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Julia Roberts is an Academy Award-winning actress, and one of the top box office earners in Hollywood.
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Her star appeal even helped draw audiences to the critically panned Runaway Bride, in which Roberts again joined up with Pretty Woman co-star Richard Gere.
In 2000, she made a dramatic breakthrough with her powerful performance in Erin Brockovich. In the film, she played the title character: a gutsy, struggling single mom. Based on a true story,
Brockovich helped lead the fight against a California power company that allegedly poisoned a small town's water supply. Roberts won several awards for the project, including her first Academy Award. Her $20 million salary for the film was also a Hollywood milestone, making her first woman to receive such a hefty sum.
The following year, Roberts starred in the independent film The Mexican with Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini. During the making of the movie, she met cameraman Danny Moder. He was married at the time, and Roberts was dating actor Benjamin Bratt. The two became good friends, which later evolved into a relationship after they had split from their respective partners.
After Erin Brockovich, Roberts took on some light-hearted roles, appearing with George Clooney in Ocean's Eleven (2001) and Ocean's Twelve (2004) along with Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Andy Garcia. She was the only woman in the cast in the first installment, which she said had "its ups and downs." Clooney is well known for his love of practical jokes on set, and Roberts did not escape unscathed. She found herself once trapped in her hotel room after her co-stars put shaving cream on her door and blocked it with two heavy potted plants.
On July 4, 2002, Roberts married Moder at her ranch in Taos, New Mexico. The couple welcomed twins Phinnaeus Walter and Hazel Patricia in November 2004. Their third child, son Henry Daniel, was born in June 2007.
Putting her family first, Roberts became more selective about her work. She took on an emotionally challenging part in Closer (2004) with Clive Owen, Natalie Portman, and Jude Law. Directed by Mike Nichols, the film explored the complexities surrounding two relationships marked by deceit and infidelity. Roberts then made her Broadway debut in Three Days of Rain in 2006 with Bradley Cooper and Paul Rudd. While it received mixed reviews, the drama became a huge success financially, earning more than $12 million for a 12-week run.
Roberts then starred in the film, Charlie Wilson's War (2007), with Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Roberts received a Globe Globe nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category for her portrayal of an anticommunist Texas socialite. Her character encourages Congressman Charlie Wilson to support freedom fighters in Afghanistan in their conflict against the Soviet troops in their country.
Her next project, 2008's Fireflies in the Garden, boasted an all-star cast, which included Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson, and Ryan Reynolds. The family drama gave Roberts a chance to work with her husband, Danny, who served as the director of photography on the film. Fireflies in the Garden was shown during the Berlin Film Festival and released abroad, but it was not given a theatrical run in the United States.
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