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Renée Kathleen Zellweger was born on April 25, 1969, in Katy, Texas, to parents Emil Zellweiger, a Swiss-born engineer who married Renée's mother Kjellfrid Zellweiger, a Norwegian-born former nurse and midwife in 1963. Renée got interested in acting in high school while working on the drama club. She also took an acting class at the University of Texas. After graduation, she wanted to continue acting. Renée decided to stay in Texas, and auditioned for roles around Houston where she managed to grab roles in such films as Reality Bites and Empire Records. She then took a role in the sequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, where she met Matthew McConaughey, another Hollywood up-and-comer. He was working on a project at the time that Renee was interested in, auditioned for and won the role in the film Love and a .45, which earned her enough critical praise that she decided to move to Los Angeles. Another role in The Whole Wide World followed which led to her big break. Cameron Crowe was busy caSting his next film, Jerry Maguire, starring Tom Cruise. Crowe was considering such actresses as Cameron Diaz, Bridget Fonda, Winona Ryder, and Marisa Tomei, when he heard of Zellweger's performance in The Whole Wide World. He auditioned Zellweger and was sure he'd found his Dorothy Boyd. Renée followed her huge success with a few small independent films and after receiving further critical praise, she felt confident enough to reenter the world of big-budget Hollywood films. She starred opposite Meryl Streep in the tear-jerker One True Thing. She also took a role in Me, Myself & Irene, opposite Jim Carrey. Also in 2000 she starred in the title role in Nurse Betty, where she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical. In 2001, she received even more critical and commercial success in the yet again title role in Bridget Jones's Diary.
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