Catherine Zeta-Jones (born September 25, 1969) is an Academy
Award-winning Welsh actress.
Born Catherine Jones, in Treboeth, in the parish of Llangyfelach,
a working class area of Swansea, Wales, she was the middle child
of three children born to David Jones, a Welsh sweet factory owner
and Pat Fair, who was of Irish Catholic extraction; Catherine Zeta-Jones
was raised as Catholic.
After her parents won £100,000 at bingo in the 1980s, they
moved to St. Andrews Drive in Mayals, an upper class area of Swansea.
She attended Dumbarton House School, Swansea, where she was an
average student. She left school early without obtaining O levels
qualifications to further her acting ambition.
Her name stems from those of her grandmothers; one named Katherine
Fair, and the other Zeta Jones, named after a ship which her great-grandfather
had sailed on. As a child, she had a tracheotomy which left a scar.
One of her first performances to an audience was to friends and
family at her Great Aunt Faith O'Brien's house. Catherine Zeta-Jones
used the living room table as her stage.
Catherine Zeta-Jones' stage career began in childhood. She was
a part of a Catholic congregation's performing troupe before she
was 10, and by 1987 she was starring in 42nd Street as Peggy Sawyer
in the West End. Once the show closed, Catherine Zeta-Jones travelled
to France, where she received the lead role in French director Phillippe
De Broca's 1001 Nights (a.k.a. Sheherazade), her feature film debut.
Her exotic beauty, along with her singing and dancing ability,
suggested a promising future, but it was in a straight acting role,
as Mariette in the successful television adaptation of H. E. Bates'
The Darling Buds of May (1991), that she made her name. She briefly
flirted with a musical career, having a part in Jeff Wayne's 1992
Spartacus. A single, "The Appian Way", featured her; it
was released but failed to chart. She became famous outside Britain
after leading roles in two movies, The Mask of Zorro (1998) with
Antonio Banderas and Entrapment (1999) with Sean Connery. It is
said that she gained the role in Zorro after Steven Spielberg saw
her performance in the Lifetime Television miniseries Titanic, which
also stars Tim Curry and Peter Gallagher.
She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the movie
Chicago in 2003. On October 22, 2005, she parodied this fact as
guest host on the TV show Saturday Night Live, surrounded by four
male dancers, mimicking the Bob Fosse-inspired Chicago-style dancing,
suggesting in song that, no matter how bad she might be that night,
"They Can't Take My Oscar Away."
Apart from her acting career, Catherine Zeta-Jones is also an advertising
spokeswoman for the mobile phone company T-Mobile. She is currently
the global spokeswoman for cosmetics giant, Elizabeth Arden.
Catherine Zeta-Jones is married to actor Michael Douglas, with
whom she has two children. They were married at the Plaza Hotel
in New York City on November 18, 2000.
Their son, Dylan Michael Douglas, was born August 8, 2000. (Her
American admirers like to think that he is named after Bob Dylan,
a favourite of Douglas, while her British admirers like to think
that Dylan Thomas, also born in Swansea, was the inspiration). Their
daughter, Carys Zeta Douglas, was born April 20, 2003. Catherine
Zeta-Jones has decided that her children will grow up aware of their
Welsh heritage and has built a seaside home for her parents in her
hometown of Swansea.
Her elder brother David A. Jones (also known as Cameron Jones)
is creative director for a film company, Initial Entertainment.
He was an executive producer of Gangs of New York. Catherine Zeta-Jones's
younger brother Lyndon Jones is her personal manager.
Catherine Zeta-Jones's parents recently moved from their Mayals
property to a £2 million cliff top home two miles away, built
for them by Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Les 1001 nuits (1990)
The Darling Buds of May (1991) (TV series)
Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992)
Splitting Heirs (1993)
Blue Juice (1995)
The Phantom (1996)
Titanic (1996) (miniseries)
The Mask of Zorro (1998)
The Haunting (1999)
Traffic (2000); also starred Michael Douglas
High Fidelity (2000)
America's Sweethearts (2001)
Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003) (voice)
Intolerable Cruelty (2003)
The Terminal (2004)
Ocean's Twelve (2004)
The Legend of Zorro (2005)
Coming Out (2006) (also producer)
Rachel's Holiday (2006)
Mostly Martha (2007)
Artemis Fowl (2007)
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