As she moves into what most actresses would consider the twilight of their career, photos from the set of new HBO film Wizard of Lies confirm that Michelle Pfeiffer continues to defy the laws of aging. The 57-year-old has been pictured in New York filming a solo scene as Ruth Madoff, wife of notorious Wall Street fraudster Bernard Madoff, and she looks ready to bring her particular brand of sexy to her starring role opposite Robert De Niro.
In a career spanning a whopping 35 years, Pfeiffer has taken on a variety of diverse roles across a number of different genres, receiving Oscar nominations for her efforts on three occasions. Her work today is a far cry from her initial career choice, however. After graduating from high school in 1976 Pfeiffer began training as a stenographer, though a court of law was never a suitable setting for such a bright and beautiful young woman.
She began competing in beauty pageants, and in 1978 won the title of Miss Orange County. Pfeiffers performances on the pageant scene caught the attention of an acting agent and before long she was auditioning for television roles, landing parts in Fantasy Island and Delta House but losing out on the part of Sabrina Duncan in Charlies Angels. Her disappointment turned out to be short lived when Hollywood came calling with the script for Grease 2.
The sequel to the hugely popular musical turned out to be a critical and commercial flop, though Pfeiffers agent still managed to convince a producer named Martin Bregman that she was right for the part of cocaine addicted trophy wife Elvira Hancock in his upcoming film Scarface. Her performance in the 1983 gangster film put her on the map, and in the years that have followed she has made a name for herself as an actress that is as talented as she is beautiful.
But which of her performances were the hottest?
12. Elizabeth Collins Stoddard Dark Shadows (2012)
For his so-called passion project Dark Shadows director Tim Burton entrusted Michelle Pfeiffer with the part Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, the reclusive matriarch of the Collins family of Collinsport. Despite her descendant Barnabas Collins founding the town in the 1750s, the family have fallen on hard times. When immortal vampire Barnabas is accidentally released from his coffin after being sealed away by jilted lover Angelique 200 years previous, however, the family prepare to make the name great once more.
While Angelique is the only genuine witch among them, all of the female cast are bewitching. Eva Greens sultry performance is enough to get the most undead of hearts racing and, much like the film, Helena Bonham Carter is great to look at if not a little unsure of what she is trying to achieve.
It is a testament to Pfeiffers talents that Bonham Carters then-husband Tim Burton chose her for the role of Elizabeth over his wife, though it proved the correct decision, with Pfeiffers steely gaze and regal presence bringing a mysterious sex appeal to this grande dame.