Birth Name: Reese Witherspoon
Birth Date: March 22nd, 1976
Birth Place: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon has created the kind of unforgettable characters that connect with critics and audiences alike, making her one of Hollywood’s most sought after actresses.
Her extraordinary performance as June Carter Cash opposite Joaquin Phoenix in the Twentieth Century Fox drama Walk the Line, earned her the 2006 Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, a BAFTA, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, New York Film Critics Award, Broadcast Film Critics Award, People’s Choice Award – and 11 additional honors.
Since 2007, Witherspoon currently serves as Avon’s Global Ambassador and Honorary Chairman of the Avon Foundation for Women representing a company with a conscience and strong rights for women’s empowerment. Witherspoon strongly supports the passage of the International Violence Against Women’s Act, which creates a comprehensive approach to combat violence.
Although low key about her ongoing charity work, Witherspoon has been active on behalf of the Rape Treatment Center at the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Save the Children. She currently serves on the board of the Children’s Defense Fund, with whom she has been involved for many years, raising money and awareness for their many programs. Last year, she went to New Orleans with a group of women to open the first “Freedom School” there, and they have since endowed thirteen more community centers in the area.
She was recently seen in How Do You Know, a romantic comedy centered on the love triangle between professional softball player Lisa Jorgenson, a corporate executive and a major league pitcher. Directed by Academy Award winning writer-director James L. Brooks, Witherspoon starred alongside Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson.
Previously, Witherspoon starred in Monsters vs. Aliens. She voiced the role of Susan Murphy, who becomes the 49-foot tall Ginormica after the Earth is hit by a meteorite. She is rounded up and taken to a secret facility where she meets other monsters. In a desperate attempt to save the planet from impending destruction from outer space, the President asks this motley crew to help.
Before that, she starred opposite Vince Vaughn in New Line’s hit comedy Four Christmases. The film follows a couple as they struggle to visit their four divorced parents for Christmas and the antics that ensue. To date, the film has grossed $156 million worldwide. Witherspoon was nominated for a 2009 Kids Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actress.
Her illustrious career began when at the age of 14, she hoped to be an extra in Robert Mulligan’s coming-of-age drama, The Man in the Moon, and unexpectedly landed the lead. Previous films include the ensemble thriller, Rendition, directed by Gavin Hood, whose previous effort Tsotsi, won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. With a cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep, Peter Saarsgard and Alan Arkin, the film premiered at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival; as a spirit who refuses to accept her death in the romantic comedy, Just Like Heaven, and as one of the most indelible characters in English literature, the social climbing Becky Sharpe in Mira Nair’s revisionist take on the Thackery novel, Vanity Fair. She capture the hearts of girls everywhere with her endearing performance as Elle Woods in the surprise hit Legally Blonde and again two years later as both producer and star in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde, in which Elle Woods takes on Washington politics in defense of her beloved Chihuahua, Bruiser.
Additional film projects include Sweet Home Alabama, which was the largest opening at the time for a female-driven romantic comedy; and Election as the indelible Tracy Flick, whose mere existence torments her teacher Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick). Directed by Alexander Payne, this brilliantly reviewed satirically edged comedy earned Witherspoon a Best Actress Award from the National Society of Film Critics as well as a Golden Globe nomination.
In addition, Witherspoon starred in Sony Pictures’ teen cult classic Cruel Intentions in which she played the object of focus for an upper east side step-siblings’ wicked games; Pleasantville, written and directed by Gary Ross, in which Witherspoon and Tobey Maguire played modern-day siblings who find themselves trapped in the wholesome world of a 1950’s sitcom. In 1995, Witherspoon starred opposite Mark Wahlberg in the pulpy thriller, Fear, and received rave reviews for her performance in the independent feature, Freeway, a wildly conceived modern version of “Little Red Riding Hood” produced by Oliver Stone, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and aired to record-breaking numbers on HBO.
Witherspoon’s production company, Type A Films, in addition to producing Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde and Four Christmases produced the modern fairy tale Penelope, starring Christina Ricci and James McAvoy.