Julia Roberts Has Lived An Eventful Life In The Hollywood Spotlight

Julia Roberts has been one of the top actresses in Hollywood ever since her eye-opening performance in Little Women in 1990. One of the most successful actresses ever, her films have grossed more than $2.8 billion at the box office. On top of her accomplishments as an actress, she is well known in Hollywood for a number of romantic relationships that have frequently attracted tabloid attention. Read on to find out all about Roberts’ career!

A Connection With Martin Luther King Jr.

Picture of Julia Roberts
Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for GLSEN
Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for GLSEN

Before her birth on October 28, 1967, in Smyrna, Georgia, it was clear that Julia Roberts was destined to be in the performing arts.

While her mother was pregnant with her, Robert’s father was running a local acting school, where he was the instructor of Martin Luther King Jr. As a gift to her father, when Roberts was born, Mrs. King paid for the whole hospital bill.

She Was A Child Of Divorce

Picture of Julia Roberts
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for WarnerMedia
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

Regardless of her parents being involved in the performing arts, their marriage ended in divorce when young Julia was just four-years-old. Just one year later, her mother, Betty, remarried another man named Michael Motes.

Unfortunately, according to Roberts and her siblings, their new stepfather would turn out to be “abusive.” Luckily for Roberts and her siblings, their mother filed for divorce, citing cruelty as the reason not long after the couple was married.

From Band Geek To Model

Picture of Roberts
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

During her formative years, Roberts was a clarinet player in her high school band with aspirations to become a veterinarian. However, the plans for her future were put on the back burner not long after she graduated from her small high school in Georgia.

Following graduation, she signed to a model agency, moved to New York, and began taking acting classes. It was there that she fully began experience a life of celebrity after she started dating Liam Neeson.

Her First Film

Scene from Mystic Pizza
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Roberts’ breakout role came in the movie Mystic Pizza, which was released in 1988, although most people consider Pretty Woman to be the movie that really put her on the map.

Of course, her first time in front of the camera was in NBC’s Crime Story in 1987. Just 19-years-old at the time, Roberts portrayed a young survivor named Tracy. In all three of these works, she demonstrated her skills as an actress and the jobs never seemed to slow down after that.

Liam Neeson Showed Her The Ropes

Picture of Julia Roberts
Touchstone Pictures/Getty Images
Touchstone Pictures/Getty Images

After working some minor TV roles, Roberts eventually landed the starring role in the film Satisfaction, with none other than Liam Neeson.

It didn’t take long for the two to start dating, but the whole thing was turned into a scandal after it was revealed that Liam Neeson was 35 when Roberts was just 19! Despite their difference in age and the attention they were receiving, the couple moved in together before the two eventually broke up a year later.

Her Movie Steel Magnolias Proved To Be Problematic

Picture of Roberts and Platt
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

After her breakout in Mystic Pizza, Roberts was lucky enough to land another significant role in the film Steel Magnolias. Apparently what was going on behind the scenes was just over-the-top, especially for Roberts, a new actress.

According to Shirley MacLaine, the film’s director was awful to everyone, but he “went after Julia with a vengeance.” Not only did he insult her acting, but was known to make remarks about her physical appearance as well. Thankfully, this experience didn’t turn Roberts away from showbusiness.

Becoming An A-List Actress

Picture of Roberts
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Her performance in both Mystic Pizza and Steel Magnolias were both great roles for the young actress, but what would really push her into stardom was her role as Vivian in 1990’s Pretty Women.

At just 22-years-old, the film launched Roberts into stardom, turning her into an A-list actress and earning her an Academy Award nomination. However, not everything was as good for Roberts as it may have seemed. She had more than enough drama in her romantic life.

She Had Boy Drama

Flatliners premiere
Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

After breaking up with Liam Neeson, it didn’t take long for her to start dating Dylan McDermott, with the two even getting engaged. However, while on the film Flatliners’ set, she returned her engagement ring to Dylan McDermott and began dating her latest co-star Kiefer Sutherland.

This relationship wouldn’t prove to be all that great either. Sutherland’s problem was that he was already married to another woman and had a young child too! He would eventually leave his family to be with Roberts, which worked out… for a little while.

Their Relationship Fell Apart

Picture of Sutherland and Roberts
Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage
Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage

Although the couple went through a lot to be together, their relationship didn’t last long. Sutherland, who had struggled with alcohol in the past started up again and moved out from Robert’s mansion and into a hotel.

While he claimed that he was preparing for a role, as it turns out, he was seeing another woman. This obviously created problems between Sutherland and Roberts who eventually moved back in together, but their problems would prove to be far from over, even though they would end up getting engaged.

They Never Made It To Their Marriage Ceremony

Picture of Jason Patric and Julia Roberts
Barry King/Liaison
Barry King/Liaison

Incredibly, just three days before their wedding ceremony, Roberts called the whole thing off. She didn’t just run away from her problems; she literally flew from them. The actress boarded a plane to Ireland and wasn’t alone either!

She left Los Angeles alongside the young actor Jason Patric, who was also Sutherland’s close friend. By this point, it was clear to the public that Roberts was a bit of a wild child when it came to her dating life.

Kiefer Sutherland Didn’t Have Any Hard Feelings

Picture of Roberts and Sutherland
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Incredibly, actor Kiefer Sutherland wasn’t actually angry at Julia Roberts even though she basically left him at the altar just three days before their wedding. Instead, he felt the opposite and was actually happy for her.

He noted that “[Roberts] was to get out while she did. I commend Julia for seeing how young and silly we were, even at the last minute, even as painful and as difficult as it was. Thank God she saw it.” Indeed, it would have ended in disaster; otherwise, so it was for the best.

She Wasn’t Always The Easiest To Work With

Roberts at the Hook premiere
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Roberts was also in the 1991 Seven Spielberg film Hook as Tinkerbell, but according to some reports, Roberts made the film almost unbearable to work on. Roberts was even described some of the crew as “Tinkerhell.”

In an interview about the movie’s making, Spielberg claims that Roberts wouldn’t come out of her trailer for hours and that after the film, he never wanted to work with her again. However, Roberts didn’t take too kindly to what Spielberg had to say and lashed out at him.

The Two Never Made Up

Picture of spielberg and Roberts
Columbia Tristar/Getty Images
Columbia Tristar/Getty Images

After Roberts saw what Spielberg said about her on television, she went and told her side of the story to a reputable magazine. She claimed that Spielberg was lying and that she wasn’t the problem, but it was Spielberg himself, even calling him a “turncoat.”

Supposedly, the two never made up over their argument, and after Hook, both refused to work with the other ever again. Hook, despite the drama, has gone on to be considered a classic.

In 1982, Roberts Rushed Into Another Marriage

Picture of Roberts and Lyle
Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

By this point, Roberts was getting a reputation for her relationships with other men in Hollywood. So, in 1992, she ended her relationship with Jason Patric and tried something a little different. Instead of dating another Hollywood star as she was expected to, she fell for country singer Lyle Lovett.

The two would only date for three weeks before deciding to get married. You can imagine how this relationship turned out too. It’s safe to say it didn’t last very long.

It Was Hot And Heavy, While It Lasted

Picture of Roberts and Lovett
Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

According to Lyle Lovett, he and Roberts spent an entire week together before they finally decided to leap into a marriage. Then, just three days after deciding to get married, they made it official by exchanging rings! Unfortunately, their relationship would end almost as soon as it would begin.

Just two years after Lovett and Roberts were married, they announced that they were filing for a divorce. While this decision was believed to be amicable, the tabloids had a frenzy, claiming that Roberts had been getting cozy with Ethan Hawke.

She Has A Voice Double

Julia Roberts with an Oscar
David McNew/Getty Images
David McNew/Getty Images

It’s no secret that Julia Roberts is a very busy woman. Because of her tight schedule, she doesn’t always have the luxury to wait for a film’s editing process to be finished. And sometimes, lines are changed and added when Roberts isn’t there.

She often hires a voice double, with actress Amy Landecker being her go-to when she needs an automated dialogue replacement. We wish that we could hire someone to do our job too when we don’t have enough time!

She Also Has A Body Double

Picture of Julia Roberts
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

On top of having a voice double, Roberts has also been known to use a body double. One instance that Roberts is particularly open about is that she used a body double for the poster used on Pretty Women.

Roberts admitted that she didn’t want to shoot the nude scene and that it’s “not really my thing.” She has relied on a body double for every sensitive scene that she’s ever been a part of for a movie.

She Did Not Get Along With Nick Nolte

Picture of Roberts and Nick Nolte
Touchstone Pictures/Getty Images
Touchstone Pictures/Getty Images

It’s not surprising that everyone in Hollywood can’t get along, and that includes Julia Roberts. She reportedly had a fair number of issues with Nick Nolte, her co-star in the 1994 film I Love Trouble.

The actors were known to get into it on set with Nolte describing Roberts as “not a nice person” and Roberts calling him “completely disgusting.” Their relationship was so bad at one point that they couldn’t even stand in front of the camera together and would use stand-ins to avoid having to work in the same room.

Filming Mary Reilly Was Not Her Greatest Experience

Roberts in Mary Reilly
Ronald Siemoneit/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images
Ronald Siemoneit/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

While working on the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde remake, Mary Reilly, Roberts was not the greatest actor to be around and was known for requesting over-the-top accommodations.

According to some crew members, Roberts demanded that she have a private jet available to her at all times so she could go home to Los Angeles whenever she wanted. Of course, this cost the studio more than $120,000. As it turns out, she also hated her co-star, John Malkovich, and the movie turned out to be a flop, so it was a lose-lose situation.

She Reportedly Offered To Pay A Man To Divorce His Wife

Picture of Roberts and Moder
Lester Cohen/WireImage
Lester Cohen/WireImage

While filming The Mexican in 2001, Roberts was dating actor Benjamin Bratt. it was during this time that she also met the movie’s cinematographer, Danny Moder. Besides liking each other, something else that they had in common was that they were both involved with other people.

Moder was married to a makeup artist named Vera Steimberg, and Roberts wanted her out of the picture immediately. So, she reportedly offered Steimberg $10,000 if she would agree to a divorce with Moder. Although it’s unknown if she took the money, she did file for the divorce.

She’s A Philanthropist

Picture of Julia Roberts
Amy Sussman/Getty Images for WarnerMedia
Amy Sussman/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

Although Julia Roberts is mostly known for her acting and romantic relationships, she is also an active philanthropist. For the last several years, she has given time and money to UNICEF and other such organizations. In 2000, she narrated Silent Angels, a documentary to raise awareness about Rett Syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder.

She became a spokeswoman for Earth Biofuels, was involved in Gucci’s “Time for Change” campaign, and was the voice of Mother Nature for Conservation International.

She Suffered A Terrible Loss Later In Her Life

Roberts presenting an award
Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images
Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images

Tragically, in 2014, Robert’s half-sister Nancy died in the bath after supposedly drowning as a result of an overdose. To make matters worse, Nancy’s fiancé stated that her final note read, “My so-called siblings get nothing except the memory that they are the ones that drove me into the deepest depression I’ve been in.”

Just one year later, tragedy struck again when Robert’s mother passed away when she was busy filming Secret In Their Eyes.

She Learned To Use Her Right Hand For Erin Brockovich

Picture of Roberts signing an autograph
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

While having to learn to use your non-dominant hand isn’t something many actors have to do for a role, Julia Roberts did when making Erin Brockovich.

Because Roberts is naturally left-handed, to convincingly pull off Brockovich, she took the time to learn to write with her right hand, which is no easy feat if you’ve ever tried to write something with your weaker hand. Nevertheless, she managed to pull it off and look natural while she was doing it.

She Has Some Interesting Hobbies

Roberts in a pink dress
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Even though Roberts can be described as one of the best-known actresses in all of Hollywood, she admits that she’s actually kind of a geek. Some of her favorite things to do in her free time include knitting and riding horses.

She even did all of her own scenes riding a horse in Runaway Bride. Other than that, she claims that she enjoys conversing with other people and leads a less-than-glamorous life than you would think.

Her Teeth Are Not Cheap

Picture of Julia Roberts
Luca Teuchmann/WireImage
Luca Teuchmann/WireImage

Undeniably, Julia Roberts has one of the most glowing and recognizable smiles in all of Hollywood. However, those pearly whites aren’t all-natural and cost Roberts quite the pretty penny. According to her, the whole smile is insured for a whopping $30 million!

So, if you ever want to feel bad about yourself, just think about the fact that Roberts’ smile is worth more money than most people will ever see in their life. We hope she takes care of her teeth!

There’s An Archeological Discovery Named After Her

Picture of Julia Roberts
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

In 2004, a 9,0000-year-old skeleton was discovered in Bulgaria. As it turns out, the skeleton had perfect teeth, which led those who found it to call it Julia Roberts, because supposedly the woman would have looked similar to Roberts all those thousands of years ago.

We wonder what Roberts thinks about having the remains of a person named after her. But hey, at least the woman that lived thousands of years ago didn’t have to spend $30 million on her teeth!

She Has Some Impressive Best Friends

Picture of Roberts and Clooney
Mike Marsland/WireImage
Mike Marsland/WireImage

Considering that Roberts was one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood throughout her career, it’s not surprising that she also has some notable friends. One of her best friends, however, is none other than George Clooney. They first acted together in Ocean’s Eleven in 2001 and later Ocean’s Twelve in 2004.

On top of George Clooney, Roberts also considers Opera Winfrey to be one of her other best friends. Roberts once told Extra TV, “I’ve made a lifelong friend in that woman. I think she’s one of the highlights of humankind. I’m lucky that she’s my pal.”

She Broke The Record For The Most Money Paid To An Actress For A Movie

Black and white picture of Roberts
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

In 20000, Julia Roberts starred as Erin Brockovich in a biographical legal drama of the same name. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards at the 73rd Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, among others.

On top of the film’s positive reception, it also broke the record for the most money ever paid to an actress for a role. Roberts was paid an astonishing $20 million for the movie. Jim Carrey set the record for years prior for his role in The Cable Guy.

She Is A Practicing Hindu

Picture of Julia Roberts
Jun Sato/WireImage
Jun Sato/WireImage

Although Roberts was raised in a Baptist and Catholic household in Georgia, after her experience making Eat, Pray, Love, she converted to Hinduism. According to Roberts, she has been interested in the belief system for some time and frequents the temple with her family.

Furthermore, three of her children have Hindu names, which were provided by a guru that Jula visited in India when making Eat, Pray, Love. While the movie may have helped to change Robert’s life, there was still some controversy surrounding its release, such as how she behaved at the film’s release party.

She’s Really Proud Of My Best Friend’s Wedding

My Best Friend's Wedding premiere
Kevin Mazur Archive/WireImage
Kevin Mazur Archive/WireImage

During an interview on Good Morning America, Julia Roberts admitted to Michael Strahan that she can’t wait to show My Best Friend’s Wedding to her kids.

She commented that “In a few years, there are some [films] that I’m really looking forward to [their seeing]. . . I can’t wait for [my daughter] to see My Best Friend’s Wedding. That will be sweet, and I think they’ll be pleased with how I spent my 20s and 30s.”