One of Hollywood’s most recognizable blondes, in the last twenty years, Reese Witherspoon certainly has made a name for herself. To celebrate the Oscar-winner’s 38th birthday on Saturday, we’ve compiled a list of some of Witherspoon’s greatest hits.
1. “Legally Blonde”
The truth is, no one represents blonde ambition better than Elle Woods. After being dumped by her boyfriend, Warren, the Delta Nu sorority girl packs up her Jimmy Choos and enrolls at Harvard Law School. In Elle’s attempt to show her ex that she’s more of a Jackie than a Marilyn, she wins a murder trial in her first year and teaches us all not to judge a girl by her hair color.Witherspoon’s shining performance spawned another theatrical sequel, a reality show, a Tony-nominated Broadway musical, all while proving that blondes really do have more fun.
2. “Man In The Moon”
In the role that started it all, Witherspoon plays Dani Trant, a young tomboy who concerns herself with little more than skinny-dipping in a nearby pond. But when both she and her older sister fall for the more mature boy next door, summer love gets thrown for a loop and family bonds are tested. Witherspoon tugs at heartstrings and brings forth the pain of unrequited love, in what Jimmy Fallon recently revealed is one of his favorite movies. At fourteen, she demonstrates real talent and an impressive onscreen presence that makes carrying a feature film look like a piece of cake.
3. “Walk The Line”
Reese puts her best Southern drawl forward to play the talented June Carter Cash in this tremendous Johnny Cash biopic. She proves herself a dramatic force to be reckoned with, singing and playing the autoharp in front of a live audience for the role like June had done for most of her life. Reese managed to be both the comedienne and the no-nonsense mother figure without going overboard in either direction. In the end, her hard work paid off as she swept the award season that year, earning her a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, and an Oscar for Best Actress in a Lead Role.
4. “Cruel Intentions”
In one of her most juicy and recognizable roles, Witherspoon stars as Annette Hargrove, the centerpiece in a scandalous bet between two scheming stepsiblings. She may wear her hair in pigtails every once in a while, but it doesn’t mean she’s naïve about the reputation of Sebastian Valmont, the resident bad boy. With all the deception, sex and drug use going on, it’s easy to forget that these kids haven’t even graduated high school yet! Once again, Witherspoon is at her best when she’s playing good girls with an edge. What’s better than driving away to the tune of The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony,” leaving total social destruction in your wake? Nothing.
In this 1998 teen drama that doubles as a social commentary, Witherspoon plays Jennifer, a self-centered high school senior who would rather die than spend a night watching reruns of “Leave It To Beaver.” But when she gets stuck inside a ‘50s sitcom called “Pleasantville,” she begins to take a genuine interest in her new life when their greyscale world suddenly shifts to color. At first, Witherspoon is easy to dislike because of her hatred for Pleasantville, but she soon slips into surprisingly charming territory when she ditches her jeans for a poodle skirt and stays behind to focus on college.