As a child, she spent four years living in Germany. Upon her return, her family settled in Nashville, Tennessee.
Reese Witherspoon took acting lessons as a child, got good grades in school and loved reading. During her time in high school at the all-girls Harpeth Hall School she was a cheerleader. She attended Stanford University as an English literature major, but left after one year to pursue an acting career.
Reese's first roles were in "The Man in the Moon," "Wildflower," "Return to Lonesome Dove," "A Far Off Place," and "S.F.W." More roles followed in "Fear," "Freeway," "Overnight Delivery," "Pleasantville" and "Twilight" (no relation to the vampire movies).
But it was probably her role in "Cruel Intentions" that got her noticed, and from there Reese Witherspoon continued her ascent with parts in "Election," "American Psycho," and "Legally Blonde," which made her a star. She starred in its sequel, "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde," "Vanity Fair," and earned an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as June Carter Nash in "Walk the Line."
As she continued to act in other films, Reese Witherspoon opened a production company called Type A Films. She recently merged it with the Make Movies banner to create a new production company called Pacific Standard.
Reese Witherspoon said of aging in Hollywood, "Nothin's going north. It's all going south, might as well put it on film now. But not without a lot of padding and a push-up bra" (elle.com).
Witherspoon added about living a less-than-perfect life: "I want to not perpetuate any more of this kind of garbage that's out there in the media about women falling in love blindly. No one's life is perfect, and I'm sick of whatever tabloid stuff is this or that story tries to portray. My life is just as realistic as everybody else's. Whoever thinks someone has a perfect life, I'm so eager to dispel that."
Reese Witherspoon is active in children and women's advocacy organizations, including Save the Children and the Children's Defense Fund.
Reese has two children from her previous marriage to actor Ryan Phillipe, Ava Elizabeth and Deacon Reese. She told Glamour, "I always say that it's very important not to blame one person [for a divorce]. You have to own whatever part of it you're responsible for. It takes a lot of soul-searching. It's important to go through that, because hopefully you won't repeat yourself."
Reese Witherspoon later met and married Jim Toth, a talent agent for the Creative Artists Agency. She gave birth to a son, Tennessee James Toth in September 2012.