Claire Forlani was born in Twickenham
(in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames), South
West London, England to Pier Forlani (an Italian) and
Barbara (who was English). At the age of 11, Forlani
entered the Arts Educational School in London, where she
began to study acting. During her six years at the
school, she also studied dance, which led to
performances on stage in The Nutcracker and Orpheus in
Claire Forlani's parents moved to San Francisco in 1993, in order to allow for wider casting opportunities in Hollywood films. Subsequently, Forlani was cast in the television mini-series J.F.K.: Reckless Youth and the film Police Academy: Mission to Moscow.
In 1996, Forlani appeared in a supporting role in the successful film, The Rock. She continued to appear in both widely released and smaller-budget films. Forlani was cast in the 1998 film, Deep Rising, but due to creative conflicts left the set during the first few days of filming; that same year, her starring role in Meet Joe Black (co-starring Brad Pitt) was Forlani's most financially successful film.
Claire Forlani was the new face of L'Oreal in 2001. She has been ranked Ranked #51 (2000) and #89 (2001) in Stuff Magazine's 100 S--iest Women, #85 (2001) in FHM's 100 S--iest Women and was slotted in Loaded's Hot 100 Babes.
Claire Forlani has dated actors Benicio Del Toro, John Cusack (between 1997 and 1998) and Ben Stiller (between 1998 and 1999).