Sharon Stone is like an ice princess. Equal parts brainy and beautiful, she has fascinated the world for decades. Stone is an incredibly talented actress, although her most memorable movie scene probably has more to do with her being sans underwear than her acting abilities. But off-screen, Stone’s real life has been as dramatic, in its highs and lows, as her film career. Here are 45 riveting facts about Sharon Stone.
1. A Stone Is Born
Sharon Vonne Stone was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Her mother, Dorothy, was an accountant, while papa Joseph worked in tool and die manufacturing. Her “fellow Stones” were her older brother, Michael, younger brother, Patrick, and younger sister, Kelly.
2. Her Mom Was no Kidder
At a Hollywood banquet for the Women’s Choice Awards, Stone tearfully revealed that her mom, Dorothy, was a pretty tough nut who didn’t lavish affection on her kids. But Stone also revealed that her mom didn’t really have a childhood. Dorothy became a live-in maid at just nine years old, working in the home of a local dentist.
3. Basically Wrong
LGBTQ protesters in the 90s went to town on the movie Basic Instinct because Stone’s character, Catherine Tramell, played into the common movie trope that painted bisexuals as psychopaths.
4. Write What You Know
Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas pulled Stone’s twisted character in Basic Instinct from his own experiences. He based Catherine Trammel on a real go-go dancer, with whom he had a one-night stand. The dancer pulled a gun on him, in his hotel room, asking him why she “shouldn’t pull this trigger?”
5. Ice Pick
Stone revealed in interviews, following the making of Basic Instinct, that the film’s explicit scenes weren’t an issue for her—but the violence was. The infamous “ice pick scene” was especially traumatic for Stone, but she came up with a way to get through it. She brought her real-life best friend on set to tell her jokes and keep things light while they filmed the scene.
Producers also kept a paramedic on set with an oxygen tank in case she started hyperventilating.
6. She Had Them at Commando
Sharon Stone’s interrogation scene in Basic Instinct became one of the most iconic scenes in movie history…but Stone appearing “sans undies” was not in the original script. Director Paul Verhoeven thought it’d be “fun” if Stone didn’t wear underwear during the scene. I guess you could say he made the decision on…instinct.
7. Not a Buddy Movie
Stone has revealed that she didn’t feel comfortable around her Basic Instinct co-star, Michael Douglas, or vice versa. However, she doesn’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. The way she sees it, the real-life tension between them upped the dramatic tension in the movie, creating a better film.
8. It Was Like a Horror Selfie
Sharon Stone was utterly convincing as the glamorous, albeit dangerous Trammel in Basic Instinct. So much so that Stone freaked out while watching herself onscreen. Stone revealed that by the time she saw the finished product, she’d forgotten some of the more intense scenes she’d filmed. When the premiere finally came, she was horrified to relive it as a spectator.
9. Promiscuous Boy
Basic Instinct screenwriter Joe Eszterhas has some mighty loose lips. According to him, he and Stone had a one night stand after Basic Instinct came out—but their entanglements don’t end there. Eszterhas has also “thanked” Stone for having an affair with a producer named William McDonald. Why? McDonald left his wife, Naomi Baka, for Stone, and Eszterhas would later marry Baka, whom he calls the love of his life.
10. Finger Painting Is Basic
Academically gifted as a kid, Stone skipped all that kindergarten claptrap, and bypassed grade 1 too, sailing right into the second grade at just five years old.
11. They Totally Noticed Her
Stone got a lot of attention when she starred opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall, a 1990 sci-fi thriller. It introduced her to audiences worldwide—and to director Paul Verhoeven, who would go on to direct Basic Instinct.
12. No Silver Lining
Stone headlined in the movie Silver, based on a thriller novel, about a posh New York City high-rise where…suspicious stuff happens. Critics hated it, and Stone earned a Worst Actress nom at the Golden Raspberry Awards. Ok, so it wasn’t the greatest followup to Basic Instinct, but who hasn’t made a few mistakes in their career?
13. What Do Critics Know Anyways?
Don’t feel too bad for her though: Stone’s critically panned movie Silver was still a huge commercial success, making nearly four times its budget at the box office.
14. This Ginger Got All the Love
When Sharon Stone played Ginger McKenna in the Martin Scorsese film Casino, she was the only person on the project to receive any recognition during awards season (no small feat…with Robert De Niro, and Joe Pesci among her co-stars). Stone was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, and she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama.
15. She Was Outstanding
It’s not all about the movies for Sharon Stone—she’s also graced the small screen as well. Her work on the drama series, The Practice, earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.
16. Wish They All Could Be Pennsylvania Girls
From beauty pageants to show business? In her youth, Stone won the Miss Crawford County, Pennsylvania pageant, taking home the coveted crown. She was also in the running for Miss Pennsylvania but fell short on the big stage. It wasn’t a complete loss, though: A pageant judge suggested she jump states, move to New York City, and get into modeling. Stone didn’t have to be told twice.
17. European Vacation
After getting her start in New York City, Stone flew across the pond and spent time modeling in Europe.
18. French Cinema
While modeling in Europe, Sharon Stone allegedly got a bit part in a French movie. It wasn’t about to win her an Oscar, but Stone was hooked. She decided to quit the living mannequin thing and become an actress.
19. She Was so Extra
Stone moved back to New York to pursue acting—but she had to work her way up the ladder. She recalled standing in line to try and land a role as an extra in a Woody Allen movie. Well, it worked out, and her first credited part was as “Pretty Girl on Train,” in Allen’s Stardust Memories.
20. Jumping a Hurdle
Would you rather be an extra in Stardust Memories, or get a speaking role in a critically panned, low-budget horror movie? If you have a hard time deciding, just ask Sharon Stone, who appeared in Wes Craven’s Deadly Blessing shortly after her landmark role as “Pretty Girl on Train.”
21. She Came in Peace
At one point in her career, Stone decided that she had to be more than “just” an actress. Starting in the 2000s, she became an activist for many causes, including world peace and gay rights. In 2006, she traveled to Israel with Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres, promoting peace in the Middle East.
22. A Heart of Stone
Eventually, Stone’s activism work was bound to get her some recognition. In 2013, she was granted a Peace Summit Award, recognizing her work with HIV/AIDS sufferers.
23. One Hella Auctioneer
In 2015, Stone attended a banquet for the Pilosio Building Peace Award in Milan. The crowd of construction industry CEOs was in for a treat when Stone jumped on stage, starting an impromptu fundraising auction. She raised enough in that one evening to build almost 30 schools in third-world countries.
24. Returning the Rock
Sharon Stone has been married twice, but she’s been engaged—and broken those engagements off—numerous times too. One such unfortunate ex was a guy named Bob Wagner, who met Stone in 1995 and put a ring on it soon after. After they broke up, Stone allegedly returned the rock to Wagner by FedEx. I hope she used a padded envelope.
25. Who Was She Wearing?
In a real-life fashion moment—maybe as infamous as her interrogation scene in Basic Instinct—Stone wore her then-husband’s button-down Gap shirt…to the Oscars. It was classic Stone, and by the megawatt smile on her face, she couldn’t care less if anyone thought the top was way out of place. She got the last laugh, too, as her defining look has gone down in Oscars history as a fashion triumph.
26. Finding Buddha
Stone has converted to Tibetan Buddhism. I wonder how a button-down Gap t-shirt would look under a monk’s robe?
27. She Really Speaks Amore
Stone isn’t just a Tibetan Buddhist—She’s an Italian speaking Tibetan Buddhist. Is zen amore a thing?
28. It Weighed Three Stone
Sharon Stone’s character wore a gorg, golden and white-beaded gown in Casino. Before we all get green with jealousy at how fab she looked, take some small comfort in the fact that the freakin’ dress reportedly weighed 45 pounds!
29. Stalked by Scorsese
Stone scheduled two auditions for Casino, but both times, director Martin Scorsese canceled on her. Stone got suspicious that Scorsese was blowing her off, and when his people contacted her again for a third try, she blew them off, going out to dinner instead. Scorsese tracked her down at the restaurant, apologized his head off, and convinced her to finally audition for him.
30. Define a Backhanded Compliment
After Total Recall, Verhoeven knew Stone could pull off a character that changes from timid and charming to diabolically evil in a snap. She was the perfect fit for Basic Instinct. But, if you ask the director, this wasn’t just acting: Verhoeven also noted that was the way Sharon Stone is in real life. Is that backhanded enough for ya?
31. Putting in the Work
The Arnold (Schwarzenegger, like you needed to be told) was seriously impressed by the physical training Stone put into her role as his co-star in Total Recall. Stone went to town on pumping iron, and she got proficient at Tae Kwon Do. The Arnold nicknamed Stone the “Female Terminator” for her efforts.
32. No Dumb as a Rock Here
For anyone who needed to know, get out your pencils: Stone has an IQ of 154.
33. He’s Just Boffo
Stone’s become something of a cradle-robber in recent years. In 2018, paparazzi caught her vacationing with a man nearly two decades her junior. His name was Angelo Boffo, and he was an Italian real estate mogul. Speaking Italian has its privileges.
34. The Family Stone
Stone has three adopted sons—Roan, Quinn, and Laird. At a touching awards luncheon in Beverly Hills in 2017, the boys presented Stone with a Mother of the Year Award, speaking lovingly of her in their own words. Stone says that people get too hung up with giving birth…to her, it’s not who “has you, but who loves you” that shapes a child into a person.
35. Charlie Sheen Would Call It Winning
Stone has said she “failed” at the biggest things in her life—her health, her marriage…according to her, “everything.” But she said she picked herself up and went on. I say she succeeded!
36. No More Mrs. Nice Guy
Stone’s candor is both refreshing and kind of “stone-cold.” She’s admitted she could “do nice,” but it’s not her goal in life. She’s more intent on being honest about herself, and she says she’s not always the “world’s cheerleader.”
37. True Lies
Stone has said that “women can fake an orgasm, but men can fake an entire relationship.” I’m not sure whether to say boo ya, or ouch.
38. Infancy…The New Forty
Stone says that she was “forty at birth.” She was potty-trained, walking and talking before her first birthday. When she started school, she says she drove people nuts because she asked adult questions—and she expected adult answers.
39. A Fame Dominatrix
Most celebs take advantage of their fame to score swag, or maybe the prime seat in a restaurant without a reservation. To Stone, one of the biggest benefits of fame is getting to torment “a higher class of men.” I doubt she’s joking.
40. Barbie Don’ts
Stone has said that “we Barbie dolls” aren’t supposed to behave the way she does. I’m thinking a Sharon Stone Barbie doll could whup Chucky.
41. An Actual Partnership Is Hard to Find
Aside from broken engagements, Stone has walked down the aisle twice. First, to TV producer Michael Greenburg, and second, newspaper executive Phil Bronstein. After two failed marriages, she’s said the kind of partnership she’s seeking is hard to find, and she refuses to let a man define her.
42. She Dished
For all her fierce honesty regarding her health, her past relationships, and motherhood, Stone can still dish out some good old-fashioned cattiness, too. After a short fling (about four weeks) with massively talented, and unapologetically hillbilly, country star Dwight Yoakam, Stone said, “A dirt sandwich is better than Dwight Yoakam.” Ouch!
43. A 5% Chance to Live
At age 43, Stone suffered a terrifying brain hemorrhage and stroke straight out of left field. The harrowing experience changed her life forever, and it took Stone years to learn to walk, talk, and write again.
44. Momma is a Rolling Stone
After Stone’s father passed, her mother Dorothy rolled into LA to be closer to Stone and her grandchildren.
45. The Stone Poet
Stone’s older brother Michael has had a tough life. He’s a singer by trade, but he also tried to break into Hollywood films—albeit with Stone’s help. But the Hollywood lifestyle was too addictive to Michael, and he fell hard into drugs. Sadly, Michael’s son Colin, Stone’s nephew, inherited Michael’s destructive tendencies, and Colin lost his life to a drug overdose at just 22 years old.