Denise Richards Biography

Actress, Model (1971–)
Model and actress Denise Richards is best known for her role in 1998's 'Wild Things,' and for her tumultuous marriage and divorce with actor Charlie Sheen.

Who Is Denise Richards?

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. Richards is also famous for her former marriage to Charlie Sheen.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26:  Actress Denise Richards visits The Empire State Building on June 26, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)

Denise Richards visits The Empire State Building on June 26, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)

Movies and TV Shows

'Starship Troopers'

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.

'Wild Things,' 'The World Is Not Enough'

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.

Other notable film projects include: Love Actually (2003), Scary Movie 3 (2003), Madea's Witness Protection (2012), and The Toybox (2018).

Richards remained a favorite of men’s magazines, earning spreads in sexy titles like FHM, Maxim and Men’s Health. She posed nude for Playboy in 2004 — five months after the birth of her first daughter, Sam.

Marriage to Charlie Sheen & Daughters

Richards met Charlie Sheen in 2000 on the set of the romantic comedy Good Advice. They began dating after she appeared on his sitcom Spin City in 2001, and were married on June 15, 2002.

By 2005 the problems in their marriage had boiled to the surface, and Richards initially sought a divorce while six months pregnant with their second daughter, Lola. They attempted to reconcile, but the divorce was finalized in November 2006.

The contentious split was exacerbated by Sheen's comments, as the actor during this time was becoming known for increasingly unhinged behavior. However, Sheen agreed to let his ex-wife have full custody of the children in 2009, and they took steps toward fostering a more amicable relationship over the following years, with Richards even appearing in two episodes of Sheen's show Anger Management.

In June 2011, Richards brought aboard a new addition to the family with the adoption of daughter Eloise Joni.

In September 2018, Richards married Aaron Phypers, who had been formerly married to actress Nicollette Sheridan.

Reality Star

Richards continued to land television and film roles, earning a recurring part on the college football comedy series Blue Mountain State, but she became better known for her reality TV work. She starred in her own program, Denise Richards: It's Complicated, for two seasons, and also showed off her moves on the eighth season of ABC's hit dancing-competition show, Dancing with the Stars, in 2009.

A longtime fan of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Richards in August 2018 confirmed that she would be joining the cast for the upcoming season. 

Early Life

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, an entrepreneur, and Irv, a telephone engineer, became owners of 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 model and make-up artist for Bonne Bell cosmetics.

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