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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005, 12:10 GMT
Julia Roberts: America's sweetheart
Julia Roberts
Roberts' enduring popularity has put her on Hollywood's A-list
US star Julia Roberts, the highest-paid actress in Tinseltown according to the Hollywood Reporter's annual power list, has a special place in the affections of cinema-goers and film studios alike.

The Oscar-winning actress continues to command a reported $20m (11.6m) a movie, despite not having made a film throughout 2005.

Roberts, 38, who is married to cameraman Danny Moder, put her career on hold following the birth of twins, Phinnaeus and Hazel, in November 2004.

For more than a decade Roberts has proved herself America's favourite sweetheart, winning the People's Choice favourite actress award a massive nine times.

Daniel Moder and Julia Roberts in their official wedding photo
She gave birth to twins last year following her marriage in 2002
She cemented her status as a leading lady with her emotional Oscar acceptance speech in 2001 for Erin Brockovich - in which she declared "I love the world".

It was applauded by fans who cannot get enough of the actress, who first grabbed the public's attention playing a prostitute who stole the heart of Richard Gere in 1990's Pretty Woman.

Her popularity was originally based on her girl-next-door appeal, seen in films such as Flatliners, Notting Hill and Runaway Bride.

But her reputation as an actress has grown, and her portrayal of the feisty single mother and campaigner Erin Brockovich made the critics sit up and take notice.

JULIA ROBERTS FILMS
Satisfaction (1988)
Mystic Pizza (1988)
Blood Red (1989)
Steel Magnolias (1989)
Pretty Woman (1990)
Flatliners (1990)
Hook (1991)
Sleeping With the Enemy (1991)
The Player (1992)
The Pelican Brief (1993)
Pret-a-Porter (1994)
My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)
Stepmom (1998)
Notting Hill (1999)
Runaway Bride (1999)
Erin Brockovich (2000)
The Mexican (2001)
America's Sweethearts (2001)
Ocean's Eleven (2001)
Full Frontal (2002)
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)
Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
Closer (2004)
Ocean's Twelve (2004)

Roberts was born on 28 October 1967 in Smyrna, Georgia.

Her parents ran an actors' and writers' workshop in their home so their young daughter grew up in the company of people who loved acting.

It was natural that both she and her brother Eric would also be bitten by the performance bug.

After finishing high school, Roberts moved to New York where she was quick to sign herself an agent.

She made her first film alongside her brother in Blood Red, made in 1986, but not released until 1989.

Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich
Erin Brockovich sealed Roberts' reputation as a serious actress

Roberts' first break came in 1988 when she landed a role in Mystic Pizza playing a Portuguese waitress in a small-town pizzeria.

She went on to win an Oscar nomination for Steel Magnolias the following year, playing opposite Hollywood heavyweights Shirley Maclaine and Sally Field.

Then came Pretty Woman, which garnered her a second Oscar nod and propelled her to international fame.

Two big hits followed, supernatural thriller Flatliners and the battered wife drama Sleeping With the Enemy.

But with her next movie, the weepie Dying Young in 1991, Roberts's career seemed to take something of a nosedive.

Julia Roberts at the Ocars in 2001
The star scooped the best actress Oscar for Erin Brockovich
The actress's personal life was also in a slump following a much-publicised break-up from 24 star Kiefer Sutherland. The couple split on the eve of their wedding.

After she finished her scenes as Tinkerbell in Steven Spielberg's Hook, Roberts briefly withdrew from the Hollywood scene.

But with her marriage to country singer Lyle Lovett in 1993, Roberts seemed to regain her appetite for the movies.

Success in The Pelican Brief was followed by the unimpressive 1994 duo I Love Trouble and Pret-a-Porter, and Stephen Frear's critically derided Mary Reilly in 1996.

Along the way came divorce from Lovett, but Roberts finally reclaimed filmgoers' attention with Michael Collins and Conspiracy Theory (1997).

They were followed by several box office successes - My Best Friend's Wedding, Notting Hill and Runaway Bride.

Her $20m salary for the Oscar-winning Erin Brockovich in 2000 set the standard by which future Hollywood actresses would be measured.

Julia Roberts in Closer (2004)
Recent roles have included the Oscar nominated drama Closer

A busy year in 2001 saw her top the US box office in heist caper Ocean's Eleven, which reunited her with Erin Brockovich director Steven Soderbergh.

Her personal life, however, was once again in hiatus after she split from actor Benjamin Bratt, her partner for three and a half years, in May 2001.

Roberts said her affair with Bratt had come to a "tender-hearted end", but Bratt later said he found it tough living with her level of fame.

The star's subsequent relationship with cameraman Daniel Moder was closely followed by the tabloid press who also focused on Moder's ex-wife.

Julia Roberts
She makes her debut on the Broadway stage in 2006

Roberts and Moder married in July 2002, in the privacy of Roberts' estate in New Mexico, in a year which saw the actress give just two cameo performances in Clooney's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Steven Soderbergh's Full Frontal.

She returned to leading lady status in 2003 with the disappointing Mona Lisa Smile and the critically applauded Closer, but news of her pregnancy saw the actress once again withdraw from public view - save only a small role in sequel Ocean's Twelve.

Next year, she returns to the limelight with her Broadway stage debut in Three Days of Rain, opposite Paul Rudd - but another movie and a $20m pay-check cannot be far away.



SEE ALSO
Julia Roberts 'still top earner'
30 Nov 05 |  Entertainment
Julia Roberts makes Broadway move
30 Jul 05 |  Entertainment
Actress Julia Roberts has twins
29 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
Julia Roberts marries cameraman
04 Jul 02 |  Entertainment
Julia Roberts tops actress power list
03 Dec 02 |  Entertainment
Roberts: I love the world
26 Mar 01 |  Entertainment

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