Renee Zellweger’s Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Getty Renée Zellweger accepts Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for 'Judy' onstage during the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

Renee Zellweger has received a number of accolades for her work as an actress, including two Oscars, four Golden Globes, and two BAFTA Awards.

But these wins have come with the endless support of her family. What do we know about Zellweger’s family?

Read on.

1. She Was Married To Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney Macy's Performer, Macy's Fireworks Performers 2016, Who is Performing at the Macy's Fireworks

Chesney was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, to elementary school teacher David Chesney and hair stylist Karen Chandler. He has a younger sister named Jennifer. The country star studied advertising at East Tennessee State University, and was part of the Lambda Chi Alpha frat. (Getty)

Zellweger was briefly married to Kenny Chesney. The two tied the knot in May 2005, but the actress filed for an annulment just four months later.

According to Yahoo, the couple met in January 2005 at NBC’s Concert of Hope.

The outlet reports that Zellweger cited fraud as the cause of their divorce. She subsequently released a statement in which she sought to “clarify that the term ‘fraud’ as listed in the documentation is simply legal language and not a reflection of Kenny’s character…”

The statement continued, “I would personally be very grateful for your support in refraining from drawing derogatory, hurtful, sensationalized or untrue conclusions and greatly appreciate your understanding that we hope to experience this transition as privately as possible,” the statement read.

Chesney’s follow-up statement, according to People, read, “This is an incredibly sad time… I just hope everyone can respect the privacy that I know Renée has already asked for.”

2. She Has No Children

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Renee Zellweger


In a 2016 interview with Extra, Renee revealed that she doesn’t need children to be happy.

Asked by the outlet if a baby is something that she wants in her life, she responded, “I’ve never really thought like that about anything in my life, really. I’ve always been kind of open to whatever. Maybe curious… about to see what’s next. I’ve never been deliberate about what would make me happy in my life.”

The actress went on to point out that Bridget Jones, in the film, has shown how its fine to “have flaws and to not be married with children” by a certain age. “She makes it OK to be imperfect…She makes it OK to be human at a time when we feel probably that there’s a lot of social pressure to be a certain way, to look a certain way, to have established certain things in your life by a certain phase in your life experience. She’s sort of challenging those notions.”

3. She Describes Her Brother as Her “Best Friend”

Actress Renee Zellweger and brother Drew Zellweger pose as she receives her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Blvd. on May 24, 2005 in Hollywood, California.

Zellweger describes her brother, Drew, who works as a marketing manager, as her best friend.

Vanity Fair writes that she “idolized” him as a child growing up. She tells the outlet, “He played baseball, so I wanted to play baseball. But I didn’t just want to play—I wanted to be on his team. I’m sure he loved little Renée on his heels. We fought all the time, and he beat the hell out of me. I was so active. Loved sports. Loved to play in the dirt. I’m still a tomboy.”

People also quotes Zellweger as saying of her brother, “He also helps me keep perspective, like with my very first big public breakup,” she said. “And it was really difficult, and my first time to really be splashed all over the tabloids in a way that…it’s an adjustment.”

4. Her Father Is Swiss and Grew up in Australia & Her Mother Is Norwegian

Zellweger’s father is from Switzerland and her mother is from Norway. Discussing her childhood with Vanity Fair, Zellweger commented, “American dream. I’m the American dream.” Her father, Emil, was a mechanical engineer and worked in the oil refining business. Her mother, meanwhile, was a nurse and midwife. She eventually moved to Texas to work as a governess for a Norwegian family.

Discussing her mother’s childhood with People, specifically, and what it was like for her to grow up during WWII in Norway, she said, “She was a tiny girl in World War II… There’s a World War II museum in New Orleans, it’s an extraordinary experience. We walked it all and we were looking in the glass cases and my mom’s like, ‘Oh,’ and she pointed at a series of hand grenades. There were a bunch of hand grenades in the case and she said, ‘We used to play with those ones. Not those ones, not those ones, but those ones. We used to play with those!’“

She continued, “She was living in an occupied country and there were bullets falling from the sky and you had to run inside because that was part of your day. And you’d find one every now and then,” Zellweger said. “It was a real treat apparently. ‘Don’t pull the pin! You better run!’ And when you think about that being your reality as a child, can you imagine the value system that you establish? And my brother and I have been the beneficiaries of that. She’s cool.”

Zellweger, herself, was born in Katy, Texas.

5. She Was Last Linked to Musician Doyle Brahmhall II

From 1999 to 2000, Zellweger was engaged to actor Jim Carrey, but the former couple never went through with the engagement. She even dated Bradley Cooper in 2009, after the two met on the set of Case 39. They were together for two years before separating in 2011.

Most recently, Zellweger dated Doyle Bramhall II, a musician, songwriter, and producer. The couple reportedly split in May 2019. In June 2017, Zellweger told US Weekly, “He’s a very special person,” speaking of Doyle.

The two Texas natives became friends years ago, when they attended the University of Texas together in the early ’90s.

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