Renée's parents met on a boat when her father was crossing to the U.S. Renée's father, Emil Erich Zellweger, was born in Switzerland, and lived in a village called Au, in the canton of St. Gallen; right after World War II, he and his parents, Dorothy and Emil Zellweger, moved first to Australia and then to the U.S. Renée's mother, Kjellfrid Irene (Andreassen), was born in Norway, to Ove Magnar Ingolf Andreassen and Bjørga Johanna Hildonen, and has Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, and possible Sami ancestry. The Sami are a minority originating mainly from the northern parts of the Scandinavian peninsula often referred to as Lappland.
Chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World (2001).
She was a part of the Katy High School Bengal Brigade and Cheerleaders.
Was in the bathroom when this was announced that she won the Golden Globe for her role in Nurse Betty (2000).
Named one of E!'s "top 20 entertainers of 2001".
With no dance or voice training, she learned how to perform for Chicago (2002) by watching co-star Catherine Zeta-Jones. She endured a grueling training regime of vocal coaching and dance training for 10 months to rise to professional standards.
Her dog, Dylan, a collie-golden retriever mix, died in November 2003.
Attended and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin (1991), majored in English.
Worked as a cocktail waitress in a strip club while trying to catch her "big break" in acting.
Prior to the filming of Chicago (2002), Renee had only sung previously in public in the last scene of Empire Records (1995) and in the comical karaoke scene in Bridget Jones's Diary (2001). However, critics were amazed how good her voice was in the movie.
Gained 20 pounds for her role in Bridget Jones's Diary (2001).
She became the first performer to win two individual (excluding best acting ensemble) SAG Awards in film categories.
Is accompanied to many award shows and other functions by her long time agent John Carrabino.
Married country singer Kenny Chesney on the resort island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Her wedding ceremony lasted 15 minutes.
Met her future husband Kenny Chesney at a tsunami relief benefit in January 2005.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on May 24, 2005.
In 2004, she accepted the Screen Actors Guild Award for "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role" on behalf of Johnny Depp, who was not present at the awards ceremony.
She wore a gown designed by her favorite designer, Carolina Adriana Herrera, for her wedding to Kenny Chesney.
Friends with Reese Witherspoon, and Nicole Kidman.
Dyed her hair brown for her role in Cinderella Man (2005).
Her father's family comes from Au in canton St. Gallen/Switzerland. This is just a few minutes away from Rorschach where Emil Jannings was born, the very first actor to receive the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Is a huge fan of Chelsea FC (England soccer club).
First on-screen kiss was with Ethan Hawke in Reality Bites (1994).
Is one of 13 actresses to have won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Critics' Choice Award, Golden Globe Award and SAG Award for the same performance. The others in chronological order are Julia Roberts for Erin Brockovich (2000), Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line (2005), Helen Mirren for The Queen (2006), Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls (2006), Kate Winslet for The Reader (2008), Mo'Nique for Precious (2009), Natalie Portman for Black Swan (2010) and Octavia Spencer for The Help (2011), Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables (2012), Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine (2013), Patricia Arquette for Boyhood (2014) and Julianne Moore for Still Alice (2014).
Was considered for the role of Jessica Kimble in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), which went to Kari Keegan.
She visited Argentina in 1996 to promote the film The Whole Wide World (1996) with Vincent D'Onofrio at the Mar del Plata Film Festival, where she won the Best Actress Award for this film.
Honored as Harvard's Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year for 2009 on February 5, 2009.
Was originally chosen to portray Carla in Nine (2009) but Penélope Cruz, who went on to receive a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her performance, was cast instead.
Was considered for the role of Satine in Moulin Rouge! (2001) but Nicole Kidman, who went on to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance, was cast instead.
Was engaged to Jim Carrey (July-December 2000).
Purchased a four bedroom house in the Pacific Palisades community in California at $4 million with boyfriend Bradley Cooper. [December 2009]
Inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame on March 10, 2011 in Austin, Texas.
(March 26, 2011) Was in attendance at the wedding of Reese Witherspoon to Jim Toth.
She had "a couple of lines" as a beauty shop customer in My Boyfriend's Back (1993) but the scene was cut.
Was voted 'Dream Date' of her class before she graduated from high school in 1987.
Was the 124th actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Cold Mountain (2003) at The 76th Annual Academy Awards (2004) on February 29, 2004.
Is one of 27 actresses to have received an Academy Award nomination for their performance in a musical; hers being Chicago (2002). The others, in chronological order, are: Bessie Love for The Broadway Melody (1929), Grace Moore for One Night of Love (1934), Jean Hagen for Singin' in the Rain (1952), Marjorie Rambeau for Torch Song (1953), Dorothy Dandridge for Carmen Jones (1954), Deborah Kerr for The King and I (1956), Rita Moreno for West Side Story (1961), Gladys Cooper for My Fair Lady (1964), Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins (1964), The Sound of Music (1965), and Victor Victoria (1982), Debbie Reynolds for The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), Peggy Wood for The Sound of Music (1965), Carol Channing for Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967), Kay Medford for Funny Girl (1968), Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl (1968), Liza Minnelli for Cabaret (1972), Ronee Blakley for Nashville (1975), Lily Tomlin for Nashville (1975), Ann-Margret for Tommy (1975), Lesley Ann Warren for Victor Victoria (1982), Amy Irving for Yentl (1983), Nicole Kidman for Moulin Rouge! (2001), Queen Latifah for Chicago (2002), Catherine Zeta-Jones for Chicago (2002), Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls (2006), Penélope Cruz for Nine (2009), Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables (2012), Meryl Streep for Into the Woods (2014), and Emma Stone for La La Land (2016).
Is one of 20 actresses who did not receive an Oscar nomination for their Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical Golden Globe-winning performance; hers being for Nurse Betty (2000). The others, in chronological order, are: June Allyson for Too Young to Kiss (1951), Ethel Merman for Call Me Madam (1953), Jean Simmons for Guys and Dolls (1955), Taina Elg and Kay Kendall for Les Girls (1957), Marilyn Monroe for Some Like It Hot (1959), Rosalind Russell for A Majority of One (1961) and Gypsy (1962), Patty Duke for Me, Natalie (1969), Twiggy for The Boy Friend (1971), Raquel Welch for The Three Musketeers (1973), Barbra Streisand for A Star Is Born (1976), Bernadette Peters for Pennies from Heaven (1981), Kathleen Turner for Romancing the Stone (1984) and Prizzi's Honor (1985), Miranda Richardson for Enchanted April (1991), Jamie Lee Curtis for True Lies (1994), Nicole Kidman for To Die For (1995), Madonna for Evita (1996), Sally Hawkins for Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), and Amy Adams for Big Eyes (2014).
December 4, 1993 is a date Renée remembers clearly as the day she moved to Hollywood at age 24.