Laura Jean Reese Witherspoon (born March 22, 1976) is an American actress perhaps most familiar as Elle Woods in the film Legally Blonde (2001) and its sequel Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde (2003).
Witherspoon was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to John Witherspoon (a surgeon) and Betty Reese (a nurse and college professor); Reese is a direct descendant of Scottish-born John Witherspoon, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence and founder of Princeton University, who was also a Presbyterian minister. Because her father worked for the US military in Wiesbaden, Germany, Reese lived there for four years as a small child. After returning to the United States, Witherspoon spent much of her childhood and adolescence in Nashville. She has an older brother named John, who works as a real estate broker. After graduating high school from Nashville's prestigious Harpeth Hall School, she attended Stanford University as a literature major. After completing a year of her studies, Reese left Stanford to pursue her acting career.
Witherspoon is known for her versatility as an actress, playing both comedic and dramatic roles. She has won Best Actress awards from the National Society of Film Critics and the Online Film Critics Society. Among her critically-acclaimed performances are Vanessa in Freeway and Tracy Flick in Election. Witherspoon was the voice of the animated character Greta Wolfecastle in an episode of The Simpsons. She became best known for her role in 2001's Legally Blonde, and is currently being critically praised for her turn as June Carter in Walk the Line. She won the NYFCC, the FFCC and the SFFCC Award for Best Actress for this role, and is rumoured to be a potential Best Actress nominee for the 2005 Oscars, having already received a Golden Globe nomination for the role.
Witherspoon met actor Ryan Phillippe at her 21st birthday party in March, 1997. The pair became inseparable, and got engaged in December of 1998. Soon after, the couple starred together in the 1999 box office hit Cruel Intentions. Witherspoon and Phillippe were married at a plantation in Charleston on June 5, 1999. They now have two children together: Ava Elizabeth Phillippe, born September 9, 1999, and Deacon Phillippe, born October 23, 2003. Ava is named after Phillippe's grandmother, and Deacon after a distant relative of Phillippe's. Witherspoon and Phillippe have a pact that one of them will always be a full-time parent to the children, and they thus alternate filming schedules.
|2005||Walk the Line||June Carter||Golden Globe Nominee (Actress)|
|2005||Just Like Heaven||Elizabeth Masterson|
|2004||Vanity Fair||Becky Sharp|
|2003||Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde||Elle Woods|
|2002||Sweet Home Alabama||Melanie Smooter/Carmichael|
|2002||The Importance of Being Earnest||Cecily|
|2001||Legally Blonde||Elle Woods|
|2000||American Psycho||Evelyn Williams|
|1999||Cruel Intentions||Annette Hargrove|
|1993||A Far Off Place||Nonnie Parker|
|1991||The Man in the Moon||Danielle 'Dani' Trant|
- Witherspoon interview, 2005, IGN
- Witherspoon interview, 2005, Reader's Digest
- Witherspoon interview, 2004, HeroRealm
- Full Witherspoon Credits, IMDBde:Reese Witherspoon