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Julia Fiona Roberts (born October 28, 1967) is an American actress. She became well known during the early 1990s after starring in the romantic comedy Pretty Woman opposite Richard Gere, which grossed $463 million worldwide. After receiving Academy Award nominations for Steel Magnolias in 1990 and Pretty Woman in 1991, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2001 for her performance in Erin Brockovich. Her films, which also include romantic comedies such as My Best Friend's Wedding, Mystic Pizza, Notting Hill, Runaway Bride, and crime films such as The Pelican Brief and Ocean's Eleven and Twelve have collectively brought box office receipts of over $2 billion, making her the most successful actress in terms of box office receipts.

Roberts had become one of the highest-paid actresses in the world, topping the Hollywood Reporter's annual "power list" of top-earning female stars from 2002 to 2005, until 2006, when Nicole Kidman won the top spot. Her fee for 1990's Pretty Woman was $300,000; in 2003, she was paid an unprecedented $25 million for her role in Mona Lisa Smile. As of 2007, Roberts's net worth was estimated to be $140 million.

Roberts was the first actress to appear on the cover of Vogue. GQ once erroneously claimed she was the first woman to appear on their cover, but later retracted the statement (Carol Channing appeared on a GQ cover in 1964). She has been named one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" eleven times, tied with Halle Berry. In 2001 Ladies Home Journal ranked her as the 11th most powerful woman in America, beating out then national security advisor Condoleezza Rice and first lady Laura Bush. Roberts has a production company called Red Om Films, formerly Shoelace Productions ("Moder" spelled backwards, after her husband's last name).

Early life

Roberts was born in Atlanta, Georgiamarker at Crawford Long Hospital, which is now Emory Hospital Midtown. Her father was Walter Roberts and her mother, Betty Lou Bredemus. Her parents, one-time actors and playwrights, met while performing theatrical productions for the armed forces and later co-founded the Atlanta Actors and Writers Workshop in Atlanta, Georgiamarker off Juniper Street in Midtown; Betty filed for divorce in 1971, with the divorce being finalized in early in 1972. Her mother later married Michael Motes and had another daughter, Nancy Motes who was born in 1976. Roberts' father died of cancer when she was ten. Her older brother, Eric Roberts, (from whom she was once estranged but reconciled since 2004) and sister, Lisa Roberts Gillan, are also actors.

While her mother was pregnant with Roberts, she and her husband ran an acting school for children in Decatur, Georgiamarker. The children of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King attended the school. As a thank-you for their service, Mrs. King paid the hospital bill when Mrs. Roberts gave birth to Julia.

The Roberts family moved to Smyrna, Georgiamarker (a suburb of Atlanta) in 1972, where she attended Fitzhugh Lee Elementary School, Griffin Middle School and Campbell High School. She played clarinet in the band. Roberts wanted to be a veterinarian as a child, but soon after graduating from Smyrna's Campbell High Schoolmarker, she headed to New Yorkmarker to join her brother and sister Lisa Roberts Gillan and pursue a career in acting. Once there, she signed with the Click modeling agency and enrolled in acting classes. She reverted to her original name "Julia Roberts" when she discovered that a "Julie Roberts" was already registered with the Screen Actors Guild. Her niece Emma Roberts, whom Julia used to take to movie sets when she was a young girl, has joined her father and aunts in the acting business.

Career

1986–1989

Roberts made her film debut playing a supporting role with her brother, Eric, in Blood Red (she has just two words of dialogue), which, although filmed in 1987 was not released until 1989. Her first television appearance was as a juvenile rape victim in the initial season of the series Crime Story with Dennis Farina, in the episode titled "The Survivor", broadcast on February 13, 1987. She appeared on Sesame Street opposite the character Elmo, demonstrating her ability to change emotions. Roberts first caught the attention of moviegoers with her performance in the independent film Mystic Pizza in 1988; that same year, she had a role in the fourth season finale of Miami Vice. The following year, she was featured in Steel Magnolias as a young bride with diabetes and got her first Academy Award nomination (as Best Supporting Actress) for her performance.

1990–2000

Roberts became known to worldwide audiences when she co-starred with Richard Gere in the Cinderella/Pygmalionesque story Pretty Woman in 1990. Roberts won the role after the first two choices for the part, Molly Ringwald and Meg Ryan, both turned it down. The role also earned her a second Oscar nod, this time as Best Actress. Her next box office success was the thriller Sleeping with the Enemy, playing a battered wife who escapes her demented husband, Patrick Bergin, and begins a new life in Iowa. She played Tinkerbell in Steven Spielberg's Hook in 1991, and also played a nurse in the 1991 film Dying Young. This work was followed by a two-year hiatus, during which she made no films other than a cameo appearance in Robert Altman's The Player (1992). In early 1993, she was the subject of a People magazine cover story asking, "What Happened to Julia Roberts?"

In 1993, she co-starred with Denzel Washington in the successful The Pelican Brief, based on the John Grisham novel. She also starred alongside Liam Neeson in the 1996 film Michael Collins. In 1995 she appeared in season 2 of Friends (episode 13 "The one after the superbowl"). Over the next few years, she starred in a series of films that were critical and commercial failures, such as Stephen Frears' Mary Reilly (1996). Roberts overcame these failures with the commercial and critical success of My Best Friend's Wedding in 1997. She starred with Hugh Grant in the 1999 film Notting Hill. That same year, she also starred in Runaway Bride, her second film with Richard Gere. Roberts was a guest star on the Law & Order television series episode "Empire" with series regular Benjamin Bratt (at that time her boyfriend). Also in 1999, she starred in the critically panned film Stepmom alongside Susan Sarandon.

2001–2005

In 2001, Roberts received the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Erin Brockovich, who helped wage a successful lawsuit against energy giant Pacific Gas & Electric. While presenting the Best Actor Award to Denzel Washington the following year, she made a gaffe, saying she was glad that Tom Conti wasn't there. She meant the conductor Bill Conti, who had tried to hasten the conclusion of her Oscar speech the previous year, but instead named the Scottish actor. Roberts would team up with Erin Brockovich director Steven Soderbergh for three more films: Ocean's Eleven (2001), Full Frontal (2002), and Ocean's Twelve (2004). Later in 2001, she starred in the road gangster comedy The Mexican giving her a chance to work with longtime friend Brad Pitt. In 2005, she was featured in the music video for the hit single "Dreamgirl" by the Dave Matthews Band.

2006–present

Roberts had two films released in 2006, The Ant Bully and Charlotte's Web. Both films were animated features for which she provided voice acting. Her next film was Charlie Wilson's War, with Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman, directed by Mike Nichols and based on the book by former CBS journalist George Crile; it was released on December 21, 2007. Fireflies in the Garden, also starring Ryan Reynolds and Willem Dafoe, was released at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2008.

Roberts made her Broadway debut on April 19, 2006 as Nan in a revival of Richard Greenberg's 1997 play Three Days of Rain opposite Bradley Cooper and Paul Rudd. Although the play grossed nearly US$1 million dollars in ticket sales during its first week and was a commercial success throughout its limited run, her performance drew criticism. New York Times' critic Ben Brantly described her as being fraught with "self-consciousness (especially in the first act) [and] only glancingly acquainted with the two characters she plays." Brantley also criticized the production of "Greenberg's slender, elegant play," writing that “it's almost impossible to discern its artistic virtues from this wooden and splintered interpretation, directed by Joe Mantello." Three Days of Rain received two Tony Award nominations in stage design categories.

American Girl films

Roberts has brought to life some of the books from American Girl as films, serving as executive producer alongside with her sister Lisa. The company's product lines and services are focused on pre-teen-girl characters from various periods of American history, embodied as dolls and featured in narratives including books and movies. Its flagship line is a collection of historical 18-inch dolls that have books and accessories. Roberts has produced four movies.

Influence

Roberts's films have grossed over $2.3 billion at the Americanmarker box office, making her the highest grossing female movie star. She was placed at the pinnacle of the Ulmer Scale, a comprehensive guide to the global star power of actors and directors in independent and studio films created by James Ulmer, ahead of such other luminaries as Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks.

Personal life

Relationships

Roberts's personal life has often been in the spotlight. She has had widely reported romantic relationships with numerous famous men, including Liam Neeson, Dylan McDermott, Kiefer Sutherland, Lyle Lovett, Matthew Perry, and Benjamin Bratt. She was briefly engaged to McDermott, her Steel Magnolias co-star. She met Sutherland in 1990, when he was her co-star in Flatliners. In August 1990, Roberts and Sutherland announced their engagement, with an elaborate studio-planned wedding scheduled for June 14, 1991. Roberts broke the engagement three days before the wedding. Roberts subsequently went to Irelandmarker with Jason Patric, a friend of Sutherland's. On June 27, 1993, she married country singer Lyle Lovett. The wedding took place at St. James Lutheran Church in Marion, Indianamarker, near where Lovett was appearing on tour with his band. In March 1995, the couple separated, and subsequently divorced.

In 1998, Roberts began dating Law & Order star Benjamin Bratt, and he was her escort for the March 25, 2001 Academy Awards ceremony at which she won her Oscar. Three months later, in June 2001, Roberts and Bratt announced that they were no longer a couple. "It's come to a kind and tenderhearted end," she said of their relationship.

Roberts met her current husband, cameraman Daniel Moder, on the set of her movie The Mexican in 2000. At the time, Moder was married to Vera Steimberg Moder. He filed for divorce a little over a year later, and after it was finalized, he and Roberts wed on July 4, 2002, at her ranch in Taos, New Mexicomarker. On November 28, 2004, they became the parents of fraternal twins, daughter Hazel Patricia and son Phinnaeus "Finn" Walter. Their third child, son Henry Daniel Moder, was born on June 18, 2007, in Los Angelesmarker.

Charities

Roberts has given her time and resources to UNICEF as well as to other charitable organizations. In Spring 1995, Roberts, an enthusiastic supporter of UNICEF, asked if she could meet some of the relief agency's neediest recipients. On May 10, she arrived in Port-au-Prince, as she said, "to educate myself". The poverty she found was overwhelming. "My heart is just bursting", she said. UNICEF officials hoped that her six-day visit would trigger an outburst of giving: $10 million in aid was sought at the time.

In 2000, Roberts narrated Silent Angels, a documentary about Rett syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder, which was shot in Los Angeles, Baltimore and New York. The documentary was designed to help raise public awareness about the disease. In July 2006, Earth Biofuels announced Roberts as a spokeswoman for the company and as chair of the company's newly formed Advisory Board promoting the use of renewable fuels.

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1987 Firehouse Babs
1988 Blood Red Maria Collogero
Mystic Pizza Daisy Arujo Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female
Satisfaction Daryle Also known as Girls of Summer
1989 Steel Magnolias Shelby Eatenton Latcherie Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
1990 Flatliners Rachel Mannus Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
Pretty Woman Vivian Ward Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role

1991 Hook Tinkerbell
Dying Young Hilary O'Neil
Sleeping with the Enemy Sara Waters/Laura Burney Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actress
1992 The Player Cameo
1993 The Pelican Brief Darby Shaw
1994 Prêt-à-Porter Anne Eisenhower Also known as Ready to Wear
National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
I Love Trouble Sabrina Peterson
1995 Something to Talk About Grace King Bichon
1996 Everyone Says I Love You Von Sidell
Michael Collins Kitty Kiernan
Mary Reilly Mary Reilly
1997 Conspiracy Theory Alice Sutton
My Best Friend's Wedding Julianne Potter Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1998 Stepmom Isabel Kelly
1999 Runaway Bride Maggie Carpenter
Notting Hill Anna Scott Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
2000 Erin Brockovich Erin Brockovich Academy Award for Best Actress
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Empire Award for Best Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama











2001 Ocean's Eleven Tess Ocean Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
America's Sweethearts Kathleen "Kiki" Harrison
The Mexican Samantha Barzel
2002 Confessions of a Dangerous Mind Patricia Watson
Grand Champion Jolene
Full Frontal Catherine/Francesca
2003 Mona Lisa Smile Katherine Ann Watson
2004 Ocean's Twelve Tess Ocean Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Closer Anna Cameron National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
2006 Charlotte's Web Charlotte the Spider (voice)
Beslan: Three Days In September Narrator
The Ant Bully Hova (voice)
2007 Charlie Wilson's War Joanne Herring Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
2008 Fireflies in the Garden Lisa Waechter
2009 Duplicity Claire Stenwick
2010 Valentine's Day Kate Filming
Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert Filming


Television

Year Film Role Notes
1987 Crime Story Tracy Episode "The Survivor" (1.19)
1996 Friends Susie Moss Episode "The One After the Superbowl: Part 2" (2.13)
1988 Miami Vice Polly Wheeler Season 4 episode 22: "Mirror Image"
Baja Oklahoma Candy Hutchins TV
1999 Law & Order Katrina Ludlow Episode "Empire"
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress – Drama Series
2003 Freedom: A History Of Us Virginia Eyewitness 2 episodes: "What Is Freedom?" (1.07); "Yearning to Breathe Free" (1.10)


References

  1. Box Office Mojo - People Index
  2. "The 20 Richest Women In Entertainment." Forbes.com. January 17, 2007.
  3. Harrington, Amy and Nancy. "What You Don't Know About Julia Roberts." GetBack.com.
  4. The power index
  5. "Julia: Her Life", James Spada. St Martin's Press, New York. Page 32
  6. "Julia Roberts." The New Georgia Encyclopedia.
  7. "Campbell High School."
  8. "Insiders Angered By Roberts' Bias." WENN. March 28, 2002.
  9. "Julia Roberts." Box Office Mojo.
  10. Silverman, Stephen M. "Julia Roberts Lays It on the Line." People. July 11, 2001.
  11. "Julia Roberts Welcomes a Baby Boy." People. June 18, 2007


Further reading

  • Mark Bego. Julia Rica's Sweetheart (New York: AMI Books, 2003)
  • PaulDonnelley. Julia Roberts Confidential: The Unauthorised Biography (London: Virgin, 2003)
  • Frank Sanello. Julia Roberts: Pretty Superstar (Edinburgh: Mainstream 2000)
  • James Spada. Julia: Her Life (New York: St Martin's Press, 2004)


External links




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