Renee Zellweger

     
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Real Name: Renee Kathleen Zellweger
Birthday: 04/25/1969

 

Biography And Filmography:

The flexibility and appeal of Renee Zellweger won the actress Oscar and Golden Globe Awards for her comedy and dramatic work, and made her one of the top paid actors in Hollywood. Zellweger was unknown to audiences when director Cameron Crowe cast her next to Tom Cruise in “Jerry Maguire,” (1996) where she made movie history with the line, “You had me at hello.” 

Renee then impressed critics with her leading role in “Bridget Jones’s Diary” (2001), before powerful roles in “Chicago” (2002), and “Cold Mountain” (2004). Off-screen, the Texas born actress was well known for her habit of copying the look of other actors, and nonstop ambiguity over her movie star standing.


Renee Zellweger was born on April 25, 1969, and raised in the Houston, Texas. It was not the normal Texas childhood, however, with a Norwegian born nurse for a mother and Swiss born engineer for a father. Growing up, she idolized her older brother Drew, and took after him in sports. Her father bred self confidence in the young tomboy, teaching her car repair and construction when she was just ten years old. 

In high school, Zellweger was a cheerleader, appeared in numerous school plays, and was named “Best Looking” before graduating in 1987 and leaving for the University of Texas in Austin. While studying for her English major, she fell in love with the stage  and drama department. She was a natural. While still in school, she got her first role in a television commercial. 

Renee's first real professional jobs were parts in television series, including the miniseries "Murder in the Heartland" (1993), Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused" (1993); and Ben Stiller’s “Reality Bites” (1994). 

Her first major movie role was with Matthew McConaughey in the sequel "The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1994). Her last film made in Texas had her playing the trailer trash gun toting character of Starlene in "Love and a .45" (1994), a low budget version of "Bonnie and Clyde" and a spoof on the number of crime couple films showing at the time.

In1996, director Cameron Crowe launched her career when he cast her over Winona Ryder, Bridget Fonda, Mira Sorvino and Marisa Tomei to play single mother and romantic interest to Tom Cruise in "Jerry Maguire." The romantic comedy was one of the year’s best films, and she made movie history with her line, "You had me at ‘Hello”.

Zellweger next gave a strong performance in her leading role as a gloomily married Jewish wife in Boaz Yakin's "A Price Above Rubies" (1998), which attracted debate from some religious groups which denounced the casting of a non Jewish actress. 

Renee held her own alongside Meryl Streep and William Hurt  by playing a tough willed writer required to cope with a family tragedy in "One True Thing" (1998). 

Her role in "The Bachelor" (1999) was a small one, and her performance was crowed out by the more famous Mariah Carey, Jennifer Esposito and Brooke Shields. Zellweger was also overshadowed by Jim Carrey in "Me, Myself & Irene" (2000), but she was able to shine as the star of "Nurse Betty" (2000) with Morgan Freeman. First seen at the Cannes Film Festival, where it received the nomination for best screenplay, "Nurse Betty" cast the actress as a waitress who enters a confused state after seeing a crime, and taking off to California to be with the man of her dreams. 

In another big move, Zellweger took the role of Bridget Jones in the film version of "Bridget Jones's Diary" (2001). Although there was an uproar from the British for giving the role of an English champion to an American actress, her good accent and acting won a SAG award for Best Actress, as well as an Oscar nomination. “Bridget Jones” would grow to be her biggest project to date.

Renee Zellweger was a star. And Hollywood came looking for her!

She then took a supporting role as a foster mother in "White Oleander" with Michelle Pfieffer and Noah Wyle. She was then seen singing and dancing in the smash Broadway musical "Chicago" (2002). Cast as Roxie Hart, a woman who murders her lover and then dreams of a job as a dancer, the actress again proved talented with an amazing performance that introduced fans to a great singing voice. Once again she received a wealth of award nominations, including Oscar and BAFTA nominations and a Golden Globe win.

Her next role was as Doris Day opposite Ewan McGregor in the comedy "Down With Love" (2003), which died at the box office. Zellweger followed with a role next to Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Nicole Kidman in "Cold Mountain" for director Anthony Minghella. She walked away that year with her first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, as well as a Screen Actors Guild award. 

While filming, Renee met a new man and love interest in rocker Jack White of the White Stripes, who she would date for a number of years. Her most serious romance before Jack had been a romance with “Me, Myself and Irene” co-star Jim Carrey.

Next, Zellweger lent her voice to Angie, the fish who longs for playful Oscar in DreamWorks' animated underwater film "Shark Tale" (2004) along side other power-house voices belonging to Robert De Niro, Will Smith, Jack Black and Angelina Jolie. 

Zellweger next replayed her role as Bridget Jones for the sequel "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason." She then astounded fans and critics by marrying country star Kenny Chesney in the United States Virgin Islands after a five month romance in 2005 following her split with Jack White. After only five months of marriage she wanted to divorce, with the bizarre reason of "fraud”.

Zellweger picked up the pieces of her personal life and jumped into her next role, director Ron Howard's depression era drama "Cinderella Man" (2005). The film found good reviews, but her artificial act as Mae Braddock, the dedicated wife of doubtful prize fighting title holder Jim Braddock (Russell Crowe) was perhaps the most criticized area of the project. 

In 2005 she received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and brushed off her British accent to play the lead in "Miss Potter" (2006), a film exploring the life of children’s writer Beatrix Potter. Again, she walked away with a Golden Globe nomination for best actress.

In 2007, Zellweger took a much needed vacation from Hollywood, only heard as the voice of Vanessa Bloome in the animated movie “Bee Movie,” starring Jerry Seinfeld and featuring Oprah Winfrey, as the unhappy worker bee who breaks free from the hive and falls in love with a human. 


In 2008, Renee starred in “Case 39” (2008), about a social worker who fights to save a girl from her abusive parents, only to discover that the situation is more dangerous than she ever expected. Zellweger then had a supporting role with George Clooney  in the sports film, “Leatherheads” (2008), a romantic comedy set in the world of 1920s football, where the owner of a professional team drafts a strait-laced college sensation, only to watch his new coach fall for his fiancée. 

Renee Zellweger was then hired and cast in the Western "Appaloosa" (2008), about two friends hired to police a small town that is suffering under the rule of a rancher who find their job complicated by the arrival of a young widow. The actress wrapped her year starring alongside Harry Connick Jr. in the romantic comedy "Chilled in Miami" (2009), where a Miami businesswoman adjusts to her new life in a tiny Minnesota town.

Her latest role is in the sequel “Bridget Jone’s Baby” - the continuing adventures of British publishing executive Bridget Jones as she enters her 40s. No release date has been announced, but will prbably be in 2013, and the movie will also star Colin Firth and Hugh Grant.

 

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