Sandra Annette Bullock (pronounced
/ˈbʊlək/; born July 26, 1964) is an American actress who came to fame in
the 1990s, after roles in successful films such as Speed and While You
Were Sleeping. She has since established her career with films such as
Miss Congeniality and Crash, which received critical acclaim. In 2007, she
was ranked as the 14th richest female celebrity with an estimated fortune
of $85 million. 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 and a Screen Actors
Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading
Role as well as receiving an Academy Award for Best Actress nomination for
her role as Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side.
Sandra Annette Bullock was born in Arlington, Virginia, the daughter of
Helga D. Meyer, a German opera singer and voice teacher, and John W.
Bullock, a voice coach and executive from Alabama. Bullock's maternal
grandfather was a rocket scientist from Nuremberg, Germany. Bullock lived
in Nuremberg until age twelve, where she sang in the opera's children's
choir at the Staatstheater Nürnberg. She frequently traveled with her
mother on her opera tours, and lived in Germany and other parts of Europe
for much of her childhood. She is fluent in German. Bullock studied ballet
and vocal arts as a child, taking small parts in her mother's opera
Bullock attended Washington-Lee High School , where she was a cheerleader,
participated in high school theater productions and dated a football
player. She graduated in 1982 and enrolled in East Carolina University in
Greenville, North Carolina. She left East Carolina during her senior year
in the spring of 1986, only three credits short of graduating, to pursue
an acting career. She moved to Manhattan to pursue auditions and supported
herself with a variety of odd jobs (bartender, cocktail waitress, coat
Bullock later completed her coursework at East Carolina University.
While in New York, Bullock took acting classes at the Neighborhood
Playhouse. She appeared in several student films, and later landed a role
in an Off-Broadway play No Time Flat. Director Alan J. Levi was impressed
by Bullock's performance and offered her a part in the made-for-TV movie
Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1989).
After filming the TV movie, Bullock stayed in Los Angeles and was cast in
a series of small roles in several independent films as well as in the
lead role of the short-lived NBC television version of the film Working
Girl (1990). She later appeared in several films, such as Love Potion No.
9 (1992), The Thing Called Love (1993) and Fire on the Amazon (in which
she agreed to appear topless if the camera did not show that much; she
covered herself with duct tape, which apparently was somewhat painful to
One of Bullock's first notable movie appearances was in the
science-fiction/action movie Demolition Man (1993), which starred
Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes. This role then led to her
break-through performance in Speed the following year. She became a
high-level movie star in the late 1990s, carrying a string of successes,
including While You Were Sleeping, replacing actress Demi Moore, who was
originally scheduled to star, and Miss Congeniality. Bullock received $11
million dollars for Speed 2: Cruise Control and $17.5 million dollars for
Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous.
Bullock was selected as one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People
in the World in 1996 and 1999, and was also ranked #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 The George Lopez Show, in helping expand career
openings for Hispanic talent in the media and entertainment industry. She
also made several appearances on the show as Accident Amy, an
accident-prone employee at the factory Lopez's character manages. In 2002,
she starred opposite Hugh Grant in the global hit Two Weeks Notice and in
a lesser known film Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
In 2004, Bullock had a supporting role in the film Crash. She received
positive reviews for her performance, with some critics suggesting that it
was the best performance of her career. Bullock later appeared in The Lake
House, a romantic drama also starring her Speed co-star, Keanu Reeves; it
was released on June 16, 2006. Because their film characters are separated
throughout the film (due to the plot revolving around time travel),
Bullock and Reeves were only on set together for two weeks during filming.
The same year, Bullock appeared in Infamous, playing author Harper Lee.
Bullock also starred in Premonition with Julian McMahon, which was
released in March 2007. 2009 proved to be especially good for Bullock,
giving the actress two record highs in her career, as earlier in the year
she released The Proposal, a huge hit that took in more than $314 million
at the box office worldwide, making it her most successful picture to
date. In November 2009, Bullock starred in The Blind Side, which opened at
#2 behind New Moon with $34.2 million, making it her highest opening
weekend ever. The Blind Side is unique in that it had a 17.6% increase at
the box office its second weekend, and it took the top spot of the box
office in its third weekend. The movie cost $29 million to make according
the Box Office Mojo. It has grossed over $200 million to date, making it
her highest grossing film and the first movie in history to pass the $200
million mark with only one top-billed female star. She won the award for
Best Actress at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Award for
her performance in "The Blind Side".
Bullock runs her own production company, Fortis Films. Her sister, Gesine
Bullock-Prado, was president of the company, but has since quit the
business and moved to Montpelier, Vermont, where she opened a pastry shop
and published a book. Her father, John Bullock, is the company's CEO.
Bullock was an executive producer of The George Lopez Show, which garnered
a lucrative syndication deal that banked her some $10 million (co-produced
with Robert Borden). Bullock tried to produce a film based on F.X. Toole's
short story, Million-Dollar Baby, but could not interest the studios in a
female boxing drama. The story was eventually adapted and directed by
Clint Eastwood as the Oscar-winning film, Million Dollar Baby (2004).
Bullock's production company, Fortis Films, also produced All About Steve,
which was released in September 2009.
Since November 2006, Bullock has owned an Austin, Texas restaurant, Bess
Bistro. She later opened another business in downtown Austin called
Walton's Fancy and Staple, a bakery and floral shop that also offers
services such as event planning.
Bullock was once engaged to actor Tate Donovan, whom she met while filming
Love Potion No. 9; their relationship lasted four years. She previously
dated football player Troy Aikman, Austin musician Bob Schneider (for two
years), and actors Matthew McConaughey and Ryan Gosling.
Bullock married motorcycle builder and Monster Garage host Jesse James on
July 16, 2005. They met when Bullock arranged for her ten-year-old godson
to meet James as a Christmas present.
On December 20, 2000, Bullock survived the crash of a chartered business
jet at Jackson Hole Airport. The aircraft hit a snowbank instead of the
runway, resulting in both the nose gear and nose cone being ripped off,
the right wing partially separating from the aircraft, and the left wing
being bent back.
Bullock has been a public supporter of the American Red Cross, twice
donating $1 million, first to its Liberty Disaster Relief Fund and four
years later in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunamis.
In 2010, she donated $1 million to relief efforts in Haiti following the
Haiti devastating earthquake.
In October 2004, Bullock 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. Bullock
also owns a house on Tybee Island, which is a few miles from Savannah,
On April 22, 2007, a woman was lying outside James and Bullock's Southern
California home in Orange County. When James confronted the woman, she ran
inside her 2004 silver Mercedes and tried to run him over. The woman is
said to be an obsessed fan of Sandra Bullock. The woman, Marcia Diana
Valentine, was arrested on investigation of assault with a deadly weapon.
In May 2007, Bullock won a three-year restraining order against the woman.
Valentine pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated assault and
On April 18, 2008, while Bullock was in Massachusetts shooting the film
The Proposal, she and her husband were in an SUV that was hit head on
(drivers side offset) at moderate speed by a drunken driver. Vehicle
damage was not catastrophic and there were no injuries.
In November 2009, Bullock and James entered into a custody battle with
James' ex-wife, former porn star Janine Lindemulder, with whom James had a
child, and subsequently won full legal custody of James' five year old
(on marital plans) "I've
always been very sceptical about marriage, because I only want to do
it once; I want to do it the right way."
"I've learned that success comes in a very prickly package. Whether
you choose to accept it or not is up to you. It's what you choose to
do with it, the people you choose to surround yourself with. Always
choose people that are better than you. Always choose people that
challenge you and are smarter than you. Always be the student. Once
you find yourself to be the teacher, you've lost it."
"I remember sitting down in Joel Silver's office and Joel going, "Do
you want to do this film?". I remember going, "I would like to do
it, but I would love to talk about the character, and it was almost
like I had said the biggest joke".
The only reason I haven't married yet, is because I take it too
"Fame means when your computer modem is broken, the repair guy comes
out to your house a little faster."
"I have no desire to maintain a lifestyle. I am a horrible
celebrity. If I am out in public I dress like a pig."
"The Acadamy Awards shouldn't even nominate Meryl Streep anymore.
She should just be given an award every year. There should just be
the Meryl Streep category".
"Everyone told me to pass on Speed (1994/I) because it was a 'bus
"I'd rather take risks than make something that's cookie cutter."
"The first Miss Congeniality (2000) gave me the chance to do broad
comedy that had nothing to do with being the romantic interest. The
girl-next-door thing went away with that film and I tend to do
characters that I want to be more like. In the beginning, though, I
was sort of the 'action girl'. And then with While You Were Sleeping
(1995), I was the romantic-comedy girl. But when I took time off, I
thought, 'There's something I'm missing here.' I literally had to
start from scratch."
"I don't like to talk about personal things. ... And by keeping it
private, you have a better shot at a healthy relationship. I learned
at a young age that there are certain things you just don't talk
"I don't think there's ever what could be called a 'chilled state'
in my head."
"My goal now is to remember every place I've been, only do things I
love and not say yes when I don't mean it." quoted in WOMAN'S WORLD
"If I'm blessed with that, I hope I am the best version of me that I
can possibly be." - on motherhood to People Magazine.
"Movie sex scenes are never romantic, and you're never swept off
your feet. It's always very technical....I'm counting the beats:
Okay, we're supposed to kiss for two beats, then I say my line, then
they want another kiss for four beats. I'm going, One Mississippi,
two Mississippi, three and break. It's like choreography. Sometimes
you have actors who feel it's their job to get as far down into your
throat as possible. You're like, Excuse me, I like you, but not that
"Why do you need one? I don't understand why there needs to be a
love interest to make women go see a film. I think society sort of
makes us feel that way - that if you don't have a guy, you're