Catherine Zeta-Jones

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 is married to actor Michael Douglas.

Who Is Catherine Zeta-Jones?

Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, who rose to fame through such films as The Mask of Zorro and Entrapment, was born in Wales in 1969. Her roots in dance and musical theater led to her Academy Award-winning turn in the big screen adaptation of Chicago, as well as a Tony Award for her performance in A Little Night Music. Zeta-Jones is also known for her marriage to American actor Michael Douglas, with whom she has two children.

Early Stardom

Born on September 25, 1969, in Swansea, Wales, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones began taking dance lessons at age 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 transition to television, Zeta-Jones became known to British audiences through the series The Darling Buds of May, which aired from 1991 to 1993. Afterward, the actress landed some high-profile TV movie roles, including the title character in the 1996 historical biopic Catherine the Great.

Leading Lady

In 1998, Zeta-Jones broke onto the American film scene with The Mask of Zorro, starring opposite Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins. The actress soon landed more leading roles, due in no small part to her sultry good looks and sophisticated style. She partnered with Sean Connery in the crime thriller Entrapment (1999), and shouldered a meatier role as the wife of a drug lord in Traffic (2000), garnering a Golden Globe nomination.

The actress returned to her musical theater roots in 2002 with Chicago, which also starred Renee Zellweger, Queen Latifah and Richard Gere. The performance was a triumph for Zeta-Jones, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Velma Kelly. 

In 2004, Zeta-Jones 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 and Brad Pitt. However, she became more selective about her film work, as she and husband Michael Douglas began spending more of their time living in Bermuda, far away from the Hollywood spotlight. Zeta-Jones surfaced as a lead in the romantic comedy No Reservations (2007), and then again in the little-seen films Death Defying Acts (2007) and The Rebound (2009).

In the meantime, the actress showed off her versatility with her Broadway debut in the 2009 revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical A Little Night Music, with Angela Lansbury. Despite some initial mixed reviews, she took home a Tony Award the following year for her performance. 

Zeta-Jones was back on the big screen with supporting roles in Rock of Ages (2012), based on the hit Broadway musical, and the action flick Red 2 (2013). In 2016, she co-starred with Blake Harrison and Bill Nighy in the comedy Dad's Army, an adaptation of a popular British sitcom. 

Zeta-Jones made a return to television in 2017 via Feud: Bette and Joan, portraying legendary actress Olivia de Havilland alongside Susan Sarandon, as Bette Davis, and Jessica Lange, as Joan Crawford. That year it was also announced she was set to star in the Lifetime movie Cocaine Godmother, based on the life of notorious drug cartel boss Griselda Blanco.   

Marriage to Michael Douglas

In 1998, Catherine Zeta-Jones met celebrated actor Michael Douglas at the Deauville American 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 August 2000, and later that year they married at New York City's posh Plaza Hotel. In 2003, she and Douglas added to their family with the arrival of daughter Carys.

In 2010, 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. The following year, 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 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. 

Fact Check

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!