Gained fame after starring in Pretty Woman and went on to win an Oscar for her leading role in Erin Brockovich in 2000. Other notable films include Hook, Mona Lisa Smile, Mirror Mirror and August: Osage County. In 2018, she began starring in the Amazon series Homecoming.
She wanted to be a veterinarian, but she ended up signing with Click Modeling Agency in New York and worked as a model.
She broke off her engagement to Kiefer Sutherland three days before their wedding. She married Daniel Moder in July 2002, and the couple had twins, Hazel and Phinnaeus, in November 2004 and a son named Henry in 2007. Her niece is Emma Roberts.