Demetria Guynes in Roswell, New Mexico, 11 November 1962.
Left school at age 16.
Married 1) Freddy Moore, 1980 (divorced 1984); 2) the actor Bruce Willis,
1987 (separated 1998), daughters: Rumer Glenn, Scout Larue, and Tallulah
1981—film debut in
; 1982–83—played Jackie Templeton in TV daytime drama
; 1984—in TV series
; 1987—stage role in
The Early Girl
; on cover of August 1991 issue of
, nude and pregnant, again on cover of August 1992 issue, nude and
People's Choice Award, Favorite Actress in a Movie Drama, 1996.
Ron Meyer, Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly
Hills, CA 90212, U.S.A.
Young Doctors in Love (Garry Marshall) (cameo); Parasite (Band) (as Patricia Welles)
No Small Affair (Schatzberg) (as Laura Victor); Blame It on Rio (Donen) (as Nicole Hollis)
St. Elmo's Fire (Schumacher) (as Jules)
Wisdom (Estevez) (as Karen Simmons); One Crazy Summer (Savage Steve Holland) (as Cassandra); About Last Night . . . (Zwick) (as Debbie)
The Seventh Sign (Schultz) (as Abby Quinn)
We're No Angels (Neil Jordan) (as Molly)
Ghost (Jerry Zucker) (as Molly Jensen)
Nothing but Trouble (Aykroyd) (as Diane Lightston); Mortal Thoughts (Rudolph) (as Cynthia Kellogg, + co-pr); The Butcher's Wife (Terry Hughes) (as Marina)
A Few Good Men (Rob Reiner) (as Lt. Cmdr. JoAnne Galloway)
Indecent Proposal (Lyne) (as Diana Murphy)
Disclosure (Levinson) (as Meredith Johnson)
The Scarlet Letter (Brian Gibson) (as Hester Prynne); Now and Then (Glatter) (as Samantha, + co-pr)
The Juror (Brian Gibson) (as Annie Laird); Striptease (Andrew Bergman) (as Erin Grant); The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Truesdale and Kirk Wise—animation) (as voice of Esmerelda); If These Walls Could Talk (Cher, Savoca—for TV) (+ exec pr) (as Claire); Beavis and Butthead Do America (Judge) (as Dallas Grimes's uncredited voice)
G. I. Jane (Ridley Scott) (as Lt. Jordan O'Neill) (+ pr); Deconstructing Harry (Allen) (as Helen); Destination Anywhere (Pellington) (as Janie)
Passion of Mind (Berliner) (as Marty/Marie)
Mortal Thoughts (co-pr)
Now and Then
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (co-pr)
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (co-pr)
"Demi's Big Moment," interview with Nancy Collins, in Vanity Fair (New York), August 1991.
"Demi's Body Language," interview with Jennet Conant, in Vanity Fair (New York), August 1992.
"The Last Pinup," interview with Michael Angeli, in Esquire (New York), May 1993.
"Table Talk," panel discussion with Sally Field, Jodie Foster, and Nancy Griffin, in Premiere (New York), Winter 1993 (Special Issue: Women in Hollywood).
Interview with Mim Udovitch, in Rolling Stone (New York), 9 February 1995.
"Demi-Tough," interview with Tad Friend, in Vogue (New York), October 1995.
"Demi No Dummy," interview with H. Rubenstein, in Interview , July 1996.
"You're Really Going to Ask Me That? It Is Truly a Beyond Offensive Question," interview with Andrew Duncan, in Radio Times (London), 8 November 1997.
Bona, Danien, Starring Demi Moore As Hester Prynne: Hollywood's All-Time Worst Casting Blunders , Carol Publishing Group, 1996.
"Demi Moore: The Cool Beauty on ABC-TV's Sizzling Soap, General Hospital ," in Harper's Bazaar (New York), June 1982.
Kaye, Elizabeth, "Ordinary People," in Rolling Stone (New York), 26 September 1985.
Skow, John, "Greetings to the Class of '86," in Time (New York), 26 May 1986.
Park, Jeannie, "They Heard It through the Grapevine," in People Weekly (New York), 12 November 1990.
Clark, John, filmography in Premiere (New York), January 1991.
Abramowitz, Rachel, "Reason to Believe," in Premiere (New York), April 1991.
Current Biography 1993 , New York, 1993.
Gelman-Waxner, Libby, "A Decent Proposal," in Premiere (New York), July 1993.
Bennetts, Leslie, "Demi's State of Grace," in Vanity Fair (New York), December 1993.
Gelman-Waxner, Libby, "Brunets Have More Fun," in Premiere (New York), February 1995.
Cerio, Gregory, "Demi Moore," in People Weekly (New York), 8 May 1995.
Millea, Holly, "Anywhere but Here," in Premiere (New York), September 1995.
Walls, Jeannette, "Get Me Retrial!," in Esquire (New York), November 1995.
Schaefer, Karl-Heinz, in Cinema (Germany), no. 4, 1996.
Greene, R., "Demi-goddess," in Boxoffice (Chicago), May 1996.
Michiels, Dirk, "Durf or Talent?" in Film en Televisie (Brussels), September 1996.
Eimer, David, "For a Few Dollars Moore!" in Time Out (London), 4 September 1996.
Lippert, B., "Demi-feminism," in New York Magazine , 25 August 1997.
Williams, Linda Ruth, and Robert Ashley, "Body Talk: G.I. Jane," in Sight and Sound (London), November 1997.
Schneider, Kevin S. "Turning Point," in People Weekly , 6 September 1999.
* * *
Demi Moore's steady rise to superstar status by the early 1990s may appear surprising when the number of unsuccessful films she had made is compared to the hits, but her great popularity and increased power in Hollywood are undeniable. By 1996's Striptease , she could command a woman's-salary-record of $12.5 million, a figure which might look foolish after the box-office disappointments of The Juror and The Scarlet Letter , and especially Striptease itself. Nevertheless, Moore's potential to deliver hit films still makes her one of the few female stars in contemporary Hollywood to have films custom-tailored to her desires. Her increased activity as a producer has also allowed her to play a significant role behind the scenes.
After an unremarkable film debut, Moore was noticed on the popular television soap opera General Hospital (which led to her cameo in the parody Young Doctors in Love ), and then identified as one of Hollywood's 1980s "brat pack" of young actors, most notably through her role in the Big Chill -imitation St. Elmo's Fire. She finally achieved widespread recognition in Ghost , a huge hit in which her ability to generate audience sympathy while retaining her independence and strength established her popular image; while her co-stars worked with the special effects, Moore provided realistic emotional grounding for the story at the heart of the film's supernatural nonsense. Taking advantage of her new on-screen prominence, she began to take greater control of her career behind the scenes, co-producing Mortal Thoughts , in which she co-starred with husband Bruce Willis. A Few Good Men elevated Moore into the company of two male superstars, Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise, but could not find much to do with her character.
Alongside her early television and film career, Moore's early marriage and divorce, drug problems, and brief engagement to Emilio Estevez (her co-star and director of the dreadful Wisdom ) kept her frequently in the gossip columns. Her marriage to fellow superstar Bruce Willis in 1987, their public appearances at the openings of Planet Hollywood restaurants (of which they are co-owners), and especially her nude portraits on the cover of Vanity Fair —first in the eighth month of pregnancy, later with her figure regained and clothing only painted on—generated even more offscreen attention that continued into the late 1990s with her separation from Bruce Willis. Such activities have allowed Moore to successfully negotiate a range of otherwise contradictory identities: she appears as "the last pinup," an unapologetically sexy woman in a "postfeminist" age, as well as an ideal mother, supportive spouse, and shrewd businesswoman, whose advice and personal experiences are regularly featured in popular women's magazines. Indecent Proposal perhaps exploited the fantasies underlying these tensions most explicitly, with Moore playing a loyal wife who might nevertheless be purchased by millionaire Robert Redford for at least one night of sexual play. Her role in Disclosure as an aggressive businesswoman who sexually exploits male colleague Michael Douglas dealt with similar contradictions, but with a more distastefully reactionary twist.
The Scarlet Letter was a much-derided mistake, with Moore justifying the absurd changes in Hawthorne's classic plot by insisting that most people had not read the book, and Now and Then (her second co-production), while more successful, misled fans somewhat, since Moore and her adult co-stars appear only briefly in a film devoted to flashbacks of their characters as children. Advance publicity for Striptease suggested that Moore's erotic dancing would be the film's principal draw, with display of her body once again possibly diverting attention from whatever acting skills her role may demonstrate (yet another nude portrait for the film's poster created yet another minor controversy). But, in the end, the film did not draw much of an audience for any reason. In the unexceptional but commercially successful military drama G. I. Jane , the camera, for a change, emphasized Moore's impressively muscular body, along with the unusual attraction of her shaved head. Moore also played a small part in a Woody Allen film, but only her distinctive, husky voice, was featured in the Disney animated adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame , and more briefly in an uncredited vocal cameo—along with Bruce Willis—in the MTV-derived Beavis and Butthead Do America. Following her separation from Willis (and the breakup of the Planet Hollywood chain), Moore has almost disappeared from the public eye, though from time to time her plans to open a doll museum to display her own large collection are reported. However, in an industry that has always rewarded male stars with higher salaries and greater career control, Moore remains in an unusual position to decide her future direction as a performer and producer. Her determination to succeed seems unshakable, but the wisdom of her choices remains to be seen; in any case, there is little question that the rise, fall, or steady continuation of her career will be fully documented by an attentive media.
—Corey K. Creekmur