Alicia Silverstone was born in San Francisco, California, to
Monty Silverstone, a British-born Jewish real-estate investor,
and Didi Radford, a Scottish-born former flight attendant who
converted to Judaism upon marrying Silverstone's father. She was
raised in Hillsborough, California. Alicia is the youngest of
Monty and Didi's three children but she also has a half-sister,
Kezi Silverstone, who's a rock singer in London from Monty's
previous marriage and a half-brother, David Silverstone. When
Alicia was six, Monty took some photos of his young daughter.
The photos allowed her to get some modeling gigs which then led
to television commercials (the first being for Domino's Pizza).
Alicia later attended San Mateo High School in San Mateo, California where she was a cheerleader. During this time she acquired some early modelling and advertising work and eventually got the part of the 'dream girl' on American TV series The Wonder Years.
Alicia Silverstone won a leading part in the 1993 movie The Crush, playing a girl who sets out to ruin an older man after her teenage crush is spurned, for which she won two awards at the 1994 MTV Movie Awards. Silverstone actually became legally emancipated at the age of 15 in order to work the hours required for the shooting schedule of The Crush.
Silverstone went on to star in three Aerosmith music videos, entitled "Cryin," "Crazy," and "Amazing," which were hugely successful both for the band and Silverstone, making her a household name (and also the nickname, "the Aerosmith chick"). Around this period, Silverstone was offered the role of Valerie Malone, on Beverly Hills 90210. After she turned it down, the role went to Tiffani Thiessen.
After Clueless became a huge sleeper hit and critical darling during the summer of 1995, Alicia Silverstone was hailed as the woman of the hour, and branded the spokeswoman for an emerging young generation. As a result, she was able to sign a deal with Columbia-TriStar worth $10 million. As part of the package, she got a three-year first-look deal for her own production company, First Kiss Productions.
The first movie to be released by First Kiss Productions was a 1997 dark comedy called Excess Baggage. Excess Baggage, a movie in which Silverstone played a chain smoking, underage drinking, rich brat, who fakes her own kidnapping in order to get her father's attention, was not as critically or commercially embraced as Clueless. Silverstone also came under fire (especially by E!) for receiving such a lucrative production deal so early in her career. Excess Baggage was such a disappointment, that after just one film, Columbia-TriStar quietly let their production deal with Silverstone expire.
Around the time Alicia Silverstone was featured as Batgirl in Batman and Robin, Silverstone was lambasted by tabloid media and mainstream press alike for putting on weight. Though hardly obese by any standard, Silverstone had obviously put on more weight than the public was used to seeing her carry, and this started a whirlwind of rumors that affected her personal life. Coincidentally, she was turned down for the lead in 1994's My Father the Hero because the producers said that she was too heavy for the part. The role ultimately went to Katherine Heigl instead. She suffered further bad press for allegedly striking a pedestrian with her vehicle in a crosswalk; and it didn't help Silverstone's cause that Batman and Robin was an even bigger critical and commercial failure than her other movie from 1997, Excess Baggage.
Apparently, Sony was hoping that after a potential blockbuster like Batman and Robin, Alicia would be bankable at the box office. But when the performance of Batman and Robin proved to be disappointing, they lost faith in her and pretty much dumped Excess Baggage with very little promotion or marketing. After her production deal ended, very few people would hire her.
For some time, Alicia Silverstone, despite her young age, gained the reputation of being a "has been", who reached her peak with the Aerosmith videos and Clueless. She effectively removed herself from the public eye for many years, resurfacing in the critically acclaimed NBC television show Miss Match, which was cancelled after thirteen episodes in fall 2003. This long hiatus was referred to in the pilot episode of the television series Get Real, as an exasperated Kenny remarked, "Why can't I fall off the face of the earth, like Alicia Silverstone?"
Silverstone later acknowledged that she hates the trappings of fame, insisting that being a celebrity is a horrific ordeal that she wouldn't want her worst enemy to suffer. According to Silverstone "Fame is not anything I wish on anyone. You start acting because you love it. Then success arrives, and suddenly you're on show."
Silverstone reportedly refuses to appear nude in any of her movies. Because of this, she requires a body double in her place for nude scenes. When she starred in the stage version of The Graduate, she insisted on wearing underwear for the famous nude-scene. The producers were forced to let her do this because, otherwise, she would have resigned from the show.
Alicia Silverstone has also acted in the Kenneth Branagh film adaptation of the Shakespeare play Love's Labour's Lost, in which she was required to sing and dance.
Silverstone married her longtime boyfriend Christopher Jarecki, lead singer of the band S.T.U.N., in a beachfront ceremony at Lake Tahoe on June 11, 2005. The couple dated for eight years prior to being married.
Alicia Silverstone is also noted for her strong views on animal welfare and is a committed vegan. In 2004, Alicia was voted s--iest female vegetarian by PETA. She is bilingual, fluent in English and French.
Silverstone has also hinted several times that she has either been or would like to be romantically involved with other women.
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