New Orleans Native Reese Witherspoon is our Woman Crush Wednesday
After appearing on “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” on Monday night, we were reminded of just how much we love “America’s Sweetheart.” Knowing she is a product of Louisiana is the icing on the cake.
Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 22, 1976 to an Army Reserve veteran and a pediatric nurse. Her father continued to work for the military, including a four-year stint in Germany while Witherspoon was a young tot. When the Witherspoon family returned to the U.S., they relocated to Nashville.
Witherspoon was selected as a fashion model for a television advertisement for a local florist at the age of seven. This motivated her to take acting lessons. At the age of 15 she auditioned at an open casting call for a movie called The Man in the Moon. Expecting to receive a small role, she was shocked when she was cast as one of the leads.
After a few roles on television she snagged the lead in the Disney film A Far Off Place. By 1996 she was a film regular, receiving two major roles; one in Fear with Mark Wahlberg and Alyssa Milano, as well as one in Freeway with Kiefer Sutherland and Brooke Shields. Witherspoon continued to land roles in various films, but felt she was missing out on her true potential due to typecasting.
Her breakthrough came in 2001, when she was cast as the lead in Legally Blonde. The movie brought in $96 million domestically and successfully solidified Witherspoon as an acting goddess. From there she nabbed the leads in several films, including Sweet Home Alabama, which became her biggest box office hit to date. The film earned $35 million in its first weekend and totaled over $127 million in the U.S.
Witherspoon continues to stun on the screen. To list all of her film credits would be exhaustive. In the last decade though, she has starred in Just Like Heaven, Walk the Line, Penelope, Rendition, Four Christmases, How Do You Know, Water for Elephants, and more.
Witherspoon is slated for Disney’s film Wish List and an adaptation for the self-help book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. In addition, she is expected to act in and produce a comedy-drama called Rule #1 and a film version of the children’s book series Pennyroyal’s Princess Boot Camp.
She also plans on continuing her charitable work with organizations like Save the Children and Children’s Defense Fund. She continues to be the first Global Ambassador for Avon Products as well.
On March 26, 2011, Witherspoon married Jim Toth, whom she had been dating since 2010. The two have a son, Tennessee, who was born in 2012.
Witherspoon was previously married to Ryan Phillippe for seven years, 1999-2006. The two have a daugher, Ava, and a son, Deacon. After her divorce from Phillipe was finalized in 2007, Witherspoon was linked to Jake Gyllenhaal. The two dated for two years before she met Toth.