Catherine Zeta-Jones Biography

Actress(1969–)
Catherine Zeta-Jones is an Academy Award-winning Welsh actress known for such films as Traffic and Chicago. She's married to actor Michael Douglas.

Synopsis

Catherine Zeta-Jones was born on September 25, 1969, in Swansea, Wales. She began dancing when she was 4 years old. At age 15, she quit school to join a tour of The Pajama Game, and at 17, she had a major role in a London production of 42nd Street. In 1998, Zeta-Jones starred in The Mask of Zorro. More Hollywood films soon followed, including Entrapment (1999) with Sean Connery. The following year, Zeta-Jones appeared in the critically acclaimed Traffic, where she starred with Michael Douglas. She later won an Academy Award for her performance in Chicago (2002). In 2010, she received a Tony Award for her Broadway debut in A Little Night Music.

Early Life

Born on September 25, 1969, in Swansea, Wales, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones started performing as a child. She began dance lessons at the age of 4. By the time she was 15, Zeta-Jones had dropped out of school to join a touring production of the musical The Pajama Game. She soon moved on to London's West End, where she appeared in a production of 42nd Street at the age of 17.

Making the move to television, Zeta-Jones found fame in her native Britain on the series The Darling Buds of May, which lasted from 1991 to 1993. After that series ended, the actress landed some high-profile TV movie roles, including as the title character in the 1996 historical biopic Catherine the Great.

Love and Stardom

In 1998, Zeta-Jones broke into the American film scene with The Mask of Zorro, starring opposite Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins. She soon landed more leading roles, due in no small part to her sultry good looks and sophisticated style. The following year, the actress played Sean Connery's love interest in Entrapment.

Off-screen, Zeta-Jones's personal life was thriving. In 1998, she met legendary actor Michael Douglas at the Deauville Film Festival. According to several reports, soon after they were introduced, he told her, "I want to father your children." The pair soon became a couple, despite a 25-year age difference. They welcomed their first child together, son Dylan, in 2000. Later that year, Zeta-Jones and Douglas married at New York's posh Plaza Hotel.

Zeta-Jones returned to her musical theater roots in 2002 with Chicago, which also starred Renee Zellweger, Queen Latifah and Richard Gere. Zeta-Jones won an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her portrayal of Velma Kelly in the film. The following year, she and her husband added to their family with the arrival of daughter Carys.

Over the next few years, Zeta-Jones became more selective about her film work, and she and her family spent much of their time living in Bermuda—far away from the Hollywood spotlight. The actress continued to work on a few high-profile projects, however. In 2004, she starred with Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg's The Terminal, and had a role in the ensemble crime comedy Ocean's Twelve with George Clooney.

Recent Projects and Challenges

In 2009, Catherine Zeta-Jones made her Broadway debut in the Stephen Sondheim musical A Little Night Music with Angela Lansbury. She won a Tony Award for her performance in the revival. The following year, Zeta-Jones put work aside to support her husband through a difficult time: He successfully battled throat cancer, but the family crisis put a strain on them all.

In 2011, Zeta-Jones sought treatment for bipolar II, a type of manic depression, also publicly acknowledging that she had been diagnosed with the mental health disorder. At the time, she told InStyle magazine, "I'm not the kind of person who likes to shout out my personal issues from the rooftops but, with my bipolar becoming public, I hope fellow sufferers will know it is completely controllable." In April 2013, Zeta-Jones again checked into a treatment center for help with her illness.

That August, it was revealed that she and her husband were going through a difficult time. The pair, last seen together publicly in April 2013, decided to take "some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage," according to a statement given to The Huffington Post by their spokesperson. It was reported later that year that they had reconciled. 

Zeta-Jones returned to the big screen in 2016 with the comedy Dad's Army. She co-starred with Blake Harrison and Bill Nighy in this adaptation of the popular British sitcom by the same name. She is also set to star as real-life drug ring leader Griselda Blanco in The Godmother.  

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