Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is one of the most recognisable actresses in the world and throughout her stellar career she has delivered some of the most memorable performances in the industry. Zeta-Jones was someone who always wanted to be a performer and in fact she quit school midway without obtaining a certificate in order to become an actor. She spent the initial years of his career as a teenager in London, United Kingdom as a stage actor but quickly graduated to television and became a well-known actress after starring in the show ‘The Darling Buds on May’. However, it was not long before she moved to the United States and one of her earliest hits was the film ‘The Mask of Zorro’ that made her a star overnight. Zeta-Jones’ most famous performance came a few years later when she appeared in the film ‘Chicago’ and that remains one of the most iconic performances in her career. Catherine Zeta-Jones slowed down a bit at one point in her career in order to look after her children but then she returned to the screen with new found zeal. She would certainly be counted among one of the finest actresses of her generation.
Childhood & Early Life
Catherine Zeta-Jones was born on 25 September 1969, to David Jones and Patricia Jones in the city of Swansea in Wales. Her father owned a factory that manufactured sweets while her mother used to be a seamstress. She had two siblings; both of them brothers.
Catherine Zeta-Jones was a performer right from the time she was a child and enrolled at the Hazel Johnson School of Dance at the age of five. She was also the main performer in the theatre group of her local church. Zeta-Jones was a British tap dancing competition as well when she was 11 years old.
Catherine Zeta-Jones studied at the Dumbarton House School located in her native Swansea but she dropped out of school without obtaining her ‘O-Levels’ and instead relocated to London in order to become an actor. It was something that she had always intended to do.
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After relocating to London, Catherine Zeta-Jones needed some time to establish herself as an actress and it was two years after arriving in London that she got her first major break when she was cast as Peggy Sawyer in the play ‘42nd Street’, in 1987. Two years later in 1989 she was cast in the play ‘Street Scene’ by the English National Opera.
She got her first role on television in 1990 with the series ‘Les 1001 Nuits’ but it was as Mariette in the show ‘The Darling Buds of May’ on ITV that started a year later that Catherine Zeta-Jones really came into prominence. In the subsequent years she tried her hand at music with a few singles but they did not become as popular as she had hoped and then continued with television shows like ‘The Return of the Native’ and ‘Catherine the Great’.
Catherine Zeta-Jones appeared in the film ‘The Phantom’ and followed it up with a role in the miniseries ‘Titanic’ on CBS in the year 1996. Her performance in the ‘Titanic’ was noted by none other than Steven Spielberg, who suggested her name for the first big project of her career ‘The Mask of Zorro’ to the director of the film. The film was released in 1998 and propelled her to stardom.
In 1999, Zeta-Jones starred in two largely forgettable films, namely, ‘Entrapment’ and ‘The Haunting. The latter was a commercial success but was universally criticised. However, the following year she delivered a highly acclaimed performance as a drug lord’s wife in the film ‘Traffic’ and followed it up with the successful ‘America’s Sweethearts’ alongside Julia Roberts.
In 2002, Catherine Zeta-Jones starred in the role of Velma Kelly in the film ‘Chicago’ and it remains the most famous performance of his career. The film was not only a commercial blockbuster but also received critical acclaim and Zeta-Jones’ performance earned her widespread praise. She followed it up with the films ‘Intolerable Cruelty’ with George Clooney, ‘The Terminal’ with Tom Hanks and the global blockbuster ‘Ocean’s Twelve’. Her performances were well received in all these films.
During the 2000s Catherine Zeta-Jones wasn’t as prolific as she was in the earlier part of her career and the only notable releases include 2005 sequel to ‘The Mask of Zorro’ titled ‘The Legend of Zorro’ and ‘No Reservations’ two years later.
Catherine Zeta-Jones debuted on Broadway in 2009 with the play ‘A Little Night Music’ in which she starred alongside the legendary Angela Lansbury and her performance received mixed reviews from respected publications.
In 2012, she returned to films with the comedy ‘Lay the Favourite’ but the films proved to be a disappointment. In the same year, she also appeared in the musical film 'Rock of Ages', alongside Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin, and in the comedy 'Playing for Keeps', with Gerard Butler
In 2013, Catherine Zeta-Jones starred in the movie ‘Broken City’, ‘Side Effects’ and ‘RED 2’.
Catherine Zeta-Jones’ most important work in her career is without doubt her performance in the 2002 film ‘Chicago’ and she also won a spate of awards including the Academy Award, the BAFTA as well as Screen Actors’ Guild Award in the best supporting actress category for the role.
Awards & Achievements
Catherine Zeta-Jones won the Academy Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in 2003 for her performance in the films ‘Chicag’. She won the award for the same category for ‘Chicago’ at the BAFTA Awards as well as the Screen Guild Awards.
Personal Life & Legacy
Catherine Zeta-Jones got married to actor Michael Douglas on 18 November 2000 in New York City. The couple has two children- a son and a daughter.
Catherine Zeta-Jones has an estimated net worth of $45 million.