Zellweger triumph bodes well for Oscar success

It was Zellweger's second Golden Globe award Keystone

The US-Swiss actress, Renee Zellweger, has won a Golden Globe award as best actress for her role in the film, "Chicago".

This content was published on January 20, 2003 - 11:56

It's Zellweger's second Globe award and her latest performance is being tipped as a serious contender for an Oscar in March.

The movie won two other major prizes - best musical or comedy film, as well as best actor for co-star Richard Gere.

In Chicago, Zellweger plays would-be starlet, Roxie Hart, who, after shooting her boyfriend, views her murder trial as her real shot at stardom.

Catherine Zeta-Jones plays another murderess, while Gere plays Roxie's charismatic, corrupt lawyer, Billy Lynn. All three leads were nominated for Golden Globes.

Prior to the filming of Chicago, Zellweger had never sung in public in her life.

Swiss roots

Renee Kathleen Zellweger was born on April 25, 1969, in Katy, Texas, a small town outside Houston, to Swiss-born engineer Emil Zellweger and Norwegian-born nurse Kjellfrid Zellweger. Her father came from Au in canton St Gallen.

She got interested in acting in high school while working in the drama club. She also took an acting class at the University of Texas where she began considering acting as a career.

When she became more famous, she was encouraged to change her name to one that would be more marketable but she refused to do so.

Her breakthrough came in Cameron Crowe's hit "Jerry Maguire" (1996) where she played the girlfriend of sports agent, opposite Tom Cruise.

Her title role as a whacked-out waitress in "Nurse Betty" won her the Best Actress in a Comedy Award at the 2000 Golden Globes.

Golden Globe

She was nominated for yet another Golden Globe the following year for her performance in "Bridget Jones's Diary". Her role opposite British actor Hugh Grant also earned her an Oscar nomination.

Zellweger has agreed to do a Bridget Jones follow-up. Before then, she will hit cinema screens in "Cold Mountain", a Christmas 2003 release with Jude Law and Nicole Kidman about a wounded Confederate soldier finding his way home

Going into the ceremony, Chicago had eight nominations - the second-highest number in Globes history.

Golden Globes winners are picked by a panel of 90 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Other award winners included Nicole Kidman, who picked up the best dramatic actress prize for her role in "The Hours", and Jack Nicolson who won best dramatic actor in "About Schmidt".

swissinfo with agencies

Zellweger facts

It's the second time Zellweger has won a Golden Globe.
She is being tipped as a serious contender for an Oscar in March.
Prior to the filming of Chicago, Zellweger had never sung in public in her life.
Chicago received eight nominations - the second highest number in Globes history.

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