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The producer was impressed by her acting ability and allowed her to play the role for the next two years.
During one of the performances, both the star and the first understudy were unavailable, and Zeta-Jones was asked to play the role of Peggy Sawyer—a chorus girl who becomes a star.So I decided to move away and start again." Steven Spielberg took notice of Zeta-Jones in Titanic and recommended her to Martin Campbell, who was directing The Mask of Zorro (1998) for Spielberg's production company.Campbell cast her as the leading lady in favour of Izabella Scorupco, who was his original choice for the part.The latter won her Academy and BAFTA Awards for Best Supporting Actress, among other accolades.She starred in high-profile films for much of the decade, including the black comedy Intolerable Cruelty (2003), the heist film Ocean's Twelve (2004), the comedy The Terminal (2004), and the romantic comedy No Reservations (2007).Zeta-Jones is the recipient of several accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award and a Tony Award, and in 2010 she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her film and humanitarian endeavours.
She supports various charities and causes, and is a prominent celebrity endorser of brands.
Her screen debut came in the unsuccessful French-Italian film 1001 Nights (1990), and she went on to find greater success as a regular in the British television series The Darling Buds of May (1991–93).
Dismayed at being typecast as the token pretty girl in British films, Zeta-Jones relocated to Los Angeles.
She was then cast as the eponymous protagonist of the 1995 television biopic Catherine the Great.
In a mixed review, critic Lisa Nesselson of Variety found the miniseries to be "brightly colored" but "wooden and hollow", though thought that Zeta-Jones "imparts a certain grace and resolve to her sovereign-in-the-making".
Zeta-Jones initially established herself in Hollywood with roles that highlighted her sex appeal such as in the action film The Mask of Zorro (1998) and the heist film Entrapment (1999).