Biography: Reese Witherspoon

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.

In December 2010, Witherspoon received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her extraordinary performance as June Carter Cash opposite Joaquin Phoenix in the Twentieth Century Fox biopic 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, and People’s Choice Award, in addition to 11 other awards.

She is currently in production on Mud, directed by award-winning filmmaker Jeff Nichols.

Witherspoon was last seen in the adaptation of the best-selling novel Water For Elephants with Robert Pattinson and Christopher Waltz, and How Do You Know, a romantic comedy directed by Academy Award winning writer-director James L. Brooks, starring alongside Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson.

Since 2007, Witherspoon has served 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. 

In 2010, Witherspoon was 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.

Previously, Witherspoon 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. Witherspoon starred n 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, Rendition premiered at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival. Witherspoon portrayed a spirit who refuses to accept her death in the romantic comedy Just Like Heaven, and played 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 captured 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; 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 Reese a Best Actress Award from the National Society of Film Critics as well as a Golden Globe® nomination; 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 she 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 and Four Christmases, produced the modern fairy tale Penelope, starring Christina Ricci and James McAvoy.

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox. This Means War open nationwide February 14th

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