Majored in English Literature at Stanford University; on leave from her studies as of 1996.
Shortly after she started acting, she had an audition for a role in Cape Fear (1991). She was supposed to meet with Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese for the audition, but at the time did not really know who they were. On the plane, she was talking to the man next to her about her audition, and the man started to rave to her about De Niro and Scorsese. This made her so nervous that she completely blew the audition and the role eventually went to Juliette Lewis.
Refused the lead roles in two horror movies: Scream (1996) and Urban Legend (1998).
Was considered for the role of Juliet in Romeo + Juliet (1996), which went to Claire Danes.
Her mother, Betty, has a Ph.D. in pediatric nursing and her father, John, is a surgeon.
Chosed as one of People magazine's "25 Most Intriguing People of 2001".
Named one of E!'s "Top 20 Entertainers of 2001".
Chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World (2002).
Attended Harpeth Hall School, a private school for girls in Nashville, Tennessee.
She runs a production company called "Type A Films" with Debra Siegal
Has appeared at #22 in Entertainment Weekly's Most Powerful List.
She won the "Ten State Talent Award" at the young age of 11.
She was a cheerleader in high school and a debutante.
Reese is her mother's maiden name.
Has moved her production company, Type A Films, to Universal Pictures. Has signed a two-year first-look production pact with Universal. The studio has already picked up a romantic comedy pitch, Sports Widow (2010), for her to star in and produce.
She appeared in a television commercial when she was 7 for a local Nashville florist.
Has been named one of Rolling Stone's "People of the Year" along with Eminem and Kelly Osbourne.
She lived in Wiesbaden, Germany, as a young child.
Her Gap ad appeared on a six-story-high building on Sunset Boulevard.
Named one of E! 2002 "Entertainers of the Year".
Her daughter, Ava Phillippe, is named after her ex-husband, Ryan Phillippe's, grandmother.
Steve Dontanville from the William Morris Agency is still her agent. They got together after The Man in the Moon (1991).
She has English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and distant Dutch, ancestry. She is said to be a relative of John Witherspoon, a Gifford, Scotland-born Presbyterian minister who attended Haddington Grammar School, obtained his Master's degree from Edinburgh University in 1739, and was a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence.
Her wedding ring is an early 1990s Neil Lane, Asscher-cut-diamond, and there are only a few like it in the world.
Has an older brother: John D. Witherspoon.
Ranked #1 on E!'s Hollywood's Hottest Blondes (2003)
As extra credit for a high school class, she worked as an office production assistant for the film Devil in a Blue Dress (1995). Director Carl Franklin paid homage to her by featuring Legally Blonde (2001) in the film Out of Time (2003).
She collects antique linens and is crazy about old embroidery.
Ryan proposed to her in December 1998 while the couple was vacationing at The Planter's Inn in Charleston, South Carolina.
As a child, she appeared in her local Sunday paper modeling kids' track suits and such. She said that it was creative for her. She was paid $50 a day.
Started children's acting classes at a community college at the age of seven. She was taking adult acting classes by the age of nine.
Her son is named after former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Deacon Phillippe, a distant relative of her ex-husband Ryan Phillippe.
She was a gymnast for seven years when she was younger.
Chosen as "Favorite Female Film Star" by People magazine (2004).
Neither she nor her ex-husband, actor Ryan Phillippe, use their real first names - Reese's first name is Laura, Ryan's first name is Matthew.
Was the first person to host Saturday Night Live (1975) after the September 11 terror attacks.
Was approached by a few companies to record music after she provided her own singing voice for Walk the Line (2005).
Has appeared in four movies bearing the names of songs: Jack the Bear (1993), Sweet Home Alabama (2002), Just Like Heaven (2005) and Walk the Line (2005).
She donated many items to Rocky Stone to be given to less fortunate kids as part of the Toy Mountain Campaign.
The year she won her Oscar for Walk the Line (2005), her ex-husband Ryan Phillippe appeared in the movie that won Best Picture, Crash (2004).
Her performance as Tracy Flick in Election (1999) is ranked #45 on Premiere magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
Dyed her hair brown for her role as June Carter Cash in Walk the Line (2005).
Ranked #40 in FHM magazine's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2005" special supplement.
Is the second actress to win the best actress Oscar for portraying a female singer in a biography; the first was Sissy Spacek for Coal Miner's Daughter (1980).
The dress she wore at the Golden Globe Awards in 2006 was also worn by Kirsten Dunst at the Golden Globe Awards in 2003.
Distant cousin of Daniel Morton
Ranked #34 in FHM magazine's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2006" supplement.
Announced on October 30, 2006 that she has separated and would file divorce papers against her husband, Ryan Phillippe, after seven years of marriage.
Best friends with Selma Blair, Chelsea Handler and Renée Zellweger.
Was originally cast in the lead role in Bunny Lake Is Missing (2012), but backed out a few weeks before shooting began.
Filed for divorce against husband, Ryan Phillippe, on November 8, 2006.
Mentioned in the song "High School Never Ends" by Bowling for Soup, as "the prom queen".
(August 1, 2007) Named the first-ever Avon Global Ambassador and will serve as the Honorary Chairman of the Avon Foundation.
Was named highest-paid actress in Hollywood by The Hollywood Reporter in 2007.
In 2007, Forbes magazine estimated her earnings for the year at $7 million.
Is one of 13 actresses to have won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Critics' Choice Award, Golden Globe Award and SAG Award for the same performance. The others in chronological order are Julia Roberts for Erin Brockovich (2000), Renée Zellweger for Cold Mountain (2003), Helen Mirren for The Queen (2006), Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls (2006), Kate Winslet for The Reader (2008), Mo'Nique for Precious (2009), Natalie Portman for Black Swan (2010) and Octavia Spencer for The Help (2011), Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables (2012), Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine (2013), Patricia Arquette for Boyhood (2014) and Julianne Moore for Still Alice (2014).
Campaigned for the role of Christine Collins in Changeling (2008), but lost the role to Angelina Jolie.
Was in a relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal, having met him on the set of Rendition (2007) (January 2007-November 2009).
Auditioned for the role of Rachel Dawes in Batman Begins (2005), but Katie Holmes was cast instead.
Was considered for the role of Amy Stanton in The Killer Inside Me (2010), but Kate Hudson was cast instead.
(December 1, 2010) Was awarded the 2,425th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame by James L. Brooks and James Mangold, accompanied by her children, Ava and Deacon Phillippe, and boyfriend Jim Toth.
(December 28, 2010) Announced her engagement to boyfriend Jim Toth, having been in a relationship with him since February 2010.
Married Jim Toth on March 26, 2011, in a marquee on her ranch in Ojai, California, wearing a custom-designed gown by Monique Lhuillier, before 120 guests. Eighty white doves were released just moments after the couple said "I do".
Her bridesmaids at her wedding included her best friend Heather Rosenfield, daughter Ava Phillippe, and her two young nieces.
Amongst the guests at her wedding were Renée Zellweger, Matthew McConaughey, Tobey Maguire, Robert Downey Jr., Alyssa Milano, Isla Fisher, Selma Blair and Salma Hayek.
Has played Robert Pattinson's mother in Vanity Fair (2004), but his scene was cut from the end product. In Water for Elephants (2011) the two of them play lovers.
She was honored with the MTV Generation Award at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, being the second female in the history of the show to receive the award, following Sandra Bullock who received the award one year earlier.
Rushed to the hospital after being hit by a car on September 7, 2011 while jogging in Santa Monica, California. Was treated for minor injuries before being sent home. Received a quarter-inch scar on her forehead that she hides with her bangs.
Won the Academy Award for Best Actress, in 2006, for playing June Carter Cash in Walk the Line (2005). Funnily enough, Witherspoon had already played another Carter family member before; she played Mother Maybelle Carter (June Carter's mother) in her fourth grade play.
Revealed in the 84th Academy Awards montage that her favorite movie is Overboard (1987).
Gave birth to her 1st child at age 23, daughter Ava Phillippe (Ava Elizabeth Phillippe), on September 9, 1999. Child's father is her 1st husband, Ryan Phillippe.
Returned to work 4 months after giving birth to her daughter Ava in order to begin filming her guest appearance on Friends (1994).
Gave birth to her 2nd child at age 27, a son Deacon Reese Phillippe on October 23, 2003. Child's father is her 1st husband, Ryan Phillippe.
Returned to work 8 months after giving birth to her son Deacon in order to begin filming Walk the Line (2005).
Gave birth to her 3rd child at age 36, a son Tennessee James Toth on September 27, 2012. Child's father is her 2nd husband, Jim Toth.
Was 8 months pregnant with her son Tennessee when she completed filming on Devil's Knot (2013).
Considers Meryl Streep's performance in Sophie's Choice (1982) as the greatest female performance of all time. Witherspoon also states that she was influenced by Streep.
Returned to work 7 months after giving birth to her son Tennessee in order to begin filming The Good Lie (2014).
Honoring Dolly Parton, of whom she is a huge fan, at the Kennedy Center Honors TV special aired on December 26, 2006. [December 2006]
Debut of her perfume, "In Bloom" by Avon (2009).
Was the 128th actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Actress Oscar for Walk the Line (2005) at The 78th Annual Academy Awards (2006) on March 5, 2006.
She has worked with three actors who have played comic book characters. She worked with Tobey Maguire who played Spider-Man. She worked with Tom Hardy who played Bane and she worked with Christian Bale who played Batman.
Her favorite films include Splendor in the Grass (1961), Overboard (1987), The Impossible (2012), Bad Grandpa (2013) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014).
Her parents separated in 1996 when she was age 20. They still remain close.
Performs the audiobook version of Go Set A Watchman, the sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird. In Four Christmases (2008), she appears with Sissy Spacek; who performed the audiobook of To Kill A Mockingbird; and Robert Duvall, who played Boo Radley in the film.
Is one of 14 actresses to have won both the Best Actress Academy Award and the Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical Golden Globe for the same performance; hers being for Walk the Line (2005). The others, in chronological order, are: Judy Holliday for Born Yesterday (1950), Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins (1964), Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl (1968), Liza Minnelli for Cabaret (1972), Glenda Jackson for A Touch of Class (1973), Diane Keaton for Annie Hall (1977), Sissy Spacek for Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), Cher for Moonstruck (1987), Jessica Tandy for Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Helen Hunt for As Good as It Gets (1997), Gwyneth Paltrow for Shakespeare in Love (1998), Marion Cotillard for La Vie en Rose (2007), and Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook (2012).
Co-founded the film production company "Pacific Standard" with Australian partner Bruna Papandrea in 2012. First books optioned were, "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn and "Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found" by Cheryl Strayed.
Is just 9 years younger than Laura Dern, who played her mother in Wild (2014).
Since 2015, Witherspoon co-founded a Southern apparel store called Draper James.
She has worked with 2 directors who have won a Best Director Oscar: Robert Benton and James L. Brooks.
As of August 2014, Witherspoon owns an estate at Nashville, Tennessee.
Considers Wild (2014) to be her best film and her best performance.
Spoke at an event for the Stanford Graduate School of Business. [May 20, 2017].
Visted her old dorm room at Stanford University and met the current occupant.[May 20, 2017].
Friends with Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew McConaughey, Selma Blair, and Kate Hudson.
Born on the day before Keri Russell.