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If you recognize Reese Witherspoon from your favorite romantic comedy, or your favorite series, then you have come to the right place, because we are about to tell you a lot more about this brilliant and versatile actress. Reese Witherspoon has had a commendable career in Hollywood and is undoubtedly one of the more successful actresses, who has also produced movies in the span of her career. The more you learn about this exceptional woman, the more you fall in love with her, her work and the characters that she plays.
Reese Witherspoon has an exciting year ahead of her, with a intriguing romantic comedy on the way! So, buckle in and keep reading to find out everything you need to know about Reese Witherspoon, from her net worth, to her biography, to her dating history and much more:
Reese Witherspoon makes somewhere between $20 million and $40 million annually. Her estimated net worth in 2023 is $300 million. Her film salary is over $250 million to date. She also earns $1.25 million per episode of Apple TV+’s The Morning Show. Witherspoon owns a fashion and home décor line called Draper James. She also founded and co-owns the media company Hello Sunshine and its subsidiary Pacific Standard. Hello, Sunshine has produced movies, television shows, podcasts, and web series, including Where the Crawdads Sing, The Morning Show, Big Little Lies, Gone Girl, and Amazon Prime’s upcoming Daisy Jones & the Six.
Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon was born at Southern Baptist Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana, on March 22, 1976. She decided she wanted to take acting lessons when she was seven years old after being chosen as a model for a florist’s television advertisements. When she was 11 years old, she won first place in the Ten-State Talent Fair. She attended Harding Academy and graduated from Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, Tennessee. She attended Stanford University for a time as an English literature major, but she did not complete her degree as her acting career took off.
In 1991, Witherspoon was cast as the lead in The Man in the Moon after attending an open casting call and auditioning for a much smaller role. She was nominated for the Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress for her performance. In the same year, she made her television debut when she appeared in Wildflower alongside Patricia Arquette. She acted in several other projects over the next few years before starring in the 1996 thriller Fear with Mark Wahlberg and Freeway with Brooke Shields and Kiefer Sutherland in the same year.
She later won the Young Hollywood Award for Best Female Breakthrough Performance when she starred in Pleasantville with Tobey Maguire in 1998. In the same year, she also starred in Twilight and Overnight Delivery. In 1999, she starred in Best Laid Plans with Alessandro Nivola and Cruel Intentions with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe, her future husband. She had a supporting role in American Psycho as Patrick Bateman’s girlfriend, and she had a guest role in Friends as Rachel’s (Jennifer Aniston’s) sister Jill.
Witherspoon’s breakout role came with 2001’s Legally Blonde in which she portrayed Elle Woods, a sorority girl who plans to follow her ex-boyfriend to Harvard Law School to win him back. The film grossed $96 million in the United States alone. The role earned Witherspoon her second Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress. She next appeared as Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest and as Melanie Carmichael in Sweet Home Alabama in 2002. Sweet Home Alabama earned $127 million domestically, $35 million of that in its opening weekend alone.
In 2003, she starred in the sequel to Legally Blonde, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, & Blonde. In the sequel, Elle earned her degree from Harvard Law and works to defend animals being used to conduct cosmetics testing. Witherspoon was paid $15 million for the role. Witherspoon continued to star in romantic comedies, such as Just Like Heaven alongside Mark Ruffalo.
In 2005, she co-starred in the biopic Walk the Line as June Carter Cash, wife of singer-songwriter Johnny Cash, played by Joaquin Phoenix. She performed her own vocals for the film and did so in front of a live audience. For the role, she won Best Actress at the Golden Globes, British Academy Film Awards, Academy Awards, and Screen Actors Guild.
She appeared in several films which received mixed reviews over the next few years, but in 2008, she starred with Vince Vaughn in Four Christmases, a comedy about a couple trying to spend Christmas with all four of their divorced parents. While the film received poor reviews, it did well at the box office, grossing over $120 million in the United States. Throughout the 2010s, Witherspoon starred in several romantic films. In 2010, she starred in How Do You Know with Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd, but the comedy was both critically and commercially unsuccessful, earning only $48.7 million with a budget of over $100 million. Her next two films, Water for Elephants and This Means War, also featured love triangles and were box-office failures.
Witherspoon made her acting comeback in the film Wild, based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir of the same name. Strayed’s memoir recounts her time following the 1,000-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. Witherspoon received her second nomination for an Academy Award for her performance. She had a voice role in 2016’s Sing, an animated musical comedy that became her biggest commercial success.
In 2017, she starred in and co-produced the miniseries Big Little Lies, her first television role since 1993. She has continued to find success in television. Witherspoon starred in and produced Little Fires Everywhere, a Hulu miniseries also starring Kerry Washington. Currently, Witherspoon produces and stars in The Morning Show on Apple TV+. For her performance, she has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series.
Witherspoon was only 15 when her first film was released, so her dating history has been fairly public ever since it began. When she was a teenager, she was rumored to have dated several actors, including Chris O’Donnell and her co-stars Stephen Dorff and Mark Wahlberg.
Later, actor Ryan Phillippe crashed her 21st birthday party in 1997. The two then starred in Cruel Intentions together. They became engaged in December 1998 and were married in June 1999 at Old Wide Awake Plantation in Hollywood, South Carolina, while Witherspoon was seven months pregnant with their first child. After seven years of marriage, Phillippe and Witherspoon decided to call it quits, citing “irreconcilable differences” after Phillippe was rumored to be having an affair with his co-star Abbi Cornish. The two finally were granted a divorce on October 5, 2007.
After meeting on the set of their 2007 film Rendition, Witherspoon and her co-star Jake Gyllenhaal began dating and were together for about two years.
Witherspoon met talent agent Jim Toth at a party around February of 2010 and announced their relationship that March, confirming their engagement that December. They married in March 2011 at her estate in Ojai, California. They welcomed their first child together in September 2012.
Witherspoon is the younger of two children born to Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Witherspoon and John Draper Witherspoon. Her older brother is John Draper Witherspoon, Jr. Her father served as a lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve before attending Tulane University and becoming an otolaryngologist. Her mother had a Ph.D. in pediatric nursing and was a professor of nursing at Vanderbilt University.
Witherspoon and her ex-husband, Ryan Phillippe, share two children. Ava Elizabeth Phillippe was born on September 9, 1999, and her brother, Deacon Reese Phillippe, was born on October 23, 2003. Witherspoon and Philippe share joint custody of their children. Witherspoon also shares a song with current husband Jim Toth named Tennessee Reese Williams, born September 27, 2012.
If you’re a big fan of the Legally Blonde movie franchise, then you probably already knew a whole lot about Reese Witherspoon, but a refresher course is always helpful! Do let us know in the comments what your favorite Witherspoon role has been so far!