Arts & Culture

From Athlete to Actress, Renee D. Willett is Conquering Hollywood

Actress Renee D. WilletActress Renee D. Willett boasts more than your average actress’s background and training. Sure, she attended college at the University of California, majoring in Economics, with minors in Spanish and Theater. However, her upbringing also exposed her to a wide variety of interests, including elite-level professional sports (tennis and baseball) and fashion.

She is now establishing her young career in Hollywood, where she has already landed roles in the notorious camp classic “Sharknado 3,” and has films scheduled with such A-listers Jennifer Aniston, Robert DeNiro, Alec Baldwin, and Demi Moore. She belongs to SAG and is the youngest member of the Friars Club.

Before acting, Renee’s passion was tennis. She was once a competitive junior tennis player, following in the footsteps of her mother Leesa Wagner (also Renee’s manager), who was an All-American on the courts at Columbia University. She continues to give back to the community with a role in the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program.

Actress Renee D. Willet

Actress Renee D. Willet

Renee also stokes her athletic fire with extreme sports such as snowboarding, skydiving, and water skiing. In addition, her stepfather Leon Wagner is part owner of the MLB Milwaukee Brewers, further expanding Renee’s sports interests. Don’t be surprised to see Renee at the U.S. Open, the NBA Finals, or the World Series — this lady loves it all.

But a woman can’t live on sports alone, and Renee is a regular at art and fashion gatherings around the world. She supports her mother’s luxury men’s fashion label The Eighth at Paris Fashion Week, and she regularly attends art events such as Basel Miami and the Sundance Film Festival.

Renee is an avid philanthropist, taking part in the fundraiser for the Apollo Theatre in East Hampton, where she shared the stage with Jamie Foxx and Jimmy Fallon; the Lower East Side Girl’s Club Gala (with Tyra Banks) at the Bowery Hotel; and the Robin Hood Foundation Gala, where she is now on the board of the youth organization. And let’s face it — you gotta have some fun, and Renee cut loose as a guest at JLo’s birthday party at 1Oak South Hampton. Renee will soon be attending the fashion party for the Eighth.

Besides acting, Renee reserves her greatest passion for studying languages, especially Spanish and Hebrew, a nod to her mixed Ashkenazi Jewish, Polish, Russian, Austrian, and British heritage. She further stays creative by painting with acrylics. Talk about eclectic interests! Even as she builds her career, Renee Willett is staying busy with a full roster of activities. You never know where you might see her next.

Click to see Renee D. Willett’s IMDB page ~


About the author

Jane Emery