Julia Roberts

Julie Fiona Roberts was born on October 28, 1967, in Smyrna, Georgia. The daughter of a vacuum salesman and a church secretary, Julia isn't the only Roberts to have pursued an acting career: her brother and sister are also actors, albeit not as famous as Julia -- few even know their names.

julia roberts the actress

As a 17-year-old girl with big dreams, Julia headed to the Big Apple to join her actress sister, Lisa. Starting out as a model in order to make a living, Julia took acting classes on the side in order to perfect her trade. She finally received her big break after her brother, B-movie actor Eric Roberts, convinced a director to cast his little sister in the film Blood Red (1989).

Fours years passed between the production of Blood Red and its release, over the span of which Julia found television work on such series as Crime Story and Miami Vice. In 1988, she landed roles in the films Satisfaction and Mystic Pizza. Her role in the latter did not go unnoticed, and audiences and critics alike would soon remember the name Julia Roberts (who actually changed her name from Julie to Julia when she applied for a SAG card in order to distinguish herself from another actress registered under the same name). In 1990, Oscar acknowledged Julia's work in Steel Magnolias, costarring Sally Field and Dolly Parton, by honoring her with a nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

julia roberts in pretty woman

Oscar nomination considered, none of Julia's roles to that date approached the success of 1990's Pretty Woman. Julia's portrayal of prostitute-turned-princess Vivian Ward was so flawless that it seemed as though the role was written for her (it wasn't). This performance garnered her a second Oscar nomination, this time for Best Actress, and cemented Julia as a Hollywood fixture.

After Pretty Woman, Julia's success at the box office continued with the thrillers Flatliners (1990) and Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), but then her film career took a turn for the worse. The tearjerker Dying Young (1991) and Steven Spielberg's Peter Pan adaptation Hook (1991) were box-office and critical disasters.

While Julia's film career was experiencing highs and subsequent lows, her romantic life was taking a similar bumpy ride. Her wedding to Kiefer Sutherland was canceled just days before the set date, and only a few days later she was romantically linked to actor Jason Patric.

julia roberts in the pelican brief

At this time, Julia was in the midst of a two-year film hiatus, interrupted only by a cameo in Robert Altman's The Player. Her 1993 role in The Pelican Brief, costarring Denzel Washington, marked Julia's Hollywood comeback. The following years were marked with such hits as 1995's Something to Talk About and 1996's Everyone Says I Love You, along with misses, like 1994's Ready To Wear and I Love Trouble, and 1996's Mary Reilly.

On a personal note, Julia Roberts' love life once again made headlines, but this time because of her marriage to country star Lyle Lovett. They were married from June 1993 to March 1995, and their union raised many eyebrows.

By 1997, the Julia Roberts everyone loved was back in full form. Her role in the summer hit My Best Friend's Wedding, along with Dermot Mulroney and Cameron Diaz, earned her a Best Actress Golden Globe nomination and marked the start of a whole new kind of success for Julia. That same year, she costarred with Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory.

Stepmom also fared well, but it was Julia's only project of 1998. The following year she came back with a vengeance with two summer blockbusters: Notting Hill, in the role of a world-famous movie actress (not much of a character stretch) with Brit-hunk Hugh Grant, and Runaway Bride, which re-teamed her with Richard Gere.

julia roberts in erin brockovich

It was her role as a single mother who takes on a massive corporation in 2000's Erin Brockovich that launched Julia to the next tier in her career. This job bumped Julia into the $20-million club, along with heavy hitters Tom Cruise and Jim Carrey, and earned her the Best Actress Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG Award.

While 2001 brought disappointments in the form of The Mexican, with James Gandolfini, and America's Sweethearts, with Billy Crystal and Christopher Walken, Julia's career remained, for the most part, steady with successes (including 2001's Ocean's Eleven). This stability came thanks in part to director/producer Steven Soderbergh, who cast Julia in Erin Brockovich and Ocean's Eleven, among other projects.

As for her personal life, following a three-year romance with actor Benjamin Bratt, Julia began dating cinematographer Daniel Moder. They were married in a surprise midnight ceremony on July 4, 2002.

julia roberts in closer

2004 was a big year for Julia, with two December movie releases -- the drama Closer, with costars Natalie Portman, Jude Law and Clive Owen, and the sequel Ocean's Twelve (the only sequel she has ever appeared in), with Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, George Clooney, and Andy Garcia. Julia was unable to attend the premieres or celebrity junkets for these two flicks as she gave birth to twins on November 28, 2004. Although the twins were due January 2005, Julia had remained on bed rest when she gave birth to son Phinnaeus Walter and daughter Hazel Patricia.

julia roberts in charlotte's web

In 2006, Julia added the Warner Bros. animated film Ant Bully to her resume -- lending her voice to the ant character Hova. Her voice costars, Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep, also joined the colony.

After Ant Bully, Julia took on another children's film as the leading arachnid: supplying the voice of Charlotte the spider in Charlotte's Web (2006). While the classic children's tale has been redone countless times, Julia brought new life to the eight-legged creature. John Cleese, Oprah Winfrey and Kathy Bates also felt the farm life was for them and lent their voices to the family film.

julia roberts in duplicity

From children's films to dramas, Julia seems to be able to do it all. In the 2007 film Charlie Wilson's War, Julia took on political intrigue with costars Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman. In 2009, Julia continued her return to the limelight in the con-job romantic comedy Duplicity, costarring Clive Owen.