Kimila Ann Basinger is an American actress, singer, and former fashion model. Following a successful modeling career in New York, Basinger moved to Los Angeles where she began her acting career on television in 1976. She starred in several made-for-television films, including a remake of From Here to Eternity (1979), before making her feature debut in the drama Hard Country (1981).
Hailed as a sex symbol of the 1980s and 1990s, Basinger came to prominence for her performance of Bond girl Domino Petachi in Never Say Never Again (1983). She subsequently received a Golden Globe Award nomination for her role in The Natural (1984), starred in the erotic drama 9½ Weeks (1986), and played Vicki Vale in Tim Burton's Batman (1989), which remains the highest-grossing film of her career. For her femme fatale portrayal in L.A. Confidential (1997), Basinger won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her other films include No Mercy (1986), Blind Date (1987), Prêt-à-Porter (1994), I Dreamed of Africa (2000), 8 Mile (2002), The Door in the Floor (2004), Cellular (2004), The Sentinel (2006), Grudge Match (2013), and Fifty Shades Darker (2017).
In 1976, after five years as a cover girl, Basinger quit modeling and moved to Los Angeles to act. She made guest appearances on a few television shows such as McMillan & Wife and Charlie's Angels, turning down a regular role in the latter series that eventually went to Cheryl Ladd. Her first starring role was a made-for-TV movie, Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold (1978), in which she played a small town girl who goes to Hollywood to become an actress and winds up becoming a famous centerfold for a men's magazine. In 1979, she co-starred with Natalie Wood, William Devane and Steve Railsback in the miniseries remake of From Here to Eternity, reprising her role as prostitute Lorene Rogers in a 13-episode spinoff that aired in 1980. In 1981, Basinger posed for a famous nude pictorial for Playboy, and made her feature debut in the critically well-received but little-seen rural drama Hard Country, which she followed with the Charlton Heston-directed outdoorsy adventure Mother Lode (1982).
Her 1981 Playboy shoot was not published until 1983, when Basinger used it to promote her breakthrough role as the Bond girl Domino Petachi in Never Say Never Again (1983), where she starred opposite Sean Connery. In his review of the film, Gary Arnold of The Washington Post said Basinger "looks like a voluptuous sibling of Liv Ullmann and has a certain something." Worldwide, Never Say Never Again grossed US$160 million. Basinger said her subsequent Playboy appearance led to further opportunities, such as the role of the romantic interest of a baseball team star in Barry Levinson's The Natural (1984), alongside Robert Redford, for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Blake Edwards cast her twice in his films; as a beautiful woman married to a Texas millionaire in The Man Who Loved Women (1983), and as an apparently shy woman who goes on a date with a workaholic man in Blind Date (1987). Robert Altman cast Basinger in the role of a woman hiding from her former lover at an old motel in Fool for Love (1985). In 1986, Basinger starred as a New York City art gallery employee who has a brief yet intense affair with a mysterious Wall Street broker, opposite Mickey Rourke, in Adrian Lyne's controversial erotic romantic drama 9½ Weeks. Though the film failed at the North American box office, it performed very well in Europe, especially France, and acquired a large American fanbase on home video and cable. Roger Ebert praised the film, comparing it to Last Tango in Paris, and said Basinger helped "develop an erotic tension [...] that is convincing, complicated and sensual."
Academy Award-winning writer-director Robert Benton also cast her in the title role of a slightly pregnant woman in trouble for Nadine (1987). While most of the films Basinger starred in during this period were released to varying degrees of success, they helped to establish her as an actress. With over US$400 million in box office totals, the highest-grossing film of her career thus far is Tim Burton's 1989 film Batman, in which Basinger took on role of photojournalist Vicki Vale, opposite Michael Keaton (Batman) and Jack Nicholson (Joker). The Hollywood Reporter, in its original review, remarked that "the uniqueness and very soul of the film [...] is achieved through the beautifully defined and probing performances of Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne and Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale".