Reese Witherspoon is an American actress and film producer. She is most famous for her role in the 'Legally Blonde' films and won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2005 for her role as June Carter Cash in 'Walk the Line'.

Reese Witherspoon (Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon) was born on March 22, 1976 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Witherspoon's Scottish-born ancestor is John Witherspoon, who signed the United States Declaration of Independence. As a child, Witherspoon spent four years in Germany where her father, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army reserves, was stationed. After returning to the U.S., she spent her childhood in Nashville, Tennessee. Witherspoon says she received good grades in school and was "big dork" who loved reading books. She was motivated to take up acting at a very young age and one of Witherspoon's first acting jobs was for a florist's television commercial. Witherspoon attended Stanford University as an English literature major, but after completing one year of studies, she left Stanford to pursue an acting career.

In 1990, Witherspoon attended an open casting call for the film 'The Man in the Moon' and ended up getting cast in the lead role, despite only auditioning for a bit player. Her performance was lauded by the likes of famed film critic Roger Ebert and for this role, Witherspoon was nominated for the Young Artist Award in the Best Young Actress category. She continued to bag roles in TV movies and other small film projects. In 1996, Witherspoon landed two major roles, one opposite Mark Wahlberg in the thriller 'Fear' and in 'Freeway,' starring alongside Kiefer Sutherland and Brooke Shields. Witherspoon began dating actor Ryan Philippe in 1997 and took a break from acting. In 1998, she returned to the big screen and appeared in three films - 'Overnight Delivery,' 'Pleasantville' and 'Twilight'.

In 1999, Witherspoon appeared in the hit film 'Cruel Intentions,' in which she co-starred with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe. That same year, Witherspoon's role in the film 'Election' is widely considered to be her breakthrough performance. She received vast critical acclaim for her performance and won the Best Actress Award from the National Society of Film Critics and her first Golden Globe nomination. Despite the film's success, Witherspoon claims she was typecast and found it hard to get meatier roles. In 2001, Witherspoon reached new heights when she starred in the hit comedy 'Legally Blonde'. Her portrayal as the ditzy blonde who strives to become a lawyer won her much praise as a comedic actress. Witherspoon's box office streak continued the following year with the romantic comedy 'Sweet Home Alabama,' which became her highest grossing film to date.

In 2003, Witherspoon acted in and produced the sequel 'Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde'. Witherspoon then cemented herself as a leading actress in the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic 'Walk the Line,' starring as June Carter Cash, the second wife of the singer, played by Joaquin Phoenix. Witherspoon won numerous awards for her performance including a Golden Globe, SAG Award and an Academy Award for Best Actress in a leading role. Post awards season, Witherspoon began her own production company called Type A Films and was now one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. But her subsequent films  failed to perform well at the box office, such as 'How Do You Know,' 'Water for Elephants and 'This Means War'.