Name at birth: Laura Jeanne Reese WitherspoonActress Reese Witherspoon won the Academy Award as best actress for playing gospel singer June Carter Cash in the 2005 movie Walk the Line. Reese Witherspoon had already made a name for herself with roles in a series of unsettling dramas including Fear (1996, with Mark Wahlberg), Freeway (1996), Cruel Intentions (1999, with Ryan Phillippe), and American Psycho (2000). As a comic actress, she won top reviews as a scheming high school politician in the 2000 comedy Election (with Matthew Broderick) and the next year had a hit with Legally Blonde, starring as a ditzy Harvard law student who discovers her own power and wisdom. Walk the Line, the movie that won her the Oscar, was a biography of June Carter Cash's husband Johnny Cash (played by Joaquin Phoenix). Reese Witherspoon's other films include Sweet Home Alabama (2002, featuring Dakota Fanning), The Importance of Being Earnest (2002), Just Like Heaven (2005, with Mark Ruffalo), the comedy Four Christmases (2008), and the veterinary drama Water for Elephants (2011, with Robert Pattinson). In 2012 Witherspoon acquired the rights to Cheryl Strayed's hiking-the-wilderness memoir Wild, and she was nominated for a best actress Oscar when she played Strayed in the 2014 film.
Reese Witherspoon married Ryan Phillippe, her Cruel Intentions co-star, on 5 June 1999. They have a daughter Ava (b. 1999) and a son Deacon (b. 2003). They were divorced in 2007. She married Jim Toth, a Hollywood agent, on 26 March 2011… Some sources report incorrectly that Reese Witherspoon was born in Tennessee; Witherspoon’s family has lived in Tennessee, but she was born in New Orleans.