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Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: August 7, 1975 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Benoni, , ZA Profession: actor, model

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

opium-smoking Hollywood diva, but the film was generally panned, as was the chilling drama "Trapped" (2002) in which she played a kidnap victim alongside Stuart Townsend, with whom she would begin a long-term relationship.In 2003, Theron was effective in an otherwise stock role of sexy, icy babe, in F. Gary Gray's slick remake of the 1969 heist classic "The Italian Job," but her performance was soon forgotten in the shadow of her Oscar and Golden Globe-winning portrayal of convicted murderer Aileen Wuornos, one of America's first known female serial killers, in "Monster" (2003). Theron's glamming-down and bulking-up were only part of the actress' stunning transformation into the highly intense Wuornos; she also dug deep into her own emotional history to relive the pain of an abusive background. Theron received nearly universal praise and landed on most critics' short lists for the best actress of the year. She followed up her performance with the low-profile wartime melodrama "Head in the Clouds" (2004), before earning an Emmy nomination for portraying actor Peter Sellers' one-time wife Britt Ekland in the HBO biopic, "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" (2004), starring Geoffrey Rush. The...

opium-smoking Hollywood diva, but the film was generally panned, as was the chilling drama "Trapped" (2002) in which she played a kidnap victim alongside Stuart Townsend, with whom she would begin a long-term relationship.

In 2003, Theron was effective in an otherwise stock role of sexy, icy babe, in F. Gary Gray's slick remake of the 1969 heist classic "The Italian Job," but her performance was soon forgotten in the shadow of her Oscar and Golden Globe-winning portrayal of convicted murderer Aileen Wuornos, one of America's first known female serial killers, in "Monster" (2003). Theron's glamming-down and bulking-up were only part of the actress' stunning transformation into the highly intense Wuornos; she also dug deep into her own emotional history to relive the pain of an abusive background. Theron received nearly universal praise and landed on most critics' short lists for the best actress of the year. She followed up her performance with the low-profile wartime melodrama "Head in the Clouds" (2004), before earning an Emmy nomination for portraying actor Peter Sellers' one-time wife Britt Ekland in the HBO biopic, "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" (2004), starring Geoffrey Rush. The following year she turned out another powerhouse dramatic triumph in "North Country" (2005), which was inspired by the true events surrounding the first ever class action sexual harassment suit against a corporation. Theron starred as an abused, single mother of two who finds pride and economic freedom as a miner, only to experience the constant humiliation of sexual harassment on the job. She earned nominations from the Golden Globes and Academy Awards, even though some detractors bemoaned that director Nikki Caro never quite transcended the realm of a high quality cable telepic.

Theron's apt reputation for empowered women led her to accept the sci-fi heroine role in a live-action adaptation of the edgy "Aeon Flux" (2005). The film did moderately well at the box office but failed to excite critics or transform the actress's image into that of an action heroine. She did keep pushing the boundaries of her image however, with a recurring role on the critically-lauded comedy "Arrested Development" (Fox, 2003-06), playing a British schoolteacher who catches the eye of Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman). In 2007, she co-starred in a pair of politically-tinged dramas: Stuart Townsend's little-seen directorial debut "Battle in Seattle" (2007), a fictionalized account of 1999 protests of the World Trade Organization, and "In The Valley of Elah" (2007), an Iraq war study that earned star Tommy Lee Jones an Academy nomination for Best Actor, even if the film was criticized for it simplified approach to a number of complex situations. Theron was solid as a detective investigating a military crime, but as with "Battle in Seattle," the film received only limited release.

Theron again received critical praise for playing an abandoning mother in the bleak family drama "Sleepwalking" (2008), but the Sundance-screened indie received overall negative reviews. She returned to the big screen later that summer in the blockbuster action-comedy "Hancock" (2008) as the only woman able to stand up to an incorrigible superhero (Will Smith). Another intense performance in a lamentably under-seen film came with "The Burning Plain" (2009), writer Guillermo Arriagaâ¿¿s directorial debut, in which Theron portrayed a woman tortured by unresolved guilt. Soon after, she was deeply affecting in a smaller role as the fatalistic wife of Viggo Mortensen in John Hillcoatâ¿¿s admirable adaptation of Cormac McCarthyâ¿¿s apocalyptic-drama "The Road" (2009). Having long been considered one of Hollywoodâ¿¿s more stable unions, observers were shocked at the news that Theron had ended her nine-year relationship with Townsend in January of 2010. After an absence of nearly two years, Theron returned with a bang, winning near universal accolades for her bravura turn as a bitter, self-centered writer returning to her hometown to reclaim her now-married childhood sweetheart (Patrick Wilson) in "Young Adult" (2011). The dark comedy-drama, directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody, became the talk of the festival circuit prior to release, and earned kudos for co-star Patton Oswalt, in addition to those heaped upon Theron. Around the same time her deliciously over-the-top performance of the Evil Queen Ravenna in 'Snow White and the Huntsman" (2012) was garnering attention, the 36-year-old actress announced she had adopted an African-American baby named Jackson in March 2012. That same year, Theron starred alongside Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender in Ridley Scott's highly anticipated "Prometheus" (2012), a prequel of sorts to the "Alien" franchise. A return to comedy came with her starring role opposite Seth MacFarlane in his Western parody "A Million Ways To Die in the West" (2014), in which she played an reformed outlaw who teaches the timid MacFarlane how to handle a six-shooter. After that poorly-received comedy, Theron made a major comeback as the dauntless Imperator Furiosa opposite Tom Hardy in George Miller's acclaimed action thriller "Mad Max Fury Road" (2015).

ad had a crush on the actor since seeing "Splash" at the age of nine. Adorable in her comic role as a waitress who catches Jeff Daniels' eye in Jonathan Lynn's "Trial and Error" (1997), Theron really impressed with her deglamorized turn as Keanu Reeves' brunette wife in Taylor Hackford's thriller "The Devil's Advocate" (1997). Fighting hard against the stereotyping of her as "too beautiful for the part," she more than held her own against Al Pacino and Reeves â¿¿ most obviously with her impressive onscreen breakdown that landed her character in the loony bin.

Woody Allen gave Theron the chance to spoof her modeling experience as the oversexed supermodel of "Celebrity" (1998), before she had the honor of returning to her homeland to star as an orphaned African girl who grows up with an orphaned gorilla in Disney's well-crafted remake of "Mighty Joe Young" (1998). Once again convincingly maneuvering through a wide range of emotions, Theron was right on the money with her mixture of strong-willed resilience and moist-eyed vulnerability as "The Astronaut's Wife" (1999), an extraterrestrial spin on "Rosemary's Baby" which disappeared quickly, due to its predictability and lackluster promotion by the studio. The flames of her instant career continued to burn bright with an impressive portrayal of a young woman tempted by desire while her soldier boyfriend is away at the war in "The Cider House Rules" (1999). The Lasse Hallstrom film was one of the year's critical and audience favorites, and Theron was glad that he and screenwriter John Irving had not made her character overly sympathetic. She next endured freezing conditions and even took on some stunt work for John Frankenheimer's "Reindeer Games" (1999), playing a restless Midwestern woman whose sexual dalliance with an ex-con (Ben Affleck) inadvertently leads him back to a life of crime.

Directors showed faith in Theron's talent by continually casting her opposite A-list actors, even if the roles she was given were sometimes of the underdeveloped "girlfriend" variety. In 2000, she played a heroin addict with a habit for ex-cons (Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix) in "The Yards." She went on to appear in "Men of Honor" (2000) as the wife of a tough-as-nails military man (Robert De Niro). A larger role in another male-centric film, Robert Redford's "The Legend of Bagger Vance" (2000), saw the actress as the mobilizing force of a golf tournament in 1930s Georgia. Theron finally took center screen as a terminally ill woman looking for love in "Sweet November" (2001), but unfortunately her pairing with Keanu Reeves in the heavy-handed romantic drama earned only Razzie Awards. With Woody Allen's "Curse of the Jade Scorpion" (2001), Theron showcased her comic timing as an

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 American Express (2017)
2.
 Furious 8 (2017)
4.
 Huntsman, The (2016)
5.
 Coldest City (2016)
6.
 Dark Places (2015)
8.
 Angels in Exile (2013)
9.
 Prometheus (2012)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1981:
Began studying ballet at age six
1991:
At age 16, won an Italian modeling agency contest
1994:
Settled in Los Angeles; talent manager John Crosby volunteered to represent her after witnessing a colorful tantrum aimed at a bank teller who would not cash her out-of-state check
1995:
Had a non-speaking role in the direct-to-video film "Children of the Corn III"
1995:
Narrowly beaten out by Elizabeth Berkley for the lead in the disastrous "Showgirls"
1996:
Made film debut in John Herzfeld's "2 Days in the Valley"
1997:
Won praise for her performance as Keanu Reeves' neglected wife in "The Devil's Advocate"
1998:
Had featured role as an oversexed supermodel in Woody Allen's "Celebrity"
2000:
Co-starred with Ben Affleck in "Reindeer Games"
2000:
Played Robert De Niro's alcoholic wife in "Men of Honor"
2000:
Starred with Matt Damon and Will Smith in Robert Redford's "The Legend of Bagger Vance"
2001:
Reteamed with Keanu Reeves for the remake of "Sweet November"
2001:
Reunited with Woody Allen for a role in "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion"
2002:
Starred in drama "Trapped" with Kevin Bacon as parents whose daughter is kidnapped
2002:
Co-starred with Billy Bob Thornton in comedy "Waking Up in Reno"
2003:
Starred alongside Mark Wahlberg as the female lead in "The Italian Job"
2004:
Signed on to be the new face of Christian Dior's fragrance J'adore; appeared in print ads and TV commercials
2005:
Cast in "North Country" a fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States; earned Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actress
2005:
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (September)
2005:
Guest starred on five episodes of the Fox comedy "Arrested Development," playing the love interest of Jason Bateman
2005:
Starred in the title role in the feature adaptation of the MTV cartoon "Aeon Flux"
2007:
Played a police detective opposite Tommy Lee Jones in Paul Haggis' "In the Valley of Elah"
2008:
Directed by boyfriend Stuart Townsend in "The Battle in Seattle," a film about the 1999 World Trade Organization protests
2009:
Cast as the wife, who appears in flashbacks, in the feature adaptation of Joe Penhall's novel "The Road"
2011:
Played a fiction writer who returns to her small town in Minnesota in "Young Adult"; film written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman
2012:
Played the evil queen opposite Kristen Stewart in adventure drama "Snow White and the Huntsman"
2014:
Co-starred in Seth MacFarlane's western comedy "Eight Million Ways To Die in the West."
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Theron's first language is Afrikaans

Theron at one time was mentioned for the role of the husband-killing Roxie Hart in the film version of the Kander and Ebb musical "Chicago", a bit of irony as in 1991 her own mother shot and killed her father (reportedly an abusive drunk; the shooting was ruled self-defense).

"When I started auditioning, I was hearing, 'She's really talented but she needs to lose the accent.' So I decided to get rid of it completely. I didn't have the money for a coach, so I basically had my television on all the time. I'd listen to everything from Nickelodeon to 'Love Boat' reruns, and I'd try to catch myself when the accent came through."---Charlize Theron quoted in DETOUR, November 1996.

"I remember going out for a job for shaving cream. They only wanted a pair of legs. Ever seen a dancer's feet close-up? Naturally, the feedback was, 'She has ugly feet.' Not that I think I'm super intelligent, but I thought to myself, Jesus, what is all this about? It had nothing to do to do with what I'd learned or experienced. Not to badmouth all of the business, because it made me independent at a very young age, and I'm forever grateful for that. And I don't think any less of models--frankly I admire them for having so much perserverence. I take my hat off to supermodels who are content and happy, but I could never live that life."---Theron on modeling to Hal Rubenstein in INTERVIEW, November 1997.

"Why be afraid of your sexuality? What are you going to do? Walk around the rest of your life going, 'I can't believe I got dealt these cards!' I think of myself as a very sexual creature. I have to use that. I have no choice. I like it... I didn't grow up with a mother telling me what I had under my clothes was bad or evil. Nudity, if used correctly, is extremely powerful. It's there to shock."---Theron to Kevin Sessums in VANITY FAIR, January 1999.

"In a world of premieres and movie sets and self-important, Versace-wearing, no-good bastards who indugle in every kind of bad behavior, Charlize is one of those people who are really there for the work. At the same time she is one of the more innately glamorous people you'll ever meet... One thing you should know is that you're not going to figure Charlize out. She's a very peaceful person, but she can bring mayhem to a part like nobody else, because she knows what strife is. She's not prudish, but she has an unswayable moral compass. I don't believe in astrology, but she's a Leo. And that's funny, because she is sort of a lioness."---Stephan Jenkins quoted in VANITY FAIR, January 1999.

"It's weird when people call you the next big thing. But I ultimately have no control over what any of these films look like or how critics will react to them or me."

"In all, I've made ten films and I've been blessed to have had the chance. But I've never tried to become a part of the machine to do it. Instead I've come from the school that if you work hard and deliver, you will continue to work... People always ask where I see myself in ten years, and the answer is still a big, 'I don't know'. But if I continue to do the work, to challenge myself and challenge audiences... Who knows? I might just have some career longevity yet."---Theron quoted in EMPIRE, April 1999.

"Well, the biggest factor is the reality that this is not just a character, it's a real life person. It's somebody's life, and I don't take that lightly. I wanted to leave this movie being able to live with myself. There's a huge responsibility when you're telling somebody else's life. You can't take that for granted. It's very specific work and I wanted to always be aware of that aspect of the story."---Theron on playing serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the film "Monster" AtNZone Entertainment Magazine, January 9, 2004.

Theron was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People for 2004

"She is just spectacular. All I can say is, Charlize, you're lucky I'm straight. If I was going to go the other way, she would be the one who could tempt me!"---Vivica A. Fox People, May 10, 2004.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Craig Bierko. Actor. Together from c. 1996 to 1998.
companion:
Stephan Jenkins. Musician. Born c. 1964; lead singer with band Third Eye Blind; dated from May 1998 to early 2001; rumored to be dating musician Vanessa Carlton.
companion:
Stuart Townsend. Actor. Dating from summer 2001.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Charles Theron. Road construction company owner. French; reportedly was abusive to his wife who shot and killed him in 1991.
mother:
Gerda Theron. German; shot and killed her husband in 1991; no charges filed as it was determined she acted in self-defense when he attacked her while drunk; took over family business; remarried but separated from second husband after the death of her stepson Denver.
step-brother:
Denver. Died in a 1997 auto accident at the age of 22.

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