Renée Zellweger

by ethnic on January 20, 2009

Birth Name: Renée Kathleen Zellweger

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

Date of Birth: April 25, 1969

*Swiss [including Swiss-German] (father)
*Norwegian, Finnish/Kveeni, Swedish, possible Sami (mother)

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

Renée’s father, Emil Erich Zellweger, was born in Au, a town in the canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and has Swiss-German ancestry. Renée’s mother, Kjellfrid Irene (Andreassen), was born in Norway, of Norwegian, Finnish/Kveeni, and Swedish ancestry.

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 Kveeni, and both of Renée’s maternal grandparents were of part Kveeni 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.

Renée’s paternal grandparents were Emil Zellweger and Dorothy or Mickey Preisig.

Renée’s maternal grandfather was Ove Magnar Ingolf Andreassen (the son of Johan Edvard Charles Andreassen and Emma Ovidia/Ovidie Hansen). Ove was born in Ekkerøy, Finnmark, Norway. Johan was the son of Oluf Martin Andreassen and Fredrikke Mathilde Strand. Emma was the daughter of Oluf Bernhof Hansen and Ingeborg Martha 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 Hiltuen/Hiltunen/Hildonen and Johanne Kathrine Johannestyttär Kylmänen/Kullmann. 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: Genealogies of Renée Zellweger (focusing on her mother’s side) –

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

Featureflash /

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

neiltennant December 11, 2017 at 2:13 pm

i know she has a German name

but she does actually not look typical German

if she were unknown and we would see her on the streets we would speak English with her :-)

andrew December 11, 2017 at 2:17 pm

She does not have German ancestry (from Germany) whatsoever

Susi November 4, 2015 at 1:11 pm

Correction. She has Kveeni-ancestry. Kveeni’s are a group of Finnish descent people who moved to Norway, Finnmark, in 1600-1700. Kjellfrid (her mother) was partly Sami and Kveeni.

follers November 4, 2015 at 1:49 pm

How do you know she has Sami ancestry?

Susi November 5, 2015 at 6:35 am

Yeah, actually that I looked into it (despite all second hand source claims), it seems like there’s no Sami ancestry, at least in the first 5 gens going back on Kjellfrid’s family background. I think it’s still highly likely that there is some – but if it’s relevant to Rénee… I wouldn’t say. Kjellfrid’s father’s side of family are all from Finnmark which is at the very top of Norway and Finland. Kjellfrid’s father’s father’s father’s father is named Andreas Olbeksen, I couldn’t work out where a name “Olbes” or “Olbek” could be from as it is Andreas’ father’s name (Olbeksen = Son of Olbes/k). There’s no info available in the internet any further, so if anyone knows about the origin of the name it could lead to conclusion if there’s some Sami ancestry or not. But in any case Andreassens are most probably Kvens/Kveenis.

Kjellfrid Andreassen’s mother is named Hiltunen and her paternal grandmother’s last name was Kylmänen, so she definitely is Kven or Finnish in anycase. Kjellfrid’s mother could be half Swede/Norwegian too, since her name is Hedlund. Though it doesn’t tell much since it’s normal for a Finn to have Norwegian or Swedish last name. I’d say Rénee’s mother is possibly something like half Finnish/Kven and other half Norwegian, or mostly Kven.


All this info is from and

Susi November 5, 2015 at 6:40 am

Forgot to add that Kjellfrid’s father’s mother is also from Finnmark. So Kven from father’s side, Finnish/Kven from mother’s father’s side and possibly Norwegian or Swedish from mother’s mother’s side. [correction]

tttyyy July 8, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Wish I was scandinavian

bearboy June 10, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Wow actually you’re right follers, it’s almost like looking in a mirror! :)

Capricious April 5, 2015 at 5:24 am

She has no Sami ancestry. I mean just because someone has small hooded eyes they’re all of a sudden Sami or “Asiatic”?

It’s an internet rumour. People saw her eyes that way, made fun of her and then be like “she is probably [insert indigenous group]”.

veterinary tech November 22, 2013 at 11:48 am

Hi there, all is going sound here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts, that’s truly fine,
keep up writing.

Liljaoch November 1, 2013 at 1:14 am

“Correction” She is of Sámi roots you can see that. Not possible, she is. On records of people who were sami it wouldnt always say. They had normal swedish names. Rememb they were not treated good and many hidden their sami roots. U cant just ser by the na

follers November 1, 2013 at 2:16 am

Do you have any proof that she has Sami roots? What was the name of her last Sami ancestor? Without documented evidence, it is speculation (the European equivalent of Cherokee or other Native American ancestry).

There are listings of most of her recent maternal ancestors here.

kiiminki October 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Lots of Norwegian names on Ove Andreassens family tree: Hansen, Erikssen and Strand are all typical Norwegian names.
On Renees grandmothers side there are some Norwegian names (Midtgård, Danielsen). The Hildonen (Hiltunen) family came from Sodankylä in northern Finland. During the 19th century many finns emigrated to eastern Finnmark in northern Norway. So did my ancestors. (Actually, both Renee and I are descendants of Paaveli Halonen (1565-1640)). It’s very common to have finnish ancestry in this part of Norway. In northern Finland and parts of Norway, where some of Renees mother family came from (Tana), it’s common to have sami ancestry…

Milka May 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm

What ethnicity are you? There are different groups of white people in Europe, it has nothing to do with being better or worse. Baltids, East Baltics, Nordics, Alpines, Faelids, Mediterraneans . If your jealous of Nordics especially than you have a inferiority problem. It just classifys long skulled light haired/eyed people.
Saying many Scandinavians have mongoloid blood makes no sense. First Scandinavian is referred to northern Europeans only and second Fins aren’t part of Scandinavia as the Swedes, Norwegians, Danes and Icelanders. As you realize they are often part Sami. Get your facts straight.

nnnnn May 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm

what’s “Sami”? It’s smth like escimo? She looks a bit eskimo

Karro Jansson March 15, 2012 at 11:28 pm

im sorry samis do also live in finland and Norway not only sweden.

Malin Strid March 13, 2012 at 8:40 am

Im so fucking tired of this.She is white,im from sweden and i have possibly sami roots.
Sami people are white,so dont say anything,but they have dark hair black hair but they are white.
They are like your native americans in the states.
Sami people are LIKE the swedish native americans..
But the samis are white with black hair..

lopac March 4, 2012 at 10:42 pm

this dude is retarted. his obssess with this ethnicity shit! his always on this web-site get a life dude seriously.

Fabian Moya January 25, 2012 at 3:29 am

Thank you for your blog.Really thank you! Awesome.

Jimenez December 7, 2011 at 6:25 am

I kind of semi agree with Risten – maybe Risten is Sámi herself, because Risten is a Sámi name?
In any case, has she ever said herself that her mother was of Sámi ancestry? Is that not just a rumour, based from her place of origin?
I’ve never seen any evidence that her mother is a Sámi (but as Risten points out, she has Finnish ancestry).

chipoltespice May 15, 2011 at 10:06 am

Her cheekbones really are very high but her facial structure is strong like Lappids. Her cheekbones are the least I notice as compared to Native Americans.

NordicK April 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Well, Most Finns agree that they are not Scandinavian, but Nordic (Finns weren’t Vikings that pillaged & raped). But the name Hildonen (on her mothers side) is definitely Finnish.

blackmon March 21, 2011 at 9:37 pm

She asian and white it is obvious

cora September 4, 2011 at 10:53 pm

No, she’s just white. IT”S OBVIOUS. Idiot.

hmm July 10, 2010 at 7:30 am

she does look sami =)

NickW May 19, 2010 at 7:03 pm

She has a typical Sami face, with the high cheekbones and just the general look.

lexi June 24, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Yep and it’s sad when people call her ugly because of it. At least she loves herself not to alter her face for others.

Jo April 28, 2011 at 3:28 pm

agreed, it’s too bad exotic women are typically called ugly… I mean look at her, Jennifer Carpenter, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Jessica Parker (who kind of is IMO but she is so RIDICULOUSLY hated, just for how she LOOKS!!!). the world bows and kisses up mightily to generic, bland, safe “beauty”, like Christina Hendricks, Amy Adams, Vanessa Hudgens, etc. bleh.

Luomi (cloudberry) February 28, 2010 at 10:50 pm

What do you mean by “too northern”?
Do you mean that she looks more German-Swiss?

Inka February 28, 2010 at 7:19 pm

I don’t know whether she’s partly Norwegian or not, but Finns certainly are NOT Scandinavian.
Judging by her last name, she’s of German-Swiss origin from her father’s side.
Btw, she doesn’t look too nothern.

Sven February 6, 2010 at 9:43 am

So that should be Norwegian, Sami and Finnish. Oh and Swiss, which is (usually) German and not Scandinavian obviously.

Sven February 6, 2010 at 9:42 am

She looks very Scandinavian anyway. And she is partly Norwegian.

ethnic February 17, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Thanks for that Risten. however she may still have Sami ancestry. Unless you know a website that disproves this.

Risten February 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Actually Renee is not Sami. Her mother was Norwegian born but had Finnish ancestry. See:

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