Although she made her movie debut at 15, this Southern belle steered clear of typical teen roles and instead turned in complex performances in indie favorites such as Freeway
. But Witherspoon's success wasn't limited to just critical acclaim. A role in Cruel Intentions
(1999) alongside future husband Ryan Phillippe (whom she later divorced) made this serious actress something of a teen idol, while her charismatic turn as a Barbie doll with a brain in the 2001 comedy Legally Blonde
made her a megastar. Post-Blonde
, Witherspoon has tried her hand at producing and continues to land high-profile roles, including an Oscar-winning performance as Johnny Cash's wife in Walk the Line
(2005).Reese Witherspoon Fast Facts:
- Descendant of John Witherspoon, one of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence.
- Began acting in commercials at age 7.
- Landed first movie role (and first on-screen kiss) in 1991's The Man in the Moon after auditioning in a 10-state talent search. Garnered critical acclaim in the film as a 14-year-old tomboy.
- Turned down roles in the slasher flicks Scream (1996) and Urban Legend (1998).
- Played sister to Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) in two episodes of Friends in 2000.
- Was the first to host Saturday Night Live following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
- When Witherspoon and her then-husband, Ryan Phillippe, were co-presenters at the 2002 Academy Awards, he gestured to the envelope and joked, "You open it. You make more money than I do."
- Named one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in 2002.
- Reese Witherspoon Relationships:
- John Draper Witherspoon - Brother
- Betty Reese Witherspoon - Mother
- Deacon Reese Phillippe - Son
- Ava Elizabeth Phillippe - Daughter
- John Witherspoon - Father
- Ryan Phillippe - Ex-husband
- Tennessee James Toth - Son
- Jake Gyllenhaal - Ex-significant Other
- Jim Toth - Husband
- Reese Witherspoon Awards:
- 2009 People's Choice Awards: Favorite Female Movie Star - Winner
- 2005 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role - Winner
- 2000 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy - Nominee
- 2002 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy - Nominee
- 2006 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy - Winner
- 2005 Oscar: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role - Winner
- 2006 People's Choice Awards: Favorite Leading Actress - Winner
- 2008 People's Choice Awards: Favorite Female Movie Star - Winner
- 2005 BAFTA Film Awards: Best Actress in a Leading Role - Winner
- 2006 CMT Music Awards: Collaborative Video of the Year - Nominee
- 2014 Independent Spirit Awards: Robert Altman Award - Winner
- Attended Stanford University, Stanford, CA