Denise Richards

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Denise Richards
Denise Richards 2009.jpg
Richards in 2009
Born (1971-02-17) February 17, 1971 (age 49)
OccupationActress, former fashion model and television personality
Years active1989–present
Spouse(s)
(m. 2002; div. 2006)

Aaron Phypers
(m. 2018)
Children3

Denise Richards (born February 17, 1971)[1] is an American actress, former fashion model, and television personality.[2] Her most recognized roles are Carmen Ibanez in Starship Troopers (1997), Kelly Van Ryan in Wild Things (1998) and Bond girl Christmas Jones in The World Is Not Enough (1999). She has also appeared in films Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), Valentine (2001), Undercover Brother (2002), Scary Movie 3 (2003), Love Actually (2003), and Madea's Witness Protection (2012).

Her television roles include Paramount Network's sitcom Blue Mountain State (2010–11), ABC Family's mystery-thriller series Twisted (2013–14) and CBS' soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful (2019–present).[3] Richards starred on the E! reality show Denise Richards: It's Complicated (2008–09) and Bravo's reality television series The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (2015, 2019–20).[4] In 2011, Richards published a memoir The Real Girl Next Door, which became a New York Times Best Seller.[5][6]

Early life[edit]

Richards was born in Downers Grove, Illinois,[1] to Joni, a coffee shop owner, and Irv Richards, a telephone engineer,[7] whose father's surname was Reichert. Her mother died of cancer in November 2007.[8] Her ancestry is German and French.[9] She has a younger sister, Michelle.[1] Richards grew up in both Downers Grove and Mokena, Illinois. As a child, she was the "only girl on the baseball team".[10]

When Richards was 15 years old, her family moved to Oceanside, California. In 1989, she graduated from El Camino High School.[1] She was voted best looking in her high school yearbook.[11] Richards was raised Roman Catholic.[12] After her high school graduation, she began working as a model and traveled to cities such as Paris, New York, and Tokyo to do photo shoots and commercials.[1]

Career[edit]

1990–2008: Career beginnings and breakthrough[edit]

In the 1990s, Richards appeared in several films and television shows such as Loaded Weapon 1 (1993), Tammy and the T-Rex (1994), Lookin' Italian (1994), and guest starring in episodes of Saved by the Bell, Married... with Children and Doogie Howser, M.D. In 1993, she portrayed Ben Affleck's character's girlfriend named Jodi Collins, in the short-lived drama series Against the Grain. Richards made guest appearances in several television shows, including Beverly Hills, 90210 (1992), Seinfeld (1993), Lois and Clark (1994) and a guest-arc in Melrose Place (1996).

Richards at the premiere of The World Is Not Enough (1999)

Her first starring role in a wide theatrical release was Starship Troopers in 1997 for which Richards was nominated for the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Female Newcomer. The film grossed a total of $121.2 million worldwide. In 2012, Slant Magazine ranked the film at number 20 on its list of the 100 Best Films of the 1990s.[13] She followed this with a role in the erotic thriller film Wild Things (1998) alongside Kevin Bacon, Matt Dillon and Neve Campbell.[14][15] Variety praised Richards' transition from good-girl-type roles to manipulative villainess and the review continued to include her as part of "an ensemble that appears to be enjoying the challenge of offbeat roles and unusual material. There's not a wrong note struck by the game group of players."[16] In 2016, Glamour praised the film's female characters by describing Richards and Neve Campbell as "two of the most well-rounded, fascinating, and exciting characters to ever grace the screen."[17]

Richards was cast as the nuclear physicist Christmas Jones in the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough (1999). Though she considered her role "brainy", "athletic", and having depth of character,[18] she was criticized as not credible in the role.[19][20] Her outfit, which often comprised a low-cut tank top and tight shorts, elicited unfavorable comments.[21] Richards stated that a lot of viewers "made fun of" the character's attire but that "These Bond girls are so outrageous and if I did really look like a scientist, the Bond fans would have been disappointed."[22] Richards was nominated for the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favourite Actress – Action, for the film. Later that year, Richards starred alongside Kirsten Dunst in the beauty pageant satire, Drop Dead Gorgeous. The film has gained new fans with time and is regarded as a cult film. Richards, playing a spoiled princess, was praised for her performance by Los Angeles Times for being "as rightly nasty as she is pretty".[23]

In 2001, she guest-starred in Friends as Ross and Monica Geller's cousin, Cassie Geller in the episode "The One with Ross and Monica's Cousin".[24][25] Later that year she appeared in four episodes of Spin City as Jennifer Duncan, a love interest of Charlie Sheen's character. She starred as Sheen's character's ex-girlfriend two years later in two episodes of Two and a Half Men. Richards appeared in numerous films such as Valentine (2001), Good Advice (2001), Undercover Brother (2002), The Third Wheel (2002) and You Stupid Man (2002). She played Annie Logan in the horror comedy film Scary Movie 3 (2003), which was a commercial success and grossed $220 million worldwide.[26][27] The film's plot significantly parodies the films The Ring, Signs, The Matrix Reloaded and 8 Mile. Richards made a brief appearance in the British romantic comedy Love Actually (2003).[28] In 2004, she appeared in two films, Whore and Elvis Has Left the Building.

In 2005, Richards had a lead role as publicist Jolene in the short-lived UPN soap opera Sex, Love & Secrets.[29] The series focused on rich young adults living in Silver Lake, Los Angeles and their secrets involving sex and love.[30] The series was developed as a vehicle and television debut for Richards. She starred in the ensemble drama film Edmond (2005) alongside William H. Macy and Mena Suvari. In 2008, she reunited with her Wild Things on-screen mother Theresa Russell in the drama film Jolene (2008). Her reality show Denise Richards: It's Complicated debuted on E! on May 26, 2008. The series followed the daily lives of Richards, her daughters Sam and Lola, and her married younger sister Michelle and father Irv.[31] Entertainment Weekly published a review and wrote that "It's Complicated is one of those "celebs, they're just like us!" shows in which we're expected to enjoy watching a famous pampered person doing things we don't want to do either."[32] The series concluded after two seasons on July 26, 2009.[33]

2009–2019: Memoir and television roles[edit]

Richards appeared on the 8th season of dance competition television series Dancing with the Stars, paired with Maksim Chmerkovskiy.[34] She was the second contestant eliminated on March 24, 2009.[35] She landed the role of Autumn Bliss in the romantic comedy film Deep in the Valley (2009) alongside Kim Kardashian and Chris Pratt. In 2010, she joined Paramount Network's sitcom Blue Mountain State as Debra Simon.[36] The series is about a fictional university, Blue Mountain State, and its football team, the "Mountain Goats". It portrays certain aspects of American university life, including American football, sex, drinking, and partying. In February 2012, it was reported that Blue Mountain State would not be renewed for a fourth season.[37] Over the years, due in large part to being streamable on Netflix, the series has developed a cult following. In July 2011, Richards published a memoir The Real Girl Next Door, a New York Times Best Seller.[38][39] Richards decided to write a book because she "wanted to do something inspirational for other people going through challenging times," she told HuffPost in 2011.[40] In September 2011, Richards reportedly turned down $100,000 to appear as an ex-girlfriend at Charlie Sheen's funeral in Two and a Half Men.[41] A month later, she began filming a guest spot for an episode for the sixth season of NBC comedy series 30 Rock.[42] Richards was part of TV Guide Network's show, Hollywood Moms' Club, which aired in November 2011.[43][44]

Richards in 2019

Richards played Kate Needleman in the comedy film Madea's Witness Protection (2012), which grossed $67 million at the box office.[45] Madea's Witness Protection was filmed in Atlanta in early 2012 and was released through 34th Street Films and Lionsgate. In 2012, Richards joined the cast of ABC Family's mystery-thriller television series Twisted.[46] In 2015, she appeared in two films, Operation: Neighborhood Watch! and Christmas Trade. In 2016, she made a guest appearance as herself in The CW's Jane the Virgin, in the episode "Chapter Fifty-One." She portrayed Kat Faust in the musical thriller film American Satan (2017), for which Richards was nominated for the Festival Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Feature Film at the Northeast Film Festival.[47] Later that year, Richards portrayed Temple Hampton in an episode of Bravo's comedy-drama series Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce. She starred in the supernatural horror film The Toybox (2018) opposite Mischa Barton.[48] The film is about a family who go on a summer road trip in a used RV and get stranded in the desert by a supernatural force that is slowly killing them off.[48][49] She portrayed Karen in the faith-based film The Prayer Box (2018), released on October 20, 2018.[50] In August 2018, Richards announced that she would be joining the Bravo reality series, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, for the show's ninth season, which premiered on February 12, 2019.[51][52] Vanity Fair described her addition to the series by saying: "She might be one of the most famous people to join the Housewives franchise, someone who was a legitimate household name before becoming a reality star. Now, that doesn't always translate to on-screen gold, but it is a nice little coup for Bravo."[53] The New York Times wrote that Richards "brought a refreshing and occasionally disarming dose of reality" to the series.[54] On May 31, 2019, The Daily Beast wrote that "Richards' appearance on the show is the best kind of surprise, one that reveals that a celebrity is not who we may have assumed them to be. She's an extremely warm, loving parent, without a hint of narcissism or vapidity about her."[55] Fox News called her "an instant fan favorite" when she joined the show in 2019.[56]

In 2019, she joined the cast of CBS' soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful as Shauna Fulton.[6][57][58][59] "Shauna is a fun-loving, hard-working single mother from Las Vegas who aspires to live life to its absolute fullest," executive producer and headwriter Bradley Bell told People magazine.[60] In July 2019, it was announced that Richards had joined the cast of Fox Broadcasting's comedy-drama television series BH90210 in a guest role, playing a fictionalized version of herself.[61][62][63] She portrayed overly-ambitious mother Candice in Lifetime television film The Secret Lives of Cheerleaders, released on September 2, 2019.[64][65] "I think the story's about this girl that's trying to fit in and makes some bad choices and then, knowing right from wrong, decided to make a better choice," Richards told Parade.[66] On November 4, 2019, Richards appeared as a guest model on the game show The Price Is Right.[67][68] Richards played Valerie in the Christmas film My Adventures with Santa (2019) opposite Patrick Muldoon.[69] The film was released in limited theaters on November 15, 2019.[70]

2020–present: Current projects[edit]

Richards returned for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' tenth season, which premiered on April 15, 2020.[71] On September 10, 2020, her representative confirmed that Richards is leaving the series after two seasons.[72]

Modeling and other ventures[edit]

Richards walks the runway at The Heart Truth's Red Dress Fall 2011 Collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center in New York City

Richards has graced the covers of numerous magazines, including Cosmopolitan (Poland, Greece, US and Germany), Redbook, Details, Esquire, Self, Shape, GQ, Bella and Empire.[73] In December 2004, she posed for a nude pictorial in Playboy magazine, five months after giving birth.[74] Richards posed semi-nude for the July 2006 issue of Jane magazine to raise money for the Clothes Off Our Back Foundation. She has appeared in television commercials for Pepsi, Head & Shoulders, Secret, J.C. Penney and Librero.[75] Richards walked the runway at the "Max Factor Salutes Hollywood" fashion show on March 14, 2007 in Hollywood.[76] She has previously appeared in Max Factor's Premiere 2K advertising campaign.[77] In 2010, Richards walked the runway for Ali Landry and Annie Kate Pons' fashion line, Belle Parish's fashion show.[78] In September 2019, she walked the runway for Kyle Richards' and Shahida Clayton's new clothing brand at New York Fashion Week.[79]

Richards launched her self-titled fragrance in spring 2012.[80][81] In 2012, Richards appeared in an infomercial for abdominal muscle toner "The Flex Belt" alongside Adrianne Curry, Lisa Rinna and Janet Evans.[82] In 2013, she became the brand ambassador for Oro Gold Cosmetics.[83][84][85] She has appeared in print ads for Bonne Bell cosmetics.[citation needed] In 2017, she appeared in furniture brand Urban Home's commercials and advertising campaigns.[86][87][88] She has appeared in rock band Blues Traveler's music video for the song "Canadian Rose" and rapper Snoop Dogg's music video for "Undercova Funk".

In November 2019, Richards announced that she has developed a skincare line with CBme Beauty.[89][90][91]

Public image[edit]

Richards's appearance has often been the subject of media attention. In 1999, she was ranked #9 in Maxim's 50 Sexiest Women. In 2001, she was voted #2 in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women, #5 in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women and #19 in AskMen.com's 50 Most Beautiful Women. She was named one of the "100 Hottest Women of All-Time" by Men's Health.[92] In 2002, Richards was ranked at number 21 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World." In 2011, Men's Health ranked her at number 61 on their list of "100 Hottest Women of All Time." Shape magazine ranked her at number 7 on their list of "10 of Our Fave Bond Girls: Then and Now."[93]

Personal life[edit]

Richards became engaged to actor Charlie Sheen on December 26, 2001, and married him on June 15, 2002, at the estate of Spin City creator Gary David Goldberg.[94] They have two daughters together.[95][96] In March 2005, while pregnant with their second daughter, Richards filed for divorce from Sheen.[97] She sought a restraining order against Sheen, alleging death threats against her.[98] On April 19, 2006, Richards filed formal legal papers seeking a divorce from Sheen under the laws of the state of California.[99] The divorce was finalized on November 30, 2006; Sheen was ordered to stay 300 feet away from his ex-wife and their daughters, except during supervised visits.[100] In May 2010, Sheen gave up custody of their daughters to Richards. They previously had joint legal custody of the girls, Richards sued for sole custody, on account of Sheen's "marital turmoil, sobriety issues, and criminal problems".[101]

By mid-2012, Richards and Sheen were on good terms,[102] often spending time together with their children. In 2012, he made a cameo appearance in her movie Madea's Witness Protection and she appeared in Sheen's television series, Anger Management, on the FX network.[103] In a move supported by Sheen, in May 2013, Richards was awarded temporary custody of the twin sons born in 2009 to Sheen and his wife Brooke Mueller, after the children were removed from Mueller's home by child protective services due to concerns over drug use.[104]

In June 2011, Richards adopted a third daughter, Eloise Joni Richards,[105] as a single parent.[106] Her middle name is that of Richards' mother, who died from cancer in December 2007.[107] Richards adopted her at birth, following a two-year adoption process.[108][109] Eloise has a rare chromosomal disorder, Chromosome 8, Monsomy 8p, which affects her speech.[110]

In December 2017, Richards began dating Aaron Phypers.[111] On September 8, 2018, Richards and Phypers got married in Malibu, California.[112] In May 2019, Richards announced that Phypers is adopting her youngest daughter, Eloise.[113]

Philanthropy[edit]

Richards and Kellie Martin at the American Humane Association 2012 Hero Dog Awards.

Outside of work, Richards dedicates much of her time to philanthropy. She has supported numerous charities, including Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Feeding America, Much Love Animal Rescue, Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, Best Friends Animal Society and Children's Hospital Los Angeles.[114] Richards has also appeared in the NOH8 Campaign[115] and has spoken in support of gay marriage.

Richards has worked with Best Friends Animal Society on several projects, including its Pup My Ride program, which transports small dogs from high-kill animal shelters to other parts of the US where there is a greater demand for small dogs. She promoted Best Friends Animal Society's Save Them All campaign in 2014.[116] "I've been involved with Best Friends Animal Society since 2009 and I've seen firsthand the differences they've made and the countless lives they've saved," Richards said.[116] She has regularly appeared on Access Hollywood's monthly pet segment showcasing shelter dogs rescued by Best Friends and available for adoption.[117][118] While assisting with relief efforts in New York following Hurricane Sandy, she worked together with North Shore Animal League, and adopted a puppy from a Long Island shelter.[119][120]

She has walked the runway for charity fashion shows, such as Susan G. Komen's 8th Annual Fashion For The Cure, Clothes Off Your Back Benefit and The Heart Truth's Red Dress Fall 2011 Collections.[121] In January 2012, she launched her first collaboration with fashion subscription service ShoeDazzle to design the "Eloise" heel and raised over $15,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association.[6][122] In December 2012, she designed two shoes for ShoeDazzle as part of their Celebrity Shoe Design Program for Charity. Profits from the shoe sales went to the Kidney Cancer Association.[123] After Richards lost her mother to kidney cancer, she dedicated her time to raising awareness and helping the Kidney Cancer Association.[124] In November 2015, Richards and her daughters spent Thanksgiving volunteering and serving food for homeless families.[125][126]

In June 2018, she joined The Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation's summer theatrical PSA campaign to benefit Brave Beginnings, which funds vital neonatal equipment to U.S. hospitals.[6] Richards filmed a public service announcement that was played at movie theaters nationwide.[127]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1993 Loaded Weapon 1 Cindy
1994 Lookin' Italian Elizabeth
Tammy and the T-Rex Tammy
1997 Nowhere Jana
Starship Troopers Carmen Ibañez
1998 Wild Things Kelly Lanier Van Ryan
1999 Drop Dead Gorgeous Rebecca "Becky" Ann Leeman
The World Is Not Enough Dr. Christmas Jones
Tail Lights Fade Wendy
2001 Valentine Paige Prescott
Good Advice Cindy Styne
2002 Empire Trish
Undercover Brother Penelope Snow/White She-Devil
The Third Wheel Diana Evans
You Stupid Man Chloe
2003 Love Actually Carla
Scary Movie 3 Annie Logan Cameo
2004 Whore Rebecca Smith
Elvis Has Left the Building Belinda
I Do (But I Don't) Lauren
2005 Edmond B-girl
2008 Blonde and Blonder Dawn St. Dom
Jolene Marin Leger
2009 Finding Bliss Bliss/Laura
Kambakkht Ishq Herself[128]
Deep in the Valley Autumn Bliss
2011 Cougars, Inc. Judy
2012 Madea's Witness Protection Kate Needleman
Freeloaders Herself
2015 Operation: Neighborhood Watch! Denise Sorensen
Christmas Trade Chloe
2016 A Life Lived Elizabeth
2017 A Violent Man Victoria
American Violence Dr. Amanda Tyler
American Satan Kat Faust
Altitude (AKA Hijacked) Gretchen Blair
2018 The Toybox Jennifer
The Prayer Box Karen
Saturday at the Starlight Mrs. Sproat
1st Born Christine
Pistachio Aunt Glo
2019 Adventures of Dally & Spanky Kelly Banks
My Adventures With Santa Valerie Nolan
2020 Reality Queen! Angelina Streisand
Money Plane Sarah
Alpha Code Johana
Switched [129] Victoria Sharp
TBA Saturday at the Starlight Mrs. Sproat
TBA Timecrafters: The Treasure of Pirate's Cove Victoria Dare

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1990 Life Goes On Camille Episode: "It Ain't All It's Cracked Up to Be"
1991 Saved by the Bell Cynthia Uncredited; episode: "The Last Weekend"
Married... with Children Girl #2 Episode: "Kelly Does Hollywood: Part 2"
Doogie Howser, M.D. Alissa Episode: "Doogstruck"
1992 Eerie, Indiana Girl #2 Episode: "Reality Takes a Holiday"
Beverly Hills, 90210 Robin McGill Episode: "Wedding Bell Blues"
1993 The Ben Stiller Show Sunbathing girl Uncredited; episode: "At the Beach"
Seinfeld Molly Dalrymple Episode: "The Shoes"
Bodies of Evidence Jennifer Ivey Episode: "Eleven Grains of Sand"
In Living Color N/A Episode: "The Dirty Dozens"
Against the Grain Jodi Collins 2 episodes
1994 Burke's Law Jennifer Taylor Episode: "Who Killed the Beauty Queen?"
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Angela Episode: "Season's Greedings"
1995 P.C.H. Jess Television film
One West Waikiki Deirdre Mansfield Episode: "Flowers of Evil"
High Tide Alex Episode: "One on One"
1996 Weird Science Valerie Episode: "Funhouse of Death"
Melrose Place Brandi Carson 3 episodes
In the Blink of an Eye Tina Jacobs Television film
Pier 66 Colleen Television film
2000 919 Fifth Avenue Cathy Damore Television film
2001 Friends Cassie Geller Episode: "The One with Ross and Monica's Cousin"
Spin City Jennifer Duncan 5 episodes
2003–04 Two and a Half Men Lisa 3 episodes
2004 I Do (But I Don't) Lauren Candell Television film
2005 Sex, Love & Secrets Jolene Butler Main cast; 10 episodes
2006 Secrets of a Small Town Brenda Rhodes Unsold television pilot
2008–09 Denise Richards: It's Complicated Herself 17 episodes; also executive producer
2009 Dancing with the Stars Herself Contestant; 13 episodes
2010 Harry Loves Lisa Herself Guest star
2010–11 Blue Mountain State Debra Simon 18 episodes
2012 30 Rock Herself 2 episodes
Blue Lagoon: The Awakening Barbara Robinson Television film
Kickin' It Leona Episode: "Wedding Crashers"
90210 Gwen Thompson Episode: "902–100"
2012–13 Anger Management Lori 2 episodes
2013–14 Twisted Karen Desai 19 episodes
2014 Fatal Acquittal Nora Grant Television film
2015, 2019–2020 The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Herself Guest (Season 5); 1 Episode
Main Cast (Season 9-10); 44 episodes
2015 A Christmas Reunion Amy Television film; also co-producer
Significant Mother Pepper Spinner Episode: "Mixed Doubles"
Vanity Marion Bellerose 9 episodes
2016 Rock in a Hard Place Heather Episode: "Pilot"
Jane the Virgin Herself Episode: "Chapter Fifty-One"
2017 Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce Temple Hampton Episode: "Rule #776: The Cat Is Always on the Roof"
Tomboy Shelley Television film
2018 Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Herself / Guest Announcer Episode: "Episode #15.6"
Christmas Break-In Heather Television film
Alone Together Jackie Episode: "Fertility"
2019 The Secret Lives of Cheerleaders Candice Television film
BH90210 Herself Episode: "The Long Wait"
The Price Is Right Herself / Guest Model Episode: "Episode #48.31"
FraXtur Susan 2 episodes, post-production
2019–present The Bold and the Beautiful Shauna Fulton Contract role; 147 episodes
2020 Paper Empire Bentley

Music videos[edit]

Year Song Artist
1997 "Canadian Rose" Blues Traveler
2002 "Undercova Funk" Snoop Dogg
2017 "Lovely Blonde" Sébastien Tellier

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result
1998 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Female Newcomer Starship Troopers Nominated
1999 MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Kiss (shared with Neve Campbell and Matt Dillon) Wild Things Nominated
2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Actress – Action The World Is Not Enough Nominated
Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Supporting Actress Won
Worst Screen Couple (shared with Pierce Brosnan) Nominated
2004 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Best Ensemble Acting (shared with the cast) Love Actually Nominated
2016 Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival Best Actress A Life Lived Won
2017 Northeast Film Festival Best Ensemble Cast (shared with the cast) American Satan Won
Best Supporting Actress in a Feature Film Nominated
2018 Best Supporting Actress[130] The Toybox Nominated

Published works[edit]

References[edit]

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