- Julia Fiona Roberts
October 28, 1967 (age 53)
- Film Producer, Actor
- Lyle Lovett
- Walter Grady Roberts, Betty Lou Motes
Julia Fiona Roberts (born October 28, 1967) is an American actress and producer. She became a Hollywood star after headlining the romantic comedy Pretty Woman (1990), which grossed $464 million worldwide. She has won three Golden Globe Awards (out of eight nominations), and has been nominated for four Academy Awards for her film acting, winning the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Erin Brockovich (2000).
Her films Mystic Pizza (1988), Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), Hook (1991), The Pelican Brief (1993), My Best Friend's Wedding (1997), Conspiracy Theory (1997), Notting Hill (1999), Runaway Bride (1999), Ocean's Eleven (2001), Ocean's Twelve (2004), Charlie Wilson's War (2007), Valentine's Day (2010), Eat Pray Love (2010), and Mirror Mirror (2012) have collectively brought box office receipts of over $2.6 billion, making her one of the most successful actresses in terms of box office receipts.
Roberts was the highest-paid actress in the world throughout the 1990s and the first half of the 2000s. 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 (2003). As of 2010, Roberts's net worth was estimated to be $140 million. She has been named one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" eleven times, tied with Halle Berry. In 2011, she was named one of the "100 Hottest Women of All-Time" by Men's Health.
Early life and family
Roberts was born on October 28, 1967 in Smyrna, Georgia, to Betty Lou Bredemus (1934–2015) and Walter Grady Roberts (1933–1977). She is of English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, German, and Swedish descent. Her father was a Baptist, her mother a Roman Catholic, and she was raised a Catholic. Her older brother, Eric Roberts, from whom she was estranged until 2004, sister Lisa Roberts Gillan, and niece Emma Roberts, are also actors.
Roberts's parents, one-time actors and playwrights, met while performing theatrical productions for the armed forces. They later co-founded the Atlanta Actors and Writers Workshop in Atlanta, Georgia, off Juniper Street in Midtown. They ran a children's acting school in Decatur, Georgia, while they were expecting Julia. The children of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King attended the school, with Walter Roberts acting as their daughter, Yolanda Denise King's, acting coach. As a thank-you for their service, Mrs. King paid Mrs. Roberts's hospital bill when Julia was born.
Her parents married in 1955. Roberts's mother filed for divorce in 1971; the divorce was finalized in early 1972. From 1972, Roberts lived in Smyrna, Georgia, where she attended Fitzhugh Lee Elementary School, Griffin Middle School, and Campbell High School. In 1972, her mother married Michael Motes, who was abusive and often unemployed; Roberts despised him. The couple had a daughter, Nancy Motes, who died at 37 on February 9, 2014 of an apparent drug overdose. The marriage ended in 1983, with Betty Lou divorcing Motes on cruelty grounds; she stated that marrying him was the biggest mistake of her life. Roberts's own father died of cancer when she was ten.
Roberts wanted to be a veterinarian as a child. She also played the clarinet in her school band. After graduating from Smyrna's Campbell High School, she attended Georgia State University, but did not graduate. She later headed to New York to pursue a career in acting. Once there, she signed with the Click Modeling Agency and enrolled in acting classes.
Roberts made her first big screen appearance in the film Satisfaction (1988), alongside Liam Neeson and Justine Bateman, as a band member looking for a summer gig. She had previously performed a small role opposite her brother, Eric, in Blood Red (she has two words of dialogue), filmed in 1987, although it was only released in 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. Her first critical success with moviegoers was 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. In 1989, she was featured in Steel Magnolias, as a young bride with diabetes, and received both her first Academy Award nomination (as Best Supporting Actress) and first Golden Globe Award win (Motion Picture Best Supporting Actress) for her performance.
Roberts became known to worldwide audiences when she starred with Richard Gere in the Cinderella/Pygmalionesque story, Pretty Woman, in 1990. Roberts won the role after Michelle Pfeiffer, Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Karen Allen, and Daryl Hannah (her co-star in Steel Magnolias) turned it down. The role also earned her a second Oscar nomination, this time as Best Actress, and second Golden Globe Award win, as Motion Picture Best Actress (Musical or Comedy). Her next box office success was the thriller Sleeping with the Enemy, playing a battered wife who escapes her abusive husband, played by 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?" She was offered the role of Annie Reed in Sleepless in Seattle (1993), but turned it down.
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 reportedly had romantic relationships with actors Jason Patric, Liam Neeson, Kiefer Sutherland, Dylan McDermott, and Matthew Perry. She was briefly engaged to Sutherland; they broke up three days before their scheduled wedding on June 11, 1991. On June 25, 1993, she married country singer Lyle Lovett; the wedding took place at St. James Lutheran Church in Marion, Indiana. They separated in March 1995 and subsequently divorced. From 1998 to 2001, Roberts dated actor Benjamin Bratt.
Roberts and her husband, cameraman Daniel Moder, met on the set of her film The Mexican in 2000, while she was still dating Bratt. At the time, Moder was married to Vera Steimberg. 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 Mexico. Together, they have three children: twins Hazel Patricia and Phinnaeus "Finn" Walter Moder (born November 28, 2004) and son, Henry Daniel Moder (born June 18, 2007).