Reese Witherspoon was born in New Orleans, La., in 1976, but grew up in Nashville and Germany. She started appearing in television commercials at the age of seven and in high school she appeared in various films including Man on the Moon. Witherspoon went on to attend Stanford University and left after her first year to pursue a career in Hollywood.
Witherspoon later married her Cruel Intentions costar, Ryan Phillippe. The couple had two children, Ava and Deacon, and divorced in June 2008. Following the success of Legally Blonde, Witherspoon earned a Best Actress Academy Award for Walk the Line. She also owns a production company, Type A Films, which backed her 2008 project Penelope.
Witherspoon split with Rendition costar, Jake Gyllenhaal, in late 2009 over marriage pressures after being together for 2 1/2 years. She began dating CAA agent Jim Toth in January 2010; the couple tied the knot in March 2011. They welcomed a son, Tennessee, in September 2012.