Actor Demi (Demetria) Guynes was born in 1962 in Roswell, New Mexico. She seems to have risen from a rather rough background: her father, Charles Harmon, left her mother before she was born, and Demi was raised by her mother and stepfather, Virginia and Danny Guynes. They had a volatile relationship filled with drinking and fighting. Her stepfather was habitually fired from jobs and moved the family often in search of work; he gambled away what money he came across.
Demi herself was cross-eyed, and had to have two operations to correct the condition; she would go on, of course, to have other cosmetic surgery to enhance her bankable assets. Demi only discovered that her stepfather was not her biological father when she was 15; soon after, he committed suicide by inhaling carbon monoxide.
Demi quit school at the age of 16 to work as a nude model, appearing in the buff on the cover of Oui in 1982, and she has remained unafraid of baring it all for the cameras in movies and, famously, pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair in 1991 (no way those breasts are real). She married a rock musician Freddy Moore when she was 18, he 30; they divorced four years later.
Demi's professional career began in earnest on the soap opera General Hospital in 1981; she left the soap when she was cast in the role of Michael Caine's daughter in Blame It on Rio (1984). The same year she got a part in St. Elmo's Fire; the role of a cokehead was an easy one for her, as she had had a cocaine and drinking problem for some time. One day director Joel Schumacher, fed up with Demi showing up to work high, told her to get sober or leave, and she chose the former course. During this film she became involved with Emilio Estevez; the two had a volatile three-year engagement, while Demi filmed duds like No Small Affair and Wisdom.
During one of her off-again periods with Estevez she met Bruce Willis and in 1987 the two married after a three-month courtship. Their Las Vegas wedding was hosted by Little Richard and was a saturnalian bacchanal, as would be future gatherings that the couple hosted. They had a reputation for having a huge entourage and wild parties. Bruce and Demi have three daughters, who all have extravagent names (Rumer Glenn, Scout Larue, and Tallulah Belle) and look very much like their mother. The couple split up in 1998 and divorced in 2000. She's been keeping time with the much younger Ashton Kucher in recent years, and is expecting his child.
Demi's career turned around when the sentimental film Ghost (1990) became a huge hit, and though her next two films - Mortal Thoughts and The Butcher's Wife - did not do as well, 1992's A Few Good Men was popular. She then embarked on a string of controversial leads: wife-turned-prostitute-for-a-night in Indecent Proposal (1993), sexual harasser in Disclosure (1994), adulterer in The Scarlet Letter (1995) and of course stripper in Striptease (1996), a critical flop that nonetheless made her the highest paid female actor in the world at a reported $12 million. She followed this up with GI Jane in 1997, showing that she could do an impressive number of one-armed push-ups, but still not win critical acclaim.
Demi's acting career: