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Michelle Pfeiffer - Biography

The Hollywood bombshell has had a very successful career...

michelle pfeiffer the first lady premiere 2022
8 October 2009
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Born on April 29, 1958, in Santa Ana, California, Michelle Pfeiffer was the eldest of three girls raised by Dick Pfeiffer, a heating and air conditioning engineer, and Donna, a housewife. A true California girl, Michelle often cut classes at Fountain Valley High School, heading for the nearby beach instead. 

Early Career

After graduating from high school and with her first two forays into the job market behind her, the former Miss Orange County headed for Los Angeles. There, Tinseltown executives, recognizing her delicate beauty, cast the youngster as eye candy in a series of forgettable projects. In the short-lived 1979 TV sitcom Delta House her character was actually called "the Bombshell", and Michelle soon discovered her looks could be as much a hindrance as an asset. It wasn't until Martin Scorsese's gritty 1983 flick Scarface that anyone looked past the luscious features and blonde locks. "Scarface gave me a little bit of legitimacy that I didn't have before," says Michelle.

Michelle Pfeiffer appearing in the ABC tv series B.A.D. Cats in the 1980s © Walt Disney Television Photo Arc
Michelle Pfeiffer appearing in the ABC tv series B.A.D. Cats in the 1980s

 It also brought in a choice of coveted roles. In 1987, The Witches Of Eastwick cast its spell over viewers, with Michelle holding her own opposite Jack Nicholson and Susan Sarandon. The following year she scored a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for Dangerous Liaisons and played against type in the comedy Married To The Mob. In 1999 she starred opposite Bruce Willis in The Story Of Us, the heart-wrenching tale of a married couple who realise they've fallen out of love. "I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough of the tragic elements to play the part," she confessed of the role. "I certainly responded to the comedic ones!"


Her illustrious career has earned her plaudits from critics alike. In 1990 she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture for her role in  The Fabulous Baker Boys. Her stint in  Dangerous Liaisons won her the BAFTA for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in 1990. The star has also received an impressive amount of nominations including three at the Oscars, six at the Golden Globes, and one at the Emmys to name a few.

Michelle Pfeiffer at the Oscars in 2010© Kevork Djansezian
The star has been nominated for three Oscars

Personal Life

Once married to Thirtysomething actor Peter Horton, Michelle found love again around in an unlikely place on a blind date at the local bowling alley. Set up by mutual friends, she and Ally McBeal producer David E Kelley hit it off and wed on November 13, 1993.

Michelle Pfeffier and her  husband David E. Kelley © Jeffrey Mayer
Michelle married husband David E. Kelley in 1993

Nine months later John Henry was born a brother to Claudia Rose, the little girl Michelle had adopted shortly before meeting David. The second time around, Michelle seems to think she's got the matrimony deal sorted. "I was a kid the first time," she says of her marriage to Horton. "I'm less selfish now." The secret of her relationship with David is making time for each other, she explains. "I think you have to spend time away from the kids and stay up late and talk, or go to the movies, or do the crossword puzzle together. We still have date nights, and I look forward to them all week."

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