Reese Witherspoon FactsBelieve it or not, Reese Witherspoon has been a leading lady for nearly 25 years.

After a string of starring roles while still just a teenager, Witherspoon truly broke out in "Pleasantville" (1998) as a 1990s high schooler transported to the '50s. It was her turn as the perky Elle Woods in "Legally Blonde" (2001), though, that proved the actress was here to stay. Since then, her career has only blossomed (Oscar, included), and this holiday season, the actress seeks salvation on a 1000-mile hike in the docudrama "Wild."

From her years spent in Germany to her favorite thing about being a mom, here are 35 things you (probably) don't know about Reese Witherspoon.

1. Reese Witherspoon was born March 22, 1976 in New Orleans, Louisiana to John Draper Witherspoon Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Reese.

2. Her birth name is Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon.

3. Witherspoon's father was an otolaryngologist, while her mother was a professor of nursing at Vanderbilt University.

4. Her father was also a lieutenant colonel in the US Army reserves and was stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany for four years right after Reese was born.

5. In fact, the whole family lived together in Germany before moving back to the States and settling in Nashville, Tennessee.

6. Witherspoon is proud of her Southern roots and has said it "bred in [her] such a sense of family and tradition" and a "normalcy in life" that she hopes she maintains throughout her days.

7. Witherspoon has called her younger self "a big dork who read loads of books." No surprise, then, that she attended Stanford University as an English literature major. Witherspoon is clearly a woman with many talents.

8. Her parents even nicknamed her "Little Type A" growing up!

9. After a year at Stanford, however, Witherspoon left school to pursue her acting career full time.

10. Being in front of the camera was nothing new for Little Type A. When she was seven years old, Witherspoon was selected to model for a local Nashville florist's advertisement.

11. A few years later, she auditioned at an open casting call for "The Man in the Moon" (1991) with the intention of being a bit player. Instead, Witherspoon landed the lead role and played a 14-year-old country girl who falls in love for the first time.

12. Although it was likely difficult to leave her education behind, Witherspoon's decision to leave Stanford early quickly paid off. The young actress worked steadily throughout the mid '90s and starred in "Freeway" and "Fear" (1996) right after leaving school.

13. But it was in 1998 when Witherspoon really broke out. The actress starred in the popular movie "Pleasantville" as a 1990s teenager transported to the 1950s, earning positive reviews and taking home the Young Hollywood Award for Best Female Breakthrough Performance.

14. The following year, Witherspoon earned her first Golden Globe nomination for her starring role in Alexander Payne's "Election" (1999).

15. And then "Legally Blonde" (2001) happened. Witherspoon put to rest any doubt that she could carry a movie, as her effortless comedic performance carried the film and earned the actress her second Golden Globe nod.

16. To date, Witherspoon has been nominated for three Golden Globes, winning Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for her performance in "Walk the Line" (2005).

17. "Walk the Line" also netted Witherspoon her first Oscar nomination and win for her eye-opening performance as June Carter Cash.

18. As for her personal life, the actress was married to actor Ryan Phillippe from 1999 to 2007. The former couple met at Witherspoon's 21st birthday party and were married two years later.

19. Witherspoon and Phillippe have two children together: Ava Elizabeth Phillippe (b. 1999) and Deacon Reese Phillippe (b. 2003).

20. Following the divorce, she dated her "Rendition" (2007) co-star Jake Gyllenhaal for two years.

21. Today, Witherspoon is married to talent agent Jim Toth. The couple have one child together: Tennessee James Toth (b. 2012).

Bonus Facts:

22. Her favorite holiday is Easter.

23. Her favorite country to visit is France.

24. For the actress, the coolest thing about being a mom is eating chicken fingers.

25. Her hip-hop name would be Lil' Spoon

26. Her favorite TV show of all time is "Mad Men" (2007 - )

27. Her favorite movie is "Splendor in the Grass" (1961).

28. Her favorite Disney character is Tinkerbell.

29. Her favorite food is fried chicken.

30. If she could live in any historical decade, anywhere, she'd live in 1940s America.

31. Her spirit animal is "hummingbird slash squirrel."

32. According to Witherspoon, the cutest thing on Earth are babies in their Halloween costumes.

33. Her favorite board game is Taboo.

34. The best first date idea is rollerblading.

35. Random Fact. In 2004, Witherspoon played Robert Pattinson's mother in "Vanity Fair" (though his scene was ultimately cut from the movie). Seven years later, the two play lovers in "Water for Elephants" (2011)!

[Sources: IMDb, Wikipedia, Vogue]

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Wild
R2014
Based on 47 critics

A woman (Reese Witherspoon) begins an 1,100-mile solo hike as a way to cope with a recent tragedy. Read More

categories Movies, Trivia