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REESE WITHERSPOON (Mel Ames) is considered to be one of the industry's most promising young actresses.

Witherspoon most recently earned rave reviews for her performance as a white-trash bad girl in the independent feature, FREEWAY. Produced by Oliver Stone, and directed by Matthew Bright, this twisted take on "Little Red Riding Hood" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired to record-breaking ratings on HBO.

This Fall, Witherspoon stars in the New Line comedy, "Pleasantville," from a script by Gary Ross ("Big"), who also makes his directing debut. Witherspoon and Tobey Maguire play modern-day siblings who find themselves mysteriously trapped in the wholesome world of a 1950's sitcom, with William H. Macy and Joan Allen as their parents.

She recently completed work on the MTV feature "Election," a black comedy co-starring Matthew Broderick. In this Alexander Payne ("Citizen Ruth") directed feature, Witherspoon stars as a manipulative high school senior who is running for the office of student body president.

Witherspoon attracted the attention of audiences and critics alike with her feature film debut as the lead in Robert Mulligan's coming of age drama, "The Man in the Moon." At the age of 14, her performance as Dani, the coltish free spirit who suffers the agonies of young love, was "unforgettable" (USA Today) and "tumultuously flawless" (The Hollywood Reporter). "Her first kiss," declared Roger Ebert, "is one of the most perfect little scenes I've ever seen in a movie" (Siskel & Ebert).

Witherspoon went on to play the lead in Disney's dramatic adventure, "A Far Off Place" and starred opposite Patricia Arquette in Diane Keaton's critically acclaimed Lifetime feature, "Wildflower." She appeared in Danny DeVito's family drama, "Jack the Bear" and starred as prom queen turned hostage, Wendy Finster, in the contemporary satire "S.F.W."

A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Witherspoon entered Stanford University as a freshmen in 1995. To experience other aspects of the filmmaking process, she has interned in post-production at Disney and worked in pre-production with Carl Franklin on "Devil in a Blue Dress." She has also participated in the Sundance Institute's June Lab, as the lead in Teresa Connelly's mother/daughter piece "Polish Wedding."

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