Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon was born on March 22, 1976 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is the second child of Mary Elizabeth “Betty” and Dr. John Draper Witherspoon. Her father was a military surgeon specializing in ear, nose and throat. Her mother was a Registered nurse who later became a Ph.D in pediatric nursing. Reese spent the first four years of her life in Wiesbaden, Germany, where her father served as a lieutenant colonel in the US Army reserves. Shortly after, John moved the family back to the U.S., settling in Nashville, Tennessee.
Reese was introduced to the entertainment industry at a very early age. At age 7, she was selected as a model for a florist’s television advertisements, which motivated her to take acting lessonss and led to appearances on several other local television commercials.
At age eleven, she took first place in the Ten-State Talent Fair. Witherspoon received high grades in school, loved reading (and still do), and considered herself “a big dork who read loads of books”. On mentioning her love for books, she said, “I get crazy in a bookstore. It makes my heart beat hard because I want to buy everything.”
When she was young she has been described as a “multi-achiever” and was given the nickname “Little Type A” by her parents.
She attended Stanford University as an English literature major, but left the school prior to completing her studies to pursue an acting career.
Although her firsts movies weren’t a huge box-office success, they did help to establish Reese as a rising starlet in Hollywood and open the door for bigger and better film roles. And this happened in 2001 with her breakthrough role as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. The movie not only was a huge box-office smash but also established Reese as one of the top female draws in Hollywood.
After that, she stared in great movies, most of them romantic comedies such as Just Like Heaven, Four Christmases and This Means War. When she ventured to star in a drama, Walk The Line came to her life. The movie tells the story of Johnny Cash and June Carter, leading Reese to take home the best actress Oscar for the role as June Carter. It was her first nomination.
In 2014 she produced and stared Wild and got her second nomination for best actress.
Off the screen, Reese has three children: Ava, Deacon and Tennessee. She was married to Ryan Phillippe from 1999 to 2007 and in 2011 she remarried agent Jim Toth.