The Enduring Appeal of Julia Roberts: How the Pretty Woman Star Became the Queen of Hollywood and Has Ruled Ever Since

She famously wasn’t the studio’s first (or even fourth) choice to play Vivian, the sweet and brainy gal from Georgia with a megawatt smile who ended up a prostitute in Hollywood after following a bad boyfriend to La La Land but ends up being rescued by Richard Gere‘s commitment-phobe corporate raider, in the now classic R-rated rom-com.

But the first-time leading lady—a sweet, brainy gal from Georgia with a megawatt smile in real life too—made it work, and still manages to make that movie work 27 years later, despite its “just try and get away with that now” premise, as explained above. She does rescue him right back, after all.

And not only did Julia Roberts become an overnight sensation, earning a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her efforts and becoming the most in-demand and one of the highest-paid star of the 1990s, but that was also the start of the Julia Roberts Era, an era which—as Peoplereiterated today

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