If we were to ask the population for a list of their favorite actors and actresses of all time, we guarantee Julia Roberts will be nearing the top of many. The gorgeous star is remembered for her roles in some of the most iconic motion pictures, but how did she get to where she is, as one of the highest paid actresses of the nineties?
Popular Everything has decided to explore the ins and outs of this gorgeous money-making Hollywood star. We want to trace back to this woman’s life before she had a nation swooning after her. The way she made something out of her small beginnings will make you fall in love with Roberts, all over again.
Where It All Began
Let’s rewind to 1967, the year Julia Roberts first entered the world. Being born into a family of actors, you might say this woman was destined for the creative life she led. However, her worldwide success came as a surprise no one was ready for.
Acting is in Robert’s blood. Her parents met during a series of theatrical performances for the armed forces and were keen to expand their acting passions, together. From that moment on, they founded an acting and writing workshop and were even the proud leaders of a children’s acting school. These two took the term ‘follow your dreams’ to a whole new level!
The Rocky Road Ahead
For some stars, the privileges in their life granted them a one-way ticket to fame. With Julia Roberts, the route wasn’t always so easy. After her talented parents’ divorce in 1971, Julia’s mother married an abusive man named Michael Motes, who did not contribute much to the home.
Together, the couple gave birth to Nancy, who died at 37 due to life-threatening habits. As for Julia’s birth father, Grady Roberts passed away when she was 10. Such heartbreaking circumstances make it easy for some people to give up in life, but not Roberts. This relentless woman was keen to make a name for herself, despite her tragic past. Way to make us proud, Roberts!
Suffering a stutter for a great deal of her childhood made being a world-renowned actress a far cry from Julia’s original dream. Some of you may be surprised to learn that when she was growing up, the beauty first wanted to be a veterinarian – can you believe it?
Being a vet was a worthy career choice, but complications quickly arose after discovering science wasn’t exactly Roberts’ forte. What was she to do? The answer to this question only arrived once the young girl opened the doors of Georgia State University.
Career Choice of the Century
So, maybe Julia didn’t manage to stick it out at Georgia State long enough to pose in an academic gown and hat. The reality of it was that this girl was onto much bigger and better things…cue the iconic trip to NYC!
Acting was the answer! Julia’s brief time as a college grad opened her eyes to the realization that she wanted to be just like mom and dad. Roberts headed straight to New York with older siblings, Lisa and Eric to make all her dreams come true.
No Stopping Until Success
Being the ambitious girl that she is, Julia Roberts was stopping at nothing to get her foot in the door of the acting industry. When in the Big Apple, Julia threw herself into opportunities such as acting school to give herself the best chance of succeeding.
Safe to say, the young girl’s efforts were not going unnoticed. The 80’s came round, and before she knew it, Julia was starting to see some progress. By 1988, she was working alongside the likes of Liam Neeson and Jason Bateman in the comedy-drama movie, Satisfaction. This story proves that with a little hard work, you can go far in life!
The Wins Kept Coming
Julia had started making a name for herself, but she was by no means getting comfortable. In fact, the woman began working twice as hard to ensure more successes like this would follow.
After an impressive performance as Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie in Steel Magnolias, Julia Roberts saw herself reaching a new realm of attention. Her performance wowed so many people that she achieved her fair share of awards from it: including a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. World domination was in sight for Roberts!
The Movie That Changed It All
Finally, she made it! Pretty Woman was undoubtedly the pivotal moment that changed Julia Roberts career, for the better. In 1990, Roberts starred in this timeless rom-com classic alongside Richard Gere, and the rest is history! We’re not sure even Roberts was prepared for the success this movie generated.
More success meant more awards were to come. Roberts was thrilled after being awarded yet another Golden Globe, this time for Best Actress Award – now that is something. People everywhere finally recognized this woman for her sheer talent. If you haven’t already, we strongly recommend you give this movie a watch!
A Sudden Change
1990 was a busy year for Julia. After appearing in several famous movies (such as playing Tinkerbell in Steven Spielberg’s Hook), the actress decided to reflect on her work, taking a two-year hiatus to focus on herself. After the success she obtained, we think she deserved a little break!
During Julia’s brief interval from acting, people began to worry. After rejecting some notable movie appearances, fans began to question where the nation’s sweetheart had disappeared. The reasons behind her hiding came as a shock to many.
So, why was Roberts taking a step back from her acting career? To make time for love. The acting sensation had called off her engagement to Dylan McDermott, quickly moving on with fellow actor, Kiefer Sutherland. This relationship was not perfect, and the two went on some rollercoaster journey together.
The rockiness of this relationship proved too much for Roberts to handle, causing her to run off with Kiefer’s friend, Jason Patric just three days before she was set to tie the knot with Sutherland. The two didn’t realize just how young they were, so it’s unlikely it would’ve worked out in the long run, had she gone ahead with things.
Making a Big Return
1993 may not have been a busy year for the star, but she was getting back into the swing of things. She made her big return to the screens starring as Darby Shaw in the crime movie, The Pelican Brief.
The big question is: was this movie a success? You bet it was. Julia Roberts’ comeback was a big one, as it was reported that The Pelican Brief cashed in a whopping total of $195.3 million at the box office. This woman doesn’t do things by halves, you know!
Keeping Herself Busy
Things began moving at a steady pace for Roberts during the mid-nineties. She appeared in six movies between the years 1994 and 1996. These films may not have been like some of the blockbuster sellouts she had previously starred in, but they were successful nonetheless.
At this point in her career, just about any director who’d manage to bag Julia Roberts in their film would consider it a hit. So, let’s say the offers weren’t in limited supply for the star. Oh, and did you know she starred in an episode of Friends at this time, too?
The Humanitarian Side of Things
Not only was this woman an acting superstar, but she loved to spend time doing her bit for the less fortunate. What do we mean by this? Roberts frequently engaged in a number of humanitarian causes.
The philanthropist got involved with some notable charities, such as UNICEF, to lend a helping hand. She had high hopes that her status would encourage more and more people to donate to the places she visited.
A Booming Two Years
Many people that follow the work of Julia Roberts believe that the years 1999 and 2000 were her most successful ones. She starred alongside British heartthrob Hugh Grant in Notting Hill. Want to know how big this movie was? It made a massive $365 million worldwide. Now that is something.
Falling closely behind Notting Hill was Runaway Bride, it may not have raked in as much cash as the first, but it wasn’t too far off. This feel-good romantic comedy earned itself a respectable $300 million. Roberts was some money-maker!
The Role That Made Her the Big Bucks
Fast forward to the year 2000, and Julia Roberts landed herself the role as an environmental activist in biographical movie, Erin Brockovich. The movie proved so successful that Roberts was soon given a very important title.
People were so enamored by Julia’s performance, that she was paid a pretty substantial amount for her work, $20 million to be precise. It’s now not so hard to see how this woman was titled most highly paid actress, right?
Giving Love Another Shot
Despite the breakdowns of her previous engagements, Julia was still relentless in her quest for love. The actress had stumbled across the love of her life, Danny Moder in 2000. After two years of dating, the pair couldn’t wait any longer and tied the knot July 4th, 2002.
Keen to take their relationship to the next level, Julia and Danny welcomed their first two children, twins Hazel and Phinnaeus to the world in 2004. During this time, the actress took some time off to focus on being a mother for the first time. Come 2007, and the couple welcomed another child, Henry into their happy family. It looks like this actress got her dream career, and happily ever after!
Taking on Center Stage
Julia was overwhelmed by the amount of acclaim her acting pursuits were receiving, this wasn’t the end of her journey though. Keen to show off her versatility to critics, Julia Roberts tried her hand in the world of musical theater.
Her time on the big stage debuted in 2006, with a remarkable performance of Three Days of Rain. This was something of an A-list play, as Roberts performed with the likes of Paul Rudd and Bradley Cooper. Now, that is a trio everyone would want to see on stage!
Taking the Pressure Off
Just like what happened in the nineties, Julia decided to take another hiatus from acting. She was not getting sick of her career, but felt that good movies take time to come around, and there was no point rushing around in the meantime. Good on her!
During her pause from acting, Julia was interested in keeping herself involved in the entertainment industry, but looking at it from a different angle. Roberts took it upon herself to work as an executive producer on the television series, Queens Supreme. Over the years, her interest in producing led to the decision to create her own production company, named Red Om Films.
Still Got It After 10 Years
Keen to prove that after ten years she still has her acting touch, Julia Roberts starred in the 2010 biopic, Eat, Pray, Love. Based on the novel by Elizabeth Gilbert, this movie explores the tale of Liz, a recent divorcee who looks to rediscover what’s important to her in life.
Being the Julia Roberts we all know and love, her performance proved a big hit, making this movie a huge success at the box office (earning $204.6 million) it’s just another day, another box office hit for Julia!
Discovering a New Faith
What many of you may not know, is the potential secret behind Julia Roberts being cast as Liz in Eat, Pray, Love. Many have suspected that the casting decision came straight down to religion. Roberts has been, after all, practicing Hinduism for a number of years now.
Over the years, we’ve witnessed several celebrities go on this magical adventure as they convert to a new faith. Roberts contends that this is by no means a publicity gimmick, and she does not denounce any other faith. She has, however, given her children new names under Hindu gods (Laxmi, Ganesh, Krishna.)
Keep Those Awards Coming
All those years later, and Julia Roberts proves she still has what it takes to win awards for her acting abilities. In 2013, Roberts starred alongside Meryl Streep in August: Osage County. Just one year later, and the successes from this movie came rolling in.
What’s this? Another award? Roberts was nominated for her fourth Oscar award, this time for Best Supporting Actress as well as a Golden Globe, for her fantastic portrayal of the daughter, Barbara in the comedy-drama.
Raking in the Wins
Just when you think this woman couldn’t possibly achieve any more in life, she surprises us all by taking home an Emmy Award for her role in HBO motion picture, The Normal Heart.
Within this movie, Roberts worked alongside Jim Parsons to portray a concerned doctor who aims to find a cure for her patients. These are a group of gay men, living amid the HIV/AIDS crisis.
On a Constant Role
Between the years 2014 to 2017, Roberts was working at a steady, yet strong rate. She’d featured in a few more movies, including The Normal Heart, and Secrets in Their Eyes.
Proving not to be a one-trick-pony, towards the more recent stages of her career Julia has tried her hand at voice acting. Having previously lent her voice in 2006 to Hova in The Ant Bully, Roberts wanted to give this another wack, this time voicing a smurf in the animated movie, Smurfs: The Lost Village.
Another Potential Hit
We’re yet to discover how well this one’s doing, but in 2018 Roberts featured in American drama movie, Ben is Back. The motion picture centers around the life of teenager Ben Burns, who got involved in some life-threatening habits. On Christmas Eve, Ben returns home to his family.
Over 24 hours, Ben’s mother Holly (played by Roberts) is forced to come to terms with some shocking truths about what her son has got himself involved in. So, who knows, will this movie be in the running for another Oscar award for Julia?
Trying Something New
Well, isn’t this exciting! Just last year, the acting sensation that is Julia Roberts announced some big news. From November 2nd, those of you Prime Video members will have been able to catch the star in her most recent television series.
Homecoming is a psychological thriller which centers around Heidi Bergman, a caseworker who leaves to start a new life with her mother. Along the way, parts of Heidi’s life that she was not aware of before start piecing together. Safe to say, Roberts did this character justice in her fantastic portrayal.