Reese Witherspoon: A Look Through the Years

In honor of her 37th birthday on March 22, we're looking back at how she went from a scene-stealing teen to an Oscar-winning mom of three (23 Photos)

Kim Potts on Mar 22, 2013 at 9:31AM

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Reese Witherspoon: A Look Through the Years

The Kushner-Locke Company

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Higher Education vs. Hollywood

She had taken acting lessons, won a 10-state talent show, modeled and starred in the occasional commercial, but even after drawing rave reviews for The Man in the Moon and taken part in the Diane Keaton-directed TV movie Wildflower, Witherspoon decided to turn her focus to school. She was a cheerleader and debutante while attending the private Harpeth Hall all-girls high school in Nashville, and her grades earned her admission to Stanford University, where she majored in English literature ... until Hollywood lured her away. After one year at Stanford, 1996 roles opposite Mark Wahlberg (also rumored to be her fling at the time) in the psychological thriller Fear and Kiefer Sutherland in Freeway (pictured), a psychotic spin on the Little Red Riding Hood story, raised Witherspoon's profile and cemented her commitment to pursuing her acting career.

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