Roberts made her first big screen appearance in the film Satisfaction, released on February 12, 1988. She had previously performed a small role opposite her brother, Eric, in Blood Red (she has just two words of dialogue), filmed in 1987 and released in 1989. Her first television appearance was as a juvenile rape victim in the initial season of the series Crime Story with Dennis Farina, in the episode titled "The Survivor", broadcast on February 13, 1987. Her first critical success with moviegoers was her performance in the independent film Mystic Pizza in 1988; that same year, she had a role in the fourth season finale of Miami Vice. The following year, she was featured in Steel Magnolias as a young bride with diabetes and got her first Academy Award nomination (as Best Supporting Actress) for her performance.Roberts became known to worldwide audiences when she co-starred with Richard Gere in the Cinderella/Pygmalionesque story Pretty Woman in 1990. Roberts won the role after the first three choices for the part, Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan and Daryl Hannah (her co-star in Steel Magnolias), all turned it down.Roberts has brought to life some of the books from American Girl as films, serving as executive producer alongside her sister Lisa. The company's product lines and services are focused on pre-teen-girl characters from various periods of American history, embodied as dolls and featured in narratives including books and movies. Roberts has produced four movies.
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