We’ve all heard stories about the pressure placed on celebrities to look a certain way. While still a teenager, Judy Garland was given speed to keep her energy up and her weight down. When J. Lo’s agent told her to lose weight, she fired him. Even the Duchess herself, Meghan Markle, shared the frustration of being told she was, “not thin enough, not pretty enough, not ethnic enough, while also being too thin, too ethnic, too pretty the very next day.”
Having the courage and self-worth to stand up to the entertainment field’s cookie-cutter approach is both inspiring and badass. Welsh-born actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is a card-carrying member of the badass club. Married to actor Michael Douglas since 2006, she is also a mother of two, a fact of which she is consciously aware as she makes decisions in both her personal and professional life.
At the age of 9, Zeta-Jones made her stage debut in a theater production of the musical Annie. An amazing feat considering what young Catherine had already been through. While still an infant, Zeta-Jones contracted a viral infection that attacked her tiny body and compromised her breathing. If left untreated, the youngster would die.
The medical staff performed a tracheotomy, which involves making an incision in the anterior neck and inserting a breathing tube attached to supplemental oxygen. Catherine survived thanks to the emergency procedure, leaving only a 1.5-inch scar. This scar, the actress states, is a feature makeup artists are always trying to cover up. "I don't want to hide it," she said. "I wouldn't be here today if I didn't have this scar." This woman understands how quickly and easily life can change.
Post-Annie, she continued acting, including a role in the wildly popular British series The Darling Buds of May. After two years, however, she wanted to try something different. She left the U.K. behind for the sun-kissed state of California. Americans were captivated by her beauty and Hollywood took note when she was cast in, ironically, a television series about the ill-fated luxury liner Titanic.
She was then cast in what many view as her breakout role alongside Antonio Banderas in The Mask of Zorro in 1998.
In following years she played in Steven Soderbergh's Traffic and in Stephen Frears' High Fidelity (2000).
What few knew at the time was that Catherine was not only a talented actress, earning awards and accolades in the years following this performance, but she could also dance and sing phenomenally well. Her role in the big screen adaptation of the musical Chicago earned her an Emmy and firmly cemented her place among Hollywood’s best and brightest.
Her other prominent movies are Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003), Intolerable Cruelty (2003), The Terminal (2004), Ocean's Twelve (2004), and Side Effects (2013).
This fall viewers will have the opportunity to see her in an entirely different type of role. Zeta-Jones will portray family matriarch Morticia Addams in an upcoming Netflix series entitled Wednesday based on The Addams Family television series and movie franchise. They’re creepy and they’re kooky and we are here for it.