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Born: Aug. 7, 1975 Benoni, South Africa
Charlize Theron was born August 7th, 1975 in Benoni, South Africa. Charlize trained as a ballet dancer and worked as a model before getting into acting. At the age of 15, Charlize’s mother shot her father in self-defense, but was not charged with the death.
Charlize and her mother moved from Africa to the U.S. to work on her acting career. Her 1996 film debut was in 2 Days in the Valley, which she followed with a role in Tom Hanks’ directorial debut, That Thing You Do!
Charlize then had the female lead in both Devil’s Advocate (with Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves) and Trial and Error, which starred Michael Richards and Jeff Daniels. She appeared in Woody Allen’s Celebrity in 1998 and starred with Bill Paxton in Mighty Joe Young that same year. Charlize then played opposite Johnny Depp in the thriller The Astronaut’s Wife and opposite Tobey Maguire and Michael Caine in The Cider House Rules in 1999.
Charlize kept busy in 2000 with roles in Reindeer Games starring Ben Affleck and Gary Sinise; The Yards starring Mark Walhberg and Joaquin Phoenix; Men of Honor starring Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr.; and The Legend of Bagger Vance starring Will Smith and Matt Damon. She didn’t rest the following year either, reuniting with Keanu Reeves in the sappy, critically-savaged Sweet November, working opposite Robert De Niro, Ed Burns and Kelsey Grammar in 15 Minutes and appearing in her second Woody Allen movie, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion.
In 2002, she starred in Waking Up in Reno with Natasha Richardson, Billy Bob Thornton, Patrick Swayze and Trapped with Stuart Townsend (her present boyfriend) and Kevin Bacon.
Charlize’s most successful year to date was 2003. She had good box office starring in the action caper The Italian Job (with Mark Walhberg) and working opposite Christina Ricci in Monster. She played Aileen Wuornos, the first woman serial killer to be put on death row. Charlize gained 30 pounds and completely altered her appearance to play the role, which earned her many accolades including the Oscar® for Best Actress.
In 2004, Theron played Brit Ekland to Geoffrey Rush’s Peter Sellers in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers and worked with Penélope Cruz and Stuart Townsend on Head in the Clouds. She had a productive 2005, playing a workplace harassment fighter in North Country, an assassin in Æon Flux, and turning in a great comedy performance in five episodes of the FOX series Arrested Development.
She returned to the big screen in 2007, working with Tommy Lee Jones and Susan Sarandon on In the Valley of Elah and getting directed by then-boyfriend Stuart Townsend in Battle in Seattle. A Busy 2008 saw her in Sleepwalking with Nick Stahl and AnnaSophia Robb, Hancock with Will Smith and Jason Bateman, and The Burning Plain with John Corbett.
2009 saw Charlize working with Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee in the post-apocalyptic world of The Road and narrating Astro Boy with Freddie Highmore. Two years later, she starred in Jason Reitman’s dramedy Young Adult with Patton Oswalt and Patrick Wilson.
She head back to sci-fi in 2012’s Ridley Scott film Prometheous, which saw her working with Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace. That same year, she appeared in Snow White and the Huntsman with Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth.
In 2014, she worked with Seth MacFarlane on the raunchy comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West.
On the personal side, Theron adopted a son, Jackson in 2012.
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