Los Angles: Renee Zellweger has won the Best Actress Academy Award at the 2020 Oscars Sunday night in Los Angeles for her celebrated turn as Judy Garland in “Judy.” Zellweger beat out Cynthia Erivo in “Harriet,” Scarlett Johansson in “Marriage Story,” Saoirse Ronan in “Little Women,” and Charlize Theron in “Bombshell” for tonight’s win. Her victory marks Zellweger’s second Academy Award win, as she previously received Best Supporting Actress for “Cold Mountain” in 2004. She also previously received Oscar nominations for “Bridget Jones’s Diary” in 2002 and “Chicago” in 2003.
Overwhelmed at the notion of playing one of America’s most iconic show business figures 50 years after her death, Zellweger embarked on extensive preparations to transform herself for the role. She took voice lessons for a year and worked with a choreographer to capture Garland’s mannerisms. The movie focuses on a period when “The Wizard of Oz” star struggled with substance abuse, depression, insomnia, financial instability and a custody battle.
Zellweger’s Oscar win arrives on the heels of a virtual awards-season sweep, having previously picked up the EE BAFTA Award for Best Leading Actress, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, and the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture Drama, amid myriad other accolades along the way. Her Best Actress Oscar triumph on Sunday night, therefore, came as no surprise among most awards pundits. “Judy” was also nominated for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling at the 2020 Oscars, but lost to “Bombshell.”
Her big breakthrough came in the role of the single mom who becomes the love interest of the struggling sports agent played by Tom Cruise in the comedy “Jerry Maguire.” Other credits include “One True Thing,” “Me, Myself & Irene,” and the dark comedy “Nurse Betty.”