Born 26 July, 1964
Sandra Annette Bullock was born in Arlington, Virginia, daughter of an Army employee and part time-voice coach John W. Bullock and his wife, Helga D. Meyer a German opera singer and voice teacher. Sandra’s grandfather (maternal) was a rocket scientist from Nuremberg, Germany.
Sandra spent much of her childhood accompanying her mother on opera tours in Europe. She also stayed with her aunt and grandmother in Salzburg and Nuremberg, becoming fluent in German. Sandra studied ballet and vocal arts as a child, taking small parts in her mother’s opera productions.
Sandra later attended Washington-Lee High School, where she was a cheerleader and performed in high school theatre productions. Graduating in 1982, she then entered East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, but dropped out in 1986, her fourth year, just three credits short of graduating, to become an actress. After moving to Manhattan, she supported herself as a bartender, cocktail waitress, and coat checker. Sandra later completed her coursework and graduated from East Carolina University.
Sandra took acting classes with Sanford Meisner, in New York. Appearing in several student films, she later landed a role in an Off-Broadway play No Time Flat. The director Alan J. Levi was so impressed by her performance, he offered her a part in the TV movie Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1989).
She went on to appear in TV and films, establishing her career with films such as Miss Congeniality and Crash, the second of which received critical acclaim. In 2007, she was ranked as the 14th richest female celebrity with an estimated fortune of £40 million. In 2009, Bullock starred in the most financially successful films of her career, The Proposal and The Blind Side. She 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.
Sandra was selected as one of People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1996 and 1999, and was also ranked No.58 in Empire magazine’s Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time list. She was presented with the 2002 Raúl Juliá Award for Excellence for her efforts, as the executive producer of the sitcom George Lopez, in helping expand career openings for Hispanic talent in the media and entertainment industry. In 2002, she starred opposite Hugh Grant in the global hit Two Weeks Notice and in the film Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
In 2009 she released The Proposal, with co-star Ryan Reynolds, a huge hit that took in more than £150 million at the box office worldwide, making it her most successful picture to date. By 2009, Sandra’s films have grossed over £1.3 billion worldwide. She was selected by People Magazine as its "Woman of the Year" for 2010.
Sandra also runs her own production company, Fortis Films. Her father, John Bullock, is the company’s CEO. Sandra was an executive producer of The George Lopez Show, which generated a lucrative syndication deal earning around £4.5 million. Sandra tried to produce a film based on F.X. Toole’s short story, Million-Dollar Baby, but none of the studios were interested in a female boxing drama. The story was eventually reworked and directed by Clint Eastwood as the Oscar-winning film, Million Dollar Baby (2004).
Since November 2006, the actress has owned a restaurant called Bess Bistro in Austin, Texas. She later opened another business in Austin called Walton’s Fancy and Staple, a bakery and floral shop that includes an event planning service.
Sandra was once engaged to actor Tate Donovan, whom she met while filming Love Potion No. 9; they split up after four years. She has previously dated Troy Aikman (a football player), Bob Schneider (an Austin musician), and actors Ryan Gosling and Matthew McConaughey.
On 16 July, 2005, she married Jesse James (a motorcycle builder and Monster Garage host). They met when she arranged for her ten-year-old godson to meet James as a Christmas present.
In November 2009, Sandra and James entered into a custody battle with James’ second ex-wife, Janine Lindemulder (a former pornographic actress), with whom James had a child. Sandra and James later won full legal custody of his five-year-old daughter.
By March 2010, their marriage was rocked by the claims of several women who had allegedly had affairs with James while he was married to Sandra. He responded to the rumours of infidelity, by issuing a public apology to his wife, saying the majority of allegations were untrue and unfounded. Though he did ask for the forgiveness of his wife and family. His publicist stated on 30 March, that James had checked into rehab “to deal with personal issues” and to “save his marriage”. However, Sandra was said to have filed for divorce on 23 April and it was finalised on 28 June, 2010, with "conflict of personalities" cited as the reason.
Sandra and James had begun the initial process to adopt a child four years earlier. The baby boy born in New Orleans, began living with them in January 2010, but they had chosen to keep the news private until after the Oscars in March 2010. However, given the couple’s separation and then divorce, Sandra continued the adoption of the baby, named Louis Bardo Bullock, as a single parent.
Sandra is a public supporter of the American Red Cross, having donated around £2 million to the organization. Her first public donation of £500,000 was to the Red Cross’s Liberty Disaster Relief Fund. Four years later, she sent money in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunamis. In 2010, she donated £400,000 to relief efforts in Haiti following the Haiti earthquake, and again donated the same amount following the 2011 Japan Earthquake.
In October 2004, Sandra won a multimillion-dollar judgment against Benny Daneshjou, the builder of her Lake Austin, Texas home; the jury ruled the house was uninhabitable. It has since been torn down and rebuilt.