Julia Roberts defined the film industry in the 1990s. Her acting delighted critics and audiences in various movies across genres. And her distinctive looks also made her a leading example of female beauty during her heyday. Julia Roberts’ smile is one of the first things people remember about her, but her first childhood memory reveals a traumatic moment that could’ve altered her defining feature.
Julia Roberts is a ’90s pop culture icon
It took Julia Roberts next to no time to display her talents on the big screen. After impressing in her first major role in 1988’s Mystic Pizza, she became a bonafide star the following year with her performance in Steel Magnolias, earning Roberts her first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
She’s earned her place as a queen of romantic comedies with big hits like Pretty Woman, Notting Hill, and My Best Friend’s Wedding, but Roberts has displayed great talent in many genres.
Erin Brockovich marked the apex of her career. Roberts’ salary alone (she was the first woman to be paid $20 million for one project) made the movie historic. But it was also a huge hit, and Roberts won an Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of the environmental activist. She also received praise for her work in The Pelican Brief, the Ocean’s trilogy, and Wonder.
Roberts hasn’t appeared in as many movies in recent years, but her roles in the series Homecoming and Gaslit prove she’s still a considerable presence on camera.
Her career and status as an American sweetheart were helped by her girl-next-door good looks and gleaming grin. Julia Roberts’ smile was even rumored to be insured for $30 million.
Julia Roberts’ 1st childhood memory is gruesome
In 2018, Julia Roberts did a Wired Autocomplete Interview with her My Best Friend’s Wedding co-star and longtime friend Dermot Mulroney. The two show off their friendly chemistry throughout the video, but it takes a turn at the seven-and-a-half-minute mark when Mulroney answers a question about the origins of the scar on his upper lip.
“I fell down when I was 3 and a half years old. I was carrying a rabbit dish, and it was a big night because I got to feed the rabbits,” he explained. “The rabbits were in the hutch in the backyard, and I was going in, and then, ‘Oh, my God, my face!’ That’s how it happened.”
The incident prompted Roberts to recall her first memory, which was similarly horrific.
“My first memory is bloody. I knocked my front tooth out.” But she quickly noted it was just a baby tooth. Given how casually she revealed this information and kept the interview moving with her trademark charm, we can surmise the injury didn’t affect her in the long term.
The Oscar winner’s hometown dentist made good on a promise
Julia Roberts’ achievements are a dream come true for her family, her friends, and even her hometown dentist.
When she was growing up in the small town of Smyrna, Georgia, the local dentist, Dr. Ted Aspes, made the same promise to her that he made to every young patient: If they won a major prize — such as a Rhodes Scholarship, Heisman Trophy, or Academy Award — he would give every kid in town a tube of toothpaste.
It was like one of those bets you think you’ll never have to make good on. Little did he know there was a future movie star in his midst.
“I had two families waiting for me in the parking lot when I got here this morning,″ Aspes told the AP the day after Roberts won the Oscar for Erin Brockovich in 2001.
“I ordered 10,000 tubes last week,″ he added, indicating he was confident Roberts would win. “I usually order a few hundred. My distributor called and said, ‘Hey, doc, are you sure there isn’t a comma in the wrong place?'”
At least he was a good sport about it.