Charlize Theron is a South African and American actress and film producer.
She was born in Benoni, South Africa, on August 7, 1975.
Charlize is the only child of Gerda Jacoba Aletta (née Maritz) and Charles Jacobus Theron.
She is from an Afrikaner family, and her ancestry includes Dutch, as well as French and German.
Charlize was raised on a farm outside the city.
At age 13, wanting to continue her ballet studies, she began attending a boarding school that specialized in the arts.
During a visit home when she was 15, her mother shot and killed her father in self-defense after being attacked by him while he was drunk. The shooting was legally adjudged to have been self-defence, and her mother faced no charges.
At age 16 Theron moved to Milan to work as a model. Two years later she settled in New York City, where she continued to model and began studying at the Joffrey Ballet School. A knee injury ended her chances of a career in dance, however, and she attempted, unsuccessfully, to pursue acting jobs.
At age 19, Theron flew to Los Angeles, on a one-way ticket her mother bought for her, intending to work in the film industry.
She went to a bank to cash a check for $500 she received from her mother, and became furious when she learned that the bank would not cash it because it was an out-of-state check. She made a scene and an agent gave her his card, in exchange for learning American English, which she did by watching soap operas on television.
Her first role was as a young mother in a park in the horror film Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995), but it was a non-speaking role with three seconds of screen time.
Her next role was as Helga Svelgen in 2 Days in the Valley (1996), which landed her the role of Tina Powers in That Thing You Do! (1996).
Her breakthrough role came in 1997 when she played Keanu Reeves’ wife in The Devil’s Advocate.
Than she appeared in brief but memorable part in Woody Allen’s Celebrity (1998), and a starring role in Disney’s remake of Mighty Joe Young (1998).
In 1999, Theron landed a string of roles in notable films, including The Astronaut’s Wife opposite Johnny Depp, and The Cider House Rules with Tobey Maguire.
She starred in four films in 2000: Reindeer Games, The Yards, The Legend of Bagger Vance and Men of Honor and was briefly considered a new “It girl”.
In 2001, she reteamed with Reeves for the romantic drama Sweet November, and two years later she starred opposite Mark Wahlberg in the heist thriller The Italian Job (2003).
Theron received critical acclaim for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003), for which she won the Academy Award, Silver Bear, Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress among several other accolades, becoming the first South African to win an Academy Award in a major acting category.
In 2004 she portrayed Britt Ekland in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers which was a movie about the life of the English comedian Peter sellers. She also received Golden Globe Award and Primetime Emmy Award nominations for her role of Britt Ekland.
In 2005 her performance as a miner battling sexual harassment in North Country earned Theron an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nomination for best actress. The same year, she starred in the big-screen adaptation of the MTV cult cartoon Aeon Flux, and made multiple guest appearances on the award-winning television comedy, Arrested Development.
In 2007 she appeared in the crime drama mystery film In the Valley of Elah, and in the political action drama Battle in Seattle, which was directed by Townsend.
In 2008 she produced and starred in two films: Sleepwalking and The Burning Plain. That year she also starred with Will Smith in the superhero film Hancock.
In 2009, she appeared in The Road, an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s postapocalyptic novel of the same name.
Following a two-year hiatus from the big screen, Theron returned to the spotlight in 2011 with Young Adult. Directed by Jason Reitman, the film earned critical acclaim, especially for Theron’s performance. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and several other awards.
Theron then played the Evil Queen Ravenna, Snow White’s evil stepmother, in the film Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) and its sequel, The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016).
She portrayed Meredith Vickers in the sci-fi thriller Prometheus (2012), the leader of a space expedition, was similarly icy and imperious.
In 2014, she starred in Seth MacFarlane’s comedy, A Million Ways to Die in the West.
In 2015, Theron played Libby Day, the lead character in the film adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel Dark Places, directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner. The same year, Theron also starred as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road, opposite Tom Hardy.
In the animated Kubo and the Two Strings (2016), Theron provided the voice of a surly monkey.
In 2017 she starred in the action thrillers The Fate of the Furious — the eighth installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise — and Atomic Blonde, an adaptation of the graphic novel The Coldest City, directed by David Leitch.
Charlize Theron has an estimated net worth of $110 million.
In 2007, Theron became a naturalized citizen of the United States, while retaining her South African citizenship.
Theron has two children, both adopted. In March 2012, she adopted a boy. In July 2015, she adopted a girl. She lives in Los Angeles.
Theron was in a long-term relationship with actor Stuart Townsend. After nearly a decade together, the couple called it quits in 2010. She was romantically linked to actor Sean Penn in late 2013, but it was reported the pair split in June 2015.
Her first language is Afrikaans (West Germanic language spoken in South Africa), English is spoken as her second language.
She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on September 29, 2005.
After winning her Oscar, she returned to great celebrations in her native South Africa, and she even met former South African President Nelson Mandela. When he praised her for putting their country on the map and gave her a hug, Theron broke into tears.
In 2008 she was asked to be a UN Messenger of Peace by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
On 4 December 2009, Theron co-presented the draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa, accompanied by several other celebrities of South African nationality or ancestry.
Theron gained 14 kilograms (30 pounds) to play Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003).
She shaved her head for the role of Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).
Theron appeared on the cover of the May 1999 issue of Playboy magazine, in photos taken several years earlier when she was an unknown model; Theron unsuccessfully sued the magazine for publishing them without her consent.
She auditioned for the female lead of Nomi Malone in Showgirls (1995), which went to Elizabeth Berkley.
Theron earns $2 million per year endorsing Dior’s “J’Adore” fragrance, as well as $2.5 million per year endorsing Swiss watchmaker Raymond Weil.
She has her own charity called the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, which is committed to reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS and sexual violence among African youth.