Renée Zellweger, the daughter of Emil Eric Zellweger (a Swiss
immigrant) and Kjellfrid Iren Andreassen (a Norwegian immigrant
of Sami origin), graduated from Katy High School in Katy, a
suburb of Houston in 1987. She was a cheerleader and gymnast,
and participated in the drama club. After high school, she went
to the University of Texas at Austin to major in English. Though
she took a drama class only because she needed a fine arts
credit to complete her degree, it reminded her of how much she
loved acting. During this time, she supported herself by taking
a series of waitressing jobs in Austin, Texas.
By the time she graduated from college, she knew that Zellweger wanted to pursue a career in acting. She immediately began auditioning for commercials and small films that were being shot in Texas, including Reality Bites, 8 Seconds, and Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (all of which she got the parts for).
Her breakout role was in 1996's Jerry Maguire, where she played the romantic interest of Tom Cruise's character. She has since starred and received Academy Award nominations for her roles in Bridget Jones's Diary and Chicago. In 2004, she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Cold Mountain.
On May 24, 2005, Zellweger received her star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
On May 9, 2005, Renée Zellweger married singer Kenny Chesney in a ceremony at the island of St. John. They had met in January at a tsunami relief benefit concert. Zellweger missed out on the engagement ring since the wedding was planned over a short span of time. On September 15, 2005, after only four months of marriage, they announced their plans for an annulment. Zellweger cited fraud as the reason in the related papers. After media scrutiny of her use of the word "fraud", she released the following statement: "(The term is) simply legal language and not a reflection of Kenny's character. I would personally be very grateful for your support in refraining from drawing derogatory, hurtful, sensationalized or untrue conclusions. We hope to experience this transition as privately as possible." The annulment was finalized in late December 2005.
Renée Zellweger, together with Marc Forster, took part in the 2005 HIV prevention campaign of the Swiss federal health department. She's shown with the text "No intercourse without a condom" and "Semen or blood - never in the mouth".
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