Julia Roberts remained an iconic figure whose assured, winsome performances underscored her undeniable public appeal. Following a breakthrough role in "Mystic Pizza" (1988), Roberts earned critical acclaim and award recognition for her portrayal of the ill-fated Shelby in "Steel Magnolias" (1989).
She quickly became one of the highest paid stars - male or female - in the world, eventually raking in $25 million for a film. Equally in the limelight for a torrent of high-profile and often rocky romances, Roberts managed to maintain an output of projects that consistently topped the box office.
Despite solid middle class jobs, her parents were also part-time actors who ran the Atlanta-based Actors and Writers Workshop out of their home. But in 1971, her domestic tranquility was shattered when her parents divorced.
She moved the following year to Smyrna, CA with her mother and sister, Lisa, while her brother, Eric, stayed behind with their father. Though she was intent on becoming a veterinarian, Roberts was suddenly interested in acting after landing her first stage role playing Elizabeth Dole in a mock election campaign.