Born: October 28, 1967 [49 yo] in Smyrna, Georgia, USA
A winsome beauty with a large, incandescent smile and a mane of hair, Julia Roberts was one of the few bankable female stars of the 1990s whose love affair with the public and world's press continued into the next century. Critics have long speculated on the secret of her undeniable appeal, but it remained one of those enigmas of contemporary pop culture. Roberts lacked the technical polish of some of her contemporaries, but was able to command the screen like no one else, even while surrounded by heavy hitters like Sally Field, Denzel Washington and Susan Sarandon. Her public life was also key to her longevity. From the trail of broken-hearted beaus she left in her wake to her self-imposed post-"Pretty Woman" exile to getting pregnant with twins – the public ate it all up with a spoon.
Born Oct. 28, 1967 in Smyrna, GA, Roberts originally planned to be a veterinarian, but later studied journalism instead. She was introduced to performing at an early age by her theatrical parents, who ran the Atlanta-based Actors and Writers Workshop out of their home. She made her screen debut opposite her brother Eric in "Blood Red," although the 1986 film went unreleased for three years. Noticing that her old brother was scoring some success in Hollywood, Roberts decided to try acting as a career. She first gained notice starring in two youth-oriented movies in 1988 – "Mystic Pizza" and "Satisfaction" (1988). In the former, Roberts played a memorably fiery Portuguese waitress. Only a year or two into her new career, the young actress earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination as the doomed diabetic heroine, Shelby, of "Steel Magnolias" (1989).
With her performance as a warm-hearted prostitute who transforms cold executive Richard Gere in Garry Marshall's saccharine but immensely successful rags-to-riches saga, "Pretty Woman" (1990), Roberts became one of Hollywood's most popular and bankable stars – certainly its top female – and earned a surprise Best Actress Academy Award nomination. The iconic role would forever label her America's "pretty woman" – even over a decade later. While her contribution made the routine thrillers "Flatliners" (1990) and "Sleeping with the Enemy" (1991) popular successes, she faltered a bit at the box office in late 1991 with the weepie romance "Dying Young." She finished the year with the supporting role of Tinkerbell in Steven Spielberg's lavish but disappointing update of the Peter Pan myth, "Hook." Roberts' toothsome portrayal of the feisty fairy revealed no insights into the tiny winged character, and she struggled gamely with the physical and artistic rigors of doing most of her scenes alone on a special effects soundstage. Rumors of bad blood between Roberts and Spielberg cast a pall on the project, sending the increasingly reclusive star into a self-imposed exile, which only fueled the press more.
It was at the peak of her early '90s fame that Roberts took an unannounced break from acting to get her highly publicized personal life in order. Romances with co-stars Liam Neeson, Dylan McDermott and most notably Kiefer Sutherland – whom she reportedly left for his best friend Robert Patrick only days before the wedding – all petered out, though her romance with the odd-looking actor/singer Lyle Lovett ended in a brief bare-footed marriage in 1993. Roberts made a cameo appearance as herself in Robert Altman's "The Player" (1992) before making her much ballyhooed return to the screen after two years, reasserting her commercial magic opposite Denzel Washington in the political thriller, "The Pelican Brief" (1993), but lost a bit of ground opposite Nick Nolte in the middling romantic comedy, "I Love Trouble" (1994). Her next few film roles proved spotty: she was passable as a journalist in Robert Altman's high-fashion comedy "Ready to Wear/Pret-a-Porter" (1994), spunky as a woman coping with marital problems in the romantic comedy "Something to Talk About" (1995), and dour in the period horror film "Mary Reilly" (1996), all of which failed to find much audience favor. As Woody Allen's leading lady in his musical comedy "Everyone Says I Love You" (1996), she fared slightly better (and displayed a pleasant if not spectacular singing voice). Cast opposite old beau Neeson as his love interest in Neil Jordan's biopic of Irish revolutionary "Michael Collins" (also 1996), Roberts gave a gallant try but was hampered by a wavering Irish accent.
1997 saw the actress reassert her position as both America's sweetheart and a box-office performer with her starring role in the hit comedy, "My Best Friend's Wedding." Cast as a scheming restaurant critic who sets out to break up the wedding of the man she thinks she loves, Roberts turned what could have become an unsympathetic character into an audience favorite through the sheer force of her natural charm and vibrancy. She was abetted by Rupert Everett's scene-stealing supporting turn as her editor and a subtle script by Ron Bass that inverted many of the clichés of screwball comedy. Roberts' much-anticipated teaming with Mel Gibson in Richard Donner's "Conspiracy Theory" (also 1997), however, proved to be somewhat disappointing thanks to a muddled script. Ron Bass was one of several writers who worked on the script of "Stepmom" (1998), a comedy-drama that cast Roberts as the much younger girlfriend of a divorced man coping with his two children and his saintly ex-wife. Most critics dismissed the film as pap but audiences lapped it up and made it a modest box-office success. She followed with a turn as a world-famous movie star who falls in love with a bumbling British bookseller (Hugh Grant) in "Notting Hill", an uneven romantic comedy, which nevertheless, did well at the box office. The much ballyhooed reteaming with Gere under Garry Marshall's guidance in "Runaway Bride" (both 1999) brought out the crowds, but the film could in no way compete with the "Pretty Woman" legacy that came before. Together these films earned over $300 million domestically, justifying the actress' standing as the highest paid female actor.
Just as critics thought she was all charm and no real acting chops, Roberts took on the role of her life, essaying the real-life legal secretary who assisted in turning a water poisoning case into one of the largest class-action lawsuits in U.S. history, in "Erin Brockovich" (2000). Her stellar work under the direction of Stephen Soderbergh, earned her just about every accolade in 2001, including the Best Actress Oscar.
After such a heavy project, Roberts returned to comedy, playing the frustrated girlfriend of a low-level, somewhat bumbling gangster (Brad Pitt) in the "The Mexican" (2001). Although she and Pitt were not on screen together for very long, the pair shared a nice easy chemistry – but the actress had better rapport with James Gandolfini, as the hitman who kidnaps her as insurance. Despite fielding many offers and after already playing a movie star on screen, Roberts opted this time to play the personal assistant to the movie star (Catherine Zeta-Jones) in the disastrous, critically reviled comedy, "America's Sweethearts" (2001). To recover from that disaster, Roberts re-teamed with Soderbergh for a small role in his remake of "Ocean's Eleven" (2001). Playing Tess Ocean, George Clooney's perpetually disappointed wife, Roberts did her best to keep up with the hunky boys, including Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Andy Garcia. Robert's next project was also with Soderbergh, in the non-narrative sequel to his 1989 film "Sex, Lies and Videotape" – "Full Frontal" (2002). Roberts' character, wearing an extremely unattractive hairdo, was shockingly uninteresting and unimportant to the story, such as it was. Worse was her limp turn in new buddy George Clooney's directorial debut, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (2002), the supposed life story of game show producer/host-turned-government agent Chuck Barris, in which she played a spy femme fatale in a performance so purposefully arch as to defy belief.
Roberts fared better in her next project, the harmless "Mona Lisa Smile" (2003), playing Katherine Watson, a liberal-minded educator who takes a feminist position at Wellesley in the 1950s and quickly comes under fire for teaching her female students to aspire to something other than marriage and kids. While the film's premise and storyline – a female spin on the familiar "Dead Poets' Society" model – was predictable, Roberts' delivered a mature and engaging performance that, in ways different from her previous efforts, had audiences once again rooting for her.
Just as Roberts began filming the anticipated sequel "Ocean's Twelve" (2004), the actress, who was by then onto her second marriage to cameraman Danny Moder, announced to the world that she was pregnant with twins. Perhaps due to the impending birth, Roberts appeared to be having more fun than in the first "Oceans," gamely playing off of her pregnancy and – in a harder-to-swallow plot spin – her character's uncanny resemblance to movie star Julia Roberts. Just prior to the release of that film, Roberts made international headlines when she gave birth to a boy and a girl, Phinnaeus and Hazel, in November, 2004. Hot on the heels of that arrival was the debut of the Mike Nichols-directed drama "Closer" (2004), in which she played an American photographer in London caught up in the heated, sometimes erotic, often cruel love/sex gender war amid two shifting sets of couples (Jude Law and Natalie Portman; Roberts and Clive Owen). The highly literate film received excellent reviews and brought Roberts' her best notice since "Erin Brockovich."
After taking time off to enjoy her twins and family time on her Taos, NM ranch, Roberts returned to work – this time, surprising many by accepting a role on Broadway. In April of 2006, Roberts headlined the Richard Greenberg drama, "Three Days of Rain," co-starring Paul Rudd and Bradley Cooper. Although her reviews were lukewarm, the play sold out its 12-week run, proving Roberts' appeal extended beyond the big screen and various magazine covers.
Lent her celebrity name to help raise money for research to develop a cure for Rett Syndrome (a disease which is potentially fatal and randomly strikes girls between the ages of 2 to 6 years).
Chosen of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" by People magazine in 2000.
Has a half-sister, Nancy Motes (b. 1976).
Dated Benjamin Bratt from 1998 to June 2001.
Turned down the female lead in Shakespeare in Love (1998).
Ranked #66 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list (October 1997).
Was engaged to Kiefer Sutherland for a short period.
Dated Matthew Perry.
Sister of Lisa Roberts Gillan and Eric Roberts.
Played clarinet in the band. She attended Griffin Middle School and then Campbell High School.
Chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1990 and 1991.
Has "movie within a movie" scenes in The Player (1992), Notting Hill (1999), America's Sweethearts (2001) and Full Frontal (2002).
Was considered for the role of Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin (1997).
She once tried out for a part on "All My Children" (1970), but was turned down.
Lived with Liam Neeson.
Dated Daniel Day-Lewis.
Born to Walter Grady Roberts, a vacuum cleaner salesman, and his wife Betty Lou Bredemus, a one-time church secretary and real estate agent.
Ranked #1 (in Hollywood Power) and #12 (in $$) on Forbes magazine 'Power 100'.
Tops the list of the 200 "hottest" actors and actresses in the business in "James Ulmer's Hollywood Hot List: The Complete Guide to Star Power - 2000" book which is published in October 2000 (June 2000).
Turned down the Sharon Stone role in Basic Instinct (1992).
Was engaged to her Steel Magnolias (1989) co-star, Dylan McDermott.
Beat out Sandra Bullock for the role of Maggie Carpenter in Runaway Bride (1999).
Lies on her back to have her make-up applied before going onto a film set -- she insists it gives her a relaxed look.
Frequently works with Steven Soderbergh
Sister-in-law of Tony Gillan
Sister-in-law of Eliza Roberts
Aunt of Emma Roberts
After George Clooney and Brad Pitt found out that she was going to be joining them in Ocean's Eleven (2001), they sent her a card that read "We heard that you get 20 per film" and in it was a $20 bill; the joke was that she reportedly gets $20 million per film.
Named one of People Magazine's '25 Most Intriguing People of 2001'.
Named one of E!'s "top 20 entertainers of 2001".
At the 2002 Peoples Choice Awards she admitted to being a huge fan of "Days of Our Lives" (1965) and asked to be seated near the cast.
Splits her down time between her ranch in Taos, New Mexico and a home in New York City
Was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine in 2002.
Was ranked 6th of the 100 Sexiest Women by FHM Taiwan (2001).
Married boyfriend, cameraman Daniel Moder, at their ranch home in Taos, New Mexico in a midnight ceremony. Bruce Willis was the only celebrity that attended her wedding to Daniel Moder. Julia wore a simple pink cotton halter dress by pal Judith Beylerian (4 July 2002).
She never acted in a sequel until Ocean's Twelve (2004).
She has Irish ancestry.
Moved from rank # 18 in 2002 to rank #16 in 2003 on Premiere's Annual Hollywood Power List. Also in 2003 Julia ranked #10 in Star TV's Top 10 Box Office Stars of the 1990s. In 2005, Premiere Magazine Stars in Our Constellation feature ranked Julia as the #7 Greatest Movie Star of All Time. in their Stars in Our Constellation feature (2005).
Ranked #10 in Star TV's Top 10 Box Office Stars of the 1990s (2003)
Measurements: 34B-23-34 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
She is a huge fan of actress Aishwarya Rai, whom she once commented on being "The most beautiful woman in the world, more beautiful than any Hollywood actress."
Pakistani film director Rauf Khalid wanted her to work in his film, and even invited her to Pakistan to discuss the project, but she refused because of prior commitments.
Observed art history classes at New York University in order to prepare for her role in Mona Lisa Smile (2003).
Her Oscar-winning performance as Erin Brockovich-Ellis was ranked #31 on the American Film Institute's Heroes list of the 100 years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains.
Announced that she and husband Daniel Moder are expecting twins. Twins run in her family. She is due in early 2005. [June 2004].
Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk wrote the song "Julia" about her after seeing her at a Los Angeles restaurant.
Shares a birthday with actor Joaquin Phoenix.
A 9000 year old female skeleton excavated in Bulgaria in November 2004, was called by the archaeologists "Julia Roberts" because of the perfect teeth it had. They said that woman would have had a perfect smile - just like the actress.
Gave birth to twins in Los Angeles, a son named Phinnaeus Walter and a daughter named Hazel Patricia on 28 November 2004.
Has worked with both Hector Elizondo and Richard Gere in two different movies, first in Pretty Woman (1990), and then again in Runaway Bride (1999).
Because Erin Brockovich-Ellis is right handed and Roberts is not, she had to learn to use her right hand for Erin Brockovich (2000).
Premiere Magazine ranked her as the #7 Greatest Movie Star of All Time in their Stars in Our Constellation feature (2005).
Has played an art historian twice, once in Everyone Says I Love You (1996) and also in Mona Lisa Smile (2003).
First actress to reach 20 million dollar mark salary (for Erin Brockovich (2000))
She and her Ocean's Eleven (2001) / Ocean's Twelve (2004) co-stars, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Elliott Gould, all have guest-starred on the TV show "Friends" (1994), though not in the same episodes
Was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine in 2005 and appeared on the cover of the May 9, 2005 issue.
"The Alchemist" is one of her favorite books.
Roberts' production company "Red Om" films is her husband Danny's second name reversed
As a gesture of thanks for giving her children music lessons, Coretta Scott King paid the hospital bills when the pregnant Mrs. Roberts' delivered her next child. That child ended up being Julia.
Early in her career, she auditioned unsuccessfully for two soap opera roles. She lost the part of "Linda Warner" to Melissa Leo on "All My Children" (1970); and the part of "Hayley Benson" to Stacy Edwards on "Santa Barbara" (1984).
Was named of the 100 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine in 2006.
Her great-grandmother Elin (Eleanor) was Swedish, born 1884 in Värmland, Sweden. She died in Minneapolis 1960, seven years before Julia was born.
Chosen "Sexiest Bespectacled Star" by the readers of "In Touch" magazine ahead of Felicity Huffman and Alicia Keys (November 2006).
Her Broadway debut in the play "Three Days of Rain" received terrible reviews for her performance and ran only 70 performances.
Longtime good friends with actor Denzel Washington and actress Susan Sarandon.
Daughter-in-law of Mike Moder.
Julia and her husband, Daniel Moder, are expecting their third child, due in Summer, 2007 [December 29, 2006].
Cited as America's Favorite Movie Star in a Harris Poll conducted in 2001.
Ranked #8 in Forbes the 20 Richest Women In Entertainment.
Drives a Toyota Prius (April 2004).
She won an Oscar for playing Erin Brockovich-Ellis in Erin Brockovich (2000), making her one of eleven actors to win the Award for playing a real person who was still alive at the evening of the Award ceremony (as of 2007). The other ten actors and their respective performances are: Spencer Tracy for playing Father Edward Flanagan in Boys Town (1938), Gary Cooper for playing Alvin C. York in Sergeant York (1941), Patty Duke for playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (1962), Jason Robards for playing Benjamin C. Bradlee in All the President's Men (1976), Robert De Niro for playing Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull (1980), Sissy Spacek for playing Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), Susan Sarandon for playing Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking (1995), Geoffrey Rush for playing David Helfgott in Shine (1996), Jim Broadbent for playing John Bayley in Iris (2001/I) and, most recently, Helen Mirren for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006).
An accomplished equestrienne, Julia did her own riding in Runaway Bride (1999).
Turned down leading role in Sleepless in Seattle (1993) which went to Meg Ryan.
Gave birth to a son, Henry Daniel Moder, on 18 June 2007 in Los Angeles. Henry weighed in at 8 1/2 lbs.
Daughter, Hazel Patricia, and son, Phinnaeus Walter (Finn), were born on 28 November 2004.
Received the American Cinematheque Award (10 October 2007).
Is an alumni of the Lee Strasberg Institute such as actors Frank Miranda, Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson, Rosario Dawson, Dennis Hopper.
Five directors that cast Julia at least twice are: Mike Nichols, Steven Soderbergh, Garry Marshall, Robert Altman and Joel Schumacher.
Good friends with Bruce Willis.
After divorcing Walter Roberts in January 1972, her mother Betty Lou married theater critic Michael Motes (11 September 1972).
Her films have grossed more than $ 2 billion at the US box office, making her the biggest female movie star of all time (February 2007).
Has supported UNICEF enthusiastically.
Buys her own organic greens at the market near her apartment in New York.
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