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Reese Witherspoon was born Laura Jean Reese Witherspoon on March 22, 1976, in New Orleans, LA. While growing up in Nashville, TN, she was introduced to showbiz at a very early age. At age 7, she started modeling, which led to several local television commercials. In 1990, she answered a call for extras in her hometown newspaper for Robert Mulligan’s The Man in the Moon and ended up starring in her first major acting role at just 14 years old.
Additional films followed, like Fear alongside Mark Wahlberg and Freeway with Keifer Sutherland, both in 1996. As a rising starlet in Hollywood, next came some box-office successes like Pleasantville in 1998 and Cruel Intentions in 1999. Though she already had dozens of films under belt, most consider her role as Elle Woods in the smash-hit Legally Blonde to be her true breakout, finally establishing her as one of the top female draws in Tinseltown.
Since then, the charismatic beauty has starred in numerous big-budget projects, including Sweet Home Alabama, Four Christmases, This Means War, and Walk the Line, for which she won an Oscar and a Golden Globe award. She’s also become one of the highest paid actresses in the entertainment industry, regularly commanding up to $20 million per film.
When it comes to her fitness regime, Witherspoon is as dedicated to her workouts as she is to her roles. She has long credited running and power yoga as some of her secrets to staying in shape, but has also worked with celeb trainers like Michael George and David Kirsch. "I like to run for about an hour, and I’m big into working out with girlfriends. It’s an acquired skill, being able to discuss your love life, children, and friends—all while you’re running! But we have mastered it," she says. So what does the busy actress, mom-of-three, and Avon breast cancer ambassador eat to fuel all those sweat sessions? She doesn’t subscribe to any quick-fix dieting schemes—just healthful, clean eating. —Kristen Aldridge
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