September 25, 1969
Born in: Swansea, West Glamorgan, Wales (United Kingdom)
An Academy Award-winning Welsh actress, Catherine Zeta-Jones is a familiar name in Hollywood. While already popular in the UK for starring in innumerable television films and shows, she showcased her talent to the entire world, and enchanted viewers worldwide, with prominent Hollywood flicks like ‘The Mask of Zorro’, ‘The Phantom’ and ‘Entrapment’. Her eminence as an actress was elevated to new heights when she bragged an Academy Award (Best Supporting Actress) for her outstanding performance as ‘Velma Kelly’ in the film ‘Chicago’ (2002), making her the first and only Welsh actress to win an award in that particular category.
Childhood & Education
Catherine Zeta Jones borrows her name from both her grandmothers - her maternal grandmother, Katherine Fair, and her paternal grandmother, Zeta Jones. Born on 25th September 1969, in Swansea, on the southern coast of Wales (United Kingdom), she is the only daughter and the second child of David "Dai" Jones, a Welsh candy factory owner, and Patricia (née Fair), an Irish seamstress. She has two brothers, named David and Lyndon.
During the 1980’s, fate took a turn when Catherine’s parents won £100,000 at a game of housie. After that, they relocated to St. Andrews Drive, a posh locality of Swansea, and Catherine started attending the Dumbarton House School there. However, she was a mediocre student, whose only ambition was to give wings to her acting skills. Therefore, she quit her studies and went to join ‘The Arts Educational Schools’ in Chiswick, Europe.
Catherine’s professional acting career began in childhood, when she played the leading star in ‘Annie’, a production at Swansea's Grand Theater. She was also a part of the musical film ‘Bugsy Malone’. At the age of 14, she starred in the popular musical, The Pyjama Game. In the late 1980’s, Catherine featured in many projects, including the ‘42nd Street’ and the ‘Street Scene’. During this time, she went to France, where she was offered the lead role in Philippe de Broca's ‘1001 Nights’ (Sheherazade), her feature film debut.
During the 1990’s, Catherine was seen in a number of television projects, including ‘The Return of the Native’ (1994), ‘Catherine the Great’ (1995), and ‘Splitting Heirs (1993)’. In the year 1996, she appeared in the action film ‘The Phantom’ in the role of ‘Sala’. However, it was in 1997 that her appearance in the CBS mini TV series ‘Titanic’ was noticed by the American film producer Stephen Spielberg, who recommended her to director Martin Campbell, for the role of ‘Elena’ in ‘The Mask of Zorro’.
Her role as the exotic-looking ‘Elena’ acted as a major break and in 1999; she starred alongside Sean Connery in ‘Entrapment’, and Liam Neeson and Lili Taylor in ‘The Haunting’. In the following year, she was seen in ‘Traffic’, with future-husband Michael Douglas. The year 2003 was groundbreaking for Zeta-Jones, as she received an Academy Award (Best Supporting Actress) for her bitchy role of ‘Velma Kelly’ in the movie ‘Chicago’.
The same year, she voiced for ‘Marina’ in the animated movie ‘Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas’, and was seen in ‘Intolerable Cruelty’, alongside George Clooney. In 2004, she starred in movies like ‘The Terminal’ and ‘Ocean’s Twelve’. The following year, in 2005, she was back as ‘Elena’ in ‘The Legend of Zorro’, the sequel to ‘The Mask of Zorro’. In 2007, she was part of the romantic comedy ‘No Reservations’ directed by Scott Hicks.
Catherine Zeta-Jones married her co-star of ‘Traffic’, actor Michael Douglas, on 18th November 2000. The grand wedding ceremony was held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Today, the couple are parents to two children – a boy named Dylan (born on 8th August 2000), and a daughter, Carys Zeta Douglas (born on 20th April 2003). Beside her flourishing acting career, Catherine Zeta- Jones is today also renowned as the global representative for the cosmetic brand ‘Elizabeth Arden’.
1990 - Les 1001 nuits (Sheherazade)
1991-1993 - The Darling Buds of May (Mariette)
1992 - Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (Beatriz)
1993 - Splitting Heirs (Kitty)
1995 - Catherine the Great (Catherine II)
Blue Juice (Chloe)
1996 - The Phantom (Sala)
Titanic - TV mini-series (Isabella Paradine)
1998 - The Mask of Zorro (Elena Montero)
1999 - Entrapment (Virginia Baker)
The Haunting (Theo)
2000 - High Fidelity (Charlie Nicholson)
Traffic (Helena Ayala)
2001 - America's Sweethearts (Gwen Harrison)
2002 - Chicago (Velma Kelly), Won Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Nominated for Golden Globe
2003 - Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (Marina - Voice role)
Intolerable Cruelty (Marylin Rexroth)
2004 - The Terminal (Amelia Warren)
Ocean's Twelve (Isabel Lahiri)
2005 - The Legend of Zorro (Elena de la Vega Murrieta)
2007 - No Reservations (Kate Armstrong)