Renée Zellweger is living the American Dream. From the small town of Katy, Texas, Zellweger has climbed quickly to the heights of stardom with some truly breakout movies.

We noticed her first as the disarming young single mother in Jerry Maguire, when she held her own opposite Tom Cruise. Following up with White Oleander and the quirky Nurse Betty, she seemed to be testing the waters until her controversial selection for the title role in Bridget Jones’s Diary, where she pulled off the British accent to rave reviews.

Renée truly has the ability to summon a range of emotion. She can be as vulnerable as a child, yet vampish and sensual as in her role as Roxie Hart in Chicago. But her ability to act is only part of what is captivating. Although she began life in a small town, she now lives alone in extravagant homes in L.A. and New York and has experienced enough challenge, emotional discovery and personal loss on the path to success to keep her grounded.

You’ll find this story of her personal life as engaging as her characters onscreen.