Bio / Info
Pfeiffer was born in Santa Ana, California to Donna (née Taverna), a homemaker, and Richard Pfeiffer, a heating and air conditioning contractor. She was raised in Midway City, Orange County, California, about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Pfeiffer is the second of four siblings: an older brother, Rick Pfeiffer, and two younger sisters, Dedee Pfeiffer (b. 1964, also an actress) and Lori Pfeiffer (b. 1965). Pfeiffer attended Fountain Valley High School, graduating in 1976. She briefly pursued a career as a court reporter at local Golden West Community College before dropping out to pursue a career in acting. In 1978, Pfeiffer entered and won the Miss Orange County beauty pageant, and then entered the statewide competition for Miss California USA. Although unsuccessful in winning the title, the young Pfeiffer acquired an agent, who helped her secure TV commercial parts and small movie and television roles before making her mark in Hollywood. But it was not until 1983 when Pfeiffer co-starred with Al Pacino in Brian De Palma's gangster classic Scarface that she caught the attention of Hollywood. In 1985 she stared in the fantasy romance Ladyhawke, which gave Pfeiffer good reviews, but failed to become a box office success. In 1987 she stared in The Witches of Eastwick which was a box office and critical success. Through 1988, and 1989 Pfeiffer would earn worldwide critical acclaim in Married to the Mob, Dangerous Liaisons, and The Fabulous Baker Boys, which would earn her Oscar, BAFTA, and Golden Globe award wins, and nominations Despite working less frequently in recent years, Pfeiffer has continued to maintain her status as one of the film world's reigning screen goddesses. In 2000, Pfeiffer starred with Harrison Ford in one of the biggest box office hits of the year, Robert Zemeckis's thriller What Lies Beneath. In 2001, she starred opposite Sean Penn in I Am Sam and in 2002 alongside Renée Zellweger and Robin Wright Penn in White Oleander, which earned her a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress.