Sandra Bullock, one of America’s most beloved actresses, was born on July 26, 1964.
Today, her career has spanned decades, showing off the remarkable acting chops that helped her become one of the world’s most sought-after (and highly paid) performers. Of course, there’s so much more than meets the eye when it comes to Sandy.
Although we primarily know her as a goofy rom-com starlet, Sandra’s talents have also taken a more serious turn for some films — like her Oscar-winning role in The Blind Side.
But did you know she almost turned down the film that finally helped her break into stardom? Or that she’s fluent in another language?
Take a look below to learn more about the incredible actress and her impressive career.
1. She Made Her Stage Debut At 5 Years Old
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Although most of us remember first seeing her in 1993’s Demolition Man (shown above) or Love Potion No. 9 from 1992, German audiences got the first glimpse of Sandra’s talent in her first role onstage.
She traveled across Europe with her family and moved back to the States when she was 12.
2. She Can Speak German Fluently
Wikimedia Commons / Georges Biard
Sandy’s childhood in Europe gave her a lifelong proficiency in the language, and she still holds dual citizenship for both America and Germany.
3. She Dropped Out Of College To Pursue Acting
Even though she was only three credits shy of graduating from East Carolina University, Sandra packed up and moved to New York City, where she worked as a bartender to support her acting dreams.
As you can see, things happened to work out pretty well for her.
4. Her Mother Was An Opera Singer
Wikimedia Commons / RIA Novosti archive
Helga Meyer Bullock was born in Germany and, as Sandra revealed in a recent interview with Peoplemagazine, the two were very close before she passed away in 2000.
Her father also worked in music, as a voice teacher.
5. Everyone Told Her Not To Take Her Breakthrough Role
A report from People magazine back in 1995 includes a quote Sandra gave to one of her hometown newspapers, saying, “Everyone told me not to do Speed. I mean, it looked like I’d be just ‘the girl,’ but I’ve learned to do things by instinct.”
6. She’s Allergic To Horses
She unfortunately discovered this while working on Two If by Sea in 1996, according to the Warner Bros. blog.
7. She Owned A Restaurant In Texas
Before closing in September 2015, Bess Bistro was known for French and Cajun cuisine in Austin.
Sandra originally moved to the area while in a relationship with Texas-native Matthew McConaughey. The two formed a bond while filming A Time to Kill in 1996 and remain good friends today.
8. She Survived A Plane Crash
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While traveling around Christmas back in 2000, she and her boyfriend at the time were luckily unharmed when the pilot of the jet they were flying in became confused by the snowy conditions.
He mistook ground lights for those on the middle of a runway, and they skidded to a crash landing, as stated in a report from the Guardian at the time.
9. Hugh Grant Made Fun Of Her Much Younger Ex-Boyfriend
In 2001, Sandra quietly began dating her costar Ryan Gosling despite their 16-year age difference. They were together for a little over a year, which was long enough for her Two Weeks Notice costar (and friend) to tease her about it.
He gave Ryan the charming nickname “The Child” and would mimic a baby crying to rile her up.
10. She Hates Musicals
It’s ironic, considering her own musical training and the careers of both her parents, but Sandra admitted in a 2009 interview with Harper’s Bazaar that she would never step foot on the set of a musical.
She made her stance even more clear by saying, “I hate them. Hate them.”
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