The British beauty wasn’t a big celebrity and was best known as actor Hugh Grant‘s model girlfriend when overnight she became fashion’s “It” girl, thanks to the plunging black Versace gown held together on the sides with gold oversized safety pins that she wore to the Four Weddings and a Funeral premiere. Suddenly, everyone wanted to know who this gorgeous woman with the incredible figure was.
She was soon signed to be the face of Estée Lauder, fronting campaigns for such fragrances as Sensuous, Intuition, and Pleasures, along with the brand’s cosmetics products. Elizabeth was now an in-demand model, and the acting career that she began in the late 1980s took off in a big way.
Liz starred alongside comedian Mike Myers in 1997’s Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, making her a formidable Hollywood star in her own right. She reprised the role of Vanessa Kensington in the 1999 sequel, Austin Powers: the Spy Who Shagged Me.
As Liz’s modeling and acting career went into high gear, she and Hugh amicably split in 2000 after 13 years together. They remain close friends.
“I still go to him for advice on scripts, even though he’s very happily married with five children and I’m very happy in my own life, there’s still certain bits we crossover with very well,” she told People in October 2021, adding, “And asking advice about work, he’s still my go-to person.” The star has one child, son Damian born in April 2002, whom she shared with late producer Steve Bing.
Liz has since starred on the CW’s Gossip Girl and E!’s The Royals, and both roles had her showcasing amazing clothes. She’s a style superstar in real life, as proved by her Versace gown back in the day. Ever since, the brunette beauty has stuck with a red-carpet aesthetic of figure-hugging gowns to show off her amazing body, often going with braless, plunging looks.
“In the ‘90s I felt very confident because I was young and at the beginning of my career, but I think now I really have so much experience and knowledge to pull on that I feel more comfortable in myself. I’ve learnt so much over the years that I try to put into practice,” Liz revealed in a 2022 interview with karenmillen.com about her sense of style.
Scroll down for photos of Elizabeth’s most iconic and gorgeous braless looks over the years.