Reese Witherspoon
film actress
Reese Witherspoon
Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon, professionally known as Reese Witherspoon, is an American actress, film producer, and television producer. Witherspoon landed her first feature role as the female lead in the film The Man in the Moon in 1991; later that year she made her television acting debut, in the cable movie Wildflower.
Biography
Reese Witherspoon's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Reese Witherspoon from around the web
WATCH: The cast of 'Big Little Lies' dish on the upcoming show
ABC News - 5 days
Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz and Laura Dean sit down with ABC News' Jesse Palmer to discuss the new mini-series.
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ABC News article
Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon on bringing the female-driven 'Big Little Lies' to life
LATimes - 6 days
She had learned not to get excited. Australian author Liane Moriarty had gone through the process of having a book optioned for a movie or TV series before and had endured the realities of it getting lost in Hollywood development purgatory.  Moriarty, though, had never done business with Reese...
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LATimes article
12 Baby Names Inspired By Black Stars Who Are Making History
Huffington Post - 12 days
In our previous salutes to Black History Month, we’ve looked back to activists, pop culture icons and other barrier breakers of the past. Today, we’re focusing on the present ― the history that’s being made right now with this year’s increased numbers of nominees and winners of various screen awards. Many more people of color made the lists this year than in years past, and these include not just actors, but also directors, producers, writers and musicians. Here are some of the more outstanding names for baby name inspiration. August August Wilson ― the late Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, born Frederick August Kittel, Jr. ― wrote both the play and screenplay for “Fences,” which won him a posthumous Oscar nom. August is by far the most popular month name for boys, now at number 195, and a celebrity favorite.  Ava Ava DuVernay has won several past awards and is the first black woman nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, for her film “13th.”  The na ...
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Huffington Post article
PHOTOS: Reese Witherspoon Takes Look-Alike Daughter, Ava, to Premiere
ABC News - 14 days
Meet the parents (and siblings, cousins and more!) of your favorite celebs.
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ABC News article
The Best Hair Tips You Can Steal From Celebrity Stylists
Huffington Post - 30 days
For Glamour, by Deanna Pai. It’s awards season again. And while La La Land was good and all (or so we’re guessing from those seven Golden Globe wins), we’re also here for the celebrity hairstyles. So far, this year has delivered. Forget the sleek, simple style of years past (or, you know, 2016). With two shows on the circuit now checked off, we’ve already seen a mixed bag of really cool looks. Example A: At the 2017 Golden Globes, Gal Gadot opted for a twisted ponytail, while Reese Witherspoon went with a modern chignon — which is wild, since she tends to play it safe on the red carpet. Example B: Blake Lively’s waves at the 2017 People’s Choice Awards (and, OK, really anywhere.) The brains behind all these looks? The stylists, of course, since it takes more than a pair of scissors to make hair red-carpet-worthy. That’s why this awards season we’re asking top celebrity hairstylists to tell us their go-to red-carpet tricks that don’t require a master’s in glam-squad-ography. ...
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Huffington Post article
Reese Witherspoon on Hollywood's limiting roles for women: 'Things have to change'
CNN - about 1 month
Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are hoping their upcoming HBO limited series "Big Little Lies" is one small step toward big changes in Hollywood.
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CNN article
The 'Stranger Things' Kids Took Selfies With ALL The Stars At The Golden Globes
Huffington Post - about 1 month
The youngest cast members of “Stranger Things” are A-list stars in their own right. But even they couldn’t resist being star-struck during Sunday’s 2017 Golden Globe Awards. Millie Bobby Brown, who plays the beloved Eleven in the Golden Globe-nominated Netflix show, took full advantage of her own star power to get the most epic collection of celebrity selfies during the awards weekend. She snagged photos with more than 30 stars in the past few days, including Pharrell Williams, Emma Stone, Amy Adams, Jonah Hill, Priyanka Chopra, Ryan Gosling, two of the three Jonas brothers and Blake Lively, to name a few. We’re not sure who’s more lucky ― Brown or the celebs who had the opportunity to take a picture with the talented 12-year-old? this has been the most incredible and overwhelming few days of my life! I cannot believe I had the chance to meet these amazing actors. Congratulations to all the winners last night and a special shoutout to @thecrownnetflix bringing ...
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Huffington Post article
70 Glorious Tweets From Women About The 2017 Golden Globes
Huffington Post - about 1 month
Another year, another glamorous night of the Golden Globe Awards ― the annual show where we get to watch some of the most glamorous celebs in Hollywood get drunk and celebrate our favorite moments on the big and small screen ― and occasionally say something powerful and profound.  Highlights of the night for women ranged from Tracee Ellis Ross finally winning her first Golden Globe for “Black-ish,” “The Crown” winning all the awards, and Meryl Streep’s poignant, political acceptance speech for Lifetime Achievement.  But the best part of any awards show is, without a doubt, the tweets, and the ladies of Twitter were in fine form tonight. Check it out:  I like the Barb bit BUT I WOULD. — emily nussbaum (@emilynussbaum) January 9, 2017 FINALLY BARB GETS THE AIRTIME SHE DESERVES #justiceforbarb — Julia Bush (@jabush) January 9, 2017 I'm traumatized by lace clothing. It's just too representative of Christmas table clothes stained with fa ...
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Huffington Post article
Everything You Need To Know Before Sunday's Golden Globes, Including Who Will Win
Huffington Post - about 2 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); It’s Golden Globe weekend! Here’s everything you need to know. How do I watch? Catch the Golden Globes live at 8 p.m. EST on NBC Sunday. E!’s red-carpet special, hosted by Giuliana Rancic and Ryan Seacrest, begins at 6 p.m. NBC’s airs at 7 p.m. The awards take place at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. Who is hosting? Jimmy Fallon, who has teased potential Donald Trump cracks despite rustling the president-elect’s hair like an old chum during Trump’s ...
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Huffington Post article
"Sing" Is An Optimistic Song To the World
Huffington Post - about 2 months
Movie Review - Jackie K Cooper "Sing" (Universal Pictures) In a season of movies that are filled with darkness ("Nocturnal Animals" and "Manchester By the Sea") and disaster ("Rogue One" and "Passengers") it is good to have a sweet movie that brings out the optimist in us all, The movie that instills this emotion is "Sing", a fun filled animated musical from the creators of "Despicable Me' and "The Secret Life of Pets." The story centers around Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey), a koala bear who has loved show biz all his life. In his adult life he owns a theater tat has seen some good times and currently some bad times. To raise revenue he decides to hold a talent contest with a $1,000.00 prize. When he tells his secretary Miss Crawley (Garth Jennings) to print off some leaflets she inadvertently types in the prize money as $100,000.00. Tons of acts audition for the show but it gets narrows down to a fabulous few that includes Rosita (Reese Withersp ...
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Huffington Post article
Jimmy Fallon And Paul McCartney Join A-List Chorus For 'Wonderful Christmastime'
Huffington Post - 2 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); We’d go caroling with this bunch any day. “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday joined a celebrity cast to sing Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime.” McCartney, of course, took center stage in this a cappella version. The star-power alone of the chorus is enough to light up any holiday celebration. Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson are among the Hollywood heavyweights chiming in. ...
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Huffington Post article
Reese Witherspoon Teases The 'Scary' Finale Of 'Big Little Lies'
Huffington Post - 2 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Following the success of programs like “American Horror Story,” “Fargo” and “True Detective,” more and more networks have taken to airing limited series, miniseries or feature-length films.  HBO is gearing up to release its latest limited series, “Big Little Lies,” which is already gaining attention after the trailer ran during “Westworld” showings this fall. And, according to Reese Witherspoon ― who stars in the series alongside Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodle ...
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Huffington Post article
A Taylor Swift TV Channel Is Coming To A Screen Near You
Huffington Post - 3 months
Taylor Swift is officially one step closer to world domination.  On Monday, AT&T announced the launch of a new channel, called Taylor Swift Now, that will broadcast nothing but ― you guessed it ― Taylor Swift–related content all day, every day.  Variety reports the new channel “will be devoted to the videos, concert performances, behind-the-scenes footage, and more from Swift’s archives,” and will be a part of the company’s new DirecTV Now streaming service, which begins Wednesday (it’s unclear when Swift’s channel will launch). Swift’s channel will be available alongside traditional cable offerings including HGTV, FX and AMC. .@TaylorSwift13 fans have a new destination for unique and never seen videos, #TaylorSwiftNOW – coming soon, only on AT&T. pic.twitter.com/PY8FxiMddK — DIRECTV (@DIRECTV) November 28, 2016 Taylor Swift Now seems to be one product to come out of the multiyear promotional deal Swift signed with AT&T last month. Under that d ...
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Huffington Post article
This Is How Celebrities Are Celebrating Thanksgiving In 2016
Huffington Post - 3 months
It’s that time of year again! The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is a time for us to be thankful for all the things we hold near and dear to us. It’s also a time for us to stuff our faces with as much turkey and stuffing as we can eat while sitting through inevitable conversations about politics. (But hey, we say it’s time to Make Thanksgiving Awkward Again.)  Of course, the holidays aren’t just for us regular folk. Hollywood’s biggest stars also get in on the festive action.  From Gwyneth Paltrow to Eva Longoria, here’s a look at how some of our favorite stars spent their Turkey Day: Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin and their kids have a sweet reunion.  Here is to reunions, togetherness, family, and love love love. Happy thanksgiving eve, everyone. Love, gp A photo posted by Gwyneth Paltrow (@gwynethpaltrow) on Nov 23, 2016 at 4:27pm PST Lucy Hale prepared to eat herself “into oblivion.” Bye Australia you were so pretty! But it's ...
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Huffington Post article
KING: The Democratic Party deserves blame for electing Trump - New York Daily News
Google News - 3 months
New York Daily News KING: The Democratic Party deserves blame for electing Trump New York Daily News Reese Witherspoon and Daughter Ava Phillippe Look More Alike Than Ever -- See the New Pic! Carr extends thanks for intro at press conference: 'Not David'. Alec Baldwin to Take On Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton supporters mourn lost election. Ex-Rep. Live election results: It's over. Republicans will control the Senate.Vox all 1,769 news articles »
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Google News article
Accepting Facebook friend requests leads to longer life: study - New York Daily News
Google News - 4 months
New York Daily News Accepting Facebook friend requests leads to longer life: study New York Daily News Reese Witherspoon and Daughter Ava Phillippe Look More Alike Than Ever -- See the New Pic! Carr extends thanks for intro at press conference: 'Not David'. Alec Baldwin to Take On Donald Trump. Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson: The Next Gen Mobile ... Getting Facebook friend requests is linked to lower death ratesWashington Post Study Reveals Having More Online Social Connections Is Correlated To Reduced MortalityForbes Do the benefits of real friendships translate online?Reuters Globalnews.ca -Cosumnes Connection (subscription) -Jakarta Post -WXYZ all 29 news articles »
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Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Reese Witherspoon
    THIRTIES
  • 2016
    Age 39
    In 2016, Witherspoon and Papandrea split up, with Witherspoon gaining full control over the company.
    More Details Hide Details In 2013, Witherspoon recorded a cover of the classic Frank Sinatra and Nancy Sinatra duet, "Somethin' Stupid" with Michael Bublé for his 2013 album, To Be Loved. In May 2015, Reese launched Draper James, a retail brand with a focus on fashion, accessories and home décor inspired by the American South. The brand is named after Reese’s grandparents, Dorothea Draper and William James Witherspoon, who are said to be her greatest influences. The products are be manufactured and designed in-house, and the brand launched direct to consumers online before opening its first brick and mortar store in fall 2015 in Reese’s hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Witherspoon is actively involved in children's and women's advocacy organizations. She is a longtime supporter of Save the Children, an organization that helps provide children around the world with education, health care and emergency aid. She also serves on the board of the Children's Defense Fund, a child advocacy and research group. In 2006, she was among a group of actresses who went to New Orleans, Louisiana in a CDF project to publicize the needs of Hurricane Katrina victims. During this trip, she helped open the city's first Freedom School, as she met and talked with the children. Witherspoon later called this an experience that she would never forget. In 2007, Witherspoon made her first move into the world of endorsements, as she signed a multi-year agreement to serve as the first Global Ambassador of cosmetic company Avon Products.
  • 2015
    Age 38
    In 2015, Witherspoon was nominated for another Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in Wild.
    More Details Hide Details
    In December 2015, while Witherspoon's trademark claims to her name were rejected, for she had not established secondary meaning to her full name, that she did not claim "emotional distress" and the "photos and facts were generally known by the public and the photos were taken in public with Plaintiff's consent", the court ruled that she could proceed with her right of publicity claims against a number of defendants.
    More Details Hide Details Two months later, Witherspoon withdrew her lawsuit, having "come to private agreements with the various defendants, including Centerbrook Sales, Fragrance Hut, Gemvara, and others". Witherspoon has cited actresses like Meryl Streep, Holly Hunter, Frances McDormand, Debra Winger, Diane Ladd, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Jodie Foster, Goldie Hawn, Sally Field, Sigourney Weaver, Lucille Ball, Carole Lombard, Judy Holliday, Gena Rowlands and actors like Tom Hanks and Michael Keaton as influences in her acting. Her favorite films are Splendor in the Grass and Overboard.
    In 2015, Witherspoon made her second appearance among the Time 100, with her featured article being written by Mindy Kaling.
    More Details Hide Details The same year, she was awarded, by a unanimous vote from the committee, the American Cinematheque for being "a perfect example of an actress flourishing in today’s world" and "an active and successful movie producer who is moving her career forward both behind and in front of the camera". In June 2013, Witherspoon filed suit against Marketing Advantages International Inc., claiming it used her name and image extensively in jewelry advertising without her permission, both throughout the United States and internationally.
  • 2014
    Age 37
    Wild was released in December 2014 to critical acclaim; Michael Phillips of Chicago Tribune wrote in his review, "Witherspoon does the least acting of her career, and it works.
    More Details Hide Details Calmly yet restlessly, she brings to life Strayed's longings, her states of grief and desire and her wary optimism." Wild was promoted as Witherspoon's primary "comeback" vehicle following her previous career slump, and she earned her second Academy Award nomination for the role.
    In May 2014, Witherspoon began production in Louisiana on Hot Pursuit, a comedy in which she plays a police officer trying to protect a drug lord's widow (Sofia Vergara).
    More Details Hide Details The movie was released on May 8, 2015. Witherspoon has officially signed on to produce and play the title character in the upcoming Disney film, Tink, which will retell the story of Peter Pan through the eyes of Tinker Bell. Witherspoon owned a production company called Type A Films, which the media believed was a moniker honoring her childhood nickname "Little Miss Type A." However, when asked about the company by Interview magazine, she clarified the name's origin: " people think I named it after myself... It was actually an in-joke with my family because at age 7 I understood complicated medical terms, such as the difference between type A and type B personalities. But I just wished I'd named the company Dogfood Films or Fork or something. You carry that baggage all your life." In March 2012, Witherspoon merged Type A Films with producer Bruna Papandrea's Make Movies banner to create a new production company entitled Pacific Standard.
    It was then released in selected American theaters on May 9, 2014.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2013
    Age 36
    Indeed, Witherspoon and her producing partner "had little to do with the production of Gone Girl", leaving it to director David Fincher while focusing their efforts on another adaptation produced via Pacific Standard, that of Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild, which began production in fall 2013 on the same day as Gone Girl.
    More Details Hide Details Witherspoon starred in the project, portraying Strayed herself on her hike along the Pacific Crest Trail.
    Witherspoon shot a small role in Inherent Vice (2014), an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's novel, in Pasadena, California in summer 2013.
    More Details Hide Details Through her company Pacific Standard, Witherspoon served as a producer in the film adaptation of Gillian Flynn's novel Gone Girl, though she did not star.
    In April 2013, Witherspoon began production in Atlanta on Canadian director Philippe Falardeau's film The Good Lie.
    More Details Hide Details It is based on real-life events, about a brash American woman assigned to help four young Sudanese refugees (known as Lost Boys of Sudan) who win a lottery for relocation to the U.S. It was released on October 3, 2014.
  • 2011
    Age 34
    In recent years, however, her appearance in a number of movies that fared badly at the box office caused a turnabout in her status, and she has been noted as one of the most overpaid actors in Hollywood in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
    More Details Hide Details In April 2011, Witherspoon ranked 3rd on the 22nd annual People's Most Beautiful issue. On December 1, 2010, Witherspoon received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6262 Hollywood Blvd.
    Witherspoon's subsequent films signaled a departure from the love-triangle theme. In September 2011, a year after beginning work on This Means War, she filmed a small role in Jeff Nichols's coming-of-age drama Mud in Arkansas, playing Juniper, the former girlfriend of a fugitive (Matthew McConaughey), who enlists two local boys to help him evade capture and rekindle his romance with her. Mud premiered in May 2012 in competition for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, but did not win. Following its American debut at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2013, the film had a limited release in select North American theaters on April 26, 2013.
    More Details Hide Details Witherspoon next starred in Devil's Knot, which is based on Atom Egoyan's true crime book of the same name and examines the controversial case of the West Memphis Three. Like Mud, the film is set in Arkansas. Witherspoon played Pam Hobbs, the mother of one of three young murder victims. In an interview subsequent to her casting in the film, Egoyan noted that although the role requires "an emotionally loaded journey", he "met with Reese, and... talked at length about the project, and she's eager to take on the challenge". The movie was shot in Georgia in June and July 2012. Witherspoon was pregnant with her third child during filming. The film's world premiere was held on September 8, 2013 at the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • 2010
    Age 33
    In September 2010, Witherspoon began principal photography in Vancouver for the third love-triangle film, This Means War, a 20th Century Fox spy comedy directed by McG in which Witherspoon's character is at the center of a battle between best friends (played by Chris Pine and Tom Hardy) who are both in love with her.
    More Details Hide Details The film had a "sneak-peek" release on Valentine's Day, before fully opening on February 17, 2012. The film was panned by critics (with a 25% Rotten Tomatoes rating), and fared poorly at the box office, taking fifth place on its opening weekend with sales of $17.6 million. The New York Times remarked that this "extended the box office cold streak for the Oscar-winning Ms. Witherspoon."
    She began circus training in March 2010 for her role as Marlena, a glamorous performer stuck in a marriage to a volatile husband (Christoph Waltz) but intrigued by the circus's new veterinarian (Robert Pattinson).
    More Details Hide Details The movie was filmed between late May and early August 2010 in various locations in Tennessee, Georgia, and California. It was released on April 22, 2011 and received mixed critical reviews.
    Witherspoon and Toth announced their engagement in December 2010, and married on March 26, 2011 in Ojai, California, at Libbey Ranch, Witherspoon's country estate (which she since has sold).
    More Details Hide Details The couple's son, Tennessee James Toth, was born on September 27, 2012. Witherspoon has won numerous awards, including the BAFTA Award and the Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in Walk the Line in 2005.
    In early February 2010, it was reported that Witherspoon had begun dating Jim Toth, a talent agent and co-head of motion picture talent at the Creative Artists Agency, where Witherspoon is a client.
    More Details Hide Details
    Witherspoon returned with three films released in 2010, 2011 and 2012, all centered on her as a woman caught in a love triangle between two men.
    More Details Hide Details In a 2012 interview with MTV, Witherspoon jokingly referred to this trio of films as her "love triangle period". The first film was James L. Brooks's romantic comedy How Do You Know, which starred Witherspoon as a former national softball player who struggles to choose between a baseball star boyfriend (Owen Wilson) and a business executive being investigated for white-collar crime (Paul Rudd). The movie was filmed in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. during the summer and fall of 2009 and released on December 17, 2010. The movie was both a critical and box office failure. Despite an over-$100 million budget, the film earned only $7.6 million in its opening weekend, leading the Los Angeles Times to call it "one of the year's biggest flops". The movie earned mainly negative reviews from critics, scoring 35% on Rotten Tomatoes with 111 reviews as of late December 2010.
  • 2008
    Age 31
    However, Witherspoon did not appear in a live-action film for two years after the 2008 release of Four Christmases.
    More Details Hide Details She told Entertainment Weekly that the "break" was unplanned, stating that, "I just didn't read anything I liked... There are a lot of really, really, really big movies about robots and things - and there's not a part for a 34-year-old woman in a robot movie."
  • 2007
    Age 30
    In December 2007, Witherspoon began working with Vince Vaughn, filming the holiday comedy Four Christmases, a story about a couple who must spend their Christmas Day trying to visit all four of their divorced parents.
    More Details Hide Details The film was released in November 2008. Despite receiving only average reviews by critics, the movie became a box-office success, earning more than 120 million US dollars domestically and 157 million US dollars worldwide. In 2009, Witherspoon voiced Susan Murphy, the main character in DreamWorks' computer-animated 3-D feature film Monsters vs. Aliens, released in March 2009, and she also co-produced the Legally Blonde spin-off Legally Blondes, starring Milly and Becky Rosso.
    After her divorce was finalized in October 2007, they became more open about their relationship, mainly due to the release of paparazzi pictures of them vacationing together in Rome, Italy. They reportedly broke up in December 2009.
    More Details Hide Details
    Throughout 2007, there was persistent speculation in the mass media about a romantic relationship between Witherspoon and her Rendition co-star Jake Gyllenhaal.
    More Details Hide Details
    Witherspoon and Phillippe's final divorce documents were granted by the Los Angeles Superior Court on October 5, 2007.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 2007, she was selected by People and the entertainment news program Access Hollywood as one of the year's best-dressed female stars.
    More Details Hide Details The yellow dress she wore to that year's Golden Globe Awards was widely acclaimed. A study conducted by E-Poll Market Research showed that Witherspoon was the most likable female celebrity of 2007. That same year, Witherspoon established herself as the highest-paid actress in the American film industry, earning $15 to $20 million per film.
    The film was released in October 2007 and marked Witherspoon's first appearance in theaters since the 2005 release of Walk the Line.
    More Details Hide Details The movie received mostly negative reviews and was generally considered a disappointment at the Toronto International Film Festival. Witherspoon's performance was also criticized: "Reese Witherspoon is surprisingly lifeless", USA Today wrote, "She customarily injects energy and spirit into her parts, but here, her performance feels tamped down."
  • TWENTIES
  • 2006
    Age 29
    This period of Witherspoon's career began with the filming of the abduction thriller Rendition in November 2006.
    More Details Hide Details In the film, she plays Isabella El-Ibrahim, the pregnant wife of a bombing suspect.
    Witherspoon's first post-Oscar role came in the modern-day fairy tale Penelope, as Annie, the best friend of Penelope (Christina Ricci), a girl who has a curse in her family. The film was produced by her company Type A Films, with filming commencing in March 2006, immediately following Witherspoon's Oscar win for Walk the Line.
    More Details Hide Details Although the movie premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, the final release date of Penelope was delayed twice before an eventual February 2008 release. Following her critical success with Walk the Line, Witherspoon admits to spending several years "kind of floundering career-wise". Reflecting on this period of time in a December 2014 interview, Witherspoon attributed it to her separation from her first husband in October 2006 and their subsequent divorce, stating that she spent "a few years just trying to feel better. You know, you can't really be very creative when you feel like your brain is scrambled eggs." She claims that she "wasn't making things I was passionate about. I was just kind of working, you know. And it was really clear that audiences weren't responding to anything I was putting out there."
  • 2004
    Age 27
    In late 2004, Witherspoon began working alongside Mark Ruffalo on the romantic comedy Just Like Heaven.
    More Details Hide Details Her character, Elizabeth Masterson, is an ambitious young doctor who gets into a car accident on her way to a blind date and is left in a coma; her spirit returns to her old apartment where she later finds true love. Earlier that year Witherspoon was chosen to portray June Carter Cash, the second wife of country music singer-songwriter Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix), in Walk the Line. She never had the chance to meet Carter Cash, as Witherspoon was filming Vanity Fair at the time Carter Cash died. Witherspoon performed her own vocals in the film and her songs had to be performed in front of a live audience, she was so worried about needing to perform live that she asked her lawyer to terminate the film contract. "That was the most challenging part of the role," she later recalled in an interview, "I'd never sung professionally." Subsequently, she had to spend six months learning how to sing for the role. Witherspoon's portrayal of Carter Cash was well received by critics, and Roger Ebert wrote that her performance added "boundless energy" to the movie. She won several awards for her performance, including the Golden Globe Award, the Screen Actors Guild, the BAFTA and the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role. Besides critical success in the movie industry, Witherspoon and Phoenix received a nomination for "collaborative video of the year" from the CMT Music Awards.
    In 2004, Witherspoon starred in Vanity Fair, adapted from the 19th-century classic novel Vanity Fair and directed by Mira Nair.
    More Details Hide Details Her character, Becky Sharp, is a poor woman with a ruthless determination to find fortune and establish herself a position in society. Witherspoon was carefully costumed to conceal that during the filming she was pregnant with her second child. This pregnancy was not a hindrance to her work as Witherspoon believed the gestation had in fact helped her portrayal of Sharp's character: "I love the luminosity that pregnancy brings, I love the fleshiness, I love the ample bosom—it gave me much more to play with", she said. The film and Witherspoon's portrayal of Sharp received positive reviews, as The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Nair's cast is splendid. Witherspoon does justice to the juicy role by giving the part more buoyancy than naughtiness." At the same time, The Charlotte Observer called her work "an excellent performance that's soft around the edges" and the Los Angeles Times concluded that Becky is "a role Reese Witherspoon was born to play".
  • 2002
    Age 25
    Witherspoon received a $15 million paycheck for the role—a starting point to make her consistently one of Hollywood's highest-paid actresses from 2002 until 2010.
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    In 2002, after the success of Legally Blonde, Witherspoon starred in several roles, such as Greta Wolfcastle in The Simpsons episode "The Bart Wants What It Wants", and as Cecily in the comedy The Importance of Being Earnest, a film adaptation of Oscar Wilde's play in which she received a Teen Choice Award nomination.
    More Details Hide Details Later that year, she starred with Josh Lucas and Patrick Dempsey in Andy Tennant's film Sweet Home Alabama, where she played Melanie Carmichael, a young fashion designer who intends to marry a New York politician but must return to Alabama to divorce her childhood sweetheart, from whom she has been separated for seven years. Witherspoon regarded this as a "personal role", in that it reminded her of experiences she had when she moved from her hometown Nashville to Los Angeles. The movie became Witherspoon's biggest box office hit to date, earning over $35 million in the opening weekend and grossing over $127 million in the U.S. Despite the commercial success, critics gave Sweet Home Alabama negative reviews. It was called "a romantic comedy so rote, dull and predictable" by The Miami Herald, and the press widely agreed that Witherspoon was the only reason the movie attracted such a large audience. When describing Witherspoon's role in the movie, The Christian Science Monitor concluded, "She is not the movie's main attraction, she is its only attraction."
  • 2001
    Age 24
    Witherspoon hosted Saturday Night Live on September 29, 2001, the first episode to air after the September 11 attacks.
    More Details Hide Details In 2005, she was ranked No. 5 in Teen People magazine's list of most powerful young Hollywood actors. In 2006, Witherspoon was listed among the Time 100. Her featured article was written by Luke Wilson. In the same year, she was selected as one of the "100 Sexiest Women In The World" by the readers of FHM. Witherspoon has appeared on the annual Celebrity 100 list by Forbes magazine in 2006 and 2007, at No. 75 and No. 80, respectively. Forbes also put her on the top ten Trustworthy Celebrities list. She was listed among CEOWorld Magazines Top Accomplished Women Entertainers. In 2006, Star fabricated a story saying Witherspoon was pregnant with her third child, which led to Witherspoon suing the magazine's parent company American Media Inc in Los Angeles Superior Court for privacy violation. She sought unspecified general and punitive damages in the lawsuit, asserting that the claim harmed her reputation because it suggested she was hiding the news from producers of her upcoming films. Witherspoon has been featured four times in the annual "100 Most Beautiful" issues of People magazine.
    The 2001 film Legally Blonde marked a turning point in Witherspoon's career; she starred as Elle Woods, a fashion-merchandising major who decides to become a law student in order to follow her ex-boyfriend to Harvard Law School.
    More Details Hide Details Witherspoon said about the role, "When I read Legally Blonde, I was like, 'She's from Beverly Hills, she's rich, she's in a sorority. She has a great boyfriend. Oh yeah, she gets dumped. Who cares? I still hate her.' So we had to make sure she was the kind of person you just can't hate." Legally Blonde was a box-office hit, grossing US$96 million domestically. Witherspoon's performance earned her praise from critics, as the press began referring to her as "the new Meg Ryan". Roger Ebert commented, "Witherspoon effortlessly animated this material with sunshine and quick wit", and Salon.com noted that "she Witherspoon delineates Elle's character beautifully". Meanwhile, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer concluded, "Witherspoon is a talented comedian who can perk up a scene just by marching in full of pep and drive and she powers this modest little comedy almost single-handedly." For her work, Witherspoon garnered her second Golden Globe Best Actress nomination and an MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance.
  • 2000
    Age 23
    In 2000, Witherspoon played a supporting role in American Psycho and made a cameo appearance in Little Nicky.
    More Details Hide Details She also guest starred in season six of Friends as Rachel Green's sister Jill. The next year, Witherspoon voiced Serena in the animated film The Trumpet of the Swan, produced by Crest Animation Productions.
  • 1999
    Age 22
    In 1999, Witherspoon starred alongside Alessandro Nivola in the drama thriller Best Laid Plans; she played Lissa, a woman who schemes with her lover Nick to escape a small dead-end town.
    More Details Hide Details Also that year co-starred with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe in the drama film Cruel Intentions, a modern take on the 18th-century French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The San Francisco Chronicle praised her performance as Annette Hargrove: "Witherspoon is especially good in the least flashy role, and even when called upon to make a series of cute devilish faces, she pulls it off." She also appeared in a music video by Marcy Playground for the film's soundtrack and starred with Matthew Broderick in Election which is based on Tom Perrotta's novel. For her portrayal of Tracy Flick, she received vast critical acclaim and won the Best Actress Award from the National Society of Film Critics and the Online Film Critics Society, a first Golden Globe nomination and an Independent Spirit Award nomination. Witherspoon also received a rank on the list of 100 Greatest Film Performances of All Time by Premiere. Director Alexander Payne said of her, "She's got that quality that men find attractive, while women would like to be her friend. But that's just the foundation. Nobody else is as funny or brings such charm to things. She can do anything."
  • 1998
    Age 21
    In 1998, Witherspoon had major roles in three movies: Overnight Delivery, Pleasantville and Twilight.
    More Details Hide Details In Pleasantville, she starred with Tobey Maguire in a tale about 1990s teenage siblings who are magically transported into the setting of a 1950s television series. She portrayed the sister, Jennifer, who is mainly concerned about appearances, relationships and popularity. Her performance received good reviews and garnered her the Young Hollywood Award for Best Female Breakthrough Performance. Director Gary Ross said he firmly believed Witherspoon would be an outstanding movie star.
  • 1997
    Age 20
    Witherspoon met actor Ryan Phillippe at her 21st birthday party in March 1997. They became engaged in December 1998 and married near Charleston, South Carolina, on June 5, 1999, at Old Wide Awake Plantation.
    More Details Hide Details The couple had two children together, daughter, Ava (born 1999), and son, Deacon (born 2003). In October 2006, Witherspoon and Phillippe announced that they were separating. The following month Witherspoon filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. In her petition, she sought joint legal and sole physical custody of their children, with full visitation rights for Phillippe. With no prenuptial agreement, they would be entitled to half of all assets gained during the marriage under California law—with Witherspoon's being the more significant. Witherspoon requested that the court grant no spousal support for Phillippe, and he did not contest. On May 15, 2007, he filed for joint physical custody of their children and made no motion to block Witherspoon from seeking support from him.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1996
    Age 19
    In 1996, Witherspoon starred in two major films, the thriller Fear alongside Mark Wahlberg (whom she dated), as Nicole Walker, a teenage girl who starts dating a man with obsessive tendencies, and the black-comedy thriller Freeway, alongside Kiefer Sutherland and Brooke Shields, where she had the lead role.
    More Details Hide Details Her character, Vanessa Lutz, is a poor girl living in Los Angeles, who encounters a serial killer on the way to her grandmother's home in Stockton. The film received positive reviews from the press. Among them was the San Francisco Chronicle, with Mick LaSalle commenting, "Witherspoon, who does a Texas accent, is dazzling, utterly believable in one extreme situation after the other." Witherspoon's performance won her the Best Actress Award at the Cognac Police Film Festival and firmly established her as a rising star. The making of the film also gave Witherspoon significant acting experience; as she said, "Once I overcame the hurdle of that movie – which scared me to death – I felt like I could try anything."
    Her parents are still legally married, although they separated in 1996.
    More Details Hide Details Because Witherspoon's father worked for the U.S. military in Wiesbaden, Germany, she lived there for four years as a child. After returning to the U.S., she spent her childhood in Nashville, Tennessee in the suburb of Belle Meade. She was raised as an Episcopalian. Her older brother, John Jr. is a real estate agent. She received high grades in school, loved reading, and considered herself "a big dork who read loads of books." On mentioning her love for books, she said, "I get crazy in a bookstore. It makes my heart beat hard because I want to buy everything." Witherspoon attended middle school at Harding Academy and graduated from the all-girls' Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, during which time she was a cheerleader. She attended Stanford University as an English literature major. After completing one year of studies, she left Stanford to pursue an acting career. Witherspoon is proud of the "definitive Southern upbringing" which she received. She said that it gave her "a sense of family and tradition" and taught her about "being conscientious about people's feelings, being polite, being responsible and never taking for granted what you have in your life." Witherspoon is described as a "multi-achiever" and was given the nickname "Little Type A" by her parents. On discussing her early achievements, she told Interview magazine, "I just don't see any of it as that remarkable.
  • 1994
    Age 17
    The next year, Witherspoon had another leading role as Wendy Pfister in the 1994 film S.F.W., directed by Jefery Levy.
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  • 1993
    Age 16
    In 1993, she played a young wife in the CBS miniseries Return to Lonesome Dove, Nonnie Parker in the Disney film A Far Off Place and had a minor role in Jack the Bear, which garnered her the Young Artist Award for Best Youth Actress Co-star.
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  • 1992
    Age 15
    In 1992, Witherspoon appeared in the TV movie Desperate Choices: To Save My Child, portraying a critically ill young girl.
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  • 1991
    Age 14
    In 1991, Witherspoon attended an open casting call for The Man in the Moon, intending to audition as a bit player; she was instead cast for the lead role of Dani Trant, a 14-year-old country girl who falls in love for the first time with her 17-year-old neighbor.
    More Details Hide Details Her performance was regarded as "memorably touching" by Variety magazine, and critic Roger Ebert commented, "Her first kiss is one of the most perfect little scenes I've ever seen in a movie." For this role, Witherspoon was nominated for the Young Artist Award Best Young Actress. Later that year, she made her television debut role in Wildflower with Patricia Arquette.
  • 1988
    Age 11
    In 1988, her mother began nursing babies back to health in the neonatal intensive care unit of Vanderbilt University Hospital until she retired.
    More Details Hide Details Witherspoon has claimed descent from Scottish-born John Witherspoon, who signed the United States Declaration of Independence; however, this claim has not been verified by the Society of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence genealogists.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1976
    Born
    Witherspoon was born on March 22, 1976 in Southern Baptist Hospital, New Orleans, Louisiana, while her father, Dr. John Draper Witherspoon, was a student at Tulane University medical school.
    More Details Hide Details Her father was born in Georgia and served as a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army Reserve. He was in private practice as an otolaryngologist until 2012. Her mother, Mary Elizabeth "Betty" (née Reese), is from Harriman, Tennessee, and earned a BS and master's degrees in Nursing, and a doctor of education; she worked as a professor of nursing (child care and mental health) at Vanderbilt University.
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