Zeta-Jones at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival
|Born||Catherine Zeta Jones
25 September 1969
Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
|Alma mater||Arts Educational Schools, London|
|Spouse(s)||Michael Douglas (m. 2000)|
Catherine Zeta-Jones CBE (//; born Catherine Zeta Jones; 25 September 1969) is a Welsh actress. She began her career on stage at an early age. After starring in a number of British and American television films and small roles in films, which included The Darling Buds of May from 1991 until 1993, she came to prominence with roles in Hollywood movies including the action film The Mask of Zorro (1998) and the crime thriller film Entrapment (1999). Her breakthrough role was in the film Traffic (2000), for which she earned her first Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture.
Zeta-Jones subsequently starred as Velma Kelly in the film adaptation of the musical Chicago (2002), a critical and commercial success, and received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Later, she appeared in the romantic comedy film Intolerable Cruelty (2003) and crime comedy film Ocean's Twelve (2004). Zeta-Jones starred in the sequel of the 1998 film, The Legend of Zorro (2005). She also starred in the biography romantic thriller Death Defying Acts (2008) and psychological thriller Side Effects (2013).
Catherine Zeta-Jones was born in Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales on 25 September 1969, to Patricia (née Fair), a seamstress, and David James Jones, a sweet-factory owner. Her father is of Welsh descent, and her mother is of Welsh and Irish ancestry. She was named after her grandmothers, Catherine Fair and Zeta Jones. She has two brothers who both help with her production company, Milkwood Films.
Zeta-Jones grew up in the small town of Mumbles. At the age of five, she was sent to the Hazel Johnson School of Dance to make use of her energy. By the time she was 11, she was a British tap-dancing champion. She was educated at Dumbarton House School, a co-educational independent school in nearby Swansea, but left early to further her acting ambitions without obtaining O-levels. She then attended the independent The Arts Educational Schools in Chiswick, West London, for a full-time, three-year course in Musical Theatre.
Early work, 1986–1995
Zeta-Jones made her professional acting debut when she played the lead in Annie, a production at Swansea Grand Theatre. When she was 14, Zeta-Jones was cast as Tallulah in theatre production of Bugsy Malone.
In 1986, at age 17, she had a part in the chorus of The Pajama Game at the Haymarket Theatre, Leicester starring Paul Jones and Fiona Hendley. The show subsequently toured the United Kingdom, and in 1987, she starred in 42nd Street as Peggy Sawyer at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. She was cast in the leading role after both the actress playing Peggy Sawyer and her understudy fell ill. She also played Mae Jones in the Kurt Weill opera Street Scene with the English National Opera at the London Coliseum Theatre in 1989. After the show closed, she travelled to France where she played the lead role in French director Philippe de Broca's Les 1001 Nuits (1990), her feature film debut.
Her singing and dancing ability suggested a promising future but it was in a straight acting role as Mariette in the successful British television series The Darling Buds of May (1991–1993), an adaptation of H. E. Bates' novel of the same name that brought her to public attention and made her a British tabloid darling.
She briefly flirted with a musical career, beginning with a part in the 1992 album Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of Spartacus, from which the single "For All Time" was released in 1992. It reached No. 36 in the UK charts. She went on to release the singles "In the Arms of Love", "I Can't Help Myself", and a duet with David Essex "True Love Ways", reaching No. 38 in the UK singles chart in 1994.
She also starred in an episode of the American television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992–1993) as well as in the film Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992). In 1990, Zeta-Jones participated in a television commercial for the German Deutsche Bahn at the age of 21, playing the part of a young woman eloping with her lover from a joyless marriage, a role which apparently helped in promoting her acting career.
She continued to find moderate success with a number of television projects, including The Return of the Native (1994) based on the novel of the same name (1878) by Thomas Hardy and the miniseries Catherine the Great (1995 film). She also appeared in Splitting Heirs (1993), a comedy film starring Eric Idle, Rick Moranis and John Cleese. In 1996, she was cast as the evil aviatrix Sala in the action film The Phantom, based on the comic by Lee Falk. The following year, she co-starred in the CBS miniseries Titanic (1996), which also starred Peter Gallagher, Tim Curry and George C. Scott.
Career success, 1998–2003
Steven Spielberg, who noted her performance in the miniseries Titanic (1996), recommended her to Martin Campbell, the director of The Mask of Zorro (1998). Zeta-Jones subsequently landed a lead role in the film, alongside Welsh compatriot Anthony Hopkins and Antonio Banderas. She studied dancing, riding, sword-fighting and took part in dialect classes to play her role as Elena. Commenting on her performance, Variety noted, "Zeta-Jones is bewitchingly lovely as the center of everyone's attention, and she throws herself into the often physical demands of her role with impressive grace." She won the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Female Newcomer and received an Empire Award nomination for Best British Actress and a Saturn Award nomination for Best Actress.
In 1999, she co-starred with Sean Connery in the film Entrapment, and alongside Liam Neeson and Lili Taylor in The Haunting. The following year 2000, she starred in the critically acclaimed Traffic with future husband Michael Douglas. Traffic earned praise from the press, with the critic for the Dallas Observer calling the movie "a remarkable achievement in filmmaking, a beautiful and brutal work". Zeta-Jones's performance earned her her first Golden Globe nomination, as Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture. 
She took the lead role of America's Sweethearts (2001), a romantic comedy film, which also starred Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal and John Cusack. The film received unfavorable reviews, with Los Angeles Weekly stating that the film "isn't just banal, it's aggressively, arrogantly banal." However, it was a hit at the box office grossing over $138 million worldwide. Her character in the film was Gwen Harrison, who is a film star.
In 2002, Zeta-Jones played murderous vaudevillian Velma Kelly in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Chicago. Her performance was well received by critics; Seattle Post-Intelligencer stated, "Zeta-Jones makes a wonderfully statuesque and bitchy saloon goddess." Slate magazine also praised her performance, saying that she "has a smoldering confidence that takes your mind off her not – always – fluid dancing – although she's a perfectly fine hoofer, with majestic limbs and a commanding cleavage." Chicago (2002) was a commercial success, grossing more than $306 million worldwide, and received universal acclaim. Her performance earned an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards: for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role and as a cast member for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
In 2003, she voiced Marina in the animated film Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas with Brad Pitt, as well as starring as serial divorcee Marilyn Rexroth in the black comedy Intolerable Cruelty with George Clooney.
In 2004, she played air hostess Amelia Warren in The Terminal alongside Tom Hanks, as well as Europol agent Isabel Lahiri in Ocean's Twelve, the sequel to Ocean's Eleven (2001). She and the cast members were nominated for the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast. 
In 2005, she reprised her role as Elena in The Legend of Zorro, the sequel to The Mask of Zorro (1998). The film received negative-mixed reviews; however, the critics acclaimed the individual performances of the actors, Banderas and Zeta-Jones. The Legend of Zorro grossed over $142 million worldwide.
In 2007, she starred opposite Aaron Eckhart and Abigail Breslin in the romantic comedy-drama No Reservations, an American remake of the German film Mostly Martha (2001), for which she received a People's Choice Award nomination. The film garnered mixed or average reviews but was successful commercially, grossing $92 million worldwide. Claudia Puig of USA Today newspaper wrote that Zeta-Jones "shines as a character that finely balances off-putting reserve with sympathetic appeal."
In 2008, she starred alongside Guy Pearce and Saoirse Ronan in Death Defying Acts, a biography about legendary escapologist Harry Houdini at the height of his career in the 1920s. The film was well received by many critics; View London noted that "Zeta Jones also pulls off an extremely impressive Edinburgh accent and it's great to see her in a decent role for once."
In 2009, Zeta-Jones starred in the romantic comedy The Rebound, in which she played a 40-year-old mother of two, who falls in love with a younger man, played by Justin Bartha. She made her Broadway debut in Trevor Nunn's revival of A Little Night Music with Angela Lansbury, beginning December 2009. For her performance, Zeta-Jones received an Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk Award, as well as a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical.
In 2012, she featured in Stephen Frears' Lay the Favorite starring Bruce Willis, which premièred at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. She also appeared in Playing for Keeps with Gerard Butler and Rock of Ages, alongside Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin.
In the media
British comedians Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders parodied Zeta-Jones in 2007, on their sketch comedy television show French & Saunders (1987–2010). She was also parodied by Debra Stephenson in the BBC comedy sketch show The Impressions Show with Culshaw and Stephenson (2009–2011).
Zeta-Jones is also an advertising spokeswoman, currently the global spokeswoman for cosmetics giant Elizabeth Arden. She has appeared in numerous TV commercials for the phone company T-Mobile, and one for Alfa Romeo. She is also the spokeswoman for Di Modolo jewellery. Zeta-Jones was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours.
She was chosen one of "1998's Most Beautiful People" by People magazine, and was ranked number 68 in FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2005" special supplement, and was named number 82 in 2006.
Zeta-Jones met actor Michael Douglas, with whom she shares a birthday and who is 25 years her senior, at the Deauville Film Festival in France in August 1998, after being introduced by Danny DeVito. They began dating in March 1999. Zeta-Jones claims that when they met he told her,"I'd like to father your children." They became engaged on 31 December 1999, and were married at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on 18 November 2000, after Douglas' divorce was finalised. A traditional Welsh choir (Côr Cymraeg Rehoboth) sang at their wedding. Her Welsh gold wedding ring includes a Celtic motif and was purchased in the Welsh town of Aberystwyth. Mick Hucknall from the band Simply Red also performed at their wedding. Hucknall and Jones had dated in the past. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas have two children, son Dylan Michael (born August 8, 2000) and daughter Carys Zeta (born April 20, 2003).
In August 2013, People claimed that Douglas and Zeta-Jones began living separately in May 2013, but had not taken any legal action towards separation or divorce. A representative for Zeta-Jones subsequently confirmed that they "are taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage." It was reported on 1 November 2013 that the couple had reconciled and that Zeta-Jones had moved back into their New York apartment.
Health and safety
In 2004, Douglas and Zeta-Jones took legal action against stalker Dawnette Knight, who was accused of making threats on Zeta-Jones' life. Testifying, Zeta-Jones said the threats left her so shaken she feared a nervous breakdown. Knight claimed she had been in love with Douglas and admitted to the offences, which took place between October 2003 and May 2004. She was sentenced to three years in prison.
In April 2011, Zeta-Jones sought treatment for bipolar II disorder, checking herself into Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut. Zeta-Jones checked into a health care facility again in April 2013 for further treatment related to her bipolar disorder.
|Year||Show||Role||Awards and nominations|
|1986||The Pajama Game||Chorus|
|1987||42nd Street||Peggy Sawyer|
|1989||Street Scene||Mae Jones|
|2009||A Little Night Music||Desiree Armfeldt|
- Street Scene* 1989 English National Opera Cast 1996 Jay Records
- Les 1001 Nuits 1990 Stars Music One
- For All Time 1992 Sony Music Entertainment
- Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of Spartacus 1992 Sony Music Entertainment
- True Love Ways feat. David Essex 1994 Lamplight Music Ltd.
- In The Arms of Love 1995 The WOW! Recording Company, Ltd.
- I Can't Help Myself 1995 The WOW! Recording Company, Ltd.
- Chicago 2003 Sony Music Entertainment, Inc.
- Stephen Sondheim: A Little Night Music 2010 Nonesuch Records
- Rock of Ages 2012 WaterTower Music
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Catherine Zeta-Jones.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Catherine Zeta-Jones|
- Catherine Zeta-Jones at the Internet Movie Database
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- Works by or about Catherine Zeta-Jones in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
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