In honor of Julia Roberts’ 50th birthday, TheWrap takes a look at her evolution from just the “girl with the big smile” to one of the most respected and highly paid actors in Hollywood.
Roberts’ first big role came in 1988 with the coming-of-age movie “Mystic Pizza,” which starred her as pizzeria waitress Daisy Arujo.
Her first Golden Globe win and Oscar nomination came the following year with her tragic role as the diabetic expectant mom Shelby in “Steel Magnolias.”
Still, it wasn’t until “Pretty Woman” in 1990 that Roberts made her case as a lead actress and caught the attention of moviegoers worldwide. She was paid $300,000 for her role in the rom-com, but after it became a box office hit, her pay grade went through the roof.
Roberts next branched out into more intense fare in 1991 with “Sleeping With the Enemy,” where she played a woman on the run from her wealthy — but extremely abusive — husband.
That same year, Roberts got her hair changed to a pixie cut to play Tinker Bell in “Hook,” Steven Spielberg‘s maudlin take on Peter Pan.
In 1999, Roberts reunited with “Pretty Woman” co-star Richard Gere to star in the comedy “Runaway Bride.” She played Maggie Carpenter, a jumpy young woman who gets nervous about relationships and has left three men at the altar.
2000 was a massive year for Roberts, who gave an Oscar-winning performance in “Erin Brockovich,” playing the real-life activist who fought against an energy corporation.
The highest paid actress in Hollywood at this time, Roberts starred alongside George Clooney for the first time in the smash hit film “Ocean’s Eleven.” She played the ex-wife of Clooney’s character and the girlfriend of the casino owner he’s trying to rob.
In 2002, she played a CIA agent who teamed up with “Gong Show” host Chuck Barris in the film “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.”
After getting paid in the mid six-digits for “Pretty Woman” 13 years earlier, Roberts got a whopping $25 million to star in “Mona Lisa Smile.” It was the highest amount ever earned by an actress in Hollywood history.
In 2010, Roberts starred in “Eat Pray Love,” a story about a woman who gives up her comfortable life and goes on a worldwide voyage of self-discovery.
Roberts’ most intense role in recent memory came in 2013 with “August: Osage County.” She played Barbara, a bitter daughter who eventually comes to blows with her cruel mother.
Roberts’ latest ensemble film, “Mother’s Day,” may have been panned by the critics, but at least her Mom Hair was top notch.
Roberts then once again starred alongside Clooney in the thriller “Money Monster,” playing Patty Fenn, a television director trying to calm a gun-wielding man loose on her set.
In the family dra-medy “Wonder,” Roberts plays Isabel Pullman, the mother of a young boy (Jacob Tremblay) struggling to overcome a facial difference. It hit theaters Nov. 17.