WCW: Catherine Zeta-Jones

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While many of her roles capitalized on her striking looks and figure, Catherine Zeta-Jones has dramatic and comedic acting chops that she proves time and again. In frock flicks, she’s much more than the “exotic” seductress she was sometimes typecast as, playing pivotal roles in historical and literary adaptions. This Welsh actor started young in West End musicals, and has only slowed down recently due to family obligations, but I hope she has a few more costume dramas in her!

 

 

Sheherazade in Les 1001 Nuits (1990)

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Les 1001 Nuits (1990)

A comedic (& widely panned) riff on the 1001 Nights story. Hey, ya gotta start somewhere!

 

 

Mariette in The Darling Buds of May (1991-1993)

Catherine Zeta-Jones, The Darling Buds of May (1991-1993)

This TV series set in 1950s Kent made Zeta-Jones famous throughout the U.K.

 

 

Beatriz in Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992)

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992)

Cheesy renfaire bodice for a cheesy biopic of the explorer.

 

 

Maya in “Palestine, October 1917,” The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1993)

Catherine Zeta-Jones, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1993)

Here’s that stereotype again. *sigh*

 

 

Victoria Chapman in The Cinder Path (1994)

Catherine Zeta-Jones, The Cinder Path (1994)

Finally moving on to more substantial parts, like this three-part miniseries based on a Catherine Cookson novel & set during World War I.

 

 

Eustacia Vye in The Return of the Native (1994)

The Return of the Native (1994)

As one of Thomas Hardy’s most fascinating heroines, in the only filmed version of this novel.

 

 

Catherine in Catherine the Great (1995)

Catherine the Great (1995)

Kendra called this the “romance novel adaptation” of the empress’ life, but it did have good costumes!

 

 

Isabella Paradine in Titanic (1996)

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Titanic (1996)

The CBS miniseries before the big-screen version of the story. Zeta-Jones’ performance was noticed & got her the role in Zorro.

 

 

Elena in The Mask of Zorro (1998)

Catherine Zeta-Jones, The Mask of Zorro (1998)

Supposedly set in 1840s California, this flick is ridiculous as all get-out but so much fun because of Catherine Zeta-Jones & Antonio Banderas. I could watch those two all day.

 

 

Velma Kelly in Chicago (2002)

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago (2002)

She won an Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, & BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress, for bringing her own fully fledged background to this character, along with “All That Jazz.”

 

 

Elena de la Vega in The Legend of Zorro (2005)

Catherine Zeta-Jones, The Legend of Zorro (2005)

The sequel wasn’t as popular (or as good) as the original (they rarely are). But here’s a cute pic of Zeta-Jones knitting on-set.

 

 

Mary McGarvie in Death Defying Acts (2007)

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Death Defying Acts (2007)

Playing a Scottish con artist who meets up with Harry Houdini in 1920s Britain.

 

 

Rose Winters in Dad’s Army (2016)

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Dad's Army (2016)

Perfectly cast as a glamorous journalist in this big-screen version of the World War II period TV series.

 

 

Olivia de Havilland in Feud: Bette and Joan (2017)

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Feud: Bette and Joan (2017)

She earned rave reviews for portraying this movie star in the 1960s, but the then-still-living de Havilland sued the network for ‘unauthorized use of her name and identity.’

 

 

What’s your favorite frock flick role by Catherine Zeta-Jones?

15 Responses

  1. Michael McQuown

    Has to be the Zorro movies, as I have seen too few of the others. But I did catch her latest as the slightly murderous doctor in the contemporary Prodigal Son.

    Reply
    • SarahV

      This! A Thousand times this. Just the way she states her name on the record under oath during the trial scene is thrilling!

      Reply
    • Karen K.

      Definitely Chicago! I can’t imagine her as Roxie Hart, she absolutely nailed the role of Velma Kelly.

      Reply
  2. Colleen

    I’ve seen Mask of Zorro, but didn’t like it. I liked her as Olivia de Havilland, and really need to see her take on Catherine the Great.

    Reply
  3. Saraquill

    DANG, those cheekbones on the topmost photo. Is it her makeup, or did they get more prominent with age?

    Reply
    • Roxana

      I think her face has gotten thinner with age, emphasizing her bone structure.

      Reply
  4. Maggi Perkins

    What about The Phantom (1996) with Billy Zane? Fun pulp adaption set in the 1930s. Other than that, definitely Zorro.

    Reply
  5. Charity

    I’ve seen almost all of these, but Zorro and Eustacia Vye are my favorite of her parts. Though she was indeed amazing in Chicago.

    Reply
  6. Roxana

    Isn’t she beautiful? Anthony Hopkins joked with her about two Welsh actors playing Spaniards in Zorro.

    Reply
    • SarahV

      I actually met her once when I was hostessing in a trendy Manhattan restaurant back in the day, in another life – she was plain-scrubbed and not dressed to kill, but what struck me was how beautiful her eyes are/were! She was polite and gracious and didn’t cause a scene or demand anything extra. She also dropped a gigantic tip!

      Reply

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