Renée Kathleen Zellweger is an American actress and producer. Zellweger first gained widespread attention for her role in the film Jerry Maguire, and subsequently received two nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her roles as Bridget Jones in the comedy Bridget Jones's Diary, its sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and as Roxie Hart in the musical Chicago, and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the drama Cold Mountain. She has won three Golden Globe Awards and three Screen Actors Guild Awards, was named Hasty Pudding's Woman of the Year in 2009, and has established herself as one of the highest-paid Hollywood actresses in recent years.
Zellweger was born in Katy, Texas, a western suburb of Houston. Her father, Emil Erich Zellweger, is from Au, St. Gallen in Switzerland, and is a mechanical and electrical engineer who worked in the oil refining business. Her mother, Kjellfried Irene, is Norwegian-born and of Sami origin, and is a nurse and midwife who moved to the United States in order to work as a governess for a Norwegian family in Texas. Zellweger has described herself as being raised in a family of "lazy Catholics and Episcopalians". She has an older brother, Andrew.
In junior high school, Zellweger actively took part in several sports, including soccer, basketball, baseball and football. She attended Katy High School, where she was a cheerleader, a gymnast, a member of speech team, and a drama club member. Zellweger acted in several school plays and was voted the "Best Looking" of her class before graduating from high school in 1987. After high school, she went to the University of Texas at Austin to major in English language.