Charlize Theron was born in Benoni, South Africa, on the 7th
of August, 1975. Her father Charles worked on the family's
road-construction business, which mother Gerda took over after
Charles' death in 1990. Apparently, Charlize's mother shot
her husband Charlie in self-defense, after he attacked her
in a drunken state.
Charlize started out as a professional dancer, which allowed
the young 6-year-old to fantasize and be the actress that
she ultimately turned out to be. Since the farm they lived
on had no means of entertainment (no television or movies),
Charlize had to use her passion for dancing and her imagination
to entertain herself when not caring for the farm animals.
After dancing in Johannesburg, she began modeling in Milan,
Italy, by the time she was 16.
But modeling was not fulfilling enough for Charlize, who
wanted to return to her original passion -- dance -- after
only a year as a model. While modeling gave her the opportunity
to travel, she decided to stay in New York after a modeling
shoot, in order to study ballet at the Joffrey School in the
Big Apple. Bored of modeling, Charlize wanted to do more than
stand around and look pretty.
Unfortunately, Charlize suffered from a knee injury that
forced her ballet career to come to an end. Jobless and broke,
Charlize headed for the West Coast. In 1994, her luck and
career path changed. When she threw a tantrum and made a scene
at a Los Angeles bank after a teller refused to cash a check
because she didn't have an account at the bank, a talent manager
noticed the natural beauty.
John Crosby (who also discovered model-turned-actress Rene
Russo) encouraged Charlize to try her hand at acting. It didn't
take much convincing, since she was currently unemployed.
With no money to pay for a coach to perfect her English accent,
Charlize set out to lose her South African accent by singing
along to popular music and watching television shows to study
the American accent.
Charlize finally landed her first role, as Helga Svelgen
in 2 Days in The Valley. Unfortunately for us, but fortunately
for her career, Charlize was not chosen as the lead stripper
in the disastrous movie Showgirls. She was cast in That Thing
You Do!, after Tom Hanks was extremely impressed by her knack
for acting. She then appeared in 1997's Trial and Error, co-starring
Michael Richards, and had a supporting role in The Devil's
Advocate, which starred Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino.
After a role in Woody Allen's Celebrity as a supermodel,
the long-legged beauty starred in the Disney film, Mighty
Joe Young. 1999 was a big year for Charlize, with a string
of heftier roles; Charlize co-starred with Johnny Depp in
The Astronaut's Wife and had a supporting role in the Academy
Award-winning film, The Cider House Rules.
Reindeer Games was next, followed by The Yards and Men of
Honor. She was also seen in another period piece, the golf
flick The Legend of Bagger Vance, with Matt Damon and Will
In 2001, Theron reunited with Keanu Reeves for the schmaltzy
Sweet November, and had a small role as a madam in 15 Minutes.
After a role in Woody Allen's The Curse of the Jade Scorpion
and the thriller Trapped, Charlize showed off her driving
skills in the summer 2003 hit, The Italian Job.
With a Best Actress Golden Globe and Oscar for her role in
the biopic Monster (portraying Aileen Wuornos), in which she
was forced to flex her acting muscles and completely alter
her appearance, and several upcoming movies in the pipeline,
Charlize is clearly one of the most talented and beautiful
actresses of her generation.