Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon is an American actress, producer, and entrepreneur. The recipient of various accolades, including an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and a Primetime Emmy Award, she is one of the highest-paid actresses in the world as of 2019.
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Witherspoon began her career as a teenager, making her screen debut in The Man in the Moon (1991). Following a leading role opposite Mark Wahlberg in Fear (1996), her breakthrough came in 1999 with a supporting role in Cruel Intentions, and for her portrayal of Tracy Flick in the black comedy Election. She gained wider recognition for her role as Elle Woods in the comedy Legally Blonde (2001) and its 2003 sequel, and for her starring role in the romantic comedy Sweet Home Alabama (2002). In 2005, she garnered critical acclaim for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in the biographical musical film Walk the Line, which won her the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Witherspoon then starred in several critically and commercially unsuccessful comedies, during which her sole box-office success was the romantic drama Water for Elephants (2011). She made a comeback by producing and starring as Cheryl Strayed in the drama Wild (2014), which earned her a second nomination for Best Actress at the Academy Awards. Witherspoon has since begun work in television, by producing and starring in the HBO drama series Big Little Lies (2017–2019), the Apple TV+ drama series The Morning Show (2019–present), and the Hulu miniseries Little Fires Everywhere (2020). For the first of these, she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series.
Witherspoon also owns a clothing company Draper James, and she is actively involved in children’s and women’s advocacy organizations. She serves on the board of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) and was named Global Ambassador of Avon Products in 2007, serving as honorary chair of the charitable Avon Foundation dedicated to women’s causes. In 2000, she co-founded production company Type A Films, which has since merged with Hello Sunshine, a media firm which Witherspoon also co-founded in 2016. Hello Sunshine, focused on female-led stories, has produced many films and television series.
Witherspoon was selected as a fashion model for a florist’s television advertisements at age seven. This made her want to take acting lessons. She has starred in many motion pictures. Notable movies by Witherspoon include Election, Legally Blonde, and Walk the Line. Witherspoon owns a production company called Type A Films. The company was at first believed by the media to be named after her childhood nickname “Little Miss Type A”. Witherspoon received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on December 01, 2010, at 6262 Hollywood Blvd. In 2018, she appeared alongside Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling in support of the Time’s Up movement against sexual assault in the workplace and in A Wrinkle in Time.
Witherspoon married Ryan Phillippe from 1999 to 2008. They have two children together — daughter Ava Elizabeth Phillippe (born September 9, 1999) and son Deacon Reese Phillippe (born October 23, 2003). Witherspoon married talent agent Jim Toth on March 26, 2011. They have a son, Tennessee James Toth (born September 27, 2012).