Reese Witherspoon

BATD ON Jul 15, 2010 AT 2:02 pm

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon, born Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon, was raised in Nashville, TN. Though now she’s one of the most high paid actresses in Hollywood, she never intended to be an actress. She started going to college for pre-med, but dropped out in order to pursue her acting career. Clearly, the risk paid off, with Witherspoon receiving a Golden Globe before she was 30-years-old!

One of her biggest roles to date was in the 1999 film “Election”. The film won her numerous awards including the Best Actress Award from the National Society of Film Critics and Witherspoon was recognized on the list of “100 Greatest Film Performances of All Time” by Premier.

Witherspoon began to receive international attention when she starred as ‘Elle Woods’ in 2001′s “Legally Blonde.” The film resounded with audiences, mostly because of Witherspoon’s portrayal of the character. Witherspoon says, “When I read Legally Blonde, I was like, ‘She’s from Beverly Hills, she’s rich, she’s in a sorority. She has a great boyfriend. Oh yeah, she gets dumped. Who cares? I still hate her.’ So we had to make sure she was the kind of person you just can’t hate.

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon

Witherspoon went from playing the lovable Valley girl to playing June Carter Cash in “Walk the Line”, the Johnny Cash story. This film was one of the most challenging of Witherspoon’s career. She had to perform all of her own singing, live, in the movie and for the soundtrack. Upon hearing that, Witherspoon almost cancelled her contract.  This was one of the most important roles of her career because of her Southern roots. She says, “…I grew up with music history in Nashville so I knew more about the Carter family than I knew about the Cashs, Johnny Cash really. We were taught to study the history of it and the history of Appalachian Folk Music, and it was just a big part of where I grew up.” Witherspoon’s hard work with the role paid off and she won a Golden Globe, Screen Actor Guild, and the Oscar for Best Actress in a lead role.

Besides her work as an actress, Witherspoon owns her own production company called Type A Films. She also is a strong advocate of children’s and women’s rights. She supports the Save the Children organization and serves on the Children’s Defense Fund.  She currently is the first Global Ambassador for Avon Products, a cosmetic company. Her work there includes being a spokeswoman for the products and serving as an honorary chair of the Avon Foundation that supports women with a focus on breast cancer research and domestic violence prevention. About this role, Witherspoon says, “As a woman and a mother I care deeply about the well being of other women and children throughout the world and through the years, I have always looked for opportunities to make a difference.”

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