but, I want to be like the Kiefer Sutherland character in 24 (2001). Jack Bauer? I want to be like him! I want to kick butt.
[on Anne Hathaway] Oh, I think she's great. I'm actually very much looking forward to seeing her in the role (Catwoman). I'm a big fan of hers and I think she has everything you need for that role. She has the humor, she can go to dark places, shes obviously very talented. I think she's going to be really good.
[on Shaquille O'Neal] He was so sweet to my son [John Henry, 14] at a game a few years ago. We have this great photo of him sitting by Shaq's feet, and I swear my son and his feet are the same size.
[on The Witches of Eastwick (1987)] We were a great team. There were no personality clashes whatsoever among the actors. We became very close. It was a difficult shoot, but not because we didn't get along. We started with an unfinished script, and then you get a lot of cooks in the kitchen and everyone's doing rewrites and it just became really stressful. But if anything, it made us stick together. It was like all the actors were in the trenches together. Working without a script doesn't work very well. We had a finished script but it wasn't one everyone was satisfied with. There were constant changes and there was a lot of drama. It's very rarely a positive to start without a solid foundation. It works sometimes.
[on Married to the Mob (1988)] It's a good one, I think. I had a great time on that with Jonathan Demme.
I didn't have any formal training. I didn't come from Juilliard. I was just getting by and learning in front of the world. So I've always had this feeling that one day they're going to find out that I'm really a fraud.
I really thought One Fine Day (1996) was a good movie. I know why it did badly. It was released at a bad time. Perhaps if it had been released at a better time it would have done better. But there are so many variables. It's just all a big crapshoot.
I'm very willful, you know. I'm a survivor. It's in my nature. I don't look so tough, but I am.
[on Johnny Depp] -- Johnny is one of the most iconic actors in cinema history. He was always on my bucket list.
(On Grease 2 (1982)) "That film was a good experience for me. It taught me a valuable lesson. Before it even came out the hype had started. Maxwell and I were being thrust down the public's throat in huge full page advertisements. There was no way we could live up to any of that and we didn't. So the crash was very loud. But it did teach me not to have expectations."
[on being cast in Mother! (2017)] Sometimes I have this nightmare where I'm trying to warn people around me of some impending doom, some disaster that is about to happen. No one is listening to me. My entire dream is trying to find my way out, trying to convince people. This film feels like that to me. I think it's Darren going "Wake up!"
On Plastic Surgery: I don't anything against it and I think there is a lot of pressure on women. It's hard aging these days. If one day, I look in the mirror and I just can't stand it anymore, then I may be right there.

Salary (7)

Married to the Mob (1988) $750,000
Frankie and Johnny (1991) $3,000,000
Batman Returns (1992) $3,000,000
Wolf (1994) $6,000,000
Dangerous Minds (1995) $6,000,000
The Deep End of the Ocean (1999) $12,000,000
What Lies Beneath (2000) $10,500,000

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