All About Ava Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe’s Daughter

Reese Witherspoon’s oldest daughter Ava Phillippe has been famous since her teens for looking so much like her famous mother. The now 24-year-old has done quite a lot to establish her own identity, even though she clearly admires her mom and has followed in some of her entertainment footsteps. That’s only natural, since her dad is also in the industry.

Witherspoon and actor Ryan Phillippe even starred in a film together, the cult hit Cruel Intentions. The former couple were married for seven years before finally splitting in 2006. They continued to have a co-parenting relationship with Ava and her brother Deacon.

Here’s everything we know about the eldest Phillippe child.

When was Ava Phillippe born?

Ryan and Reese welcomed Ava two months after they got married, in September 1999. In a 2008 interview with Jay Leno, Ryan said they named her after the actress Ava Gardner.

“My daughter’s name is Ava,” he explained. “Ava Gardner, because to me she was the only woman who could break Sinatra. So the idea of that name to me is very classy and strong.”

Her middle name is Elizabeth in honor of Reese’s mom. In a 2021 appearance on The View, she shared how being away from her family when Ava was born was very challenging.

“I lived away from my mother. My mom had a full-time job as a nurse and I had a baby really young—I was 23 years old—and so I was raising her by myself,” she said. “I don’t have any sisters, I don’t have any aunts. I was alone in a new city, in Los Angeles, and I literally had no friends. I would cry.”

In 2003, Reese and Ryan welcomed their second child, Deacon. Reese went on to have another child with her second husband, Jim Toth, in 2012 who they named Tennessee.

Ava has said she is very close to her siblings, even though there’s a big age gap between her and her half-brother.

“I once worried about our 13-year age gap, getting to share some of my favorite childhood movies, shows, books, activities, and memories with him has been the greatest gift I never saw coming,” she wrote in a tribute on Instagram.

She and Deacon are also close and often attend events together.

ava elizabeth phillippe and deacon reese phillippe at the molly dickson x madewell celebration event held at holloway house on august 10, 2023 in west hollywood, california photo by tommaso boddiwwd via getty images
Tommaso Boddi

What does Ava do?

Ava attended college at UC Berkeley, before investigating different career paths. She has already had some success as a model.

“My parents have always encouraged me to choose the path that’s right for me and, you know, guide me along the way to make better choices than I might make,” she said on Daily Pop in 2021. “I’m so grateful for that. That is such a privilege to have parents that support you in that way and want you to be who you truly are meant to be.”

Her modeling debut was in 2018, for Rodarte’s Fall lookbook. She also posed that same year for her mom’s clothing company, Draper James. She has modeled for Ivy Park in their 2021 holiday collection Hall of Ivy, partnered with Aerie, and was the face of Pat McGrath Labs’ limited-edition Bridgerton collection that same year.

“I was like... Pat McGrath is DMing me? Huh?” Ava she told People at the time. “I have such admiration for her. And for her to even reach out to me or think of me was flattering.”

What are her hobbies?

Ava frequently posts pictures of her original paintings, photos, and poetry on her Instagram. She’s also a committed dog mom to her rescue, Benji, who she adopted in 2020.

And she’s an ally!

Does she get along with her parents?

In an Interview magazine in June 2021, Reese talked about how close she is with her kids.

“That makes me want to cry, the idea of having a long relationship with adult children,” she said. “I never expected the kind of relationship that I have with them, but it’s so rewarding to be able to have kids that you can process life with a little bit, and they help me understand the complexities of what it means to be a human now.”

In May 2023, Ava gushed about her mom for Mother’s Day.

“Gosh I love sharing life with you,” she said.

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