Julia Roberts

     
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Real Name: Julia Roberts
Birthday: October 28, 1967
Place of Birth: Smyrna, GA

 

Biography And Filmography:

A pleasant actress with a  radiant smile, Julia Roberts was one of the few successful movie stars of the 1990s whose love for the art continued into the next century. She was able to rule the movie screen like no one else, even while surrounded by top talent like Sally Field, Denzel Washington and Susan Sarandon. Fans loved her - from the broken-hearted lovers she left behind to her self-imposed "Pretty Woman" exile to getting pregnant with twins – the public loved it all.

Born October. 28, 1967 in Smyrna, Georgia, Julia Roberts planned to be a veterinarian, but later studied journalism instead. She was introduced to performing at an early age by her parents, who ran the Atlanta-based Actors and Writers Workshop. She made her screen debut opposite her brother Eric in "Blood Red" (1986). 

Seeing that her old brother was having some success in Hollywood, Roberts decided to try acting as a career. She first gained attention starring in two young teen oriented movies in 1988 – "Mystic Pizza" and "Satisfaction" (1988) with Justine Bateman. Only two years into her career, the young actress earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination as the ill-fated diabetic heroine, Shelby, of "Steel Magnolias" (1989) with Daryl Hannah.


With her role as a warm-hearted prostitute who transforms bitter executive Richard Gere in Garry Marshall's successful rags-to-riches story, "Pretty Woman" (1990), Julia became one of Hollywood's most admired and bankable stars and earned a Best Actress Academy Award nomination. The famous role would forever label her as America's "pretty woman". Roberts then made the thrillers "Flatliners" (1990) with Kevin Bacon and Kiefer Sutherland, and "Sleeping with the Enemy" (1991), but she faltered at the box office in late 1991 with the emotional romance "Dying Young." 

Roberts finished the year with the supporting role of Tinkerbell in Steven Spielberg's version of the Peter Pan myth, "Hook" with Robin Williams. Rumors of bad blood between her and Spielberg cast a cloud on the project, sending the ever more reclusive star into a self-imposed exile, which only fueled the tabloids more.

It was during her early fame that Roberts took a vacation from acting to get her private life in order. Romances with co-stars Liam Neeson, Dylan McDermott and Kiefer Sutherland – whom she reportedly left for his best friend Robert Patrick only weeks before the wedding – all died out, though her romance with Lyle Lovett ended in a short marriage in 1993. She made a guest appearance as herself in Robert Altman's "The Player" (1992) before making her long awaited return to the movie screen after two years, opposite Denzel Washington in the political thriller, "The Pelican Brief" (1993), and then Nick Nolte in the so-so romantic comedy, "I Love Trouble" (1994). 

Julia next appeared in Robert Altman's comedy "Pret-a-Porter" (1994), and then as a woman dealing with marital problems in the romantic comedy "Something to Talk About" (1995), and then the period horror film "Mary Reilly" (1996) with Glenn Close, all of which failed to find much of an audience. As Woody Allen's leading lady in his musical comedy "Everyone Says I Love You" (1996) with Edward Norton and Drew Barrymore, she did better. Cast opposite Liam Neeson as his love interest in Neil Jordan's biography of Irish revolutionary "Michael Collins" (1996), Roberts gave it a good try but was held back by a bad Irish accent.

1997 saw the actress return as America's sweetheart and a box-office celebrity with her starring role in the hit comedy, "My Best Friend's Wedding" with Cameron Diaz. Cast as a scheming restaurant critic who sets out to break up the wedding of the man she thinks she loves, she turned what could have become an insensitive character into an audience darling through her natural charisma and enthusiasm. She was helped by Rupert Everett's supporting role as her editor and a great script by Ron Bass. 

Roberts then worked with Mel Gibson in Richard Donner's "Conspiracy Theory" (1997), but was doomed by a poor script. Ron Bass was one of several writers who worked on the script of "Stepmom" (1998) with Susan Sarandon, a comedy-drama that cast her as the much younger girlfriend of a divorced man dealing with his two children and his virtuous ex-wife. She followed with a role as a world famous movie star who falls in love with a clumsy British bookseller (Hugh Grant) in "Notting Hill", a romantic comedy that did well at the box office. The much talked about reunion with Gere under Marshall's work in "Runaway Bride" (1999) brought out the audiences, but the film could not compete with the "Pretty Woman" heritage that came before. Together these films earned over $450 million domestically, justifying the actress' standing as the highest paid female actor.

Julia Roberts was now a Hollywood super star and everybody wanted to see her movies.

She then took on the role of her life, playing the legal secretary who assisted in turning a water poisoning case into one of the largest class-action lawsuits in United States history, in "Erin Brockovich" (2000). Her outstanding work under the direction of Stephen Soderbergh, earned her just about every award in 2001, including the Best Actress Oscar.

After such a successful project, Roberts returned to comedy, playing the girlfriend of a blundering gangster (Brad Pitt) in the "The Mexican" (2001). Although her and Pitt were not on screen together for very long, the pair shared a good chemistry – but the actress had a better bond with James Gandolfini, as the killer who kidnaps her as insurance. Despite fielding many offers, and after already playing a movie star on screen, Roberts decided to play the personal assistant to the movie star (Catherine Zeta-Jones) in the comedy, "America's Sweethearts" (2001). Then she re-teamed with Soderbergh for a small role in "Ocean's Eleven" (2001).

Playing Tess Ocean, Clooney's unhappy wife, Roberts did her best to keep up with the boys, including Matt Damon and Andy Garcia. Her next project was in the sequel to the 1989 film "Sex, Lies and Videotape" – "Full Frontal" (2002) starring David Duchovny.  Next was Clooney's directorial debut, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (2002) with Michael Cera and Drew Barrymore, the life story of game show producer and host-turned government agent Chuck Barris, in which she played a killer spy.  

Julia was then cast in "Mona Lisa Smile" (2003) with Kirsten Dunst, playing Katherine Watson, a liberal teacher who takes a feminist position at Wellesley in the 1950s and quickly comes under fire for teaching her female students to aim for something other than marriage and kids. While the film's foundation and storyline – a female version of the popular "Dead Poets' Society" – was expected, Roberts gave an older and charming performance that, in ways different from her previous projects, had audiences once again cheering for her.

Just as she began filming the sequel "Ocean's Twelve" (2004), the actress, who was by then onto her second marriage to Danny Moder, told the world that she was pregnant with twins. Maybe due to the approaching birth, she appeared to be having more fun than in the first "Oceans," playing off of her pregnancy. Just before the release of that film, she made headlines when she gave birth to a boy and a girl, Phinnaeus and Hazel, in November, 2004. 

Soon after the birth of her children, Roberts appeared in the drama "Closer" (2004), in which she played an American photographer in London caught up in the heated, sometimes erotic, often cruel love and sex gender war among two sets of couples (Jude Law and Natalie Portman and Clive Owen). The film received excellent reviews and brought her the best reviews since "Brockovich."

After taking time off to enjoy her twins and family time on her Taos, New Mexico ranch, Julia returned to work by accepting a role on Broadway. In April of 2006, she headlined the Richard Greenberg drama, "Three Days of Rain," co-starring Paul Rudd and Bradley Cooper. Although her reviews were warm, the play sold out its 12-week run.


Once her Broadway show had wrapped, it was back to the big-screen. She first appeared in animated family comedy "The Ant Bully" (2006), lending her voice talents along with other big stars such as Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep, where after Lucas Nickle floods an ant colony with his water gun, he's magically shrunken down to insect size and sentenced to hard labor in the ruins. More voice work followed with another animated family comedy "Charlotte's Web" (2006) with voiced from Oprah Winfrey and Steve Buscemi. Roberts then moved away from comedy and landed in the political film "Charlie Wilson's War" (2007) starring Tom Hanks, a drama based on the Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects. Roberts wrapped the year with the dramatic "Fireflies in the Garden" (2008) starring with Ryan Reynolds, the semi autobiographical story centers on the complexities of love and commitment in a family torn apart when faced by an unexpected tragedy.

Next was the thriller "Duplicity" (2009) with Billy Bob Thornton, about a pair of corporate spies who share a steamy past and hook up to pull off the ultimate con job on their respective bosses. The actress wrapped the year with the dramatic "The Friday Night Knitting Club" (2009) about a group of women who form a bond when they meet at a small knitting shop in New York. Based on the novel "The Friday Night Knitting Club" by Kathleen Jacobs.

Julia Roberts has become a staple of the Hollywood film genre and does not seem to be slowing down at all.

 

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