Her performances in rom-coms have made her one of the most loved stars of all time, but Julia Roberts also played many other roles. However, although audiences appreciate her serious work, it doesn't enjoy the same success at the box office.
Audiences first fell in love with Julia Roberts in 1985, when she attracted attention in the coming-of-age film, Mystic Pizza. She went on to win more hearts with her performances in a number of blockbuster rom-com movies. Fans say she has a magic touch, which is why she's been so successful, and it may just be true. Even though she stepped away from romantic movies for more than 2 decades, she remains the most popular actress in the style. But rom-coms aren't the only thing she's done.
Refusing to allow herself to be boxed into only one category, Roberts has played a wide variety of roles and her work has been recognized. Along the way, she's become one of the most respected actors of her generation.
During her career, she has received 4 Academy Award nominations, winning the coveted statuette once, for her work in the 2000 film, Erin Brockovich.
Based on the true story of a mother who won a battle against corporate environmental offenders, the film showed a totally different side of the actress who had made a name for herself in lighter films. It also marked a huge step in her value.
Roberts was paid $20 million, becoming the highest-paid actress in Hollywood at the time.
Taking even skeptical critics by surprise, Erin Brockovich is considered Robert's best work, but it's not the only time her skill has impressed them.
Roberts' Emmy-nominated performance in The Normal Heart, the 2014 HBO drama about the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, made the critics sit up and take notice of her again. So, too, did her work in films like Wonder, Ben is Back and August: Osage Country, the latter seeing a fourth Oscar nomination for her.
The honest performances she's delivered in films like these have firmly cemented her position as a serious actress.
But her best movies trail behind in the popularity stakes. While her more serious performances have won her critical acclaim, they aren't the biggest successes she's enjoyed at the box office. Her most popular movies are still firmly rooted within the rom-com genre.
While many may disparage the style, there is a place for lighter work among audiences, and her successes have been astounding. Among her top 10 highest-grossing movies are Notting Hill, Runaway Bride, My Best Friend's Wedding, and Valentine's Day.
Erin Brockovich only comes in at eighth position on the list, behind heist movies Ocean's Eleven and Ocean's Twelve.
Robert's biggest hit was billed as an unconventional love story. The film stars Roberts as a sex worker and Richard Gere as a businessman, and three decades later, it is still one of the most popular rom-coms of all time.
The 1990 movie has raked in an astounding $463.4M at the box office. Plus, her most popular role also won her an Oscar nomination.
The lead role in Pretty Woman could have gone to a number of other actresses who were all considered for the iconic role of Vivian Ward.
Winona Ryder, Molly Ringwald, and Drew Barrymore were all big names at the time, but Roberts won out. Her performance catapulted her to stardom, and she went on to one of the most successful careers in Hollywood.
Despite her successes as a romantic lead, for 20 years Roberts refused to work in the rom-com sphere. In fact, over the years, she's appeared in fewer movies, prompting many to believe she had quit acting.
Fans were delighted when news broke that she'd signed up for 2022's Ticket to Paradise.
She has said her long absence wasn't because she didn't want to work in the genre any longer, but rather that she hadn't found the right script. She's also said Ticket To Paradise somehow only made sense with George Clooney alongside her.
There's a chance that her latest offering in the romance field will be streets ahead of her serious movies.