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Thursday, 4 April, 2002, 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK
Liz Hurley: Life in the spotlight
Liz Hurley
Liz Hurley: A mother for the first time
Actor, model and film producer Elizabeth Hurley's first baby, Damian Charles, has been proved to be that of Hollywood movie producer Steve Bing.

Hurley is arguably better known as a professional celebrity than as an actress.

The 36-year-old has made getting tabloid attention into a virtual art form, from turning up at the 1994 première of Four Weddings and a Funeral in "that" Versace dress to the now solved mystery surrounding the identity of her baby's father.

Mr Bing denied he was the father, but recently agreed to take a paternity test which confirmed Hurley's story.

Hurley's profile rocketed after wearing the Versace dress
Hurley's profile rocketed after wearing the Versace dress
It is just one of many examples of how the media spotlight seems to follow the Hampshire-born star.

When she was young she went to ballet boarding school and after a spell as a rebellious teenager, complete with pink hair and nose ring, she embarked upon on an acting career.

Several small roles in TV and theatre led her to appear in an Italian movie with actor Hugh Grant, and the two started what would turn out to be a highly-publicised, 13-year relationship.

Hurley's acting career was hampered by a poor choice of movies including roles in the forgettable Passenger 57 and Beyond Bedlam.

However fame was not far away as Hurley appeared at the première of Grant's Four Weddings movie wearing the now famous Versace dress held together with safety pins.

Grant backed Hurley through her pregnancy
Grant backed Hurley through her pregnancy
She became the face of Estee Lauder and Hurley and Grant became the UK's top celebrity couple.

She stood beside Grant when he was caught with a prostitute in Los Angeles and she once said: "If Hugh and I split up, I would feel as if my brother had died."

Her first real Hollywood acting break came as she was picked to star opposite Mike Myers in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.

She also dipped her toes into the world of producing, setting up Simian Films with Grant and the two made Extreme Measures and Mickey Blue Eyes together.

However the duo shocked the entertainment world when they announced they were to split in May 2000.

The pair have remained friends and still jointly run their Simian Films production company.

Hurley hit the headlines again in 2000 when she fell foul of US acting unions.

Hurley and Grant set up a production company together
Hurley and Grant set up a production company together
She broke a strike by appearing in commercials, for which she was fined £70,000 by the Screen Actors' Guild.

She apologised for breaking the strike but said she had been unaware that it was going on.

Hurley has been linked with various men since her split with Grant, including actor Dennis Leary and gallery owner Tim Jefferies, before starting a brief relationship with millionaire Bing.

Last year she was dropped as the face of Estee Lauder make-up in favour of Carolyn Murphy, a US model 10 years her junior, although the cosmetics giant has retained her for perfume ads and some promotional work.

See also:

04 Apr 02 | Showbiz
Liz Hurley gives birth to boy
04 Dec 01 | Showbiz
Hurley's ex unsure over baby
08 Nov 01 | Showbiz
Liz Hurley expecting baby
28 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Hurley breaks split silence
18 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Hurley fined for strike-breaking ad
24 May 00 | Entertainment
Liz and Hugh announce split
24 May 00 | Entertainment
In pictures: The photogenic couple
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