About Sandra Annette Bullock
One of the top-grossing Hollywood actresses of the 1990s, America's sweetheart Sandra Bullock won over scores of filmgoers and critics as the unwitting heroine in Speed. Further success in films such as While You Were Sleeping, The Net, Demolition Man, and A Time to Kill solidified her star status. She continued with films such as Miss Congeniality, The Lake House, and Crash, the third of which received critical acclaim. In 2009, Bullock starred in the most financially successful films of her career, The Proposal and The Blind Side. Bullock was awarded a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, and the Academy Award for Best Actress, for her role as Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side. She was listed in the 2012 edition of the Guinness Book Of World Records as the Highest Paid Actress with $56 million.
Born on July 26, 1964 in the outskirts of Washington, D.C. to voice teacher John W. Bullock and German opera singer Helga D. Meyer, Bullock grew up largely on the road. She studied music and dance while she traveled throughout Europe, and made her first stage appearance at the age of 5 in a small role for an opera in Nuremburg, Germany. The performance helped her to develop a love of the stage, and she began appearing regularly in the Nuremburg children's choir. When Bullock was 12, her family moved back to the D.C. area, where she attended Washington-Lee High School. Bullock had no problem fitting in, becoming involved in cheerleading and school theater productions until her graduation in 1982. Bullock then enrolled in East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, to study acting, but left college only three credits shy of her bachelor's degree. Instead, she moved to New York in 1986 to pursue acting in earnest. She joined the Neighborhood Playhouse Theatre, where she took acting classes, and supported herself with waitressing and bartending work.
Bullock landed her first gig at the age of 21 in an off-Broadway production of No Time Flat. She used the critical acclaim for her role in the play to land an agent. But Bullock's early acting jobs, which included bit parts in TV movies and B-movies, were unsuccessful and sometimes embarrassing. She made a short run as Tess McGill on the ill-fated NBC sitcom Working Girl (based on the hit movie of the same name), followed by a co-starring role in the romantic comedy Love Potion No. 9. In 1993, Bullock replaced Lori Petty in the futuristic Sylvester Stallone vehicle Demolition Man, but critics largely panned the film as "incoherent" and "one-dimensional." It was in the 1994 box-office hit Speed that Bullock first earned widespread recognition. Playing opposite Keanu Reeves, Bullock's plucky performance helped propel the commercial success of what was an otherwise generic action feature.
In the mid-1990s, Bullock appeared in steady stream of big-budget productions of varying commercial success. While films like While You Were Sleeping (1995), The Net (1995), and A Time to Kill (1996) performed well, others such as Two If By Sea (1996) and Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997), were box-office flops. In an attempt to expand her dramatic range, Bullock appeared as an alcoholic newspaper columnist sent to rehab, in 28 Days (2000). The film, a mix of dark comedy and melodrama, received tepid reviews, although her comedy Miss Congeniality did well at the box office that same year. After a brief hiatus, Bullock returned in early 2002 with Murder by Numbers, a crime thriller in which she plays a detective responsible for tracking down a duo of thrill-killers. She also appeared in a film version of the best-selling novel The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Two Weeks' Notice, a romantic comedy co-starring Hugh Grant. Dividing her time between comedy and drama, Bullock starred Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005) and the romantic drama The Lake House with Speed costar Keanu Reeves. She took on some more serious roles with Infamous (2006) and Premonition (2007). In Infamous, she played writer Harper Lee in the Truman Capote drama starring Toby Jones. Bullock starred with Julian McMahon in the domestic thriller Premonition as a wife and mother who tries to prevent her husband's death after experiencing a vision of his demise.
In 2009, Bullock returned to her romantic comedy roots with two projects. The Proposal featured Bullock as a tough-as-nails boss who must marry her assistant (Ryan Reynolds) to avoid being deported, which became a huge box office smash. All About Steve, however, proved to be a critical and commercial dud. In the film, Bullock played a woman who becomes obsessed with a television cameraman (Bradley Cooper) after going on a blind date with him.
Bullock then had a career breakthrough with the sports drama The Blind Side, based on the true-life story of African-American professional football player Michael Oher. Playing Leah Anne Touhy, she starred as a suburban wife and mother who brings Oher (played by Quinton Aaron), a homeless teenager, into her family and helps him overcome his personal challenges. The touching drama has brought in more than $248 million at the box office and earned Bullock an Academy Award for Best Actress. She also won a Golden Globe for her work on the film.
Bullock makes her home in Austin, Texas; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; and Tybee Island, Georgia. She married Jesse James, star of the TV hit Monster Garage, on July 16, 2005. The couple divorced in June 2010, after news of his affair with tattoo model Michelle McGee hit tabloids. James later apologized for the incident, but Bullock filed for divorce and announced that she would retain sole custody of her newly adopted son, Louis.