This Girl Raised Her First Child without ‘A Lot of Support,’ Then Became Forbes’ World’s Richest Actress

Before she became a highly sought-after actress and producer, this girl was a 22-year-old mother who had to stop working because she did not have the support she needed. Now she has created a full life with a thriving career and three children she is proud to have.

When this young girl fell pregnant at 22, she did not know how she would handle her peaking career and motherhood. As expected, the journey was not easy, especially since there was not much support for her. But through hard work and perseverance, she became a highly sought-after actress and successful producer.

From the outside, things might have looked easy. However, the now mother of three opened up about the difficult journey of having children young, juggling a career, and going through a divorce.

Looking Back at The Difficult Times
Reese Witherspoon fell pregnant with her first daughter, Ava, in 1999. The actress opened up about being a young mother with actress Kristen Bell on Dax Shepard’s podcast “Armchair Expert.”

The “Legally Blonde’ star gave birth to Ava two months after she and her ex-husband, Ryan Phillippe, tied the knot. Despite having him on her side, Witherspoon confessed how difficult things were for her.

Reese Witherspoon in New York in 2004 | Source: Getty Images

“I did not have a lot of support with my first baby, and I learned really early, like, this is not going to work,” she said. The actress tried to do it alone but quickly realized that the long sleepless nights affected her health.

But through the ups and downs, Witherspoon was grateful that she had saved enough money, allowing her not to work while she navigated being a new mother. Still, the actress did not think motherhood was something one or even two people could do alone.

Four years after welcoming Ava, Witherspoon had her son, Deacon, in 2003, but her marriage with Phillippe ended in 2006. Even though things were not easy, the “Wild” star will forever be proud of being a mother to her three children. She also has a son, Tennessee James, with her ex-husband, Jim Toth.

Reese Witherspoon’s Childhood
The tough times of early entry into motherhood were not the only part of Witherspoon’s life that she had not shared with the world. As an actress known for her glamorous “Legally Blonde” character, it was surprising to find out that the film character was played by someone who used to wear her brother’s hand-me-downs.

Witherspoon had another conversation with a fellow actress, Kerry Washington, and spoke about her childhood. The “Big Little Lies” star has always been a proud Southern girl from New Orleans, Louisiana, but her upbringing was not as glamorous as the life she lives now.

She grew up with an older brother, John D. Witherspoon, and a mother she described as “thrifty.” That meant she would do anything for them to save money, which is why Witherspoon had to make do with some of her brother’s clothes.

Washington was curious to find out if the actress would revamp the clothes to make them fit her style, but Witherspoon said she did not. “Kerry, I was the biggest tomboy. I was such a tomboy. I was a tree climber; I picked up frogs, I love bugs. I spent half of my life at a creek, picking up crawdads and following a bunch of boys,” she revealed.

In one of her Instagram posts, Witherspoon showed a picture of her as a little girl in 1987. She remembered the simple times of her rocking a new Benetton sweater, going to a roller skating birthday, eating Whatchamacallits, and drinking Cherry at the arcade. “LIFE IS GOOD,” she wrote.

Building a Successful Career
Through time, the actress has had to find her style. But her life has been a long journey of self-discovery. Witherspoon might have overcome the early stages of motherhood, but as she got older and expanded her career, she had to learn to balance the two.

The “Cruel Intentions” star evolved from being one of the highest-paid actresses to producing some of the best productions. Her production company, Hello Sunshine, is focused on making stories with women at the forefront.

But wearing these many hats has come with challenges, and the actress was candid about how she handles those days when she feels like everything is falling apart.

“I’ll lay on the floor and cry, or I’ll sit in my car and cry. Sometimes I’m totally overwhelmed,” Witherspoon said. But she also admitted to feeling pressure from seeing other moms be hands-on in every aspect of their children’s lives.

Though the actress realized that balancing work and motherhood might not be easy, she has maintained a close-knit relationship with her children, and all her hard work paid off. She went from being a young mother to being featured in the renowned Forbes magazine in 2021 as the World’s Richest Actress.

Witherspoon had the intention to build a company that highlighted women’s stories, and she proved her talent through the productions of “Big Little Lies,” “The Morning Show,” and “Little Fires Everywhere,” which also helped with the sale of her company.

It was announced that a media company was buying out all of the investors at Hello Sunshine and a stake of Witherspoon’s share. However, the actress clarified that she would do everything for the success and growth of her company.

In addition to her production company, Witherspoon also developed Reese’s Book Club, which fits with her mission to adapt books written by women. The book club reportedly has 2.1 million followers, and 42 of its 50 books made it to the New York Times Best Sellers list.

To top it off, Witherspoon still earns millions for her television performances. Things might not have been easy for her, but she has paved the way for many more people to show that hard work can pay off.