Renée Zellweger

Zellweger in 2008, Featureflash /

Birth Name: Renée Kathleen Zellweger

Place of Birth: Katy, Harris, Texas, U.S.

Date of Birth: April 25, 1969

*father – Swiss
*mother – Norwegian, Finnish/Kven, Swedish, possible Sami, remote Danish, German, and Scottish

Renée Zellweger is an American actress and producer. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Cold Mountain (2003), and the Academy Award for Best Actress for Judy (2019).

Renée’s father, Emil Erich Zellweger, was born in Au, a town in the canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and has Swiss-German ancestry. He is said to descend from an Appenzell noble family. Renée’s mother, Kjellfrid Irene (Andreassen), was born in Norway, of Norwegian, Finnish/Kven, and Swedish ancestry. She grew up in Ekkerøy near Vadsø, and in Kirkenes, and came to the U.S. to work for a Norwegian family.

Many of Renée’s mother’s ancestors were from Sodankylä in northern Finland. During the 19th century, many Finns emigrated to Finnmark, in northern Norway; they are known as Kven, and both of Renée’s maternal grandparents were of part Kven descent.

Several internet sources state that Renée has Sami ancestry. It is not clear if this ancestry has been verified/documented. Sami are Indigenous people who inhabit Norway, Finland, and Sweden.

Some of Renée’s mother’s remote ancestors were Danish, German, and Scottish.

Renée’s paternal grandfather may have been named Emil Zellweger.

Renée’s paternal grandmother may have been named Dorothy.

Renée’s maternal grandfather was Ove Magnar Ingolf Andreassen (the son of Johan Edvard/Edvart Charles Andreassen and Emma Ovidia/Ovidie Hansen). Ove was born in Ekkerøy, Finnmark, Norway. Johan was the son of Oluf Martin/Moll-oluf Andreassen and Fredrikke Mathilde Strand. Emma was the daughter of Oluf Bernhof Hansen and Ingeborg Marta Eriksdatter Jørstad.

Renée’s maternal grandmother was Bjørga Johanna/Johanne Hildonen (the daughter of Isak Wilhelm Johansen Hildonen and Kathrine Jensdatter Hedlund). Bjørga was born in Tana, Norway. Isak was the son of Johan Daniel/Danielpoika/Danielsen/Danielinpoika Hiltuen/Hiltunen/Hildonen, who was born in Kairala, Pelkosenniemi, Finland, and of Johanne Kathrine Johannestyttär/Johansdatter Kylmänen/Kullmann, who was born in Kvalsund, Finnmark, Norway. Renée’s great-grandmother Kathrine was born in Vefsn, Norway, the daughter of Swedish parents, Jens Paulsen Hedlund, from Härjedalen, Jämtland, and Brita Isaksdatter Bergstrøm, from Åre, Jämtland.

Sources: Genealogy of Renée Zellweger –

Genealogy of Renée Zellweger (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Genealogy of Renée’s maternal grandfather, Ove Magnar Ingolf Andreassen –


Curious about ethnicity

36 Responses

  1. Oaken05 says:

    I am embarrassed that I’m just now learning tonight from her speech and then coming here that her parents were immigrants.

  2. andrew says:

    her paternal grandmother was named Dorothy “Minnie” Preisig.

  3. andrew says:

    She does not have German ancestry (from Germany) whatsoever

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