Theron, Charlize

Charlize Theron won the best actress award for her perfomance as lesbian serial killer Aileen Wuornos, a highway prostitute, in Monster on 29 February 2004.

Theron was born on 7 August 1975 and grew up on a agricultural holding outside Benoni in South Africa, She had 10 dogs and her best friend, a goat, named Bok. She received training as a ballet dancer in Johannesburg since she was nine years old, and has danced in both Swan Lake and the Nutcracker Suite. She was named after her father, whose name was Charles. Both her parents are Afrikaans, born and raised in South Africa. However her father was of French descent and her mother of German descent. Her father worked on the family’s road-construction business, which mother Gerda took over after Charles’ death in 1990.

At the age of 12 she made headlines when she won several dance competitions in Brakpan and other venues on the East-Rand. She became a fashion model at age 14.

An Italian fashion scout told Theron’s mother that there was a modeling contract awaiting her in Milan, and at the age of 16, following the death of her father, the young farm girl reached for the ambitious opportunity to travel to Europe and try something new.

Charlize Theron was not able to land a major modeling contract or cover shots, and when an American magazine flew her to New York for a photo shoot, she decided to stick around. She returned to her first love, dancing, which resulted in her staying on in New York. She started at the Joffrey Ballet in New York, and was also able to work part-time as a photo model.

An injured knee put an end to her dancing career, and as she was the only child, her mother made her go to Los Angeles to try a career in the movie industry. She arrived in Los Angeles without knowing anyone in the city. Following an ill-fated role in 1994’s Children of the Corn III, she won her first recognition with 2 Days in the Valley (1996).

This film served as the stepping stone to her first leading role, that of Keanu Reeves’ embattled wife in The Devil’s Advocate (1997). Charlize Theron became famous when she starred in hit movies like The Devil’s Advocate, Reindeer Games, The Cider House Rules, and The Italian Job.

Highlights from her acting career

  • 2 Days in the valley, as the long-legged Swedish beauty Helga Svelgen (1996)
  • That Thing you do! As Tina an ex-girlfriend of a member of a vocal group. (1996)
  • The Devil’s Advocate as Mary Ann Lomax, the wife of Keanu Reeves (1977). According to reviews this was Theron’s first opportunity in which her talent became clear.
  • Woody Allen’s Celebrity, as a blond super-model (1998).
  • Mighty Joe Young, as the scientist Jill Young, girlfriend of Bill Paxton (1998).
  • The Astronaut’s Wife, as Jillian Armacost, wife of the astronaut (1999).
  • The Cider House Rules, as Candy Kendall, a young woman who had an abortion (1999).
  • Reindeer Games, as Ashley Mercer (2000).
  • The Yards, as Erica Stolz (2000).
  • Men of Honor, as Gwen Sunlday. (2000).
  • The legend of Bagger Vance, as Adele Invergordon (2000).
  • Sweet November, as the dying Sara Deever (2001).
  • 15 minutes, as Rose Hearn who spoke in Afrikaans to Robert De Niro. (2001).
  • Trapped, as Karen Jennings (2003).
  • Waking up in Reno, as the madcap Cancy Kirdendall (2002).
  • The Italian Job, as a super thief’s very own daughter Stella Bridger (2003).

In her career

  • She was named one of “People” magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People [2000]
  • She turned down the female lead in Pearl Harbour to star alongside Keanu Reeves in Sweet November in 2001.
  • She dated lead singer Stephan Jenkins of the band Third Eye Blind – October 2000 – July 2001.
  • She was ranked 4th of the 100 Sexiest Women by FHM Taiwan in 2001.
  • She was voted the 12th Sexiest Female Movie Star in the Australian Empire Magazine in September 2002.
  • She used hypnotherapy as an aid to quit the smoking habit.
  • She auditioned for the female lead in Showgirls in 1995.

The man in Charlize’s life is Stuart Townsend.