Catherine Zeta-Jones is a Welsh actress. Born and raised in Swansea, Zeta-Jones aspired to be an actress from a young age. As a child, she played roles in the West End productions of the musicals “Annie” and “Bugsy Malone.” Take a look below for 30 more fun and interesting facts about Catherine Zeta-Jones.
1. She studies musical theater at the Arts Educational Schools, London, and made her stage breakthrough with a leading role in a 1987 production of “42nd Street.”
2. Her screen debut came in the unsuccessful French-Italian film “1001 Nights”, and she went on to find greater success as a regular in the British television series “The Darling Buds of May.”
3. Dismayed at being typecast as the token pretty girl in British films, Zeta-Jones relocated to Los Angeles.
4. Zeta-Jones established herself in Hollywood with roles that highlighted her sex appeal, such as in the action film “The Mask of Zorro” and the heist film “Entrapment.”
5. She received acclaim for her performances as a vengeful pregnant woman in “Traffic” and a murderous singer in the musical “Chicago”; for the latter she won Academy and BAFTA Awards for Best Supporting Actress.
6. She starred in high-profile films for much of the decade, including the black comedy “Intolerable Cruelty”, the heist film “Ocean’s Twelve,” the comedy “The Terminal”, and the romantic comedy “No Reservations”.
7. Parts in smaller-scale features were followed by a decrease in workload, during which she returned to stage and played an ageing actress in “A Little Night Music”, winning a Tony Award.
8. Zeta-Jones continued to work intermittently in the 2010s, starring in the psychological thriller “Side Effects” and the action film “Red 2”, and portrayed actress Olivia de Havilland in the FX television series “Feud.”
9. Zeta-Jones is the recipient of several accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award and a Tony Award, and in 2010, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her film and humanitarian endeavors.
10. She supports various charities and causes, and is a prominent celebrity endorser of brands.
11. Her struggle with depression and bipolar II disorder has been well documented by the media.
12. She is married to American actor Michael Douglas, with whom she has two children.
13. Zeta-Jones was born in Swansea, Wales, on 25 September 1969 to David Jones, the owner of a sweet factory, and his wife Patricia, a seamstress.
14. Her father is Welsh and her mother is of Irish Catholic descent.
15. She was named after her grandmothers, Zeta Jones and Catherine Fair.
16. She has an older brother, David, and a younger brother, Lyndon, who worked as a sales representative before venturing into film production.
17. Zeta-Jones was raised in the suburban area of Mumbles.
18. Because Zeta-Jones was a hyperactive child, her mother sent her to the Hazel Johnson School of Dance when she was four years old.
19. She was educated at the Dumbarton House School, a private school in Swansea.
20. The family came from a modest background, but their fortunes improved when they won £100,000 in a bingo competition, allowing them to pay for Zeta-Jones’ dance and ballet lessons.
21. Zeta-Jones participated in school stage shows from a young age and gained local media attention when her rendition of a Shirley Bassey song won a Junior Star Trail talent competition.
22. As part of a dance troupe, she routinely took trips to London, where she auditioned for roles in the theater.
23. At the age of nine, she was selected to play one of the orphan girls in a West End production of the musical “Annie,” and in her early teens, she became a national tap-dancing champion.
24. In 1981 she played the lead role of Annie in a Swansea production of the musical, which was staged at the Swansea Grand Theatre. Two years later, she played the lead role of Tallulah in a West End production of “Bugsy Malone.”
25. When she was 15, Zeta-Jones dropped out of school without obtaining O-levels and decided to live in London to pursue a full-time acting career; she was also engaged to perform in a touring production of “The Pajama Game.”
26. Describing her teenage years in London, Zeta-Jones said, “I would queue up for auditions and then change my costume or put on a different leotard and audition again. It might take me two tries, but I always got the job. I figured out what they wanted”. She went on to attend the independent Arts Educational Schools in Chiswick, London, for a three-year course in musical theater.
27. In 1987, when she was 17 years old, Zeta-Jones was picked as the second understudy to the lead actress in a West End production of “42nd Street.” During one of the performances, both the star and the first understudy were unavailable, and Zeta-Jones was asked to play the role of Peggy Sawyer—a chorus girl who becomes a star.
28. The producer was impressed by her acting ability and allowed her to play the role for the next two years.
29. The success of the television series “The Darling Buds of May” since been chronicled by the media.
30. Her relationships in the early 1990s with television personality John Leslie, singer David Essex, and pop star Mick Hucknall were widely reported by the British press.