Real name: Renee Kathleen Zellweiger
Birthdate: April 25, 1969
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Renée Kathleen Zellweger (born April 25, 1969) is an Academy Award-winning American film actress. One of Hollywood's highest paid actresses, she commands between $12-$15 million per film.
Zellweger was born in Baytown, Texas and moved to Katy, Texas, a suburb of Houston, at the age of nine with her family. Her father, Emil Erich Zellweger, is a Swiss-born engineer who worked in the oil refining business, and her mother, Kjellfried Irene (née Andreassen), is a Norwegian-born nurse and midwife. Zellweger was raised in a family of "lazy Catholics and Episcopalians". In high school, she was a cheerleader and gymnast, and participated in the drama club. She graduated from Katy High School in 1987. After high school, she went to the University of Texas at Austin to major in English. Though she took a drama class only because she needed a fine arts credit to complete her degree, it made her appreciate how much she loved acting. During this time, she supported herself by taking a series of jobs in Austin, Texas, including working as a waitress at a topless bar, an experience that she has said taught her as much as university did.
In 2001, Zellweger gained the prized lead role in the film Bridget Jones's Diary, amid much controversy since she was neither British nor overweight. During casting Zellweger was told she was too skinny to play the chubby Bridget, so she very quickly embarked on gaining the required weight. Her dramatically personal yo-yoing weight has been the subject of much media interest. As well as receiving voice coaching to fine-tune her English accent, part of Zellweger's preparations involved spending three weeks working undercover in a "job experience placement" for British publishing firm Picador in Victoria, London. As a result of her considerable efforts to effect author Helen Fielding's character, Zellweger caught the attention of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and received her first Best Actress Academy Award nomination.
Zellweger and Marc Forster, took part in the 2005 HIV prevention campaign of the Swiss federal health department. Zellweger was the subject of an Israeli pop song Renée by Ariel Horowitz, where Horowitz describes his love to Zellweger, and says that he would like to marry her and bring her back to Israel with him.
For two years, Zellweger dated The White Stripes singer Jack White, who is six years her junior. However, it was felt that White didn't want to settle down, and they broke up.
Zellweger sold her home in the Hollywood Hills, and after renting for a while she now again owns a home in Bel Air. She admits that she gets scared at home alone, and has considered buying a gun for reasons of personal security.
Golden Globe Awards:
- Best Performance by an Actress-Comedy/Musical Nurse Betty (2001)
- Best Performance by an Actress-Comedy/Musical Chicago (2003)
- Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Cold Mountain (2004)
Golden Globe Awards:
- Best Performance by an Actress-Comedy/Musical Bridget Jones's Diary (2002)
- Best Performance by an Actress-Comedy/Musical Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2005)
- Best Performance by an Actress-Comedy/Musical Miss Potter (2006)