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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: South Africa Profession: actor, model

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Statuesque blonde actress Charlize Theron defied preconceptions to become one of film's most formidable talents, as adept at comedy as she was hard-hitting drama. Escaping a volatile home life in South Africa, Theron pursued a successful modeling career prior to becoming an actress with supporting roles in such films as "That Thing You Do!" (1996) and "The Devil's Advocate" (1997). And although she displayed admirable range with turns alongside Michael Caine in "The Cider House Rules" (1999) and Woody Allen in "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion" (2001), that career-defining role had yet to come her way. Everything changed when the stunning beauty shattered her ingénue persona with her transformative, Oscar-winning portrayal of convicted serial killer Aileen Wournos in "Monster" (2003). Another highly-lauded performance as a woman fighting against male domination - albeit in starkly dissimilar ways - came with the sexual harassment drama "North Country" (2005). As one of Hollywood's more versatile and respected actresses, Theron went on to enjoy roles in both big-budget blockbusters like the superhero adventure "Hancock" (2008) and the critically-acclaimed dark-comedy "Young Adult" (2011). Breathtakingly...

Statuesque blonde actress Charlize Theron defied preconceptions to become one of film's most formidable talents, as adept at comedy as she was hard-hitting drama. Escaping a volatile home life in South Africa, Theron pursued a successful modeling career prior to becoming an actress with supporting roles in such films as "That Thing You Do!" (1996) and "The Devil's Advocate" (1997). And although she displayed admirable range with turns alongside Michael Caine in "The Cider House Rules" (1999) and Woody Allen in "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion" (2001), that career-defining role had yet to come her way. Everything changed when the stunning beauty shattered her ingénue persona with her transformative, Oscar-winning portrayal of convicted serial killer Aileen Wournos in "Monster" (2003). Another highly-lauded performance as a woman fighting against male domination - albeit in starkly dissimilar ways - came with the sexual harassment drama "North Country" (2005). As one of Hollywood's more versatile and respected actresses, Theron went on to enjoy roles in both big-budget blockbusters like the superhero adventure "Hancock" (2008) and the critically-acclaimed dark-comedy "Young Adult" (2011). Breathtakingly beautiful as well as deeply committed to her craft, Theron never failed to both impress in whatever role she chose to tackle.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Dark Places (2014)
3.
 Angels in Exile (2013)
4.
 Prometheus (2012)
6.
 Astro Boy (2009)
7.
 Road, The (2009)
8.
9.
 Sleepwalking (2008)
10.
 Hancock (2008)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up on family's farm in Benoni, South Africa
1981:
Began studying ballet at age six
:
Danced professionally in Johannesburg
1991:
At age 16, won an Italian modeling agency contest
1991:
Moved to Milan and for the next year and traveled all over Europe modeling
:
Relocated to NYC, taking modeling jobs to pay the rent; studied with the Joffrey Ballet for eight months before a knee injury curtailed dance career
:
Moved to Miami, FL
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"
1996:
Landed a featured role in Tom Hanks' directorial debut "That Thing You Do!"
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"
1999:
Played the title role in the thriller "The Astronaut's Wife"
1999:
Offered a strong turn as a woman torn between two loves in "The Cider House Rules"
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"
2003:
Won an Oscar portraying real life serial killer Aileen Wuornos in "Monster"
2004:
Cast as blonde bombshell and former Bond girl Britt Ekland in the HBO biopic "The Life and Times of Peter Sellers"; received Golden Globe, SAG and Emmy nominations for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
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:
Co-starred with Will Smith in the superhero comedy "Hancock"
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"
2012:
Co-starred as a corporate heavyweight who leads a space mission in "Prometheus," directed by Ridley Scott
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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