Born on February 17, 1971, in Downers Grove, Illinois, Denise Richards started modeling in high school, later traveling to style capitals like Paris, Tokyo and New York. After deciding to pursue acting, she landed roles on television programs like Married With Children, Seinfeld, Friends and Melrose Place. Richards also appeared in such films as Starship Troopers, Wild Things and the James Bond movie The World Is Not Enough.
Denise Lee Richards was born in Downers Grove, Illinois, on February 17, 1971, and moved with her family to Oceanside, California, when she was 15 years old. Her parents, Joni, a small business owner, and Irv, a telephone engineer, are entrepreneurs that own the Jitters chain of coffee shops in Oceanside, California. Denise Richards and her sister Michelle were always active in sports; Denise played on a boy’s baseball team as a child.
Following her 1989 graduation from El Camino High School in Oceanside, Richards was signed by a modeling agent and quickly began working internationally, traveling to Paris, Tokyo, New York and other cities to do photo shoots and commercials. She also worked as a make-up artist for Bonne Bell cosmetics.
Acting and Modeling Career
Richards was soon hit by the acting bug and started to audition for various roles in Los Angeles. She scored bit parts on television shows including Saved By the Bell, Married With Children, Seinfeld, Melrose Place and Friends, but gained wide attention for her first starring role in the 1997 big-budget film Starship Troopers, directed by Paul Verhoeven. The film brought in over $120 million in worldwide box office receipts—the mark of a hit movie. Richards was nominated for a Blockbuster Entertainment Award (favorite female newcomer) for her performance in the film.
The actress gained even more recognition for her next film role, a manipulative rich girl in the 1998 erotic thriller Wild Things, starring opposite Neve Campbell and Matt Dillon. The following year, she won a coveted role as a Bond girl in the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, playing nuclear physicist Christmas Jones opposite Pierce Brosnan.
Richards continues to be a favorite of men’s magazines—she has consistently been featured in sexy titles like FHM, Maxim and Men’s Health. She posed nude for Playboy in 2004—five months after her first daughter’s birth.
Partnered with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Richards appeared on the eighth season of ABC's hit dancing-competition show, Dancing with the Stars, in 2009.
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