Celebrity News

Sandra’s bittersweet 60th birthday

Friends and family rally around the heartbroken star as she reaches a significant milestone
Sandra Bullock with her hair blowing in the windImages: Getty

Sandra Bullock marks a major milestone in her life this month. The actor, affectionately known as America’s Sweetheart, turns 60 on July 26.

Since she first stepped in front of a movie camera 37 years ago, the A-lister has had fans wrapped around her finger. She had us on the edge of our seats in Speed, guffawing into our popcorn boxes during Miss Congeniality and rooting for her survival in Bird Box.

But there’s little chance Sandra, still heartbroken after the death of her partner Bryan Randall 11 months ago, will be swinging from the chandeliers in celebration of her big 6-0. The star has been lying low since farewelling the man she described as “the love of my life”.

But insiders say her big day won’t be without joy, as the star is surrounded by a strong support system of close friends and family – not least her two children, son Louis, 14, and daughter Laila, 12.

“And she’s deeply loved by so many of the friends she’s made over her years in Hollywood,” says a source. “Jennifer Aniston, Matthew McConaughey, Chelsea Handler, Octavia Spencer, to name just a few. None of them will let her forget how much they cherish and adore her.”

Life has been a whirlwind of highs and lows for the star, even before she teamed up with Keanu Reeves for her breakout role in Speed 30 years ago.

Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves in Speed
Keanu’s hinted at another Speed sequel.

As a teenager, she was considered a “freak” because her mother, Helga, was an opera singer. This led to Sandra becoming a victim of bullying.

“Kids were kicking the crap out of me at school,” she recalls. “I’d come back, blood everywhere. I got a good ass whuppin’, really. But now I’m so thankful. When you’re on the receiving end, you know how painful it is, so you never do it yourself.”

Throughout her career, Sandra’s become respected as one of Hollywood’s most down-to-earth stars. However, she most adores the role she plays behind the scenes.

It wasn’t until her late forties that Sandra became a mum, secretly adopting Louis, who was born in New Orleans. That exciting news coincided with her Best Actress Oscar win for The Blind Side. However, it also coincided with the exposure of her then-husband Jesse James as a serial cheater.

Friends say Sandra had to dig deep to get through the humiliation and heartbreak of the end of her marriage, but the joy of new motherhood softened the blow.

Sandra and partner Bryan getting out of a car together
Sandra lost the love of her life when Bryan died.

Years later, she hired photographer Bryan to take photos at Louis’ fifth birthday party. The two hit it off and Bryan, himself the father of a daughter, Skylar, didn’t flinch when Sandra hit him with some unexpected news.

“We hadn’t been together that long,” she recalls. “I go, ‘You remember that NDA you signed when you photographed my son? You know, that still holds…’”

She then told him she was about to bring home another adopted child, this time two-and-a-half-year-old Laila, who’d been in the US foster system.

Calling Bryan “very patient” and “a saint”, Sandra says he was exactly “the right human being” to build her life with. “He’s the example I would want my children to have… If I die tomorrow, will I have everything in the world I’ve ever wanted? No. But I will have everything that’s made me happiest.”

In 2022, after The Lost City, no one batted an eyelid when Sandra announced she was taking a break from filmmaking. She explained, “Right now, I need to be in the place that makes me happiest.”

What few knew was that, behind closed doors, Bryan was waging a private battle with a degenerative motor neurone disease. He died in August last year, aged 57.

Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman in Practical Magic
Nicole’s confirmed more Practical Magic.

In December, Sandra released his ashes into a river in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on what would have been his 58th birthday.

“Happy birthday, Bry,” Sandra’s sister Gesine posted on social media. “Sandy brought you to the river, just as she promised.”

With her milestone birthday approaching, it seems the actor is almost ready to step back into the limelight. Nicole Kidman, with whom Sandra starred in 1998’s Practical Magic, has confirmed the twosome have agreed to a sequel.

“Yes, I will be in it,” teases Nicole, 57. “And Sandy will be in it.”

And if Keanu, 59, has his way, another Speed movie could also be on the cards. The John Wick actor confessed recently that he’d love to work alongside Sandra again “before our eyes close”.

“I mean, you know,” he says of the possibility of Speed 3. “We’d freakin’ knock it out of the park!”

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