America’s sweetheart! Julia Roberts‘ film career has spanned decades and genres, even earning her an Academy Award for her hard-hitting role in Erin Brockovich and charming audiences with her Golden Globe-winning part in Pretty Woman.
“What I’ve learned is that you always want to do what you’re not doing,” the Runaway Bride star told The New York Times in April 2022 of her acting career. “Whenever I’m in a comedy, I think I just want to be at a table with a cup of tea sobbing over something. Then you’re doing that, and you think, ‘Oh to be wearing a pretty dress and laughing.’ People sometimes misconstrue the amount of time that’s gone by that I haven’t done a romantic comedy as my not wanting to do one.”
She added: “If I had read something that I thought was that Notting Hill level of writing or My Best Friend’s Wedding level of madcap fun, I would do it. … I’m living my acting dreams.”
The Georgia native — who got her start acting in Mystic Pizza and Steel Magnolias — eventually went on to star in a string of successful romantic comedies, including Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride and Notting Hill.
Her starring turn as lawyer Erin Brockovich in the 2001 drama of the same name went on to win Roberts her first Oscar. “[I keep my trophy] in the parlor,” the Ocean’s 11 actress revealed during a December 2019 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “It’s in a room that has a piano in it that my daughter [Hazel] plays, so we call it the piano room and I thought it might sound pretentious, so I said ‘parlor’ [instead].”
While Roberts — who shares twins Hazel and Phinnaeus and younger son Henry with husband Danny Moder — loves performing, it’s the role of “mom” and “wife” that are her favorite positions.
“When I’m not working, [being a homemaker] is my full-time job,” the Gaslit star during an October 2022 interview for CBS Sunday Morning. “It isn’t rainbows and kittens every day, but it does bring me a lot of joy.”
She continued at the time: “It’s just never consumed me, being an actor. It is my dream come true, but it is not my only dream come true. The life that I have built with my husband [and] the life that we’ve built with our children, that’s the best stuff. To come home at the end of the day, triumphantly, to them.”
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Scroll below to revisit Roberts’ most memorable roles through the years: