Denise Richards: 37 Sexy Photos For Her 43rd(!) Birthday

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Charlie Sheen is engaged to porn star Brett Rossi–and it was announced right before the birthday of his ex-wife Denise Richards. We doubt that’s going to spoil Denise Richard’s party today, though. Charlie Sheen has the rare ex-wife who can get us thinking that, yeah, Brett Rossi’s cute, but Denise Richards was the real catch.

It’s really a tribute to Charlie Sheen’s craziness that Denise is looking so good, too. There was a time when Denise Richards wasn’t taken very seriously. She started out in the ’90s as just another pretty girl in Hollywood–although one with a spectacular rack and a kind of retro look. Denise Richards never tried to look cool or hip. She was all about showing off her immense rack while rocking some kind of feathered hairstyle.

That turned out to be a smart strategy. Denise kept standing out in small roles on assorted sitcoms–and then suddenly made a huge leap to stardom with one of the lead roles in Starship Troopers. The 1997 sci-fi hit had plenty of overblown satire as part of the plot, and Denise was probably supposed to be part of the joke as a glamorous fighter pilot. The movie still worked, though, and Denise followed up with two very smart roles.

1998′s Wild Things was an overblown trash epic that will always be remembered for Denise teaming up with Neve Campbell for a lesbian catfight. The next year’s Drop Dead Gorgeous is an underseen cult comedy that really showcased Denise as a spoiled beauty pageant contestant. She suddenly seemed like a potential movie star–until the end of 1999 brought the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough. Denise gave one of the worst performances in the history of Bond Girls, and the movie pretty much derailed her career.

Her only great role in the new century was as a scheming spy in the blaxploitation spoof Undercover Brother. That movie also gave Denise her second legendary catfight scene. By then, though, Denise was already better known as Charlie Sheen’s wife–going back to a guest stint with him on the Spin City sitcom. They also had a great scene together in Scary Movie 3 that briefly reminded folks of Denise’s occasional talents.

But as it ended up, Denise became the grown-up as Charlie Sheen fell apart, and now she’s a proper television personality–and MILF, since she’s responsible enough to take care of kids. Nobody’s even noticed that she’s still looking hot with a regular role on the ABC Family series Twisted. We have some recent shots of Denise below, but we’re really celebrating her birthday with lots of vintage shots. They’re a reminder that this is one time where Charlie Sheen might not be really winning…

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