Renée Zellweger, who most people now refer to as Bridget Jones, is a big shot in Hollywood, she doubles as an actress and film producer. She kicked off her screen career by appearing in commercials and taking small parts in low-budget movies. A few years down the line, she had her big break when she was cast in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire as Dorothy Boyd, a single mom and the love interest of Gerald “Jerry” Maguire (played by Tom Cruise).
Her performance in the movie opened many doors in her career and today, Renée Zellweger’s hard work has seen her bag many awards, including an Academy Award, three Golden Globe Awards, one BAFTA and SAG Award. These did not slow her down, she kept up the good work so that by 2007, she had established herself as one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses and was in 2009, named Hasty Pudding’s Woman of the Year.
Renée Zellweger Grew Up As An All-rounder But Chose Acting
Born in 1969, Renee was many things all at once in her earlier days. When she was in high school, she was a cheerleader and gymnast, as well as a member of the school’s speech team, drama club, and took part in different sports such as soccer, basketball, baseball, and football. In 1986, she submitted an academic paper titled “The Karankawas and Their Roots” for the first edition of Houston Post High School Natural Science Essay Contest and it took the third position.
Sequel to her graduation from high school, Renée continued her education at the University of Texas at Austin. It was during her time at the university that her interest in acting was kindled after she took an elective drama course. Consequently, after she was left to support herself in her junior year when her father lost his job, she began working as a cocktail waitress in Austin, Texas and also got small acting roles. She eventually earned her Screen Actors Guild card after she featured in a Coors Light commercial.
After Renée Zellweger graduated from the university in 1991 with a BA in English, she got her first job, working in a beef commercial while at the same time auditioning for roles around Houston, Texas. She succeeded in getting roles in various independent and low-budget films, including A Taste for Killing (1992), Murder in the Heartland (1993), and Reality Bites (1994).
She appeared in the 1994 biographical film 8 Seconds and in the same year, she landed her first main role in the horror film Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. The actress also got the role of Starlene Cheatham in the 1994 crime comedy Love and a .45 and her performance in the film earned her an Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance.
Although she had, on different occasions, postponed her plans of relocating to Los Angeles because she didn’t believe she had what it takes to compete with other actors in the city, the award convinced her that she was wrong, so, she subsequently made the move. In 1996, she finally got her big break when she landed the role of Dorothy Boyd in the movie Jerry Maguire and this was followed by a nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role.
Renée Zellweger has remained active in the movie industry ever since she came on-board and has gone on to appear in some television works, as well as many other films, some of which are A Price Above Rubies (1998), One True Thing (1998), The Bachelor (1999), Me, Myself & Irene (2000), Nurse Betty (2000), Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), White Oleander (2002), Cinderella Man (2005), Miss Potter (2006), My Own Love Song (2010), The Whole Truth (2016), Bridget Jones’s Baby Bridget Jones (2016), Same Kind of Different as Me (2017), and Here and Now (2018) among so many others.
Her Most Lucrative Roles And How They Added To Her Net Worth
There will be the argument of whether or not her statue will be found beside that of Meryl Streep if it will ever be built. However, there can be no argument on whether she is a great actress or not. With lead movie roles that have grossed over $1.8 billion, she is one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood.
Renée Zellweger is one of the most bankable actresses, having earned huge sums of money for some roles that are unforgettable. What has remained one of her biggest and important roles is her portrayal of Bridget Jones in the film Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) for which she was paid $3,750,000. The next year, she appeared in Chicago (2002) for which she was paid $10,000,000. This is the same amount that she would take home for films such as Cinderella Man (2005) which would add another $5 million in the second instalment. Another bankable tole she played was in the 2003 film, Down with Love for which she got $6,000,000. The legendary actress was paid $15,000,000 for her role in Cold Mountain (2003) and then $11,000,000 for Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004).
Looking at her box office earnings, the actress has recorded more than $100 million in the following films;
- Shark Tale (Angie)- Over $371 million
- Chicago (Roxie Hart)- Over $306 million
- Bee Movie (Vanessa Blume)- Over $287 million
- Bridget Jones’s Diary (Bridget Jones)- Over $281 million
- Jerry Maguire (Dorothy Boyd)- Over $273 million
- Bridget Jones: The Edg… (Bridget Jones)- Over $263 million
- Bridget Jones’s Baby (Bridget Jones)- Over $205 million
- Cold Mountain (Ruby Thewes)- Over $165 million
- Me, Myself & Irene (Irene P. Waters)- Over $149 million
- Cinderella Man (Mrs. Braddock)- Over $105 million
Thanks to all these exploits, she has a net worth that has been estimated at a massive $90 million. She owns a number of properties in different parts of the United States, including Connecticut, the Hamptons, and Los Angeles.
Beyond the fame and fortune, she has been recognized for her many roles with awards such as 2 Academy Awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for Judy (2019) and Cold Mountain (2003) respectively. She also has 2 British Academy Film Awards, 4 Golden Globe Awards, 4 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, and many more.
The New Look That Courted Controversy
There is no denying the fact that at a point, Renée Zellweger was one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. Not only was she blessed with the looks, but she also had the charm and grace to go with it, which clearly explains why she was the toast of many men. However, in 2014, the entertainment world was left in shock after her looks changed almost overnight. Prior to that, the actress had been away from the public scene for a while and so, returning with a rather different look was something many found amusing.
According to the actress, following her new looks, she became an item of international humiliation. She revealed that the backlash got to her at a level that she never thought it would. She once heard people talk about her and how silly she was for deciding to change her looks so much that she now looked nothing like her former self.
The idea for many was that she had plastic surgery. Although she has spoken on how she got treated because of the looks both online and in real life, she has not revealed anything about the surgery or what could have led to it. In a response to an article written about her by Owen Gleiberman who was upset by her new looks, the actress stated that although it was not anyone’s business, she did not just decide to change her face and have surgery on her eyes.
Renée Zellweger Was Married For Four Months To Kenny Chesney
Needless to say, Renée Zellweger is both a successful and beautiful woman; both recipes to make her catch the eye of any man. She has dated more than 10 men in the past, although she was married only once and it was to Kenny Chesney. The pair first met at NBC’s “Concert of Hope” tsunami aid telethon in January 2005.
At the event, she was said to have been there with hopes of passing a note to the country singer but before she got the chance. He got the idea of what she wanted after it was communicated between her publicists and his. He met her after everything and the two got talking and that was it. The moment they met, she knew he was the man for her. For the next few months, they kept their relationship away from the public until April of the same year when she kissed him on stage during a concert. What would be more surprising than the fact that they dated for months without anyone knowing was that they would get married only a week after the truth came out. They got married in an intimate ceremony in the Virgin Islands.
One more thing would turn out to be more surprising than the surprise wedding; they were divorced only four months after. The Jerry Maguire actress filed for the annulment of her marriage, citing fraud on the part of her then-husband. Based on the papers she filed at Los Angeles Superior Court, she requested that no spousal support should be given to Chesney. Rumours would emerge that the fraud was because Chesney hid his true identity as gay, but he came out to deny the rumour.
She Dated Many Men, Was Once Engaged And Has Been In A Long Term Relationship
Now in her golden ages, Renée Zellweger has not married again since the annulment of her marriage, although she has dated a good number of men both before and after Chesney. Here are the men she dated:
Sims E. Ellison
The first person she was linked to much earlier in her career was American guitarist, Sims Ellison. The two were an item from 1992 until 1995 when they broke up. The guitarist took his own life at the age of 28 after suffering from depression following their breakup.
The actress had something to do with Canadian actor and comedian, Jim Carrey. The two were involved in a well-publicized relationship which happened to only last from 1999 to 2000. Inasmuch as they did not last as a couple, the actor would later put it in writing that the actress was the great love of his life.
Before their relationship ended up in murky waters, the two were set for a lifetime cruise together as they were engaged for a little while in 2000. Engagement aside, a spokesperson indicated the talented duo that would have made a Hollywood-power couple wanted different things from each other and so, the engagement was called off; that became the end of the relationship.
The talented actress did not miss the eyes of your favourite actor and one of the most sought after men in Hollywood, Bradley Cooper. With dating list that is rumoured to include women such as Victoria Keon-Cohen, Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Zoe Saldana, and Olivia Wilde among others, Cooper and Renee dated for two years from 2009 to 2011 despite the 6 years age gap the actress had over the actor.
Doyle Bramhall II
This is the beautiful blonde’s relationship that sustained for a long time more than all her previous ones, including her marriage was with singer/songwriter, Doyle Bramhall II. The two started going out two years after Doyle got separated from his ex-wife, Susannah Melvoin. The two started dating in 2012, having met years earlier.
The actress was drawn into the divorce as she kept supporting her boyfriend financially. She was said to have helped him with expenses of his divorce that went as high as $60,000 and she also helped him with credit card bills that cost between $4,000 to $5,000 monthly. They continued dating for the next 7 years before they parted ways in 2019.
Since their separation, she has not openly dated anyone.
Renée Zellweger Was Also Involved In Some Brief Relationships
Aside from her well-known relationships, her dating books also had some flings that only lasted a short while, including with celebrated stars like British musician Paul McCartney and American businessman André Balazs – both of whom she was linked to in 2007. Dan Abrams and the Oscar-winning actress also had something that lasted only for a brief period to the disappointment of many eyes that saw them as a good cut-out couple from the magazines.
Her name did not escape the rumour mills which had tied her along with men like George Clooney, Luke Perry, and People’s Sexiest Men Alive for four different years in two different decades, John Krasinski. Many sources have revealed that more than the rumours, she actually dated the three men in the past.
Renée Zellweger Does Not Have Kids
Renée Zellweger has no children. In a chat with Extra, while promoting her film, Bridget Jones’s Baby, she was asked if acting as a pregnant woman in the sequel made her ‘crave’ a child of her own. In response, she said she had never been that deliberate about her life and the things that she would require in order to be happy.