Back in the soap opera glory days of the 1980s, I remember well Demi Moore‘s short stint on the popular “General Hospital.” With her distinctive gravelly voice, movie star beauty and strong personality, it was obvious that the small screen couldn’t contain her, and that she would go on to bigger things.
Demi Gene Guynes was born on November 11 in 1962 in Roswell, New Mexico. Following a difficult childhood, she left school her junior year and did some modeling before meeting and marrying musician Freddy Moore, with whom she co-wrote three songs. She had a couple of small film roles before landing the “General Hospital” gig in 1983. Then a series of popular films beginning with “Blame It On Rio” in 1984 led to an impressive string of blockbuster films throughout the 1980s and 1990s, making her one of the biggest stars of the era.
Moore’s star was on the rise when she was required to check into rehab for alcohol and cocaine addiction prior to filming “St. Elmo’s Fire” at the age of 21. Once sober, Moore soon found her footing in more adult roles. She attained A-list status with such hits as “About Last Night. . .” (1986), “Ghost” (for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination in 1991), “A Few Good Men” (1992) and “Disclosure” (1994), using her clout to fight for equal pay and benefits for actresses. By 1995, she was the highest-paid actress in Hollywood, and received a record-breaking $12.5 million to star in “Striptease” in 1996. The following year, she received a second Golden Globe nomination for her role in the HBO miniseries “If These Walls Could Talk,” a controversial anthology about abortion which she also produced. The miniseries was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy.
Critical acclaim for her films began to decline in the late 1990s, and Moore took a short hiatus from Hollywood, moving to Idaho to raise her three daughters with second husband Bruce Willis. She has continued to act sporadically in a variety of roles, from bikini-clad villain in the cheesy “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” (2003) to corporate scapegoat in the critically-acclaimed “Margin Call” (2011) to Miley Cyrus’s mother in “LOL” (2012). In addition to her acting and production credits, she has directed, receiving a Directors Guild of America Award nomination for a segment of the 2011 Lifetime anthology film “Five.”
Moore got her start in modeling, and over the years has been included in many magazine lists of the world’s most beautiful women. In 1991, she famously appeared nude on the cover of “Vanity Fair” magazine while seven-months pregnant with her second child. She has used her celebrity to not only champion equal rights for actresses, but also to support numerous causes, including AIDS research, UNICEF and empowering young women who have been victims of sexual exploitation. In 2009, she and third husband Ashton Kutcher developed a nonprofit organization that fights to end child sexual slavery.
In September of this year, Moore added author to her list of achievements with the publication of her memoir “Inside Out: A Memoir.” In the well-received book, Moore details her troubled childhood, from her mother’s suicide attempts, to finding out her father was not her biological father, to being raped at the age of 15. She candidly speaks of her three marriages, including her turbulent years with Kutcher, who is 15 years her junior, and her difficulties with substance abuse.
Tour our photo gallery above featuring her 12 greatest film performances, ranked from worst to best.
– Original text and gallery published in November 2019.