|Famous For: Jerry Maguire and Bridget Jones's Diary||Currently Known For: Actress and Producer|
Currently Known For Actress and Producer
“I believe in love, but I don't sit around waiting for it. I buy houses.” Long before earning international recognition as an Academy Award-winning actress and producer, Renee Zellweger had modest beginnings growing up in Katy, Texas where her Swiss father worked in the oil business and her Norwegian mother was a governess. Believe it or not, it wasn’t until Zellweger enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin and took an elective drama class that her interest in acting began. Spending much of her college years in small-time acting gigs and commercials while working as a cocktail waitress, she earned her degree in English in 1991 and set her sights on the stage.
Zellweger spent the next few years honing her craft in low-budget films and, by 1994, earned her first major role alongside Matthew McConaughey in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. Two years later, Tom Cruise handpicked her to play his love interest in the romantic comedy Jerry Maguire. With audiences weak in the knees over “You had me at a hello,” the film was a massive success and launched Zellweger on the path to superstardom.
Finding exactly that over the last two decades while somehow managing to avoid the typical celebrity drama, Zellweger has starred in over 40 films and earned widespread praise for her stellar performances in blockbusters like Bridget Jones’s Diary, Cold Mountain, Nurse Betty and Chicago. To date, she’s snagged over 70 award nominations while taking home a coveted Academy Award, two Golden Globes and a Screen Actors Guild Award. And, while the critical acclaim is certainly nice, we can only imagine Zellweger’s payday is even better with the actress sitting on an estimated $45 million net worth, which is likely to climb even higher with the release of Bridget Jones’s Baby, The Whole Truth and Same Kind of Different as Me.
Obviously swimming in cash, Zellweger is known to occasionally disappear from the spotlight and, after taking a look at her impressive real estate portfolio, we definitely can’t blame her. Until late 2014, Zellweger lived in a lavish estate affectionately known as Cotton Tavern in the tiny town of Pomfret, Connecticut. Nestled on 40 acres and offering plenty of privacy, the actress put the land to use and added a helipad to her backyard to reduce the 40-minute commute to the capital city of Hartford. Along with the helipad, the home includes a recreational barn, a one-bedroom cottage complete with a kitchen, and a massive swimming pool. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves!
Following the spiral driveway to the heart of the property (no, it isn’t the helipad) brings guests to the stunning 1770 farmhouse known as Cotton Tavern. Complete with barn doors and an aging exterior that adds charm to the $1.5 million estate, the inside tells an entirely different narrative with a remodeled interior that reeks of luxury across every inch of its 4,000 square feet and three stories.
Beyond the dark hardwood floors and numerous windows offering plenty of natural light, every room of Cotton Tavern is absolutely breathtaking. The updated kitchen is a chef’s dream with state-of-the-art appliances, gorgeous white cabinetry and butcher block wood counters. Adjacent to the kitchen is a large dining room with a wood-burning fireplace with a combination library and study around the corner that boasts dark wood paneling and an impressive collection of books. Just down the hall, there’s even a private screening room, a wine cellar and an enclosed porch ideal for enjoying the New England countryside.
With plenty of room for guests with two guest bedrooms in the main house as well as a guest cottage, Zellweger didn’t think twice about transforming the master suite into her own personal oasis stretching over 500 square feet. Offering a brick fireplace, a canopy bed and a master bath with a claw foot tub, walk-in closet and dressing area, the master suite is quite possibly the most luxurious room in the house but, it wasn’t enough to lure the actress to say.
In an effort to simplify her life in 2014, Zellweger listed Cotton Tavern for $1.5 million as well as her second farmhouse in East Hampton just a short walk from the beach. The 2,000 square-foot property set the star back $2.15 million in 2003 and offered a cozy hideaway for Zellweger with four bedrooms and three bathrooms, a new swimming pool and a two-car garage with an overhead loft.
While little is actually known about Zellweger’s current residence, her love of real estate is apparent as is her love of cars with a Mini Cooper, Mercedes G500, Mercedes E63 and the celebrity classic, a Toyota Prius, in her garage. Beyond that, the 47-year-old Chicago star keeps a tight lid on her spending habits but certainly enjoys romantic getaways with her guitarist beau, Doyle Bramhall, after being spotted vacationing in Hawaii and across Europe in 2013.