Renee Zellweger makes a triumphant return to the big screen in "Judy," the anticipated biopic chronicling Judy Garland's later years. In honor of the film, which hits theaters on Sept. 27, 2019, Wonderwall.com is ranking Renee's best work. Keep reading to see where your favorite Zellweger character lands on the list!
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14. Debbie in "Same Kind of Different as Me"
Renee Zellweger took a break from Hollywood for six years and has only put out a few films since her return. Her character in one of those takes the last spot on the list — Debbie, a woman whose husband cheats on her, in the 2017 drama "Same Kind of Different as Me." She has her husband make amends by volunteering at a local homeless shelter, which results in them helping a troubled man. Greg Kinnear and Djimon Hounsou also starred in the film, which critics skewered.
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13. Jenny in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre – The Next Generation"
Next on the list? Her first starring role! Renee Zellweger's first big part came in 1995's "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation," the fourth installment in the iconic horror franchise. She played Jenny, one of four teens who gets in an accident after prom only to find themselves terrorized by Leatherface. Matthew McConaughey also starred in the flick, which was re-cut and re-released two years later after Renee and Matthew became massive stars. Despite the re-release, the film was panned by critics and didn't do well at the box office.
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12. Anne in "The Bachelor"
Though the film wasn't a massive success, we'd be remiss if we didn't include Renee Zellweger's character in 1999's "The Bachelor" — not to be confused with the ABC dating show that debuted a few years later. Renee played Anne, the girlfriend of Chris O'Donnell's Jimmie, who must marry in order to receive a massive inheritance. Since Anne has left the country and is unsure of his willingness to wed, Jimmie tracks down old girlfriends (played by stars like Brooke Shields and Mariah Carey) only to realize it's Anne he truly loves. Even though the film only earned $37 million at the box office, the sweet love story ensured Renee's Anne a spot on this list.
11. Gina in "Empire Records"
One of Renee Zellweger's earliest roles came in 1995 in "Empire Records." She played Gina in the film about record shop employees trying to save their store from being sold to a bigger chain. The movie was a box office failure and received dismal reviews despite later gaining somewhat of a cult following. Despite its initial poor reception, there was one thing critics of the film were united on — Renee was great in this one!
10. Barbara in "Down with Love"
"Down with Love" might have been a box office flop, but Renee Zellweger's performance as Barbara still stands out. The 2003 romantic comedy saw Renee paired with Ewan McGregor in a flick about the early '60s right before the sexual revolution. Barbara stands as a female empowerment proponent of the time, advocating to free women from the concept of love with her new book "Down with Love." While promoting the book, she meets Ewan's Catcher, an infamous lady's man, and the two inevitably fall for each other against all odds.
9. Irene in "Me, Myself and Irene"
Renee Zellweger truly flexed her comedy muscles opposite Jim Carrey in 2000's "Me, Myself & Irene." The Farrelly brothers directed the dark comedy, which saw Renee play criminal Irene, who allegedly committed a hit-and-run and ended up getting Jim's cop character involved in her hijinx. Though it wasn't a hit with critics, audiences enjoyed this odd yet funny flick.
8. Beatrix Potter in "Miss Potter"
Our No. 8 pick comes from a biopic: Renee Zellweger took on the role of children's book author and illustrator Beatrix Potter in 2006's "Miss Potter." The film chronicled her life — interspersed with animated sequences with some of her most iconic characters, like Peter Rabbit. Playing the legendary author earned Renee a Golden Globe nomination, and the biopic was largely loved by critics. Fun fact: "Bohemian Rhapsody" star Lucy Boynton played the younger version of Beatrix in the film!
7. Claire in "White Oleander"
"White Oleander" was a 2002 drama in which Renee Zellweger starred alongside Michelle Pfeiffer and Robin Wright. Renee played Claire, an actress who becomes a foster mother to a troubled teen and has her own demons brought to light in the process, resulting in her suicide. The sad film wasn't a huge hit with audiences, but the tragic turn earned Renee a Satellite Award nomination for best supporting actress.
6. Betty in "Nurse Betty"
In 2000, Renee Zellweger won her first Golden Globe for best actress in a musical or comedy for her work in "Nurse Betty" opposite Greg Kinnear. The dark comedy saw Renee playing a waitress who witnesses her husband's murder and has a nervous breakdown that leads her to Los Angeles in pursuit of her favorite soap opera actor. Though quirky Betty isn't our favorite Renee character, she's definitely one of the actress's most unique portrayals.
5. Mae in "Cinderella Man"
Renee Zellweger tried her hand at a sports drama with 2005's "Cinderella Man" opposite Russell Crowe and Paul Giamatti. The story centered around a boxer forced to give up his career after breaking his right hand while fighting, with Renee playing his wife, Mae. When the Great Depression drives him back to boxing and he discovers he can fight with his left hand, his wife stands dutifully beside him as he becomes the heavyweight champion of the world. Though Renee didn't pick up any individual nominations for her work in the film, the flick earned three Academy Award noms and was a hit with critics.
4. Ruby in "Cold Mountain"
Next up is the role that earned her an Oscar! Renee Zellweger won an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 2003 for her performance as Ruby in "Cold Mountain." The dramatic Civil War-centered tale followed a Confederate Army deserter (played by Jude Law) trying to get home to his true love (Nicole Kidman). Ruby was Nicole's character's close friend who helps her run a farm. Renee's superb acting not only earned her the Oscar, but a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and BAFTA as well.
3. Dorothy in "Jerry Maguire"
"Jerry Maguire" made Renee Zellweger a household name, and it features one of her best performances of all time. The actress starred opposite Tom Cruise in the romantic comedy-drama as single mom Dorothy, a staffer who follows Tom's character as he leaves his big sports management company and starts his own small firm — and ends up falling for him. Renee's character also utters one of the most famous lines in movie history in the film: "You had me at hello."
2. Roxie Hart in "Chicago"
The runner-up on this list is Roxie Hart in "Chicago," a role that earned Renee Zellweger a Golden Globe for best supporting actress in a musical or comedy in 2002 — and for good reason! She sang, she danced and she delivered an incredible turn as the manipulative murderess. Thanks in part to her star power and strong performance, the flick became the highest grossing live-action musical up to that point (the record was later broken in 2008 by "Mamma Mia!").
1. Bridget in "Bridget Jones's Diary"
Bridget, whom audiences first met in 2001's "Bridget Jones's Diary," earns the top spot on our list. Renee Zellweger played the lovable thirty-something character who humorously chronicles her unsuccessful love life and close friendships with London pals in her journal as she searches for happiness. Renee's work in the beloved romantic comedy earned her an Academy Award nomination for best actress, and critics and audiences alike loved the movie, an updated take on Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice." It earned more than $280 million at the box office and spawned two sequels — "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" in 2004 and "Bridget Jones's Baby" in 2016.