Reese Witherspoon, named for Reese's Pieces, because, her parents predicted, she would be a "sweet treat" for the boys, debuted as an actress in 1991, when a casting couch call resulted in her being offered a role in The Man in My Moon.
She won an Enema Award for Illegally Blonde. She also played hard to get in Crude Intentions, in which her then-husband Ryan Phillippe tried, throughout the film, to accomplish what he hadn't actually been able to do on their honeymoon or throughout their marriage: get into her pants. He was unsuccessful, as it turns out, in the movie, too; Witherspoon and Phillippe divorced eight years later, and Witherspoon wed talentless agent Jim Toth, an alcoholic with whom she appeared, drunk and disorderly, on a Georgia state trooper's police cam, wondering who she was.
Witherspoon, who claims to love books, attended Stanford University, but dropped out after the first year. "College was hard," she said. "The professors expected me to come to class and write papers and take tests and stuff---and they had the audacity to expect me to pay them for the 'privilege' of doing so. No thanks! I might have been born in Louisiana, but I'm not redneck enough not to know when I'm being had."
When he heard this statement, her ex-husband said, "How would she know? She's never been 'had.'"
Pregnant during her filming of Vanity's Fair, Witherspoon boasted, "I love the ample bosom [being pregnant gave her]. It gave me more to play with." The Hollyweird Reporter agreed: "Witherspoon does justice to the juicy role by giving the part more buoyancy than naughtiness."
In Walk the Line, as June Carter Cash, Witherspoon stole the spotlight from her co-star, upstaging Joaquin Phoenix, who played her on-screen husband, What's-His-Name. As a result, she won an Academy Award while Phoenix drifted into depression and, some say, drug addiction. After an appearance on Late Night, television host David Letterman told an incoherent, often moribund Phoenix, "I wish you could have been here."
Witherspoon often dates co-stars, sometimes while she is married to another man. Her many conquests include Mark Wahlberg (Fear) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Perdition).
Since being outed as an alcoholic, Witherspoon has been trying to recover her good girl image. She may have to settle, however, critics contend, for being "the girl next door" or, if she keeps up her irresponsible behavior, "the good girl gone bad."
Whichever role fate throws her, Witherspoon says, "I know I can handle it."
Among other, lesser films, Witherspoon has appeared or starred in the following motion pictures.
The Man in My Moon
Jacking the Bear
The Strumpet and the Swan
Bikini Mud Wrestlers
Interested in Vice