From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
Her basic outfit is heels, half a dress and the knowing smile of an R-rated cheerleader. It took the industry a long time to tap Stone's brand of blond heat. But in Basic Instinct the tawny actress got to play an underwear-free bisexual novelist who leaves cop Michael Douglas fit to be tied. It was her smartest career move since an equally torso-revealing Playboy show-and-tell in 1990; Stone, 34, not only got to host Saturday Night Live but on Letterman she reduced David to muttering "one hot babe" as he ogled her "lovely, lovely legs."

Those gorgeous gams got Stone from rural Pennsylvania (she's referred to herself as "a big farm girl") to Manhattan, where she was a Ford model until Woody Allen gave her a bit part in his 1980 Stardust Memories. She's since worked steadily—and until now without much fanfare—alongside stars like Richard Chamberlain, Steven Seagal and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but mostly in high-testosterone action pictures. Even when a director has recognized her beauty—Craig (Action Jackson) Baxley calls the actress "a Kim Novak type"—she usually ended up as the bimbo who died before the last reel.

Will her sleek body one day yield an equally impressive body of work? Perhaps. For the divorced L.A. resident, who now dates country heartthrob Dwight Yoakam, is both smart and self-aware. "I've never thought of myself as a great beauty," Stone recently said. "Just a great magician." The next trick: proving she's not just Hollywood's latest Ice(pick) Goddess.