Julia Roberts Through the Years: From ‘Pretty Woman’ to ‘Ticket to Paradise’ and Beyond

A true Hollywood queen!  Julia Roberts established herself as a leading actress in 1990's Pretty Womanand has since continued to be one of Hollywood's most prominent stars.

The Wonder actress was born in a suburb outside of Atlanta, Georgia where her parents ran a children's acting school. While Roberts initially attended Georgia State University following high school, she ultimately decided to drop out early to pursue an acting career in New York City.

Following her role in 1989's Steel Magnolias, for which she received her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, the Ben Is Back star scored her first starring role in 1990's Pretty Woman opposite 

Richard Gere. The romantic comedy was an instant hit, leading to her becoming a global sensation.

"They say I can open movies, and that's nice in that it puts into people's minds that women can do it," Roberts told The Guardian in a 2009 interview. "It's not just  Kevin Costner, not just  Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not just guys."

After her rise to fame in Pretty Woman, Roberts continued her success throughout the following decades starring in fan-favorite films such as 1999's Notting Hill, 2000's Erin Brockovich, 2001's Ocean's Eleven, 2013's August: Osage County and many more.

Throughout her career, she has received numerous accolades including winning Best Actress for her role in Erin Brockovich, three Golden Globe Awards for Erin Brockovich, Pretty Woman and Steel Magnolias and three Emmy nominations.

Although the Eat Pray Love star has had many impressive accomplishments, Roberts has shared that being an actor is "not [her] only dream come true."

"The life I've built with my husband," Roberts said in an interview on CBS Sunday Morning in October 2022 when asked about about her other aspirations. "The life we've built with our children. And that's the best stuff … The point is to come home at the end of the day triumphantly to them."

Roberts married cinematographer  Danny Moder in 2002 and the twosome share three kids together – twins Hazel and Phinnaeus, born in 2004, and son Henry, born in 2007.

"When I'm not working, [being a homemaker] is my full-time job," the Ticket to Paradise star shared. "It isn't rainbows and kittens every day, but it does bring me a lot of joy."

Before her marriage to Moder, Roberts was married to  Lyle Lovett from 1993 to 1996. She has also been romantically linked to high-profile actors including  Kiefer SutherlandMatthew PerryDaniel Day-Lewisand  Liam Neeson.

However, the Mystic Pizza actress has implied that none of her past romances shook her quite like meeting Moder.

"I think that first kind of real … 'seismic shift' was meeting Danny," she said in a 2018 interview on "Goop" podcast.

"Getting married to Danny. That was the first, like, my life will never be the same in the most incredible, indescribable way."

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Keep scrolling for a look back at Roberts' life and career over the years:

Credit: Elisa Leonelli/Shutterstock


Roberts was born in October 1967 in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. While she was growing up, her parents ran an acting school for children.

Later on, Roberts attended Georgia State University but dropped out to pursue an acting career in New York City.

Credit: Samuel Goldwyn Co/Kobal/Shutterstock


The Red Om Films founder made her big screen debut in the dramedy Satisfaction, however, her first critical success came with her role in the comedy Mystic Pizza.

Credit: Zade Rosenthal/Tri-Star/Kobal/Shutterstock


Roberts appeared in the film adaptation of Steel Magnolias with  Sally Field, which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Credit: Moviestore/Shutterstock


Following her Academy Award nomination, Roberts landed the leading role in Pretty Woman which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress and a second Golden Globe award. "I started out being Julia,  Eric Roberts' sister, then I was Julia Mystic Pizza Roberts," she told The Guardian in a 2009 interview.

"So getting saddled with Pretty Woman was not the worst moment of my life."

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The Lancome ambassador starred in the cult classic film Flatliners alongside Sutherland,  William Baldwin and  Kevin Bacon.

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The year after Pretty Woman, Roberts starred in popular films such as Sleeping with the Enemy, Hookand Dying Young.

Credit: Ken Regan/Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock


The Player star appeared in the thriller The Pelican Brief with  Denzel Washington, which went on to be a commercial success. The film made headlines after its release after it was discovered Washington didn't want to kiss Roberts in the movie. " I have taken so much s–t over the years about not kissing Denzel in that film," she told Newsweekin a 2002 interview. "Don't I have a pulse? Of course I wanted to kiss Denzel. It was his idea to take the damn scenes out.


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Roberts married Lovett in June, however, the twosome separated in March 1995.

"Never a mistake. Too many great things came out of it. We have this great shared experience that never had any nasty moments," the actress told the New York Daily News in 1999 about her divorce from Lovett. "What we had doesn't come close to the mistake category."

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While dating Perry, Roberts guest starred on an episode of Friends. The pair got together in 1995, but broke it off shortly after the episode aired.

"Dating Julia Roberts had been too much for me. I had been constantly certain that she was going to break up with me," Perry wrote in his October 2022 memoir. "Why would she not? I was not enough; I could never be enough; I was broken, bent, unlovable. So instead of facing the inevitable agony of losing her, I broke up with the beautiful and brilliant Julia Roberts."

Credit: Tri-Star/Kobal/Shutterstock

Late '90s

Throughout the late '90s, Roberts appeared in several noteworthy projects including 1997's My Best Friend's Wedding, 1998's Stepmom and 1999's Notting Hill. The award-winning actress also guest starred on an episode of Law & Order in 1999, which earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.

Credit: Bob Marshak/Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock


At the beginning of the new decade, Roberts took on the role of a real-life environmental activist in the film Erin Brockovich.

Her performance earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Credit: Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock


The America's Sweethearts actress starred in Ocean's Eleven with an ensemble cast including  George ClooneyBrad Pitt and  Matt Damon. The heist comedy became the fifth-highest grossing film of the year.

Credit: Alex Berliner/Shutterstock


Roberts married her The Mexican costar Moder in an intimate ceremony.

"He makes me feel my most comfortable self," she said of her partner in 2003. "I don't alter myself in any way."

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The Mona Lisa Smile star gave birth to twins Hazel and Phinnaeus in November after two years of marriage.

Credit: Marion Curtis/Starpix/Shutterstock


After years of screen acting, Roberts made her Broadway debut in Three Days of Rain opposite 

Paul Rudd and  Bradley Cooper.

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Roberts and her husband welcomed their son Henry in June.

Credit: Moviestore/Shutterstock


The Valentine's Day actress starred in August: Osage County with  Meryl Streepand  Ewan McGregor. Her performance earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. In 2014, Roberts appeared in the film The Normal Heart which garnered her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.

Credit: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP/Shutterstock


Roberts reunited with Clooney in the film Ticket to Paradise, her first romantic comedy in decades. "People sometimes misconstrue the amount of time that's gone by that I haven't done a romantic comedy as my not wanting to do one," she told The New York Times in April 2022. "If I had read something that I thought was that Notting Hill level of writing or My Best Friend's Wedding level of madcap fun, I would do it."

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