The Little-Known and Glamorous Life of Elizabeth Hurley

During the ‘80s, Elizabeth Hurley was an unknown actress/model trying to make it big. It wasn’t until she was seen with Hugh Grant that people really started to notice the English beauty. In the ‘90s, her career finally took off, and she was the person people couldn’t stop talking about in Hollywood.

Elizabeth Hurley
Source: Getty Images

Whether lounging in a bikini or posing for look-alike photos with her son Damian, Hurley proves that she is an ageless beauty. The English actress’s career is still going strong, but people are more concerned about her personal life. Find out how she became the woman she is today and the people who shaped her along the way.

Hollywood’s (Then) New Hot Couple

While filming Rowing with the Wind in Spain, Hurley met Hugh Grant. The pair instantly hit it off, and they began dating. Grant said he almost didn’t do the Spanish film until he saw Hurley and decided to go for it even if the film would hurt his career. Once they made their first public appearance together, it was all anyone could talk about.

Hugh Grant and Hurley attend an event.
Photo by Steve Eichner/Getty Images

During their first few years of dating, Hurley’s career started to pick up. She made several cameos in films in the early ‘90s, including a role in the series The Good Guys. More people began to notice her beauty and talent, and every time she showed up to a red carpet, all eyes were on her and Grant.

The Safety Pin Moment

While there were many iconic red-carpet moments from the ‘90s, nothing can compare to Hurley’s Versace safety pin dress that she wore to the premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral. The night was supposed to be about Grant because it was his movie, but everyone wanted to snap pictures of Hurley in that stunning gown.

Elizabeth Hurley in the Versace dress.
Photo by Dave Benett/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

This major red-carpet moment was completely unplanned. Hurley had nothing to wear for the event, so Versace offered her this dress. At the time, she had no idea that she would steal the spotlight away from her boyfriend, but we don’t think he was too upset. This helped her gain instant media attention, and she was on every best-dressed list.

Weathering the Media Storm

After the success of Grant’s film Four Weddings and a Funeral, the couple got a lot of attention but for all the wrong reasons. In 1995, Grant gained international notoriety for soliciting the services of a prostitute. While most people assumed this would be the end of their relationship, Hurley stuck by him through the scandal. She didn’t immediately release a statement, but she attended his movie premiere a few weeks after.

A mugshot of Hugh Grant / A mugshot of Divine Brown, the sex worker.
Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

Two months after the incident, Hurley finally said, “I felt like I had been shot,” on hearing he was arrested with a sex worker. She decided to stick by his side even though their relationship was rocky moving forward. The couple stayed together for five years following the incident and officially broke up in 2000 after over a decade together.

Making Her Mark on the Modeling World

In 1995, while Hurley was going through a tough time in her relationship, something positive changed her career forever. The makeup giant Estee Lauder signed her as their spokesmodel. At the time, Hurley had no prior modeling experience.

Hurley’s announcement as the new face of Estee Lauder.
Leonard A. Lauder. Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Getty Images

Hurley was the beautiful face of the company for six years. She was featured in many of Lauder’s most famous cosmetic and fragrance ads. Although she was replaced in 2001, Hurley continued to work with the company non-exclusively. This partnership, coupled with her love life being plastered across every tabloid, made Hurley a household name.

Not a Bond Girl, but Close Enough

While she had a few film roles here and there, one of Hurley’s most memorable movies was Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Hurley played Vanessa Kensington alongside Mike Meyers in the action-comedy, and she held her own to Myers’s wacky character.

Hurley and Mike Myers on the set of Austin Powers.
Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images

In fact, her performance was so memorable that Hurley took home her one and only acting award, the ShoWest Supporting Actress of the Year. She reprised her role for a cameo in the sequel Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.

A Short-Lived Love and a Paternity Test

After her relationship with Hugh Grant, Hurley was linked to a few people before she started dating Steve Bing. The couple had a short-lived romance, but their relationship resulted in Hurley getting pregnant. After 18 months of dating, Hurley was surprised when Bing denied that he was the father.

Hurley and Steven Bing at the Polo Club.
Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect/Getty Images

Bing’s excuse was that they had a non-exclusive relationship so that Hurley could have slept with someone else. However, Hurley was clear that she had been faithful their entire relationship. After a bitter dispute, a paternity test showed that Bing was the father of Hurley’s son Damian.

Welcoming Damian Into the World

Although Steve Bing wanted nothing to do with Hurley’s pregnancy, she was excited to have a child. Throughout her pregnancy, she dealt with the paternity dispute, and her ex, Hugh Grant, supported her. He even accompanied Hurley to her prenatal checkup.

Elizabeth Hurley arrives at the airport with her newborn.
Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

On April 4, 2002, Hurley gave birth to Damian Hurley, and she named Hugh Grant as one of his many godfathers. After his birth, Hurley tried to keep a low profile to protect her son from the press. Hurley is godmother to David and Victoria Beckham’s sons and Patsy Kensit and Liam Gallagher’s son.

Finding Love Again

Not too long after Damian was born, Hurley started dating Indian textile heir Arun Nayar, who ran a small software company. A mutual friend introduced the couple at dinner, and five years later, they got married in two lavish ceremonies. The first was a Christian ceremony in England, and the second was a Hindu ceremony in India.

Hurley, Damian, and Arun Nayar attend a celebration.
Photo by Barry Batchelor – PA Images/Getty Images

Sadly, after just three years of marriage, Hurley and Nayar split. They announced their separation in December 2010, and it was finalized the following year. There were a lot of rumors surrounding the couple’s divorce because of Nayar’s wealth. Still, Hurley never went after his $200 million fortune because she said she would never take money from any boyfriend, husband, or person in her life.

People Thought She Cheated

After her separation from Arun Nayar, Hurley started dating former Australian cricketer Shane Warne. People began to question if Hurley had been cheating on Nayar because the relationships were so close together, but she explained that she had been separated for months before she started dating again.

Shane Warne and Elizabeth Hurley attend an event.
Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Hurley and Warne’s relationship moved quickly, and they quickly got engaged four months after her divorce was finalized. He proposed to her at the Alfred Links Championship, and they seemed happy at the time. However, the couple never made it down the aisle after being together for four years.

Trying Other Side Ventures

Hurley has always been a hustler to make sure her family is taken care of. In 2006, she hosted the British reality show Project Catwalk. She received a lot of backlash for the show because she asked contestants to send her free clothes. Therefore, she was replaced after one season.

Elizabeth Hurley promotes MANGO’s swimming collection.
Photo by Dusko Despotovic/Corbis/Getty Images

Hurley also created a capsule swimsuit collection with the Spanish store MANGO in 2008 that featured 12 curated swimsuits. She modeled for the collection, and they sold out quickly because they were the perfect basics for summer. That wasn’t her last time designing swimwear, as she now has her own swimwear company.

Becoming the Queen

After working hard for years in the modeling and acting industry, Hurley landed a huge role. She was cast as Queen Helena in the E! soap opera The Royals. She appeared in all 40 episodes throughout the four seasons of the show. Although it was canceled in 2018, many people loved the show.

Elizabeth Hurley as Queen Helena.
Source: Copyright: NBC

The show was about a fictional British royal family in modern-day London. It was renewed for a second season even before Episode 1 premiered. Lionsgate Television tried to sell it to other networks, but they couldn’t find it a home, so the show was canceled.

How Old Is Elizabeth Hurley?

At 56-years-old, Hurley doesn’t look a day over 40. She credits her youthful appearance to watching what she eats, but she does not limit herself. She makes sure to eat plenty of healthy foods like green juice, but she admits she doesn’t really take vitamins.

Hurley attends an event.
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Age is just a number for her, and she is not afraid to show off. If you take one glance at her Instagram, you can find plenty of bikini pictures that will make you question if she is really in her mid-50s. Whatever youth potion she is using, she should bottle it and sell it because she would be a zillionaire.

A Colorful Childhood

Born in Hampshire, England, in the mid-‘60s, Elizabeth Hurley had a colorful childhood as she dabbled in ballet and punk fashion. By the time she was 12 years old, Hurley knew she wanted to be a dancer, so her parents enrolled her in a private boarding school specializing in ballet. Although she was studying ballet, that didn’t stop her from following punk trends like dying her hair pink and piercing her nose.

A young Elizabeth Hurley.
Source: Tumblr

During her teens, Hurley associated with the New Age travelers (a movement of people who traveled to music festivals in England). She was a talented dancer and earned a scholarship to study dance and theater at London Studio Centre. Despite her love for bright-colored hair and funky piercings, she had to change her image to be more castable once she finished school.

Winning “Face of the Year”

During her early days in the industry, Hurley won a “Face of the Year” competition organized by a local newspaper. She earned a one-year contract with the top agency in London, which is how she got her foot in the door in the industry. While most people think she started her career as a model, her first job was in a series of short films.

22-year-old Elizabeth Hurley.
Photo by PA Images/Getty Images

At just 22 years old, Hurley landed her debut role in Aria, helping her land other roles in British TV series like Gems, Inspector Morse, and Rumpole of the Bailey. Hurley’s film career was slow and steady at the beginning until she filmed Rowing with the Wind in 1987, where she met the man who would put her name on the map.

Her Look-Alike Son

While some say it is impossible, it almost seems like Hurley’s son is her clone. They look exactly alike, and they like to show off their similarities on Instagram. He has even worn similar outfits to her iconic red-carpet looks, and the resemblance is uncanny. The two have an extremely close bond, and they call each other “twin.”

Elizabeth Hurley / Damian Hurley.
Photo by Neil Munns – PA Images, Getty Images / Photo by Tristar Media, Getty Images

Although he doesn’t have any relationship with his father, Damian is so grateful for his mom and her side of the family. They are all stunning, so we can see where Hurley and her son get their beautiful genes from. Like his mom, he is also a model and actor.

She Is Not Shy About How She Keeps Up With Beauty Standards

Hurley has never been one to hide what beauty treatments she has had done. While she credits her youthful complexion to an arsenal of free beauty products from Estee Lauder, she has also dabbled with some other treatments that you can’t buy at a department store.

Elizabeth Hurley attends an event.
Photo by Foc Kan/WireImage/Getty Images

When asked how she keeps up with Hollywood beauty standards, Hurley once said, “Plastic surgery? I’d be too scared. Fillers? Forget about it! But I have had Botox in my forehead.” If looking like her only took a little Botox and some creams, everyone would be youthful forever. However, she also has incredible genes.

Was She Dating Jennifer Aniston’s Ex?

In 2019, Hurley and Justin Theroux were seen attending many events together in Morocco. People speculated that they were an item, but she told one publication that was definitely not true. Apparently, they were working together, which is why they attended events and dinners together.

Elizabeth Hurley and Justin Theroux attend an event.
Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

If they did date, they would be one of the most beautiful couples in Hollywood. Although they were not dating, Hurley said he is “a very nice chap,” and we have a slight inkling that there were at least a few sparks flying between this pair. How could they not have some attraction to each other?

She Aspires to Inspire Other Women

In recent years, it has been Hurley’s goal to be a role model for other working women over 50. She believes it is essential for 50-something women to see other 50-something women hustling and not being pushed aside because of their age. Her message is that it is never too late to start working or exploring a passion.

Elizabeth Hurley at the Estee Lauder event.
Photo by Richard Lewis/WireImage/Getty Images

When Estee Lauder became more age-inclusive, she was happy to support them. Hurley doesn’t think your life ends when you turn a certain age. As long as you want to put in the time and work, who cares about your age?

She Took an Acting Break to Start Her Business

As we mentioned before, Hurley currently has her own swimwear company. When she decided to take a leap of faith and create her own brand, she couldn’t focus on growing a business, acting, and taking care of her son. Therefore, she decided to take an eight-year break from acting to get her brand up and running.

Hurley at the opening of her pop-shop in Spain.
Photo by Europa Press/Getty Images

Hurley wanted to take care of Damian and work from home because she is a single mother. It took a while, but her brand, Elizabeth Hurley Beach, is thriving. She is always posing on her Instagram in her own creations. And guess who takes most of her pictures? Her son.

Her Only Regret in Life

While Hurley has had a pretty glamorous life all these years, she has admitted that she has one big regret. Hurley always wished she had more children. As one of three, she always wanted her son to have siblings as she did, but it never worked out for her.

A portrait of Elizabeth Hurley.
Photo by rune hellestad/Corbis/Getty Images

She said that as an only child, Damian wants to follow in her footsteps, and he is already doing well for himself. When he was little, she brought him to the set of Gossip Girl, which was her first job when she went back to acting, and he ended up loving the long days.

She Has Pretty Ordinary Hobbies

While she might have graced the cover of British Vogue and acted alongside some of the biggest stars in the world, Hurley has regular people hobbies. One thing she loves to do is garden. During the summer, she eats all the fruits and vegetables from her garden.

Hurley is sitting in her garden.
Source: Instagram /@elizabethhurley1

Hurley said she used to have a small organic farm, and all the meat her son ate was from that farm. While that is not possible for most people who don’t have millions of dollars, she thinks it is essential to support local farmers wherever you live.

Is Elizabeth Hurley’s Son Transitioning?

While many people have wondered about Damian Hurley’s life, the most often asked question is how he identifies gender-wise. Damian is a very private person, but he is not transitioning. For his modeling career, he keeps his look androgynous with longer hair to complement his stunning features.

Damian Hurley attends an event.
Photo by Darren Gerrish/Getty Images

Damian, who stands at 6ft. 1in. tall, signed with a modeling agency earlier this year, and he has already been in some incredible campaigns for his unique look. His Instagram posts always make waves on the internet, but he is mainly met with positive support from fans.

Tragedy Shook Her Family

In the summer of 2020, Hurley and her son got devastating news. Damian’s father, Steve Bing, died by suicide, and it was devastating. Although they never had a close relationship, Damian was deeply saddened by his father’s death. Bing tried to connect with his son in the last few years of his life, and he even tried to get Damian back into his will.

An old picture of Steve Bing and Hurley.
Source: Instagram /@elizabethhurley1

Damian admitted that losing his father was heartbreaking, and acknowledging it publicly was not something he was immediately ready to do. However, Damian’s grandfather was not about to make things easy. Bing died thinking his children were going to be taken care of, but what he wanted was quickly reversed.

Her Son Was Cut Out of His Father’s Will

Hurley’s ex and the father of her son, Steve Bing, was worth millions from his family money and his work as a Hollywood producer. Damian Hurley could have gotten up to $250 million from his father’s will. However, Peter Bing, Steve’s father, cut Damian out of the will because he was born out of wedlock.

A portrait of Steve Bing.
Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Pete Bing went as far as writing a will when Hurley was pregnant to disinherit the baby. Hurley was devastated by this news because it is unnecessary to make children victims. Hurley knew Damian’s father wanted to mend their relationship, so the loss was even more difficult.

How Tall Is Elizabeth Hurley?

The actress and model stands at 5 feet 8 inches tall, while the average model is taller. She was acting for years before she got her first modeling job, and she never considered herself to be a model until Estee Lauder hired her to be the face of the company.

A portrait of Elizabeth Hurley.
Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

While she mostly models for her own swimwear line these days, she still works as a global ambassador for Estee Lauder. She has been on the cover of Vogue a handful of times, but she has never walked in a runway show.

She Moved to the Country to Get Away From Paparazzi

As one of the most talked-about women in Hollywood, the paparazzi are constantly hounding Hurley. It became too much for her to deal with on a daily basis, so she moved to the countryside of England to get away from the long lenses of people trying to spy on her life.

The Hurley and Warne’s Residence.
Photo by Scott Barbour/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Every time Hurley took her son to school, the paparazzi would be waiting for her, and it was affecting her child to see her being harassed. They first moved to an organic farm before finding a smaller home that made her life more private.

Hurley Doesn’t Believe in Crazy Diets

Although she had a killer body and looks years younger than her actual age, Hurley doesn’t have any ridiculous health rituals. In an interview, she said, “I am not a vegan who lives on green juices and goes to the gym religiously.” She said she recently started enjoying yoga and Pilates.

A portrait of Elizabeth Hurley.
Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images/Getty Images

Hurley had to take a break from yoga because she injured her shoulder with a hedge trimmer earlier this year. That hasn’t stopped her from enjoying life and flouncing around in her bikinis. Hurley loves life because she isn’t trying to impress anyone but herself.

What Was It Like Filming Bedazzled?

In 2000, Hurley filmed the movie Bedazzled with Brendan Fraser, where she plays the devil. Hurley was initially horrified when her agent told her about the part, but she ended up having a lot of fun. Hurley said there weren’t any rules, and she had free rein with the character.

Elizabeth Hurley as The Devil.
Source: Copyright: 20th Century Fox

On set, she said she had a lot of fun getting to know Frasier. Her character in the movie was all over him, and Hurley said she would act like that even when the cameras weren’t rolling because he was irresistible. However, they were never a couple, just friends.

She Had a Guest Appearance on Gossip Girl

If you were a fan of the Gossip Girl back in the day, you might remember the few episodes that featured Hurley. She played Diana Payne, a wealthy businesswoman from L.A. who has a secret romance with Nate Archibald. She was on the show for 14 episodes during Season Five.

Chace Crawford and Elizabeth Hurley in a scene from the show.
Source: Copyright: The CW

Hurley said she had a lot of fun working with the younger cast because they had a fresh take on everything. However, she said that some of her character’s risqué lines made her uncomfortable, and she would apologize to her costars for some of the things written in the script.

One Bad Movie Made Her Want to Focus on Modeling

In 2002, Hurley acted alongside Matthew Perry in the film Serving Sara. In the movie, she tries to evade Perry, who is supposed to serve her divorce papers. While it was a funny rom-com, it got horrible ratings, and it made Hurley want to stop acting in the U.S. and focus on her modeling career.

Matthew Perry and Elizabeth Hurley in Serving Sara.
Source: Copyright: Paramount Pictures

After making this decision, Hurley was in campaigns for brands like Jordache, Shiatzy Chen, Got Milk? and Patrick Cox. Luckily it wasn’t the complete end of her acting career, but Serving Sara definitely made her reevaluate what roles she took in the future.

Hurley Gives Back for Breast Cancer

One thing Hurley holds near and dear to her heart is her philanthropic work. After her grandmother passed away from breast cancer, she became an active part of Estee Lauder’s Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. She created the “Elizabeth Pink” lipstick, and all the sales benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Elizabeth Hurley is attending the Breast Cancer Campaign.
Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images

Hurley opened up about how her grandmother kept her breast cancer a secret until it was too late. She always felt bad that she couldn’t support her grandmother during her battle, so she now works hard to help other women battling breast cancer.

She Greatly Enjoys All Philanthropic Opportunities

While Hurley’s life has been very blessed, she likes to support any cause that touches her. She supported the Prince’s Trust by co-presenting the 2003 Fashion Rocks event in its aid. Hurley also helped launch the Get Into Cooking youth initiative in 2004.

Elizabeth Hurley and Denis Leary are hosting ‘’Fashion Rocks for the Prince's Trust.’’
Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

She is also a well-known supporter of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Whenever Hurley can give to a worthy cause, she is always happy to help because giving back is essential to her, and she wants to set an excellent example for her son as he gets older.

Is Elizabeth Hurley Married?

Although she has had many noteworthy romances throughout her life, Elizabeth Hurley is not married. She is currently single and happy with her relationship status at the moment. She has had many famous breakups in her time, but she has remained friends with each one of her exes.

A portrait of Elizabeth Hurley.
Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images

Even though she and Hugh Grant broke up over two decades ago, she says they are still best friends. He has always been there to support her throughout the years, and they have been through so much together. They regularly talk on the phone, and their bond is stronger now than when they were dating.

What Happened to Her Iconic Safety Pin Dress?

When Hurley stepped onto the red carpet in the Versace safety pin dress, it was an iconic moment that went down in fashion history. Many people have wondered what happened to the last-minute dress that put Hurley’s name on the map. The dress earned its own Wikipedia page and was on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2002.

Donatella Versace poses next to the Pin Dress exhibited in the Museum.
Photo by Andy Zakeli – PA Images/Getty Images

The original dress was later worn by Lady Gaga in 2012 at a Versace dinner in her honor. Because it was such a fantastic fashion moment, Versace created an updated version for the pre-fall 2019 collection, which Hurley wore for a Harper’s Bazaar magazine spread.

She Knows How to Relax

During the hard year of 2020, Hurley learned a valuable lesson; she needs to relax. After staying a night at VIVAMAYR health, she realized she had to learn to take time to put down her phone, enjoy food, and unplug from the world. Hurley said this helped her mental health immensely.

Elizabeth Hurley sits in her garden.
Source: Instagram /@elizabethhurley1

Hurley found it important to find ways to relax and unwind during the stressful year, especially after her ex-husband’s death. It took a toll on her family but unplugging from the world and social media was something that helped her get through the tragic time.

Breaking a Five-Month Acting Strike

In 2000, there was a very public strike by the Screen Actors Guild for the advertising industry. The union was trying to increase residuals payments, but Hurley decided to break the strike to film an Estee Lauder commercial after five months of not filming advertisements.

Protestors hold signs behind Elizabeth Hurley.
Photo by Chris Weeks/Liaison/Getty Images

Everyone ridiculed Hurley, and she got the nickname “Elizabeth Scably” by protestors. She also had to pay a fine to SAG of $100,000. People thought she was a sell-out and would do anything for money at the time, but their animosity didn’t last very long.

She Had Been on Many “Best Of” Lists

Hurley has always been on everyone’s fashion radar since the mid-‘90s. Because of her good looks and stunning figure, she made the People magazine “Most Intriguing People” list and Empire Magazine’s “100 Sexists Stars in Film History” list.

Elizabeth Hurley poses for the press.
Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images

After she wore the Versace dress, everyone looked to find her on the best-dressed list because of her impeccable sense of style. Fans have also called her the most beautiful woman in the world with her perfect bikini body and ageless complexion.

Her Son Has Several Godfathers

Because Hurley is a celebrity, her son has many famous family figures like his several godfathers, a list which includes Elton John, Denis Leary, Hugh Grant, and David Beckham. In 2002, all of these men attended his christening, and they have been strong male figures in his life.

Sir Elton John and Elizabeth Hurley pose together.
Photo by KMazur/WireImage/Getty Images

Damian never had a close relationship with his late father, so his godfathers were the men who took that role, especially Grant. They made sure he grew up feeling loved and supported when his own father didn’t want to be in his life.

Hurley Is Still Going Strong

At 56-years-old, Hurley is still going strong in her career and life. She has proven that age is just a number, and it is not holding her back from pursuing new things she wants to try. She has more acting projects in the works, and she is always promoting her brand, Elizabeth Hurley Beach.

Elizabeth Hurley arrives at her fashion show.
Photo by Toni Anne Barson/WireImage/Getty Images

Hurley is nothing like the tabloid soap opera persona people see. She is warm, funny, and carefree. The self-assured woman is not going anywhere, and she will probably be someone people continue to talk about for many more decades.