Texas-born actress Renée Zellweger first gained wide-spread attention for her role in the film Jerry Maguire and later Bridget Jones's Diary, for which she received two nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She has won three Golden Globe Awards and in 2007 joined the ranks as one of Hollywood's highest paying actresses. Her other films include Cold Mountain and Chicago.
Actress. Born April 25, 1969, in Katy, Texas. Raised in a small town outside Houston, Texas, Renée Zellweger took up acting in college. She appeared in bit parts in mainstream movies like Dazed and Confused (1993) and Reality Bites (1994) before earning praise for her leading roles in the independent films Love and a .45 (1994) and The Whole Wide World (1996), co-starring Vincent D'Onofrio.
Director Cameron Crowe surprised many when he cast the relatively unknown actress as Dorothy Boyd, the single mother who is swept off her feet by Tom Cruise's soul-searching sports agent in Jerry Maguire (1996).
The film's critical and commercial success made Zellweger one of Hollywood's hottest new commodities. Instead of cashing in with another big-budget film, however, she took a risk and made several independent films, including Deceiver (1997), opposite Tim Roth, and A Price Above Rubies (1998), in which she played a rebellious wife in a Hasidic Jewish family.
Zellweger later turned in a critically acclaimed performance opposite Meryl Streep in One True Thing (1998), an adaptation of Anna Quindlen's novel about a daughter coping with her mother's slow death from cancer.
In 1999, she starred with Chris O'Donnell in The Bachelor and made headlines on account of her budding romance with comic star Jim Carrey. In the comedy Me, Myself and Irene (2000), written and directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly, Carrey played a character with two personalities, both of whom are in love with Zellweger's Irene. That same year, Zellweger won a Golden Globe for the black comedy Nurse Betty, costarring Morgan Freeman, Chris Rock, and Greg Kinnear.
In 2001, Zellweger starred as the neurotic British title character in the film adaptation of Helen Fielding's bestselling novel, Bridget Jones's Diary. The film costarred Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, and its sequel, The Edge of Reason, was released in 2004. In 2003, Zellweger earned her second Goden Globe for her performance in Chicago, the film adaptation of the 1970s musical costarring Richard Gere and Catherine Zeta-Jones. That year, she also starred in the retro-romantic comedy Down With Love opposite Ewan McGregor. The following year, Zellweger continued her winning streak by capturing the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as Ruby in the Civil War drama Cold Mountain. In 2005, she costarred in Cinderella Man with Russell Crowe. Upcoming projects include the biopic Piece of My Heart, in which Zellweger stars as singing legend Janis Joplin.
Zellweger tied the knot with country music star Kenny Chesney on May 8, 2005, then filed for an annulment four months later citing "fraud."
From : www.biography.com