Reese Witherspoon: Snapshot

Reese Witherspoon
Date of Birth
March 22, 1976
Birth Place
New Orleans, La.
With a knack for playing unflappable charmers who don't take no for an answer, Reese Witherspoon zoomed from critics' darling to A-list star with the box-office success of the collegiate comedy Legally Blonde.

Her bubbly Blonde role as Elle Woods spawned a sequel that earned the petite powerhouse a $15 million paycheck! But it was her portrayal of June Carter Cash in Walk the Line that nabbed her a Best Actress Oscar just days before her 30th birthday.

That year of triumph ended in sadness when her seven-year marriage to Cruel Intentions costar Ryan Phillippe (with whom she has two children) fell apart. But Witherspoon picked up the pieces, dating Rendition costar Jake Gyllenhaal, for two years, before giving marriage a second chance with Hollywood agent Jim Toth. The couple welcomed son Tennessee James in Sept. 2012, but faced legal woes shortly after, when both were arrested and jailed for suspicion of driving under the influence and disorderly conduct.

Reese Witherspoon: Video

People Video

From sweet southern belle to red carpet stunner, see how the mom of two stepped up her style to be one of Hollywood's best dressed (02:25)

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Reese Witherspoon: Five Fun Facts

  1. Reese Witherspoon has a French bulldog named Coco Chanel, who she likes to put pearls on.
  2. Reese Witherspoon is a descendant of John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
  3. Reese Witherspoon joked to Elle magazine: "Why do Southern women make bad prostitutes? Cuz we have to write so many thank-you notes!"
  4. Reese Witherspoon is "obsessed with Tupperware," she told PEOPLE, and can't walk by a Container Store without stopping.
  5. Reese Witherspoon named her production company, Type A Films, after her childhood nickname. Type A's first project was 2008's romantic fable Penelope, starring Christina Ricci as a pig-faced girl looking for true love.

Reese Witherspoon: Biography


Reese Witherspoon

A Budding Career

Witherspoon breaks into modeling and lands an acting gig at age 7, shooting a TV commercial for a florist. She continues doing local commercials and takes first place in a Ten-State Talent Fair at age 11.


Reese Witherspoon


Girl Empowerment

The Nashville debutante develops her confidence while attending an all-girls high school. "I really believe in single-sex education," she tells PEOPLE in 2002. "There are no inhibitions. You can walk to school with your zit cream on and your hair in rollers and nobody cares."


Reese Witherspoon

October 04

A Tender Debut

At 14, Witherspoon debuts in the coming-of-age drama The Man in the Moon, giving her first onscreen kiss to costar Jason London. She makes her television premiere the same year in the Diane Keaton-directed drama Wildflower.

Read More on Reese Witherspoon's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Splash

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): RUSS HARRINGTON; Splash News; Samuel Goldwyn/Everett

Edited by Julia Wang

Reese Witherspoon

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