RENÉE ZELLWEGER (Barbara Novak) currently is on screen in the smash hit musical "Chicago" in which she stars opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere. Directed by Rob Marshall, the film is set in Chicago in the 1920s. Zellweger plays Roxie Hart who will strive for fame at any cost including scandal and lies. She won a 2003 Golden Globe® for Lead Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her role as Roxie, as well as two Screen Actors Guild Awards® (for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, and Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture). She also was honored with Oscar, BAFTA, and Golden Satellite Awards nominations for her work in the film, which went on to win the Best Picture Academy Award.
Zellweger's performance as Bridget in 2001's smash hit "Bridget Jones's Diary" garnered international acclaim. It was for this role that she was nominated for a 2002 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, a BAFTA Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, a Golden Globe award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical or Comedy, a Golden Satellite Award, an Empire Award, an MTV Movie Award™ and a Screen Actor's Guild Award. She starred opposite Hugh Grant in this tongue-in-cheek comedy about a British woman's determination to improve herself as she looks for love while filling her personal diary with her quirky thoughts and experiences.
Last year, she appeared in "White Oleander" based on the best selling novel by Janet Fitch about a teenage girl's journey through a series of foster homes after her mother goes to prison. She starred opposite Robin Wright-Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer and Alison Loehman.
Zellweger recently finished production on a drama, "Cold Mountain," in which she stars opposite Jude Law and Nicole Kidman. Directed by Anthony Minghella, the film is about a Confederate soldier's journey home after the Civil War. It is set for release in late 2003. In 2004, Zellweger will be heard in DreamWorks's animated comedy "Sharkslayer". She lends her voice to an all-star cast including Jack Black, James Gandolfini, Angelina Jolie, Martin Scorsese and Will Smith in this film about the shark mafia in the sea underworld.
Considering that she took her first acting class to ensure her graduation from The University of Texas with a literature degree, Zellweger's rise to leading lady status has been as rapid as it has been unexpected. After appearing in such television projects as the telefilm "A Taste for Killing" and the cable series "Shake, Rattle and Rock," she made her film debut in Richard Linklater's coming-of-age film "Dazed and Confused. " This was followed by Ben Stiller's "Reality Bites," "Love and a . 45" (for which she received her first Independent Spirit Award nomination), "8 Seconds," "The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "Empire Records" and "My Boyfriend's Back. "
Zellweger's other film credits include "Me, Myself, and Irene" directed by the Farrelly brothers, starring opposite Jim Carrey, "The Bachelor," a romantic comedy in which she stars opposite Chris O'Donnell, and director Neil Labute's dark comedy "Nurse Betty" with Chris Rock and Morgan Freeman. It was for this film that she won a 2000 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical.
Zellweger was also in the critically acclaimed "One True Thing" with William Hurt and Meryl Streep. She received acclaim with her vulnerable performance opposite Tom Cruise in "Jerry Maguire," directed by Cameron Crowe, in which she played a widowed mother who joins a sports agent in his quest for principled representation. For her performance she was named Best Breakthrough Performer of 1996 by The National Board of Review, received a Blockbuster® Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, and was nominated for a SAG Award™.
EWAN McGREGOR (Catcher Block) was born in 1971 in Crieff, Scotland. Despite a small-town upbringing, he became enthralled with the world of acting from a very early age, largely inspired by his actor uncle, Denis Lawson (of Local Hero and Star Wars fame).
Six months before his graduation at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama, McGregor was offered the role of Private Mick Hopper in Dennis Potter's six-part musical comedy television series "Lipstick on Your Collar" (produced by Rosemarie Whitman). Shortly after this first break, McGregor landed his first film role in Bill Forsyth's "Being Human," where the producer Lord David Puttnam was so impressed by McGregor's abilities that he added extra scenes in for him on the spot.
Following roles in the play "What the Butler Saw" and in a BBC production of "Scarlet and Black," McGregor starred in the BAFTA winning "Shallow Grave," which pushed the young Scottish actor into the limelight. His portrayal of Alex Law earned him the Hitchcock D'Argent Best Actor Award and a nomination for Best Actor at the BAFTA Scotland Awards, as well as laying the roots for a highly successful partnership with the director Danny Boyle. McGregor had his first solo male lead in the cult director Peter Greenaway's erotic film "The Pillow Book. "
Although "Shallow Grave" provided McGregor's breakthrough role, it was his portrayal of smack-addict Mark Renton in Irvine Welsh's "Trainspotting" that catapulted McGregor to international fame. To prepare for this role, McGregor worked closely with ex-drug addicts who helped provide him with a level of insight needed to tackle the graphic portrayal of drug addiction and withdrawal. "Trainspotting" won a string of prestigious awards, including the BAFTA Scotland award for Best Feature Film, while McGregor himself picked up BAFTA Scotland's Best Actor accolade, and for the second year running, the Empire magazine award for Best British Actor, plus a London Film Critics' Circle Award.
After the success of "Trainspotting," McGregor starred opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in an adaptation of Jane Austen's novel "Emma. " He next starred opposite Tara Fitzgerald in Mark Herman's César Award winning "Brassed Off," which juggled humor and pathos by portraying the fate of a brass band in a small community threatened by the politically-motivated coal-mine closures in the early 1980s.
McGregor's U. S. film debut was "Nightwatch," in which he played the lead role of Marin Belos, a law student who worked part-time as a mortuary night watchman. Walk-on parts in the BBC series "Karaoke" and "Cold Lazarus" provided him with a chance to return to Britain before starring as a handsome Dutch landscape artist in Philippe Rousselot's "The Serpent's Kiss. "
Following his second short feature for director Justin Chadwick, "Swimming with Fishes," McGregor teamed with Cameron Diaz in the quirky romantic fantasy "A Life Less Ordinary," which reunited him with director Danny Boyle. McGregor's character portrayal of Robert won him the Best British Actor award in the 1997 Empire Movie Awards - for the third time running.
McGregor received an Emmy® Award for a guest-starring role in an episode of "ER. " He then played a crazed seventies rock star in the glam rock film "Velvet Goldmine," which Michael Stipe of REM executive produced. McGregor played infamous trader Nick Leeson in "Rogue Trader" opposite Anna Friel. He then teamed again with "Brassed Off" director Mark Herman in the Golden Globe Award winning "Little Voice," which also starred Jane Horrocks and Michael Caine.
McGregor landed the coveted role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. " He reprised the role in "Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones" and again returns as Obi-Wan in "Star Wars: Episode III," scheduled for release in 2005.
In 1998, McGregor founded Natural Nylon, along with his friends Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Jonny Lee Miller and Sean Pertwee. McGregor co-produced Natural Nylon's "Nora," the story of the romance between writer James Joyce (McGregor) and Nora Barnacle (Susan Lynch).
In Baz Luhrmann's Oscar and BAFTA award winning musical film "Moulin Rouge," McGregor played Christian, a poet who falls in love with Satine (Nicole Kidman), a courtesan of the tragic-comic underworld of the Moulin Rouge - with music drawn from twentieth century pop songs. In 2001, McGregor starred as a Ranger specialist in Ridley Scott's "Black Hawk Down. "
McGregor recently completed filming "Young Adam," an original thriller based on a novel by Scottish beat writer Alexander Trocchi, set in the working canals between Glasgow and Edinburgh. McGregor plays Joe, a young drifter, who finds work on a barge owned by Les (Peter Mullan) and his wife Ella (Tilda Swinton).
He is currently in Alabama shooting Tim Burton's "Big Fish," a fantasy tale about the life of a dying man, told in flashback. Albert Finney, Jessica Lange and Billy Crudup also star.
McGregor's most recent stage performance was in David Halliwell's "Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs," which brought him back to work with his uncle Denis Lawson who directed it at both the Hampstead and Comedy Theatres. McGregor also made a cameo appearance in "The Play What I Wrote," the critically acclaimed celebration of the works of British comedians Morecambe and Wise.
Throughout his childhood in Saratoga Springs, New York, DAVID HYDE PIERCE (Peter McMannus) trained for a career as a concert pianist. It was during Pierce's college education at Yale University that he was informed this was a big mistake. Instead, Pierce went on to become an actor.
Pierce currently stars in the NBC comedy hit "Frasier" in which he has received critical acclaim for his role as Dr. Niles Crane. The five-time Emmy Award winning sitcom has been a consistent success since its debut in 1993. Pierce is a three-time Emmy Award winner for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, and he has won multiple American Comedy Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Award, the Viewers' for Quality Television Award, and the Television Critics Association Award. Previous television credits include a starring role in the NBC series "The Powers That Be," and guest starring roles in series including "Crime Story," "Spenser: For Hire" and "The Outer Limits," for which he won a Cable Ace Award. Last year, Pierce appeared as a wacky motivational speaker in the hit show, "Titus. "
In August, Pierce starred in the feature film "Full Frontal," directed by Steven Soderbergh. The Miramax picture also starred Julia Roberts, David Duchovny and Catherine Keener.
In summer 2001, while on hiatus from "Frasier," Pierce was seen in the critically acclaimed, two-person play "Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks," with Uta Hagen. The play was performed at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. This marked the second time Pierce worked under the direction of Arthur Allan Seidelman, the first being in 2000 when he starred in the highly praised Los Angeles stage production of The Boys from Syracuse.
On the big screen, Pierce starred in USA Films feature film "Wet, Hot American Summer," directed and produced by David Wain. "Wet, Hot American Summer" debuted in competition at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and also stars Janeane Garofolo and Paul Rudd.
Also in summer 2001, Pierce lent his voice in the Warner Bros. feature-length animated film "Osmosis Jones," which also stars voice-overs by Chris Rock and Joel Silver. Pierce last lent his voice to the character of Slim, the walking stick bug, in the Thanksgiving 1998 release of "A Bug's Life. "
In January 2000, Pierce was seen starring in "Isn't She Great," the Universal Pictures big screen biography of author Jacqueline Susann.
In 1988, Pierce made his feature film debut in "Bright Lights, Big City," followed by parts in "Crossing Delancey" and "Rocket Gibraltar" that same year. Pierce then landed larger roles in "Sleepless in Seattle" opposite Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and Oliver Stone's "Nixon," in which he played John Dean. Other film credits include "Little Man Tate," "The Fisher King," and "Wolf. "
Upon graduation from Yale in 1981 as an English and theater arts major, Pierce pursued his acting career in New York City and secured his first professional acting job
in the Broadway production of Christopher Durang's, "Beyond Therapy," co-starring John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest. Pierce's next Broadway role was opposite Christine Lahti in Wendy Wasserstein's award-winning play "The Heidi Chronicles. " Off Broadway, Pierce appeared in numerous plays including Mike Nichols' production of Jules Feiffer's "Elliot Loves," Peter Brooks' production of "The Cherry Orchard," Richard Greenberg's "The Author's Voice," and "Much Ado About Nothing," and Hamlet with the New York Shakespeare Festival.
SARAH PAULSON (Vikki Hiller) starred as the lead in the NBC comedy series "Leap of Faith" and opposite Alec Baldwin and Donald Sutherland in John Frankenheimer's HBO movie "Path to War. "
Paulson's film credits include "What Women Want," opposite Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt, and "The Other Sister," directed by Garry Marshall, starring Diane Keaton and Juliette Lewis. She made her feature film debut in "Levitation," an independent film directed by Scott Goldstein.
Paulson's television credits include the movie "The Long Way Home" opposite Jack Lemmon, the HBO pilot "Love and Madness" opposite Joanna Kerns, Cracker" with Robert Pastorelli, the television film "Shaughnessy," the series "American Gothic" with Gary Cole, and a recurring role on "Law and Order. "
On stage, she appeared in the Broadway production of Wendy Wasserstein's Tony® Award winning "The Sisters Rosensweig" at the Barrymore Theatre, the off-Broadway production of "Talking Pictures," and the regional productions of "Stalin's Daughter," "Ashes, Ashes," "Alert the Media," "Does Anyone Hear Me?" "The Penitent Madeline," "Best Friends," "An Evening of One Acts" and "Amerlia Again. "
TONY RANDALL (Theodore Banner) is the Founder and Artistic Director of the National Actors Theatre, a not-for-profit company dedicated to presenting great classical theater at affordable prices on Broadway. He has appeared in the company's productions of "The School for Scandal," "The Government Inspector," "A Little Hotel on the Side," "Three Men on a Horse," "Inherit the Wind," "The Sunshine Boys" and, as a director, "The Master Builder. "
His other Broadway credits include "M. Butterfly," "O Men, O Women," "Inherit the Wind" and "A Christmas Carol" at Madison Square Garden. Other theatre credits are: "The Man Who Came to Dinner," "The Circle of Chalk," "The Corn is Green," "The Barretts of Wimpole Street," "Antony and Cleopatra," "Caesar and Cleopatra," "The Music Man" (national tour), the Coconut Grove Playhouse productions of Tom Stoppard's "Rough Crossing" and Neil Simon's "The Sunshine Boys," the latter two with Jack Klugman.
Randall and Klugman have made eight tours of the U. S. in "The Odd Couple," and played it in Australia and in London's West End to sold-out audiences. They have performed it three times with all-star guest casts in one-night-only NAT benefits. The two have co-starred in a two-hour TV movie, "The Odd Couple Returns".
Randall has starred in over 30 movies including "The Mating Game," "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" "The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao," "Sidney Shore" - and three with Doris Day and Rock Hudson: "Pillow Talk," "Lover Come Back" and "Send Me No Flowers. "
On television he starred in "Mr. Peepers," "The Odd Couple," "The Tony Randall Show" and "Love, Sidney. " His book Which Reminds Me… (with Michael Mindlin) was published in 1991.