Photo: Paramount Pictures
Fatal Attraction (1987)
Credit this steamy blockbuster with striking fear into the hearts of married couples across America. Michael stars as Dan Gallagher, a married lawyer who risks it all for a passionate weekend with a seductive stranger named Alex, played by Glenn Close. But what Dan thought was a one-time fling turns into a harrowing roller coaster ride as Alex refuses to accept the end of the affair and slowly unleashes her psychotic rage on Dan and his family.
The War of the Roses (1989)
Michael teamed up with actress Kathleen Turner for the third time in this dark comedy about a wealthy couple in the midst of a bitter divorce. Danny DeVito, who also appeared in Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, co-stars as the couple's divorce lawyer, who witnesses their outrageous battle to force each other out of their shared home. Both Michael and Kathleen were nominated for Golden Globes for their portrayal of the unhappily married couple.
Basic Instinct (1992)
This erotic thriller marks another iconic onscreen affair for Michael, this one between police detective Nick Curran and a manipulative crime writer suspected of murder. The iconic short white dress and dangling cigarette of his co-star Sharon Stone has become the stuff of pop culture legend. The role of wealthy crime writer Catherine Tramell may have made her a star, but the infamous interrogation scene made her a sex symbol.
The American President (1995)
The leader of the free world falls in love with a Washington lobbyist in this romantic comedy, which was ranked number 75 in the American Film Institute's list of America's Greatest Love Stories. Michael plays widower Andrew Shepherd, the current president seeking re-election, while Annette Bening is Sydney Ellen Wade, the environmental lobbyist hired to get Shepherd to sign important legislation into law. Aaron Sorkin wrote the screenplay and went on to write the White House television drama The West Wing four years later.