How Denise Richards Went From Wild Thing to Mom
30th September, 2021
Startraks Photo/Shutterstock | Matt Baron/Shutterstock
Gorgeous looks, controversies, and a bad marriage—Denise Richards hasn’t just come a long way since her modeling days; she seems to have dealt with it all. From her first major acting breakthrough in Starship Troopers to her reality television debut, Denise Richards has experimented with various genres and roles. Her career has been a tempestuous ride; the actress took on a flurry of cameos before her first box office hit. (The spotlight on her personal life wasn’t very flattering either). This article talks about Richards’ journey, whether it was being voted “best looking” in her yearbook or being called the worst Bond heroine ever.
Some more bad press
Two years after Denise joined The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Brandi Glanville decided to reveal details about an alleged affair she had with Richards. She claimed that the latter had hooked up with her, an allegation that would seriously affect the actress's stint on the reality show. Denise eventually quit the show as Glanville revealed intimate details about the alleged affair and even claimed that the actress tricked her into cheating. This accusation was enough to put Richards under hot water as the other housewives immediately took it upon themselves to question the charge.Glanville also revealed that she and Richards had gotten intimate for the first time in the restroom of a restaurant after their agent had left them alone to talk about the reality show. Apparently, Glanville was unaware of the fact that Richards had already tied the knot with Aaron Phypers before joining the show. Richards most certainly refuted these rumors, and everything was pretty much under the wraps before she decided to spill the beans, in an interview no less!
Denise Richards now
At 50, Denise Richards still looks nothing short of stunning. In fact, we wish the rest of us could age with the kind of grace she seems to effortlessly have. Standing next to her daughter, who might very well be her doppelgänger, you’d be looking at a split image of Denise from her 20s and Denise now. After a couple of seasons on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the actress only recently quit in September 2020.There is no definitive indication that she might go back for a third season following the controversial accusations she faced in relation to the Glanville affair. But, Richards maintains they are on good terms now. The star also joined the cast of The Bold and The Beautiful last year and spent several months filming during the pandemic. On the personal front, she is enjoying motherhood with her three daughters Sam Sheen, Lola Rose Sheen, and Eloise. As of 2021, her net worth is estimated at approximately $12 million.
Love at first sight with Charlie Sheen
Denise and Charlie met on the sets of Good Advice in 2000, and sparks flew a while after that. The actress claims she knew Sheen was the one by her second date. Talk about a whirlwind romance, huh! The couple got married by the end of 2002 and despite Charlie Sheen’s bad boy image, Richards claimed he was a changed man after they met. They even worked together in the third Scary Movie and became parents to their first daughter the following year. In 2004, Richards acted alongside her husband in the wildly popular Two and a Half Men, where Sheen was basically the star of the show.However, 2005 saw the couple release a statement filing for divorce when Denise was pregnant with their second daughter. The couple reconciled for a short while after her delivery. But the actress eventually called it quits after several complaints of Charlie’s medical abuse, compulsive gambling, violent mood swings, and even his addiction to pornography. The couple officially got divorced in 2006 but have remained cordial, taking up co-parenting responsibilities. Denise only remarried in 2018.
Career aspirations and turning moments
Like many aspiring models, Denise moved to New York City in search of some steady work and soon signed on with her first brand, Bonne Bell Cosmetics. Her fresh face and bold smile also landed her international assignments, including several covers for major swimsuit issues. However, by modeling standards, her stature of 5’6” fell short, and Richards made the decision to branch out into acting.The young actress then banked on her physical appeal to land several small cameos in popular sitcoms across Fox, ABC, and NBC networks and feature films for the next five years. In 1997, she finally got a major breakthrough with the sci-fi action thriller Starship Troopers. This movie was a surprising box office hit and earned Richards enough street cred to be cast in 1998 hit Wild Things. She gained a lot of fans post that appearance, playing the role of a spoiled rich brat who schemes with her friend and guidance counselor to perfection. The movie became a favorite among youngsters and led to meatier roles in the future.
Mainstream cinema miseries
Denise Richards was next cast as one of the Bond girls in The World is Not Enough opposite Pierce Brosnan. While the film performed well enough at the box office, the leading lady drew quite a bit of ire. Her role as a nuclear scientist was remarked as unpersuasive at best, and the name of the character—Christmas Jones—did her no favors either. To make things worse, “Entertainment Weekly” even declared the young actress as one of the worst Bond girls ever! (Harsh much?)From 1993 to 2019, Richards made several cameo appearances in almost every popular TV show and snagged some decent movie roles. However, a series of flops and box office bombs set her career back by a few years at least. She even tried revival tactics with her own reality TV show called Denise Richards: It’s Complicated. That’s not all, the still-budding starlet appeared on Dancing With The Stars but was voted out in the second week itself. Her only major box office hit came with an ensemble cast in Love Actually, wherein the film grossed over $246 million in sales.
While Christmas Jones failed to impress audiences, Becky Leeman (played by Richards) from Drop Dead Gorgeous managed to do some damage control for the young actress who was just trying to find her acting range back in the early 2000s. The movie’s plot revolved around a teen beauty pageant and also starred Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams, and Brittany Murphy. While the film did okay at the box office, it earned a lot of notoriety for a song where Denise Richards danced with a religious prop.It’s been 21 years, but the actress revealed in a recent interview that the memory of her backing dancers walking off the set offended is still fresh. She played it off as a misunderstanding, but that surely cannot have been easy. Fun fact: Many mainstream actresses who worked as a supporting cast in this movie landed major life-changing roles that prompted a 360° career change. But for Denise Richards, the struggle to make it big would continue for the foreseeable future.
A memorable cameo in F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
In the early 2000s, the Wild Things actress was also asked to do a cameo in TV’s most celebrated sitcom of the decade, F.R.I.E.N.D.S.. Richards is introduced as Ross and Monica’s cousin Cassie in episode 19 of the seventh season. Her appearance comes as a shock to the men in the group, especially to Ross, since neither he nor Monica have seen her since they were kids.What follows is a series of pretty bad decisions and even worse explanations (we’re still cringing over it). What does stand out though, and in a good way, is her iconic hair flip that’s accompanied by the snazziest background score throughout the episode. TBH, we’re sure everyone was a little in love with her at that point. She is shown to ultimately move in with Phoebe, who is equally mesmerized by her. The episode ends with audiences wondering what went on next but we guess that’s another mystery we’ll never be able to solve.
Born Denise Lee Richards, she is the second child of Irv and Joni Richards. Her father worked as a telephone engineer, and her mother owned and managed a small coffee shop. Denise and her elder sister Michelle had a normal childhood growing up, with traditional family values and 6 pm dinners. In fact, it was only when the family moved to Oceanside in California that the actress was first exposed to the world of showbiz.Did you know Denise hails from a mixed ancestry of German, French-Canadian, English, Irish, and Welsh descent!!! That’s a spread-out family tree indeed. In her high school days, she was voted best looking in the yearbook; her wavy blonde hair, striking blue eyes, and full lips made her stand out in the crowd. Essentially, she had all the makings of a supermodel, and by the end of high school, Richards had decided to take up modeling professionally.