Life in the Earlier Years
Renee Zellweger grew up in Katy, Texas, where she was born and reared on April 25, 1969. Father Emil Erich is a Swiss engineer from Au St. Gallen, and mother Kjellfrid is a Norwegian nurse and midwife. They worked in Texas as a nanny for another Norwegian family.
When Zellweger was in high school, she was heavily involved in athletics, cheerleading, soccer, and even football. She was also an accomplished actress and public speaker. After graduating from high school, she worked as a cocktail server to help support herself while attending the University of Texas in Austin. She earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1991.
After developing an interest in acting, she started obtaining minor roles, her first being a Coors Light commercial.
Austin and Houston-based Zellweger auditioned for various independent and low-budget films, securing a few minor roles. In 1994, she played a non-speaking role in Ben Stiller's “Reality Bites.” “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation” was her first significant role. Alongside Matthew McConaughey, she took on the part of a young woman. In her next film, “Love and a.45,” she won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance, garnering plaudits from local Austin critics. After winning, Renee moved to Los Angeles, where she was cast in 1995's “Empire Records,” which has since become a cult classic.
With the role of Jerry Maguire opposite Tom Cruise in 1996, Zellweger had her first significant role. Over $273 million was earned globally from the film, praised by critics and moviegoers alike. Actor Cruise credited her with “revealing the essential humanity of the movie” when he cast her in the role of his love interest. In the film, actress Rene Zellweger shined as a single mother with her delicate and lovely depiction.
She was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Female Supporting Actor for the first time. After the enormous success and acclaim for her role in “Jerry Maguire,” Zellweger's career took a dip for a few years. She had a string of low-budget roles before landing a position with the Farrelly brothers in “Me, Myself & Irene,” which she featured alongside Jim Carrey. A worldwide total of $149 million broke the low-grossing streak. In “Nurse Betty,” a black comedy directed by Neil LaBute, she received her first Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her portrayal.
In 2001, Renee Zellweger landed the coveted part of Bridget Jones in “Bridget Jones's Diary,” a film adaptation of the 1996 novel of the same name starring Hugh Grant and Colin Firth. Casting her was controversial because she was not British and did not smoke or gain weight, all of which were necessary for the titular character's persona to be fully realized.
It didn't take long for Zellweger to gain 20 pounds, learn to speak with an English accent, and develop a taste for herbal smokes. In addition to her second Golden Globe nomination, her performance earned her nominations for Best Leading Actress at the Oscars and the BAFTAs. The film raked in $281 million globally at the box office.
Renee starred in the critically acclaimed and Oscar-winning musical “Chicago” in 2002. Second Academy Trophy and BAFTA nominations and a second Golden Globe award for her performance in the film were all she needed. After that, she starred alongside Nicole Kidman and Jude Law in “Cold Mountain.” The film was a critical and commercial success for Zellweger, who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and BAFTA.
A straight to DVD release of 2010's “My Own Love Song” prompted Renee to take a break from the music industry in the mid-2000s. Bridget Jones's Baby” marked her return to acting in 2016 after a six-year absence from the limelight. It was well-received and made $211 million over the world. In 2019, Zellweger returned to the big screen as Judy Garland in the critically praised biopic “Judy.” She sang her songs on stage, including shots with only one take for the camera. Her performance has been dubbed a career-high by the critics. Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Oscar for Best Actress were just some of her prizes.
Vogue and Harper's Bazaar have featured Zellweger on their covers. At awards shows and on the red carpet throughout her career. Her Forbes magazine “20 Richest Women in Entertainment” ranking in 2007 put her at No. 20.
The first installment of “Bridget Jones's Diary” earned Renee $3.75 million in 2001. A sequel to “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” was released three years later, making her an additional $11 million. Chicago” earned her $10 million in 2002. Her role in the 2003 film “Cold Mountain” brought her $15 million in earnings (as well as an Academy Award nomination). Cinderella Man brought her $5 million in 2005.
She could earn between $10 and $15 million for a big-budget studio feature in today's market. In light of her numerous blockbuster triumphs and huge award victories, she can accept more minor roles in independent films while maintaining her status as one of the world's highest-paid actresses.
Life in the Private Sector
In 1999-2000, Zellweger was engaged to Jim Carry, a singer, and actor. In May of 2005, she tied the knot with artist Kenny Chesney, but the union was called off just four months later. Bradley Cooper dated Renee from 2009 to 2011. Doyle Bramhall II, a fellow Texan musician, was her long-term boyfriend from 2012 to 2019.
As a member of the GREAT Initiative, a group that promotes gender equality, Zellweger traveled to Liberia in 2011 with the organization. In 2011, she teamed up with Tommy Hilfiger to create a handbag to benefit the Breast Health Institute and collect funds for it.
What better way to celebrate one year since the release of #JUDY than to tune in and watch it on @SkyTV Cinema Premiere today at 2:30pm and 10:20pm? Don’t miss Renée Zellweger’s Oscar-winning performance as the one and only Judy Garland! 🌈 ✨#RenéeZellweger #JudyGarland #FBF pic.twitter.com/dhw2soe9tM
— Pathé UK (@patheuk) October 2, 2020
- Purchasing a 40-acre Connecticut farm for $1,322,000 was a significant purchase for Renee in 2004. Although she has made several attempts to sell the property, she remains the owner in this writing.
- As recently as 2011, she sold a New York City apartment complex for $7.4 million.
- Actress Debra Messing paid $7 million for her Bel Air mansion in 2003.
- For $2.15 million, Renee bought a house in East Hampton, New York, at the end of 2003. She put this house on the market for $4.45 million in 2014. In the end, she received $4.65 million for the property in December 2014.
- For $3.35 million, Renee bought a house in Topanga, California, in April 2015. In October of 2021, she put this house on the market for under $6 million. She agreed to pay $6.4 million for the home in the end.
- For almost $3 million in 2020, Renee bought a lakeside home on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas's capital city.
Renee Zellweger's Net Worth Is Unknown
She is an award-winning American actress and producer with a net worth of approximately $90 million. Bridget Jones's Diary, Jerry Maguire, Cold Mountain, and Judy are just some of the films she has appeared in, and she has won two Academy Awards for her work in those films.
Who Is Renée Zellweger's Husband?
Singer-songwriter-guitarist-record producer Kenneth Arnold Chesney is most known for his work in the country music genre. He has created more than 40 US Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay Top 10 singles, 32 of which have climbed to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay chart.