Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon (born March 22, 1976 at Southern Baptist Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American actress and producer.
She landed her first feature role as the female lead in the film The Man in the Moon in 1991. In 1996, she appeared in Freeway and starred in Pleasantville in 1998. For her role in 1999's Election, she earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Comedy or Musical nomination.
Witherspoon's breakthrough role came in 2001 with the box-office hit Legally Blonde, and in 2002 she starred in the romantic comedy Sweet Home Alabama, which emerged as her biggest live-action commercial success. In 2005, Witherspoon received worldwide attention and praise for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in Walk the Line, which earned her the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and the Critics Choice Award for Best Actress.
Her other films include Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003), Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) and Water for Elephants (2011). In 2014, Witherspoon produced the thriller Gone Girl and garnered praise for portraying Cheryl Strayed in Wild, for which she earned her second Best Actress nomination at the Academy Awards.
She married actor Ryan Phillippe in 1999; the couple separated in 2006 and divorced in 2007. She married talent agent Jim Toth in 2011. Witherspoon owns a production company, Pacific Standard, and she is actively involved in children's and women's advocacy organizations. She serves on the board of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) and was named Global Ambassador of Avon Products in 2007, serving as honorary chair of the charitable Avon Foundation.
In December 2010, Witherspoon received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Witherspoon met actor Ryan Phillippe at her 21st birthday party in March 1997. They became engaged in December 1998 and married near Charleston, South Carolina, on June 5, 1999, at Old Wide Awake Plantation. They have two children: a daughter, Ava (born 1999), and a son, Deacon (born 2003).
In October 2006, Witherspoon and Phillippe announced that they were separating. The following month Witherspoon filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. In her petition, she sought joint legal and sole physical custody of their children, with full visitation rights for Phillippe. With no prenuptial agreement, they would be entitled to half of all assets gained during the marriage under California law—with Witherspoon's being the more significant. Witherspoon requested that the court grant no spousal support for Phillippe, and he did not contest.
On May 15, 2007, he filed for joint physical custody of their children and made no motion to block Witherspoon from seeking support from him. Witherspoon and Phillippe's final divorce documents were granted by the Los Angeles Superior Court on October 5, 2007.
Throughout 2007 there was persistent speculation in the mass media about a romantic relationship between Witherspoon and her Rendition co-star Jake Gyllenhaal. After her divorce was finalized in October 2007, they became more open about their relationship, mainly due to the release of paparazzi pictures of them vacationing together in Rome. They reportedly broke up in December 2009.
In early February 2010 it was reported that Witherspoon had begun dating Jim Toth, a talent agent and co-head of motion picture talent at the Creative Artists Agency, where Witherspoon is a client. Witherspoon and Toth announced their engagement in December 2010, and married on March 26, 2011, in Ojai, California, at Libbey Ranch, Witherspoon's country estate (which she since has sold).
Their son, Tennessee James Toth, was born on September 27, 2012. Early in the morning of April 19, 2013, while in Atlanta filming The Good Lie, Witherspoon and Toth were pulled over after the car in which they were traveling was seen weaving across a double line on Peachtree Street. Toth, who was driving, was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.139 and was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and failing to maintain a lane.
Witherspoon was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for disobeying the arresting officer's instructions to remain in the vehicle and arguing with him, saying that she did not believe he was a real police officer and asking if he knew who she was. The couple was released on bond at 3:30 AM the same day.
When Witherspoon's lawyer and her husband appeared in court on May 2, Toth pleaded guilty and was ordered to complete 40 hours of community service, an alcohol-education program, and one year of probation; Witherspoon pleaded no contest and was fined $213.
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