Catherine Zeta-Jones

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Catherine Zeta Jones in a publicity photo for Elizabeth Arden cosmetics
Catherine Zeta Jones in a publicity photo for Elizabeth Arden cosmetics

Catherine Zeta-Jones (born September 25, 1969) is an Academy Award-winning Welsh actress. Born Catherine Jones in Swansea, West Glamorgan, Wales, her name stems from two different grandmothers; one grandmother is named Catherine, while the other is "Zeta", named after a ship that her great-grandfather sailed on. She was born to a Welsh father and a mother of Irish Catholic extraction and has two other brothers. Besides English she speaks Welsh fluently. As a child, she had a tracheotomy which left a scar.

Zeta-Jones' stage career began in childhood. She sang and danced her way to local stardom as a part of a Catholic congregation's performing troupe before she was ten years of age, and by 1987 she was starring in Forty-Second Street as Peggy Saywer in the West End. Once the show closed, 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 became really famous after having leading roles in 2 movies: The Mask of Zorro (1998) with Antonio Banderas and Entrapment (1999) with Sean Connery. She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the movie Chicago in 2003.

Apart from her acting career, Zeta-Jones is also an advertising spokesman for the mobile phone company T-Mobile. She is currently the global spokeswoman for cosmetics giant, Elizabeth Arden. She has also starred on the Lifetime Television event of Titanic, also starring Tim Curry and Peter Gallagher.

Zeta-Jones is married to the actor Michael Douglas, with whom she has two children. Her 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). Her daughter, Carys Zeta Douglas was born April 20, 2003. Zeta-Jones has determined that her children grow up aware of their Welsh heritage and has built a seaside dream home in her hometown of Swansea.


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