Bullock produces and stars as an FBI profiler in the psychological thriller Murder by Numbers, She quietly begins dating costar Ryan Gosling (right), who is 16 years younger than Bullock. The two date for more than a year, but keep their relationship very private.
Bullock plays Ellen Burstyn's daughter in the chick-flick Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and stars in what she calls her last romantic comedy: Two Weeks Notice with Hugh Grant (left). "I had the ultimate romantic partner in Hugh Grant. So I've done that nice chapter in my life, and that chapter is closed...I'd rather go watch one than be in one because I wouldn't buy it if I was doing it now," she tells Vogue.
While touring the set of vehicle-makeover show Monster Garage with her godson, Bullock meets tattooed motorcycle tycoon Jesse James. They soon begin dating and become secretly engaged the following year. Bullock wears a 1910 Tiffany & Co. vintage engagement ring from jeweler Neil Lane's private collection on her left index finger.
Bullock plays a prejudice, spoiled politician's wife in the Oscar-winning film Crash, a multicharacter study of L.A. race relations also starring Don Cheadle, Thandie Newton and Ryan Phillippe. Bullock's small role in the drama ensemble, which earns her and her costars a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Cast, "gave me so much pride," she tells PEOPLE. "It was re-inspiring."
"I always thought of marriage as a death sentence," Bullock tells Vanity Fair, "that there'd be a ball and chain, and you'd be told, 'You need to stop doing these things and become a good little wife'." In spite of her negative outlook, she marries James and becomes stepmother to his three children. "My love and my want for their future and their happiness, for their homework to be done and for them to know how smart and beautiful they are is no less than if I'd had a child on my own," she tells PEOPLE.
Bullock is applauded for her portrayal of author Harper Lee in the Truman Capote biopic Infamous. "It's a very scary undertaking," Bullock tells Vogue, of playing Lee. "I'm sort of in a new phase in life where I don't want to do anything that doesn't petrify me, even if it's not well received. It's good to do things that scare the shit out of you...It's not the lead, but it helps tell Truman's story and it's scary. But this chapter's all about scary stuff."
A woman tries to run over Bullock's husband James, 38, with her Mercedes. Bullock, 42, as well as James' 10-year-old son, Jesse Jr., witness the attack outside their Sunset Beach home. Although James is unharmed, the woman, identified as Marcia Valentine, 46, is charged with two felonies for assault and stalking.
With two new films out in the spring (All About Steve and The Proposal with Ryan Reynolds), romantic comedy queen Bullock is slated to take over the box office, but it's her personal life that truly brings her joy. "My greatest joy is making our home what it's supposed to be," Bullock tells In Style. "Being a good wife, a good stepmom, a good current wife to the ex-wife. We're a family."
Bullock stars as Ryan Reynolds' overbearing boss and faux fiancée in The Proposal. With both celebs stripping down for a nude scene in the film, Bullock shares her secret to looking sexy onscreen. "You know why I looked hot? Because everyone was looking at Ryan," she tells Glamour. The film rakes in more than $314 million worldwide.
As her heartfelt football drama The Blind Side breaks box office records, Bullock, 45, becomes the first female star to lead a film into the $200 million mark. "I've never had this many opportunities in my lifetime," she tells EW. In 2010, her performance earns Bullock – who wins a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award – her first Oscar.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Tony Barson/WireImage; Everett Collection; Mark J. Terrill/AP; Kobal Collection/Wireimage; Deana Newcomb/Warner Bros; Marion Curtis/Startraks; Touchstone Pictures