Last night Renee attended the International Cinematographers Guild Publicists Awards where she presented an award to her former publicist Nanci Ryder.
– Renee Zellweger Online > 2017 > February 24 | International Cinematographers Guild Publicists Awards – Audience
– Renee Zellweger Online > 2017 > February 24 | International Cinematographers Guild Publicists Awards – Ceremony
Renée Zellweger gave a touching speech at the 54th annual ICG Publicists Awards Luncheon on Friday, where her longtime publicist Nanci Ryder — who has been battling ALS since 2014 — was honored with the President’s Award.
Ryder represented numerous A-list clients during her 30-year-plus career as a founder of BWR Public Relations — including Zellweger, Reese Witherspoon, Michael J. Fox, Jennifer Garner, Leonardo DiCaprio and Courteney Cox.
But her 2014 diagnosis was precipitated by ongoing vocal issues and as the neurological illness progressed, Ryder’s speech continued to deteriorate. By 2015, Ryder had lost her ability to speak and began using a gastrostomy feeding tube connected to her stomach to replace eating meals.
In her place, Zellweger read Ryder’s acceptance speech that had her and the crowd at the Beverly Hilton Hotel both laughing and crying.
“This award means the world to me,” Ryder wrote. “Believe me, the irony is not lost that I am a publicist who made a career out of communicating and I am now receiving the biggest award of my career at a time in my life where I’ve lost the ability to speak. I say ‘irony’ as to not use another four-letter word.”
“This situation is something I never saw coming, but in a way it’s fitting to sit here now because I never sought out the spotlight and I’ve never been comfortable on stage,” she continued. “I love being behind-the-scenes, and it’s only been these past couple of years since being diagnosed with ALS that I’ve had a choice to put my reservations aside and do what’s needed to raise money for this disease.”
Ryder explained that her fight with ALS “hasn’t been easy,” but that “being a publicist wasn’t always easy either.”
Born in Long Island, she first moved to Los Angeles in 1979 — jobless after a divorce in the early 20s. She started her own firm in 1984, and wrote that she put “everything [she] had into my work and my client’s careers.”
“It’s amazing and it becomes an addiction,” she said, thanking her clients — including Zellweger, Cox, Witherspoon and Fox. “It was all that and more … I’ve seen first hand what it’s like to see someone’s dreams come true.”
In 2000, Ryder was diagnosed with breast cancer — but was cancer-free within a year. “I always wish the two diseases were similar,” she wrote. “I found that battling breast cancer was a breeze. The doctor’s this is what you have, this are the treatments, let’s get to work. And get to work we did!”
“I haven’t had the same experience with ALS,” she continued. “It took the better part of a year to get a diagnosis. Back then, in 2014, I could still walk and talk and drive. I lived a fairly normal life, if normal means having a really great blowout.”
Though she’s retired now, Ryder hasn’t stopped working. “This is my new job: fundraising, finding a cure,” she wrote. “I’m so lucky to have been associated with such big hearted and generous friends. It’s been hard to lose the ability to eat, talk, drive, text. What I haven’t lost is the ability to email everybody asking for help. I won’t give up asking … I take pride in the work that we’ve done in raising awareness. Thank you to everyone who has helped.”
Despite her physical limitations, Ryder retained her trademark humor and sarcasm — kicking off the speech by asking the publicist’s guild to rename her award.
“It doesn’t feel like a great time to be getting an award called ‘the President’s award,’ Ryder wrote, as the room — including fellow honorees Denzel Washington and Ryan Murphy — erupted in laughter. “If I’m finally going to win a big award, I didn’t want anyone to be confused about who the real president is. So for today, I will gratefully be your leader, at least until you leave the hotel.”
I have added images from the film My Own Love Song to the gallery. Renee co-starred in this film with Forrest Whittaker in 2010.
– Renee Zellweger Online > Films > 2010 | My Own Love Song
Happy New Year! Our first update of the year is an update to our gallery of images from the events that Renee has attended in 2011.
– Renee Zellweger Online > EVENTS And APPEARANCES > 2014
I wanted to share this beautiful article about Renee’s good friend and former publicist Nanci Ryder who is battling ALS from The Hollywood Reporter. Renee is quoted in the article and I know this is an important topic for her.
The Hollywood veteran, diagnosed with the progressive neurodegenerative disease in 2014, has given up everything from solid food to shopping and swears only by tapping on an iPad now, but she’s still fighting (and fundraising for) ALS as her body fails. Says Bryan Lourd, “She won’t let people look the other way.”
“Can you imagine me two years ago?” Nanci Ryder asks me. Not only can I imagine, I can remember. It was October 2014 when Ryder invited me to join her and close friend Renee Zellweger at Ryder’s hilltop Los Angeles home. And it was there that the veteran BWR Public Relations talent publicist, who once repped some of the biggest names in the industry — including Reese Witherspoon, Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael J. Fox — dropped the biggest bombshell of her career. She had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — ALS, what used to be known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — and was stepping down from the company she had co-founded nearly 30 years earlier.
Notoriously difficult to diagnose, ALS attacks motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord and can have different impacts on different people. For Ryder, 64, bulbar onset ALS meant the muscles that control chewing, swallowing and talking would be the first affected. Back in 2014, she still could walk, talk, drive and shop (one of her passions). Her speech was starting to slow and slur, but she was a vibrant and energetic woman. She still enjoyed living a fairly normal life.– Read More –
In 2008 Renee co-starred with George Clooney & John Krasinksi in a film called Leatherheads. I have added images from the film to our gallery.
– Renee Zellweger Online > Films > 2008 | Leatherheads
Two decades after it had you at hello, Jerry Maguire is coming back. The big-hearted romantic dramedy starring Tom Cruise as a conscience-stricken sports agent is getting a 20th anniversary Blu-ray re-release, and EW has exclusive details.
Due Jan. 3, the special edition features a fully remastered version of the film and new bonus material, including the three-part retrospective Jerry Maguire: We Meet Again, nearly an hour of never-before-seen deleted and extended scenes, and a gallery with rare photos of the cast and crew.
In an excerpt from the bonus material, writer-director Cameron Crowe discusses the unique chemistry between Cruise and a then-unknown Renée Zellweger.
“They were both so different, Tom and Renee,” Crowe recalls. “Both coming from different sides of the world professionally, I think. There they were in one frame, and they looked so right together, yet they were so different. They completed each other, and that was the kind of line in the script that I always had in my head.”
The Jerry Maguire anniversary Blu-ray will initially be available exclusively at Best Buy, as a limited edition that includes a booklet with an introduction by Crowe, the 25-page mission statement featured in the film, and the original soundtrack CD.
I have added images to the gallery from Renee’s newest film The Whole Truth.
– Renee Zellweger Online > Films > 2016 | The Whole Truth
People.com share a new clip from The Whole Truth!
Marriage problems lead to murder in Renee Zellweger and Keanu Reeves’ new courtroom thriller, The Whole Truth.
Reeves stars as defense attorney Richard Ramsay, who vows to help his close friend Loretta Lassiter (Zellweger) keep her son out of prison after he is accused of murdering his father (Jim Belushi).
In the exclusive clip above, Richard catches up with Loretta at a house party she is hosting. Watching her husband berate a waiter from afar, Loretta explains how his verbally abusive behavior is threatening their marriage.
Confiding in Richard that her husband threatened to kill her if she ever divorced him, Loretta says she wishes there was a way she could protect her son, Mike, from his father’s harsh judgments.
As seen in the film’s trailer, Loretta’s husband is later found murdered, and her son initially confesses to the crime. Richard agrees to take on his case, and as the trial proceeds, more evidence of the father’s cruelty comes to light.
While Richard prepares his defense, his new colleague Janelle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) begins to suspect someone else of the murder.
The Whole Truth hits theaters Oct. 21.