What the Hell Happened to Elizabeth Hurley?
You probably know Elizabeth Hurley as Hugh Grant’s girlfriend even though the couple split up at the turn of the century. In the late 90’s, Grant and Hurley were one of the most celebrated couples in show business. Their personal lives made headlines. For a time, Hurley had a pretty successful acting career of her own. But when the 90’s ended, Hurley’s acting career fizzled out as quickly as her high profile relationship. Good thing she had super-model good looks to fall back on!
What the hell happened?
Hurley briefly studied ballet while at boarding school. But she soon returned home. She won a scholarship to the London Studio Centre where she studied theater. In the 80s, Hurley adopted a punk rock style with pink hair and a nose ring.
After college, Hurley made her movie debut in the opera anthology, Aria.
Aria asked the question, “What can we do to sex up opera?” The answer turned out to be to “add some sex scenes”. Viewers were treated to opera, pretension and nudity. I believe I saw it twice. I was really into pretentious opera movies at the time.
Hurley appeared in the segment directed by Bruce Beresford with music from Die tote Stadt. Hurley and Peter Birch played lovers who serenade one another in the seemingly-dead city of Bruges, Belgium.
The cast included Theresa Russell, Beverly D’Angelo, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt and Bridget Fonda. Other segments were directed by Robert Altman, Jean-Luc Godard, Nicolas Roeg, Ken Russell and Julien Temple.
Aria‘s sexed up take on opera won the Golden Palm award at the Cannes Film Festival that year.
In 1988, Hurley appeared in the Spanish drama, Remando al viento also known as Rowing With the Wind.
The movie told the story of how Mary Shelley came to write her classic novel Frankenstein. Lizzy McInnerny played Shelley, Valentine Pelka played her fiance, famed poet Percy Shelley, Hurley played Shelley’s step-sister and Hugh Grant played Lord Byron who challenged them all to write a horror story.
The movie won seven Goya awards which are the Spanish equivalent of the Oscars. None of the English actors were nominated. But this is where Hurley met Grant.
Meanwhile, Hurley was appearing on several British TV shows. In 1988, she appeared in a second-season episode of the long-running crime drama, Inspector Morse. Hurley played a student at a private school where a teenager may have been murdered.
That same year, Hurley appeared on an episode of the English legal drama, Rumpole of the Bailey.
Nigel Timson played a young rich boy who is arrested on his birthday and accused of insider trading. Hurley played his boss’ daughter who he is living with. Series lead, Leo McKern, played Rumpole, the eccentric barrister who defends him.
Posted on January 14, 2015, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged austin powers, bedazzled, elizabeth hurley, entertainment, estee lauder, four weddings and a funeral, hugh grant, movies, passenger 57. Bookmark the permalink. 62 Comments.