This year, actress Renee Zellweger will receive the 2020 Courage Award for her charitable contributions and philanthropic efforts throughout her career, including her support of breast cancer research and awareness.
On Thursday, February 27, 2020, the Women's Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) Honorary Chairs Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks, Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg, along with Gala Chairs Quinn Ezralow and Jamie Tisch, and Co-Chairs Wallis Annenberg & Kris Levine, NJ Falk, Tom Ford & Richard Buckley, Judy & Leonard Lauder, Marion Laurie, and Lori Kanter Tritsch & William P. Lauder, will welcome guests to An Unforgettable Evening.
The event, which will be hosted by actor, comedian, and producer Ken Jeong, will take place at the Beverly Wilshire, and benefit the WCRF, a program of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).
Renée Zellweger is one of the most cherished and respected actors in modern cinema. She is most notably known for her starring role as the seminal British everywoman in the film Bridget Jones’s Diary and its sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, both opposite Hugh Grant and Colin Firth. In the first installment of the franchise, she earned her first Oscar® nomination, also earning Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA nominations, among others. The sequel delivered her another Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical.
Zellweger can currently be seen starring as the legendary Judy Garland in Judy for Pathe Films / Roadside Attractions for which she has earned SAG, Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice, National Board of Review and British Independent Film Awards. For this role, she has garnered Oscar®, BAFTA and Independent Spirit Award nominations. Additionally, she has received a Tribute from Telluride Film Festival, the “Desert Palm Achievement Award – Actress” from Palm Springs International Film Festival and was honored with the “American Riviera Award” by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
She earned her second Academy Award nomination as convicted killer Roxie Hart in Chicago, the Oscar-winning film version of the Tony-winning musical. Acting, singing and dancing alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones, who portrayed fellow death row inmate Velma Kelly, Zellweger took home a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical and others including a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role. She later earned the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Anthony Minghella’s Cold Mountain, the Civil War drama in which she jumped off the screen as feisty farm worker Ruby Thewes. For her work in Cold Mountain, Zellweger also garnered a Golden Globe Award and best supporting role honors from the Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, and Broadcast Film Critics Association.
Zellweger most recently made her television debut in Netflix’s “What/If.” Her recent films include Bridget Jones’s Baby, alongside Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey for Universal Pictures, the film adaptation of the book Same Kind of Different as Me, opposite Greg Kinnear and Djimon Hounsou, and The Whole Truth, opposite Keanu Reeves.
She recently signed a two-year, exclusive first-look deal with MGM Television. Under the pact, Zellweger and her The Big Picture Co. partner Carmella Casinelli will develop new scripted projects for which she will direct and star.
After graduating with an English degree from the University of Texas, Zellweger did some initial film and television work before making her feature debut in Richard Linklater’s seminal coming-of-age film Dazed and Confused. Other film roles quickly followed, including Ben Stiller’s Reality Bites, Love and a .45, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation and My Boyfriend’s Back. Zellweger soon after won the affection of audiences with her breakthrough role opposite Tom Cruise in Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire. Subsequent film roles for Zellweger have included the acclaimed One True Thing with William Hurt and Meryl Streep, the dark comedy Nurse Betty opposite Chris Rock and Morgan Freeman, Me, Myself & Irene opposite Jim Carrey, the drama White Oleander with Robin Wright and Michelle Pfeiffer, Peyton Reed’s romantic comedy Down with Love opposite Ewan McGregor, and director Ron Howard’s Depression-era boxing drama Cinderella Man with Russell Crowe. She has also lent her voice to such animated features as DreamWorks’ Shark Tale, Bee Movie and Monsters vs. Aliens.
An Unforgettable Evening is the flagship fundraising event for WCRF featuring extraordinary honorees, tributes to cancer thrivers and the memory of those impacted by cancer. For over 20 years, this event has brought together leaders in entertainment, cancer research and corporate philanthropy to raise critical funds for pioneering cancer research conducted at leading medical and academic institutions in Los Angeles and throughout the nation. Previous Unforgettable Evening Honorees have included Natalie Cole, Courteney Cox, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Renette Ezralow, Tom Ford, Carolina Herrera, Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, Jennifer Hudson, Kate Hudson, Sir Elton John, Nicole Kidman, Judy & Leonard Lauder, Stella McCartney, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gabrielle Union, and Sofia Vergara. WCRF co-founders include Anne Douglas, Quinn Ezralow, Marion Laurie, Kelly Chapman Meyer, and Jamie Tisch.