Happy birthday, Reese Witherspoon! Today, March 22, marks Reese’s 45th birthday. To celebrate the occasion, we are taking a look back at the actress and producer’s remarkable transformation throughout her brilliant career. Reese began acting in the mid ’90s when she was a teenager, but her big break came in her early 20s when she earned a starring role in the 1999 drama Cruel Intentions. From there, Reese capitalized on her newfound fame, proving that she could handle comedy just as well as drama in the satire Election, also released in 1999.
Reese continued to earn roles in films like American Psycho and even made a guest appearance on the NBC sitcom Friends, where she played the sister of Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston). The actress’ star was catapulted to new heights, however, when she starred as Elle Woods in the 2001 film Legally Blonde! Reese became synonymous with the beloved comedy, and reprised the role in 2003, a film she produced, as well.Two years after the success of Legally Blonde 2, Reese cemented herself in history. Her turn as June Carter Cash in the critically acclaimed film Walk The Line earned Reese rave reviews and profound praise. She went on to earn her very first Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading role. From there, Reese continued to use her platform to highlight remarkable work, including working as producer on films like Gone Girl, and starring in comedies and dramas in equal measure.
Years after she made her first appearance on the big screen, Reese made a major jump to television, working alongside friend and collaborator Nicole Kidman to bring the novel Big Little Lies to HBO. The women earned incredible praise for their work in front of and behind the camera, bringing a vital story to audiences. Reese has only continued to empower stories as a producer.She’s starred in the mini-series Little Fires Everywhere and also acted as one of the series’ producers. While working on these projects, she earned her second Oscar nomination for her work in the 2014 film Wild. Now, Reese is the star of the Apple TV+ series The Morning Show, reuniting with Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston! As for her personal life, Reese shares daughter Ava Elizabeth Phillippe, 21, and son Deacon Reese Phillippe, 17, with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe.
She married talent agent Jim Toth in 2011, and the couple welcomed their son, Tennessee James Toth, in September 2012. Reese has accomplished so much throughout her career, but something tells us she’s just getting started! To see more photos of the actress and producer through the years, take a look at the images in the gallery above.