Reese Witherspoon - American actress, producer, businesswoman and activist

Reese Witherspoon - American actress, producer, businesswoman and activist

Reese Witherspoon is an American actress, producer, businesswoman and activist. She is considered one of the most influential women in Hollywood, and one of the highest paid.

A formidable force in the entertainment industry for over twenty years, her work, both in front of and behind the camera, has had a significant impact. She is also renowned for her philanthropic efforts, particularly in the fields of education and women's rights.


Witherspoon began her acting career in 1991 with the film "The Man in the Moon". In 1996, she played a leading role in the thriller "Fear", but it was in 1999 that she broke through, thanks to her role as Annette Hargrove in the comedy-drama "Cruel Intentions", then in the comedy "Election" with her interpretation of Tracy Flick.

She gained wider recognition with the role of Elle Woods in the legendary comedy "Legally Blonde" in 2001, and with the lead role in the comedy "Sweet Home Alabama" the following year. Her 2005 breakthrough came with her role of June Carter in the musical biopic "Walk the Line", a performance that earned her the Oscar for Best Actress.


Following her Oscar win, her career slowed down a little, but she returned to the big screen for a film in 2011, in the comedy-drama "Water for Elephants". She made her comeback in 2014, first as producer of the thriller "Gone Girl", then as Cheryl Strayed in the drama "Wild", a film she also produced. Her performance in "Wild" earned her a second Oscar nomination as Best Actress.


An undeniably talented actress, she is also a successful producer thanks to her Hello Sunshine production company. Co-founded in 2000 under the name Type A Films, it became Hello Sunshine in 2016, and was quickly making a name for itself producing content with an emphasis on storytelling from a female perspective. Among her most notable projects, both as a producer and as an actress, are the series "Big Little Lies", which won eight Emmy Awards, including Best Miniseries, and the Apple TV+ series "The Morning Show", which earned her a nomination for Best Actress in a Drama Series at the 2020 Emmy Awards.


Beyond her acting talents, Reese Witherspoon is also a formidable businesswoman. She notably launched Draper James in 2015, a clothing, accessories and home decor brand named in tribute to her grandparents, Dorothea Draper and William James Witherspoon. The brand was first launched online before opening its first physical store in her hometown of Nashville in autumn 2015.

In 2017, she became Chief Storyteller for Elizabeth Arden Inc, an American cosmetics, skincare and fragrance company. She helped the company shape the brand's narrative through advertising campaigns and marketing programs.

"One of the first things that drew me to the brand was its rich heritage and history of supporting women. As one of the first female entrepreneurs, Elizabeth Arden paved the way for women like me. It's an honor to carry on her legacy and be part of such an iconic company that is committed to serving women. I'm excited to work as a creative partner alongside the Elizabeth Arden team, producing content that celebrates the spirit of the brand, highlighting female-centric stories that illustrate women's true life experiences which unite us all." (© Reese Witherspoon - PR Newswire, March 30, 2017).


In 2018, Witherspoon published her first book, "Whiskey in a Teacup". The book is a celebration of her Southern culture and traditions, and a reflection on how these values have shaped her life and career. It also includes recipes, beauty tips and anecdotes from her life.


In addition to her work in the entertainment industry, Witherspoon is a fervent advocate of education and women's rights. She is a long-time supporter of the Malala Fund, which works to ensure that girls around the world have access to education, and a fervent campaigner for the Time's Up movement, which aims to combat sexual harassment and gender inequality in the workplace.

She is also a long-time supporter of Save the Children, which provides children around the world with education, healthcare and emergency aid, and sits on the board of the Children's Defence Fund, a children's advocacy and research group.

In 2006, she joined other actresses on the CDF project to raise awareness of the needs of Hurricane Katrina victims. During this trip, an experience she describes as unforgettable, she helped open the city's first Freedom School.

In 2007, she was named global ambassador for Avon Products, a famous cosmetics brand. She acts as spokesperson for their products, and also became honorary president of the Avon Foundation, a charity that supports women, and focuses on breast cancer research and the prevention of domestic violence. "As a woman and a mother I care deeply about the well being of other women and children throughout the world and through the years, I have always looked for opportunities to make a difference." (© Reese Witherspoon - Reuters, 2 août 2007).


In 2010, she received her star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, a legendary honor to celebrate her career and achievements.


In 2020, she launched an initiative called "Shine On With Reese", a series of interviews with women who are making a difference in their communities. The show, which is available on her company's Hello Sunshine YouTube channel, features guests such as Dolly Parton, Ava DuVernay and Simone Biles, and focuses on their personal journeys and the work they are doing to make a change.


Reese Witherspoon's undeniable impact as an actress, entrepreneur and activist cannot be overstated. Her work in front of and behind the camera has been widely acclaimed, and her efforts to improve education and women's rights have made a real difference. A true inspiration, her contributions to the entertainment industry and to society in general will continue to be felt for years to come.  


"Reese Witherspoon : la Bimboss - Reportage cinéma", CANAL+, 2018 :

Playlist "Shine On with Reese - Highlights", Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine, 2018 :


© Article by Julie Henry Poutrel for Adama Toulon.

© Photo: Eva Rinaldi - CC BY-SA 2.0