Sandra Annette Bullock ( /ˈbʊlək/; born July 26, 1964) is an Academy Award-winning American actress and producer who rose to fame in the 1990s after roles in successful films such as Demolition Man, Speed, The Net, A Time to Kill, and While You Were Sleeping. She continued with films such as Miss Congeniality, The Lake House, and Crash, the third of which received critical acclaim. In 2007, she was ranked as the 14th richest female celebrity with an estimated fortune of US$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, 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. She was listed in the 2012 edition of the Guinness Book Of World Records as the highest-paid actress, with $56 million.
Sandra Annette Bullock was born in Arlington, Virginia. Her father, John W. Bullock (born 1925), was a United States Army employee and part-time voice coach from Birmingham, Alabama, and her mother, Helga D. Meyer (1942–2000), was a German opera singer and voice teacher. Bullock's maternal grandfather was a rocket scientist from Nuremberg, Germany. John Bullock, then in charge of the Army's Military Postal Service in Europe, was stationed in Nuremberg when he met his wife. They married in Germany, soon moving to Arlington, where John Bullock worked with the Army Materiel Command, before becoming a contractor for The Pentagon.
Bullock frequently accompanied her mother on her opera tours throughout Europe. She spent time in Salzburg and Nuremberg, where she stayed with her aunt and grandmother and became fluent in German. Bullock studied ballet and vocal arts as a child, taking small parts in her mother's opera productions. She sang in the operas children's choir at the Staatstheater Nürnberg.
Bullock attended Washington-Lee High School, where she was a cheerleader and performed in high school theater productions. After she graduated in 1982, she entered East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. However, she dropped out in her fourth year in spring of 1986, just three credits short of graduating, to become an actress. She moved to Manhattan and supported herself as a bartender, cocktail waitress, and coat checker. She later completed her coursework and graduated from East Carolina University.
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Bullock at the 83rd Academy Awards in 2011. The previous year she won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her work in The Blind Side.
While in New York, Bullock took acting classes with Sanford Meisner. 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 TV movie Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1989). Afterward, she 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. A prominent supporting role in the science-fiction/action movie Demolition Man (1993) led to her breakthrough performance in Speed the following year. She became a movie star in the late 1990s, carrying a string of successes, including While You Were Sleeping, and Miss Congeniality in 2000. Bullock received $11 million for Speed 2: Cruise Control, which she agreed to star in for financial backing for her own project, Hope Floats, and has revealed she regrets making the sequel. She later received $17.5 million 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 George Lopez, 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 Two Weeks Notice and in the 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. In 2005, she was a co-recipient of the Women in Film Crystal Award.
In 2008, Sandra Bullock was announced as "the face" of prestigious cosmetic brand Artistry.
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, with co-star Ryan Reynolds, 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 to the Box Office Mojo. It has grossed over $309 million to date, making it her domestic 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, Academy Awards, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance in The Blind Side. Bullock had initially turned down the role three times due to a discomfort with portraying a devout Christian. Winning the "Oscar" also gave her another unique distinction — since she won two "Razzies" the day before, for her performance in All About Steve, she is the only performer ever to have been named both "Best" and "Worst" for the same year. Sandra was asked to return her 2009 "Worst Actress of the Year" Razzie award; however, this wasn't because of a change of heart for Bullock's performance but because Bullock personally accepted her Razzie and accidentally took the original one-of-a-kind prototype Razzie, as opposed to the cheap trinket normally handed out to celebrities.