Sandra Bullock Biography

Sandra Bullock knew that she was destined for greatness the moment that she first started hearing voices -- singing voices. As the daughter of an opera singer and a vocal coach, she was surrounded by voices and spent the greater part of her childhood in Germany watching her mother regularly belt out operatic tones on stage. Sandra Bullock joined her mother's operas occasionally and got her first taste for the arts through dual training in ballet and choir practice. Upon returning to her home state of Virginia, she acted in school plays at Washington-Lee High School and -- like every future Hollywood girl next door -- she danced on the cheerleading squad.

East Carolina University was the next stop for Sandra Bullock. She studied drama all the way until her graduating year, but dropped out early, finding the lure of New York City and its many young, starving actors to be too strong to resist. She joined them as a part-time bartender and coat-check girl while she brushed up on her acting technique at the city's prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse. After earning a spot in an off-Broadway stage production, she got her first major screen role in the 1989 TV movie, Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman -- placing her alongside 1970s pop culture heroes, Lee Majors and Lindsay Wagner.

sandra bullock in speed and crash

Sandra Bullock remained active in television in the early 1990s and even won the lead of her own TV series, Working Girl, which was based on the earlier Harrison Ford/Melanie Griffith movie of the same name. The show was a non-factor in prime-time TV, but in 1993, Sandra Bullock caught a major break when she was chosen to play the no-nonsense futuristic cop, Lt. Lenina Huxley in the testosterone-laced Sylvester Stallone/Wesley Snipes collaboration, Demolition Man. An effective supporting player in the action genre already, she became the coolest woman to ever drive a bus in 1994 when she teamed up with Keanu Reeves for the action blockbuster, Speed. Besides having displaying an amazing ability to help Keanu Reeves act better, she effortlessly exuded charisma and became an instant front-page name.

Building on her charm and likability, Sandra Bullock shifted to the romantic comedy genre for films like While You Were Sleeping, Miss Congeniality and Two Weeks Notice, showing the entertainment world that there could be life without Julia Roberts. While a few of her other efforts like Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997) and attempts at more serious fare like Murder By Numbers and 28 Days didn't attract audiences, they did little to hurt Sandra Bullock's overall career trajectory as it seemed like her next comedy hit was never that far away.

By 2004, though, Sandra Bullock was pushing 40 and there was some debate as to whether she might be growing a bit long in the tooth for her genre of choice. She fired back in the Oscar-winning Crash by playing completely against type as a yuppie whose racial hostilities boil to the surface after a carjacking incident. The performance won over the critics who previously thought she couldn't be credible in a serious film and breathed new life into her career.

sandra bullock in the proposal and the blind side

An on-screen reunion with Keanu Reeves in The Lake House was the high point for Sandra Bullock in 2006. Her other film that year, Infamous, in which she played Harper Lee, was quickly overshadowed by the similarly themed Oscar favorite, Capote. Rather than retreat to the romantic comedy genre, Sandra Bullock went the way of supernatural suspense opposite Julian McMahon for 2007's Premonition. The film cast her as a woman living her days out of order and trying to change the fate of her husbands imminent death.

Following a two-year break from the movie world, Sandra Bullock returned to the big screen with a vengeance in 2009 and had what was arguably one of the most successful year of any modern American actress. Showing that she was older, wiser and not quite done yet, she played cougar to Hollywood's It Boy, Ryan Reynolds, for the marriage comedy, The Proposal. It proved to be one of highest-grossing films of her career and a few months later, it was deja vu all over again. Her next film, the fact-based drama The Blind Side became the first film top-lined by an actress to gross over $200 million in North America. For her efforts as a woman who adopts a struggling football hopeful, Sandra Bullock would further reap the benefits of her comeback with her first-ever Oscar (as well as nomination) for Best Actress.

sandra bullock, jesse james and michelle mcgee

After winning the Academy Award for Best Actress, it seemed like life for 45-year-old Sandra Bullock couldn't get any better, but the actress was blindsided by Michelle "Bombshell" McGee, a tattoo model who went to In Touch magazine with a story of her alleged affair with Bullock's husband Jesse James -- an affair that apparently took place while Bullock was filming The Blind Side. Bullock has since reportedly moved out of her home with James.