Why Are They Famous: Elizabeth Hurley
Sunday 02 May 1999
Uber-goddess of the Famous-for-Being-Famous pantheon. Reigning over any number of Taras and Tamaras, Liz is undisputed queen of Nineties-style fame, a home-grown nonentity turned global phenomenon in a single photo opportunity. At the premiere of Hugh Grant's and Julia Roberts' Notting Hill, it was La Hurley-Burly, movingly clad in split-to-the-thigh Versace, who stole the show from the leading lady. After five years of assiduous thigh and bosom flashes from our heroine, you'd think her assets would be old news. Not a bit of it: 34-year-old Hurley soon plays, er, a scantily dressed model who hitches a ride on her boyfriend's fame in the forthcoming Ed TV. A surprise casting move, then.
Elizabeth I: healthy, round-faced girl with substantial curves and moderate English good looks. Now fast-forward five years. Elizabeth II: Jackie O on speed. Strained, sinewed beauty favouring panda eyes, ripe-to-bursting pout and fat-free, gym-sculpted limbs.
As veteran of many a premiere, Liz Hurley, girlfriend, model and, ahem, actress, inspired a phrase ("that dress"), a massively lucrative cosmetics contract and worldwide fame. The show that is Liz has since encompassed one visible pair of knickers, several perfume ads and her boyfriend's blow-job scandal. It has also featured films called things like Dangerous Ground, Extreme Measures and Passenger 57.
Frankly, Liz pretends to be a little bit posher than she is. Despite appropriately clipped and elongated fruity tones, our Basingstoke-bred heroine attended a comp and got one sociology A level. "Frightfully bad luck," as Liz would say.
Fair to excellent. But since sartorial surprises will one day run out, we suggest full-blown nudity or a nun's outfit for her next appearance outside Hugh's film. Even so, those original 15 minutes have now lasted half a decade. Long live Queen Liz.
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