Reese Witherspoon first appeared on the screen as an unknown actress with blonde curls and a southern twang before becoming an Academy Award winner, a fashion icon, and the head of her own production business. The seasoned actress, who is now a mother of two children (her daughter Ava and her son Deacon), has had a great career in and out of the movie industry.
Image Source: Vanity Fair
A Quick Glance At Reese Witherspoon
- Born: March 22, 1976
- Age: 46
- Occupation: Actress, Producer
- Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
- Notable Projects: The Mindy Project, Big Little Lies
- Instagram: reesewitherspoon
Reese Witherspoon – Most Iconic Roles
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Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon is an American actress and producer best known for her roles in:
- Legally Blonde
- Sweet Home Alabama
- Wild (for which she was nominated for an Academy Award)
- HBO’s Big Little Lies
- Walk the Line (which won her an Academy Award)
- Gone Girl
- Little Fires Everywhere
- The Morning Show through her production firm, Hello Sunshine.
Witherspoon’s audition for a minor role in The Man in the Moon pleased the casting director enough that she was offered the leading role, triggering her acting debut. She reinforced her icon status a decade later when she starred as Elle Woods in the classic film Legally Blonde. The movie is full of envious fashion moments, but it also has some one-liners that have remained in today’s common lexicon (for example, “Bend and snap!”). Almost 20 years after its initial release, Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling are working on Legally Blonde 3, which will be released in May 2022.
In 2015, the Walk the Line actress launched Draper James, a clothing line for women and children that blends parts of her Southern ancestry, which she frequently promotes with her Instagram followers. A year later, she launched Hello Sunshine, a multimedia firm dedicated to telling female-centered tales. The production firm has created significant hits such as Gone Girl and Big Little Lies, both of which the actress starred in.
For the last 30 years, Witherspoon’s illustrious career has given rise to many fascinating films and TV shows that have allowed fans to watch her skill in action. L’OFFICIEL commemorates the actress’ 46th birthday by revisiting some of her finest on-screen roles.
The Man In The Moon (1991)
The part that began it all, Witherspoon made her film debut at the age of 15 in The Man in the Moon as Dani Trant, a teenage girl living in 1957 Louisiana who falls in love with her neighbor but is crushed when he begins dating her older sister. Critics complimented the movie and Witherspoon’s performance.
Cruel Intentions (1999)
After appearing in various films, the actress participated in the sensual ’90s drama Cruel Intentions. Witherspoon plays Annette Hargrove, a cautious newcomer to New York who navigates her growing romance with the cunning Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe). Her on-screen relationship blossomed into an actual marriage with Phillippe, with whom she has two children, Ava and Deacon.
The movie is based on Tom Perotta’s 1998 novel Election. An exceptionally talented high school senior hellbent on becoming student body president, Reese Witherspoon as Tracy Flick made her first Golden Globe nomination. Matthew Broderick and Chris Klein both appear in the film.
American Psycho (2000)
While most people know American Psycho for Christian Bale’s frightening role as serial murderer Patrick Bateman, Witherspoon appeared as Patrick’s fiancée Evelyn, a wealthy woman who is oblivious of her partner’s horrible deeds.
Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
After fleeing to New York City to launch a thriving design business, Witherspoon’s newly engaged character, Melanie, is forced to return home to small-town Alabama to finalize her divorce from her childhood beau. It’s a heartwarming picture with a stellar cast (Patrick Dempsey, Candice Bergen, etc.). And who would forget Tiffany & Co.’s proposal scene?
- Streaming Platform: Sweet Home Alabama
- Movie Trailer: Sweet Home Alabama (2002) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers
Walk The Line (2005)
The actress co-stars with Joaquin Phoenix in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line as June Carter Cash, the country musician’s longtime lover, and muse. Her outstanding performance earned her the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Actress.
- Streaming Platform: Walk the Line
- Movie Trailer: Walk the Line (2005) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers
Witherspoon shifted to a different type of character in Wild in 2014. A book-based movie of the same name, the film follows newly divorced Cheryl Strayed as she hikes the Pacific Coast Trail. She thinks about her life on her 94-day trip, hoping to find a new perspective of purpose and direction. Witherspoon gained widespread acclaim from reviewers and nominations for Best Actress at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards.
- Streaming Platform: Wild 2014
- Movie Trailer: Wild Official Trailer (2014) – Reese Witherspoon Movie HD
Little Fires Everywhere (2020)
Reese Witherspoon’s most recent role transports viewers to the 1990s in Little Fires Everywhere, a Hulu show based on the novel of the same name by Celeste Ng. Witherspoon and Kerry Washington play ordinary housewife Elena Richardson and wandering artist Mia Warren. The two neighbors lived in a shaky concord before being entangled in their friends’ custody fight.
- Streaming Platform: Amazon Prime
- Movie Trailer: Little Fires Everywhere | Official Trailer | Prime Video
Childhood and Early Life
Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon was born on March 22, 1976, at the Southern Baptist Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana, to parents John Draper Witherspoon and Mary Elizabeth. Her dad was a Lieutenant in the United States Army, and her mother was a nursing professor at Vanderbilt University. During her early youth, Witherspoon’s father was stationed in the territory then known as West Germany, and the family returned to Nashville, Tennessee, when she was four years old.
She attended Harpeth Academy before transferring to Harpeth Hall School. At the latter, Witherspoon was a cheerleader.
When Witherspoon was just seven years old, she featured in a commercial for a local flower shop, and four years later, she participated in a talent show. These appearances gave her the courage to pursue a career as a full-time actor. Despite being a solid student, she dropped out of Stanford University after a year to pursue a career in acting. She had enrolled at the university to pursue English Literature.
Reese Witherspoon made her cinematic debut in 1991 with ‘The Man in the Moon,’ and critics praised her performance as a rural teenager. She starred in the TV-only picture ‘Wildflower’ alongside Diane Keaton the same year and the following year in another TV movie titled Desperate Choices: To Save My Child.
In the early 1990s, Witherspoon appeared in television shows and films such as Return to Lonesome Drive and Disney projects such as A Far Away Place. Her career was upgraded in 1996 when she co-starred in the film ‘Fear’ with Mark Wahlberg. Later that year, she collaborated with Brooke Shields in the comedy thriller ‘Freeway.’ Both films were commercially successful.
Watch Return to Lonesome Drive online: Hulu
Witherspoon took a break from acting career for a spell but returned in 1998, appearing in three films that year. ‘Pleasantville,’ ‘Twilight,’ and the romantic comedy Overnight Delivery. ‘Pleasantville’ was her most successful rollout of the three. In the following year, she released Cruel Intentions and the critically praised Election. Reese Witherspoon starred in Legally Blonde in 2001. The picture proved to be the major break in her career, garnering worldwide fame and critical acclaim.
Following the triumph of Legally Blonde, she starred in The Importance of Being Earnest, Sweet Home Alabama, and the commercially successful but critically panned sequel Legally Blonde 2: Red White And Blue.
Mira Nair cast Witherspoon in the film Vanity Fair in 2004, and it was without a doubt the most challenging job the actress had done in her career up to that point. The film was a success, and critics praised Witherspoon’s portrayal of the ambitious Becky Sharp. Reese Witherspoon played Johnny Cash’s second wife, June Carter Cash, in the 2005 film Walk the Line and delivered possibly her best career performance. Critics such as Roger Ebert were effusive in their praise, and Witherspoon went on to win the most prestigious prizes for the picture, including the Academy Award for Best Actress, the BAFTA, the Screen Guilds Awards, and the Golden Globe.
In 2007, Witherspoon co-starred with Vince Vaughn in the sitcom Four Christmases, a commercial success. Over the next few years, she appeared in films such as How Do You Know, This Means War, Water for Elephants, and Mud. She starred in The Good Lie in 2014. Still, her other movie that year, Wild, garnered all the attention, and her role as a woman damaged by catastrophes won her an Academy Award nod for best actress.
Legally Blonde is one of Reese Witherspoon’s most significant commercial hits. Still, it is impossible to go past Walk the Line, a film widely regarded as her best in her performance as an actress. She received the Academy Award for Best Actress and the BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Screen Guilds Awards for her performance.
Achievements & Awards
- For her work in the 2005 film ‘Walk the Line,’ Reese Witherspoon received the Academy Award for Best Actress, the BAFTA, the Golden Globes, and the Screen Guilds Awards. She is still one of the few actors who have received those honors.
- In 2006, Witherspoon was named to the ‘TIME 100’ list, and in the same year, People Magazine voted her one of the ‘100 Most Beautiful’ in the special edition.
Personal History and Legacy
Reese Witherspoon married co-star Ryan Phillips in 1999, but they separated in 2007. The couple has two children: Ava, a daughter, and Deacon, a son. From 2005 to 2007, she was in a loving relationship with actor Jake Glynehall. Two years later, the relationship terminated.
Reese Witherspoon married Jim Toth, a Hollywood talent agent, in 2011. Tennessee James Toth is the couple’s son.
Reese Witherspoon Facts That Will Astound You
Reese Witherspoon, our favorite Southern belle, has won us over with her movie representations of multidimensional women, from the gorgeous Elle Woods to the ethically dubious Elena Richardson, throughout her three-decade career. But, as much as we love witnessing the 45-year-old actress morph on screen, we have to admit that there’s a lot we didn’t even know about Witherspoon until recently. For example, did you know she retained 60 dresses from her role as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde? Or that she passed up a chance to return to Friends? If you thought it was shocking, keep reading for much more Reese Witherspoon trivia.
Before Becoming an Actor, Witherspoon Studied English Literature.
Reese Witherspoon may not have gone to Harvard Law School like her character, Elle, but reality isn’t far from the truth. Witherspoon attended English literature at Stanford University in the 1990s before leaving in 1996 to pursue acting full-time. Over a decade later, the actress returned to her alma mater and even visited her former dorm.
Witherspoon was Subjected To A Third-Grade Suspension For Selling Custom-Barrettes.
During an interview with Vogue in 2019, Witherspoon confessed that she was accused of running her own custom-barrette company from her desk when she was in third grade. She was redecorating store-bought barrettes with paint pens and selling them for a profit, but that all stopped when one of her pens dripped on her desk.
Ironically, Witherspoon Isn’t Very Excited About Performing In Front Of A Live Audience.
Remember when Witherspoon was Rachel’s (Jennifer Aniston) younger sister in Friends? In 2019, AP Entertainment approached her to play the part again, but she declined because she was too nervous in front of live crowds. She told Aniston during the broadcast interview, “I never did it again. Did you know they asked me again? ‘No, I can’t do it,’ I answered. I was too terrified.”
Witherspoon hosted Saturday Night Live in 2015, making her the first person to do so since the 9/11 attacks. The experience was equally nerve-racking for the actress, who characterized it as “terrifying.”
Witherspoon Wanted To Star In “Gone Girl” As Amy.
It isn’t easy to envision anyone besides Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne, but it turns out that Witherspoon (who produced the film) genuinely contemplated playing the role. On the other hand, Director David Fincher didn’t think she was a good fit. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “I was always willing to do it, but when David Fincher says he wants to do something, you simply sit back and say, ‘Whatever you want to do.’ So we had a long talk in which he said, ‘You’re not the proper person for it.’ And here’s why.’ And I indeed agreed with him entirely.”
Most Of Elle’s Outfits From “Legally Blond” Were Taken Home By Witherspoon.
She retained 60 (yes, sixty) of her character’s costumes in the legendary film to keep them from being sold off on the internet. “It truly disturbs me,” she told Hollywood.com. It freaks me out to think of some weirdo in Wisconsin sniffing the seams.”
“It’s all in the closet,” she added. But, my daughter will be able to play with it one day.” (Perhaps Reese Witherspoon’s mini-her will make an unexpected cameo in one of these songs in Legally Blonde 3.)
All About Witherspoon’s Fiction
The Academy Award-winning actress takes us into the fascinating world of Southern etiquette, parties, cooking, and tradition with an exceptional blend of writing style and aesthetics. Enjoy the words of Reese Witherspoon in her first book, Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits (2018).
Reese Witherspoon Movies
||Adventure, Family, Fantasy|
|3. Gone Girl (2014)||Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Drama|
|4. The Good Lie (2014)||Drama|
|5. Wild (2014)||Biography, Drama, Adventure|
|6. Mud (2012)||Drama|
|7. Just Like Heaven (2005)||Fantasy, Comedy, Romance|
|8. Walk the Line (2005)||Drama, Music, Romance, Biography|
|9. Sweet Home Alabama (2002)||Romance, Comedy|
|10. Freeway (1996)||Crime, Thriller, Comedy, Drama|
|11. The Man in the Moon (1991)||Drama, Romance|
|2006||Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role||Walk the Line (2005)|
Golden Globe Awards
|2006||Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical||Walk the Line (2005)|