Julia Roberts is an American actress and producer who has been one of the most popular and highest-paid stars in Hollywood for over three decades. She was born on October 28, 1967, which means she is currently 55 years old as of October 2023.
Early Life and Family
Julia Roberts was born in Smyrna, Georgia, to Betty Lou Bredemus and Walter Grady Roberts, both actors, and playwrights. She has a brother, Eric Roberts, who is also an actor, and a sister, Lisa Roberts Gillan, who is an actress and producer. She also had a half-sister, Nancy Motes, who died in 2014. Roberts attended Campbell High School and Georgia State University but did not graduate. She moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting in the late 1980s.
Roberts made her film debut in 1988 with a small role in “Satisfaction”, but her breakthrough came in 1990 with the romantic comedy “Pretty Woman”, opposite Richard Gere. The film was a huge commercial and critical success, earning Roberts her first Academy Award nomination and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. She became one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood, starring in films such as “Steel Magnolias” (1989), “Flatliners” (1990), “Sleeping with the Enemy” (1991), “The Pelican Brief” (1993), “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (1997), and “Notting Hill” (1999).
In the 2000s, Roberts continued to dominate the box office with films such as “Erin Brockovich” (2000), for which she won her first Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001) and its sequels, “Mona Lisa Smile” (2003), “Closer” (2004), for which she received her third Academy Award nomination and fourth Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, “Charlie Wilson’s War” (2007), for which she received her fifth Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and “Eat Pray Love” (2010).
In the 2010s, Roberts ventured into television, producing and starring in the HBO film “The Normal Heart” (2014), for which she received her sixth Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and the Amazon Prime Video series “Homecoming” (2018), for which she received her seventh Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama. She also appeared in films such as “Mirror Mirror” (2012), “August: Osage County” (2013), for which she received her fourth Academy Award nomination and eighth Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, “Wonder” (2017), and “Ben Is Back” (2018).
In the 2020s, Roberts has been working on several projects, including the Netflix film “The Last Thing He Wanted” (2020), the Apple TV+ series “The Morning Show” (2020–present), the Hulu miniseries “The Dropout” (2021–present), and the film adaptation of the novel “Little Bee” by Chris Cleave.
Roberts has a mixed ancestry of English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, German, and Swedish. She has been married twice: first to singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett from 1993 to 1995, and then to cinematographer Daniel Moder from 2002 to the present. She has three children with Moder: twins Hazel Patricia and Phinnaeus Walter (born in 2004) and Henry Daniel (born in 2007). Roberts is known for being private about her personal life and rarely gives interviews or attends public events.
Roberts was raised as a Catholic but converted to Hinduism after filming “Eat Pray Love” in India. She has said that she believes in reincarnation and karma. She is also an environmental activist and a supporter of UNICEF, having been appointed as a goodwill ambassador in 2006.
Filmography and Accolades
Roberts has appeared in over 60 films and television shows in a variety of genres, ranging from romantic comedies to dramas to thrillers. She is one of the most bankable actresses in Hollywood history, having grossed over $2.8 billion at the North American box office alone. She has also received numerous awards and honors for her work, including an Academy Award, three Golden Globe Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Primetime Emmy Award nomination, and four People’s Choice Awards.
Some of her most popular movies include:
- Steel Magnolias (1989): A comedy-drama about a group of women who bond over their joys and sorrows at a beauty salon in Louisiana. Roberts played Shelby Eatenton Latcherie, a young woman who suffers from diabetes and dies after giving birth. She received her first Academy Award nomination and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for this role.
- Pretty Woman (1990): A romantic comedy about a wealthy businessman (Richard Gere) who hires a prostitute (Roberts) to accompany him to social events. The film was a huge hit, becoming one of the highest-grossing films of all time. Roberts received her first Academy Award nomination and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for this role.
- Erin Brockovich (2000): A biographical drama about a legal clerk (Roberts) who uncovers a case of water contamination caused by a corporation. The film was praised for its social message and Roberts’ performance. Roberts won her first Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for this role.