Renee George Biography & Facts
Renée Kathleen Zellweger (; born April 25, 1969) is an American actress. The recipient of various accolades, including two Academy Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards, she was one of the world's highest-paid actresses by 2007.
Born and raised in Texas, Zellweger studied English literature at University of Texas at Austin. Initially aspiring for a career in journalism, she was drawn to acting following her brief work on stage during college. Following minor roles in Dazed and Confused (1993) and Reality Bites (1994), her first starring role came with the slasher film Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994). She rose to prominence with starring roles in the romantic comedy Jerry Maguire (1996), the drama One True Thing (1998), and the black comedy Nurse Betty (2000), winning a Golden Globe Award for the last of these.For portraying Bridget Jones in the romantic comedy Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) and Roxie Hart in the musical Chicago (2002), Zellweger gained consecutive nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing a loquacious farmer in the war film Cold Mountain (2003). She reprised her role as Jones in the sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), and following a career downturn and hiatus, in Bridget Jones's Baby (2016). In 2019, Zellweger starred in her first major television role in the Netflix series What/If, and portrayed Judy Garland in the biopic Judy, winning the Academy Award for Best Actress. She has since starred as Pam Hupp in the NBC crime miniseries The Thing About Pam (2022).
Early life and education
Zellweger was born on April 25, 1969, in Katy, Texas. Her father, Emil Erich Zellweger, is from the Swiss town of Au, St. Gallen. He was a mechanical and electrical engineer who worked in the oil-refining business. Her mother, Kjellfrid Irene (née Andreassen), is Norwegian of Kven and Sámi descent. Kjellfrid grew up in Ekkerøy near the town Vadsø in the northern part of Norway. She was a nurse and midwife who moved to the United States to work as a governess for a Norwegian family in Texas. Referring to her religious background, Zellweger has described herself as being raised in a family of "lazy Catholics and Episcopalians".Zellweger attended Katy High School, where she was a cheerleader, gymnast, and debate team member. She also participated in soccer and powder football (a traditional girls football game). In 1986, her academic paper, "The Karankawas and Their Roots", won third place in the first-ever Houston Post High School Natural Science Essay Contest. After high school, she enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1992. While at the university, she took a drama course as an elective, which sparked her interest in acting.In her junior year, her father lost his job and was unable to support her at college, so she took a job as a cocktail waitress in Austin, Texas. She said of the job, "I learned a lot. As much as I did in my classes that that club paid for... I learned not to judge people, [and] that things are not black and white." She began getting small parts acting, and earned her Screen Actors Guild card for doing a Coors Light commercial. Also while in college, she did "a bit part ... as a local hire" in the Austin-filmed horror-comedy film My Boyfriend's Back, playing "the girl in the beauty shop, maybe two lines. But the beauty shop [scene] got cut." Her first job after graduation was working in a beef commercial, while simultaneously auditioning for roles around Houston, Texas.
Early roles (1992–1995)
While still in Texas, Zellweger appeared in several independent and low-budget films. One was A Taste for Killing (1992), followed by a role in the ABC miniseries Murder in the Heartland (1993). Also in 1993, she had an uncredited role in Dazed and Confused. In 1994, she appeared in Reality Bites, the directorial debut of Ben Stiller, and in the biographical film 8 Seconds, directed by John G. Avildsen. Her first main role in a movie came with the 1994 horror film Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, alongside Matthew McConaughey, playing a teenager who leaves a prom early with three friends who get into a car accident, which leads to their meeting a murderous family, led by the iconic Leatherface. While the film went unnoticed, Joe Leydon for Variety magazine lauded Zellweger, calling her "the most formidable scream queen since Jamie Lee Curtis went legit."In her next film, the crime comedy Love and a .45 (1994), Zellweger played a woman who plans a robbery with her boyfriend. Although the film received a limited release in theaters, Marc Savlov of Austin Chronicle applauded the main cast saying they were "all excellent in their roles" and noted that "Zellweger's character – all squeals and caged sexuality – seems a bit too close to Juliette Lewis' Mallory Knox (of Natural Born Killers) to be as fresh as it should be". The part earned her an Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance. She subsequently relocated to Los Angeles, a move she had postponed several times because she believed she lacked the talent and experience to be a competitive actor in that city. She would next appear in the coming-of-age drama Empire Records (1995). Rotten Tomatoes' consensus was: "Despite a terrific soundtrack and a strong early performance from Renee Zellweger, Empire Records is mostly a silly and predictable teen dramedy."
Zellweger came to wider recognition through her role in Jerry Maguire (1996), playing a single mother and the romantic interest of a glossy sports agent (Tom Cruise). The film grossed over US$273 million worldwide. It was Cruise who chose her to play his love interest and later credited her with "revealing the core humanity of the movie". Roger Ebert, acknowledging Zellweger's and Cruise's chemistry, wrote: "The film is often a delight, especially when Cruise and Zellweger are together on the screen. He plays Maguire with the earnestness of a man who wants to find greatness and happiness in an occupation where only success really counts. She plays a woman who believes in this guy she loves, and reminds us that true love is about idealism." For her performance, Zellweger was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role.In the religious drama A Price Above Rubies (1998), Zellweger starred as a young woman who finds it difficult to conform to the restrictions imposed on her by the community. The film flopped at the box office, but Zellweger was applauded by some critics such as Ebert, who wrote that she gave a "ferociously strong performance". That same year, she also starred in the drama One True Thing, opposite William Hurt and Meryl Streep. She played a woman, based on author Anna Quindlen, forced to put her l.... Discover the Renee George popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Renee George books.