Reese Witherspoon is to play American singer Peggy Lee in a new movie.

The actress - who won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of singer June Carter in the Johnny Cash biopic 'Walk the Line' - has secured the rights from Peggy's estate to make a film based on her life.

Reese has lined up Nora Ephron ('Sleepless in Seattle', 'Julie and Julia') to write and direct the movie with Marc Platt producing. Reese will also co-produce the film.

The project will chart the ups and downs of Peggy's incredible career and personal life.

The music star's career spanned nearly seven decades and she was an accomplished jazz singer, actress, songwriter, composer and a Grammy Award winner.

Peggy rose to prominence during the big band era and had her first hit 'Somebody Else is Taking My Place' in 1941. One of her most famous songs was 'Fever'.

She also appeared in the 1953 movie 'The Jazz Singer' and the 1955 musical 'Pete Kelly's Blues', which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

She co-wrote the songs for Disney's 1955 animated film 'Lady and the Tramp' and in the 90s she sued the company for royalties.

Peggy died in 2002 at the age of 81.