1969 -  

Renee Zellweger exploded with her steamy love scenes and moving portrayal with Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire and has quickly assumed a position atop the Hollywood actress pole.

Renee was born in Katy, Texas. She was raised by her mother, a Norwegian nurse, and father, a Swiss engineer. She got interested in acting in high school while working on the drama club. She also took an acting class at the University of Texas, where she began looking towards acting as a career. After graduation, all she wanted was to vontinue acting, but Hollywood is a tough town to break into.

Renee decided to stay in Texas, and auditioned for roles around Houston. She did manage to grab a few noteworthy roles, mostly in cult flicks like Reality Bites and Empire Records (with Liv Tyler). She took a role in laughable 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 Zellweger took an interest in and auditioned for. She got the role in the film that would come to be called Love and a .45, and earn her enough critical praise that she decided to take the plunge and move to Los Angeles. She wasn't thrilled with the city, but was excited about the prospect of acting.

Another role in The Whole Wide World followed and it was this film that lead to her big break. Cameron Crowe, a notoriously picky but brilliant director, was busy casting his next film, Jerry Maguire, a Tom Cruise vehicle that looked to be a sure success. Crowe was currently considering Patricia Arquette, Cameron Diaz, Bridget Fonda, Winona Ryder, Mira Sorvino, and Marisa Tomei, when he heard of Zellweger's performance in The Whole Wide World. He auditioned Zellweger and was sure he'd found the one. Renee was quickly cast and the path was set.

It was Renee's path after the huge success though, that has probably left her at the top of the acting field still today. Contrary to a Sandra Bullock, Renee followed huge success with a few small independent films. After garnishing further critical praise in these films, she felt confident enough to enter again 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, and Irene, the Jim Carrey film that looked to be a sure success.

But she got more than a juicy role in Irene, she also got her new man. Jim Carrey (formerly married to Lauren Holly) was smitten with the beautiful starlet and courted her into his arms. The two denied their relationship ("just friends") for a long time, but finally gave in and admitted their love.

Renee is currently living in L.A. with her dog, Woof. Despite her current success, people still confuse Renee with the singer Jewel Kilcher.

Biography written by Jeremy Falcone of  AbsoluteNow