Reese Witherspoon, 47, has a lot she’s accomplished in life. In addition to her successful acting career that includes an Oscar win for Walk the Line, Reese owns a clothing company, Draper James, and is the co-founder of a successful media company, Hello Sunshine, that has produced a number of her hit shows, including Big Little Lies, The Morning Show and Little Fires Everywhere. But Reese’s greatest accomplishment is undoubtedly that of being a mother to her three beloved children: Ava Phillippe, Deacon Phillippe and Tennessee Toth. Below, learn more about Reese’s kids following her divorce from Jim Toth.
Ava is Reese’s eldest child with her first husband, actor Ryan Phillippe, 48. She was born on September 9, 1999, just three months after Reese — who was 24 at the time — and Ryan tied the knot in Charleston, South Carolina (June 5, 1999.) Reese, who split from Ryan in 2006, revealed in a 2008 interview with Jay Leno that Ava was named after legendary Hollywood actress Ava Gardner. “To me, she was the only woman who could break Sinatra,” Reese said. “So the idea of that name to me is very classy and strong.”
As of summer 2021, Ava was studying at the University of California, Berkeley. In May 2019, Reese admitted on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that she took it hard when her eldest child first left home for college. “It’s weird when your children go away to college. It’s hard,” the actress said. “I might have gone into her empty room, laid down on her bed, and cried when she went to college.”
In addition to her role as a full-time college student, Ava keeps busy with occasional modeling gigs. She once starred in the lookbook for Rodarte‘s Fall 2018 collection, joined by Marvel stars Danai Gurira and Tessa Thompson. She’s also taken a liking to art, having posted her own photographs, abstract drawings, and sculptures on social media.
But as busy as she is, Ava always makes time for Reese. The look-alike mother-daughter duo often spends time together, both in private and in public. In May 2019, they attended the Big Little Lies premiere, where fans could not believe just how much Ava had grown into her mom’s mini-me. Prior to that star-studded event, Ava was by her mom’s side as they hit up the red carpet at the LA Dance Project Gala in 2018 and at the Wall Street Journal Magazine Innovator Awards in 2017.
Deacon is Reese and Ryan’s second and last child they had together before their split. He was born on October 23, 2003. Deacon, like his sister Ava, shares a resemblance to his famous mom. He and Reese have their own special bond, often snapping selfies together that are shared to social media, including one in April that featured the mother-son duo cheesing with a beautiful sunset backdrop behind them.
Deacon is currently in high school, and his college years are vastly approaching. But the teen seems primed to pursue a career in music, given he dropped his first-ever single, “Long Run,” in July 2020, followed by his second single, “Love for the Summer,” that was released in October 2020 and was written by Kelsea Ballerini. Reese supported her son’s endeavor, promoting the song on social media and gushing over how proud she was of her teenage boy. “New Song of the Summer!” she said on Instagram after “Long Run” dropped. Ryan also supported Deacon’s new music, writing to his son on Instagram, “Stream it nonstop for me. So proud of you.”
Tennessee is Reese’s youngest and only child from her marriage to her newly estranged husband, talent agent Jim Toth. Reese and Jim began dating in February 2010 and announced their engagement that December. They married on March 26, 2011, in Ojai, California, and welcomed their baby boy Tennessee on September 27, 2012.
The former couple announced their divorce just days ahead of their 12-year wedding anniversary via Instagram on Mar. 24, 2023. “We have some personal news to share… It is with a great deal of care and consideration that we have made the difficult decision to divorce,” the Instagram note read at the time. “We have enjoyed so many wonderful years together and are moving forward with deep love, kindness and mutual respect for everything we have created together. Our biggest priority is our son and our entire family as we navigate this next chapter,” they continued. “These matters are never easy and are extremely personal. We truly appreciate everyone’s respect for our family’s privacy at this time.”
That same day, a source claimed to PEOPLE that the former love birds will remain friendly for their family. “They really are the best of friends and this is such an amicable decision. They are so committed to co-parenting together. They are invested in their whole family and making this as smooth as possible for everyone,” the insider said.
Given Tennessee’s age, Reese largely keeps her youngest child out of the spotlight. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Legally Blonde star occasionally shared snapshots to social media of how she was handling having Tennessee doing school at home. She also shared hilarious photos of Tennessee outside on a swing interrupting one of his mom’s important phone calls. “Really nailing this WFH/homeschooling life,” Reese wrote.
In September 2020, Reese publicly gushed over her youngest child on his 8th birthday. For the occasion, Reese got an array of blue balloons and a chocolate frosted donut that Tennessee got to enjoy for breakfast on his special day. In an Instagram birthday tribute to Tennessee, the proud mom wrote, “You are the brightest spirit, the most inquisitive soul, and the funniest little guy I know. What a joy it is to be your Mama.”