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Last Updated: Monday, 24 March, 2003, 16:34 GMT
Swansea celebrates Zeta's Oscar
Oscar celebrations
Pam Philpot with Francis, Ray, Paula and Ffion Stevens
People in Swansea have been celebrating the Oscar success of one of the city's favourite daughters.

Catherine Zeta Jones gave her hometown a special mention when she picked up her best supporting actress award for her performance in the hit movie Chicago.

"Everybody in Swansea, south Wales, I love you, and to my son, Dylan, who is going to be watching at home, and to my husband, who I love and I share this award with you - along with this one too. Thank you so much," the actress told the Oscars ceremony.

Back home in Wales, some of her fans had stayed up throughout the night to watch the Academy Awards while others woke to the news she was the only major British success.

There was particular delight at one shop in West Cross, close to her parents' home, where signed pictures of the star are proudly displayed behind the counter.

Catherine Zeta Jones

Frances Stevens, who runs The Meat Loaf with her husband Ray, said they were very pleased she had won.

"It is just wonderful news, isn't it?" said Mrs Stevens.

"Her mum comes in here occasionally and we once sent Welsh cakes out to Catherine when she was staying in Bermuda.

"It was really good of her to mention Swansea - she does not forget her roots."

Swansea Council has passed on its congratulations and hopes the Oscar success will raise the profile of the city.

The authority's deputy leader Robert Francis Davies said: "It is wonderful news and thoroughly deserved.

"The city is rightly proud of Catherine's achievements.

Mansion House

"It was also very nice to hear her mention her home city during her acceptance speech - she has not forgotten her roots.

"Hopefully, it will help raise the profile of Swansea across the world."

Zeta Jones, who is expecting her second child with husband Michael Douglas in just two weeks, regularly returns to Swansea and was back in the city last month.

A 1m mansion house is being built for the couple near the village of Mumbles on the outskirts of Swansea.

It is set to be completed by the summer and villagers say they will be thrilled to welcome the Oscar winner.

Tony Cottle, who runs a business there, watched Catherine receive her award live on television.

Tony Cottle
Tony Cottle watched on TV

"I had gone to bed early but woke up early and I thought she spoke well and publicised Swansea very well," he said.

"She was dressed in black and looked very good.

Live broadcast

"Whenever she comes back she spends time visiting the shops and restaurants in the area so she does support the area.

"I think her parents must be chuffed and it shows how you can get on in life," he added.

The ceremony did not begin until 0200GMT on Monday but was broadcast live on BBC Wales.

While speaking at the after show press conference Zeta Jones said she had already spoken to her mum Pat.

It is possible many people living in her parents' street also stayed up to watch the show as there was little sign of activity there on Monday morning.

"I did not stay up but I turned on the news when I got up this morning and was pleased she had won," said one neighbour who did not want to be named.

"It is good news for Swansea," she added.

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