Renee Zellweger
Renee Zellweger

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Birth Name: Renee Kathleen Zellweiger

Date of Birth: April 25, 1969

Place of Birth: Katy, Texas, USA

Occupation: Actress

Height: 5' 3"

Best Known For: Jerry Maguire, Bridget Jones's Diary

Renee Zellweger Biography

Renee Zellweger was born on April 25, 1969 in Katy, Texas. Her father, Emil Eric Zellweger, is a Swiss immigrant and electrical engineer, and her mother, Kjellfrid Iren Andreassen is a Norwegian immigrant and a former nurse and midwife. She has one older brother, Drew Zellweger, who is a marketing executive.

Zellweger attended Katy High School, where she was member of the Thespian Society, the Drama Club, the track team, basketball team, and the football cheerleading squad. She was a Homecoming Queen nominee in her senior year, and she graduated in 1987. She then attended the University of Texas in Austin, where she studied English. While in college, Zellweger worked in a topless bar as a clothed waitress. Though she only participated in a drama class to complete her degree, it reminded her of her love of the theater. She acted in some of the school's stage productions and periodically traveled to Dallas to audition for commercials.

After graduating, Zellweger began to pursue acting full-time, though she didn't make the move to Hollywood right away. She stayed in Texas and auditioned for commercials and films that were being filmed locally. She soon landed her first film roles in My Boyfriend's Back (1993), Reality Bites (1994), and Empire Records (1995).

Zellweger next appeared in The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1997. She heard of another casting call while on the set of Chainsaw, auditioned and won the lead in Love and a .45, for which she received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Debut Performance. Due to the critical praise she received for the film, Zellweger decided to make the move to Los Angeles.

Her next role in The Whole Wide World (1996) led to her big break. Cameron Crowe was busy casting his next film, Jerry Maguire (1996), starring Tom Cruise. When he saw of Zellweger's performance in The Whole Wide World, he brought her in for an audition and cast her as Dorothy Boyd.

Zellweger followed her huge success from Jerry Maguire with a few independent films and after receiving further critical praise, she again appeared in bigger budget films. She starred opposite Meryl Streep in the tear-jerker One True Thing in 1998, and she took a role in Me, Myself & Irene in 2000, opposite Jim Carrey. Also in 2000, she starred in the title role in Nurse Betty, for which she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical.

In 2001, she received even more critical and commercial success in the title role in Bridget Jones's Diary, opposite Hugh Grant. She received her first Academy Award nomination for the role. Her second nomination came the following year for her performance in the musical Chicago, and her third nomination resulted in a win for Best Supporting Actress, for her portrayal of Ruby Thewes in Cold Mountain in 2003. In addition to these films, she was seen with Michelle Pfeiffer in White Oleander in 2002 and with Ewan McGregor in Down with Love in 2003.

In 2004, Zellweger reprised her role as Bridget Jones in the film's sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. That same year she voiced the character Angie, for the animated film, Shark Tale, and starred opposite Russell Crowe in the boxing film Cinderella Man in 2005.

Zellweger will appear next in the biopic Miss Potter based on the life story of acclaimed author Beatrix Potter, with Emily Watson and Ewan McGregor. In 2007, she is set to appear in the Janis Joplin biopic Piece of My Heart, in which Renee portrays the legendary rocker, and Bee Movie, in which she lends her voice to Vanessa.

Zellweger married singer Kenny Chesney on May 9, 2005, but they announced their plans for annulment just four months later. The annulment was finalized in late December 2005. They met in January 2005 at a tsunami relief benefit concert and remain friends.
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