Renee Zellweger facts: Actress's age, husband, family and movie roles explained

4 December 2023, 16:58

Renee Zellweger in 2020
Renee Zellweger in 2020. Picture: Getty

By Tom Owen

From small-town girl to Hollywood royalty, Renée Zellweger’s journey has been nothing short of cinematic.

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Renee Zellweger’s rise to fame is a testament to her talent, determination, and the ability to reinvent herself. With a career spanning over three decades, she has become one of the most versatile and respected actresses in the industry.

Zellweger’s early roles in films like Dazed and Confused and Reality Bites were a prelude to her breakout performance in Jerry Maguire, where she captured hearts with her portrayal of the single mother, Dorothy Boyd. Her chemistry with Tom Cruise was palpable, and her delivery of the iconic line, “You had me at ‘hello’,” sealed her place in cinematic history.

The turn of the millennium saw Zellweger embracing her comedic talents in the beloved Bridget Jones series, where she brought to life the endearing and relatable Bridget Jones. However, it was her portrayal of Roxie Hart in Chicago that earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, solidifying her status as a leading lady in Hollywood.

Zellweger’s ability to disappear into her characters reached its pinnacle with her portrayal of Judy Garland in Judy. Her transformation into the legendary performer was breathtaking, earning her numerous accolades, including her second Academy Award for Best Actress.

Off-screen, Zellweger has been equally impressive. Her philanthropic efforts and advocacy for gender equality in the entertainment industry have made her a role model for aspiring actors. Despite facing challenges and taking a six-year hiatus from acting, Zellweger’s triumphant return to the screen is a powerful reminder that resilience and hard work can lead to extraordinary achievements.

  1. How old is Renee Zellweger and where was she born?

    Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones
    Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones. Picture: Alamy

    Renée Zellweger was born on April 25, 1969, which makes her 54 years old as 2023.

    She was born in Katy, Texas.

    Her father Emil Erich Zellweger was a Swiss-born engineer. Her mother Kjellfrid Irene Andreassen was a Norwegian-born former nurse and midwife.

    She also has a brother named Drew Zellweger, a marketing executive.

    Her parents married in 1963 and have been influential in Renée’s life, with her mother encouraging her to pursue a college education.

  2. How did she get her start in acting?

    Renée Zellweger’s acting career began while she was still in college. Initially aspiring for a career in journalism, she was drawn to acting following her brief work on stage during her time at the University of Texas at Austin.

    Her first movie role came with a minor appearance in the 1993 film Dazed and Confused, followed by Reality Bites in 1994.

  3. Who is Renee Zellweger's husband?

    She married country singer Kenny Chesney in May 2005, but the marriage was short-lived. The couple met at a tsunami relief event and quickly tied the knot.

    However, just four months after their wedding, Zellweger filed for an annulment of their union.

    Renée Zellweger is currently in a relationship with British television presenter Ant Anstead. They first met on the set of Anstead’s Discovery+ show, Celebrity IOU Joyride, in 2021 and have been together since then.

    There have also been reports suggesting that the couple is engaged. Renée Zellweger and Ant Anstead have maintained a relatively private relationship, but they have made several public appearances together.

  4. Does Renee Zellweger have any kids?

    Renée Zellweger does not have any children.

    She has spoken about not having an ambition for motherhood and being open to whatever life brings, without any specific expectations regarding having children.

    She has also expressed enjoyment in her role as an aunt to her brother’s children.