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RENEE ZELLWEGER (Irene) was plucked from the independent film world by filmmaker Cameron Crowe to co-star opposite Tom Cruise in the Oscar-nominated film, "Jerry Maguire." For her role as Dorothy Boyd, the plucky single mom who romances Cruise's driven sports agent, Zellweger was named Best Breakthrough Performer of 1996 by the National Board of Review, received a Blockbuster® Award for Best Supporting Actress and was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award®.

She went on to co-star opposite Meryl Streep and again won critical acclaim as a budding magazine writer who abandons her career dreams to care for her dying mother in "One True Thing." She played a Hasidic wife with religious doubts in "A Price Above Rubies," and was a prim Texas schoolteacher opposite Vincent D'Onofrio in the Depression-era drama "The Whole Wide World." For the latter role, Zeliweger earned her second Independent Spirit Award nomination and a Best Actress prize at the Mar Bel Plata Film Festival. She collected her first Spirit nomination for her work in "Love and a .45."

Most recently, Zeliweger starred in "The Bachelor" with Chris O'Donnell and Neil Labute's dark comedy "Nurse Betty," with Chris Rock and Morgan Freeman.

Zeliweger, a first generation American whose parents emigrated from Scandinavia in the 1 960s, majored in English literature at the University of Texas-Austin. She currently resides in Los Angeles.


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