The following biography
Charlize Theron (born August 7, 1975 in Benoni,
South Africa) is an Academy Award winning South African actress.
Her father, Charles, was a construction company
owner of French Huguenot descent; her mother, Gerda, is of German descent and
took over her husband's business after his death. Theron's first language is
Afrikaans, and her second is English. "Theron" is a French surname pronounced in
Afrikaans as "Tronn", although she has stated that she prefers the pronunciation
She grew up as the only child on her parents' farm
near Johannesburg and was sent to a boarding school at the age of thirteen. At
the age of fifteen, Theron witnessed the death of her father; he was an abusive
alcoholic, and her mother shot him in self defense when he attacked her. No
charges were pressed.
At the age of sixteen, Theron travelled to Milan,
Italy on a one-year modelling contract after winning a local competition. Her
contract ended while she was in New York City. She decided to remain there and
attended the Joffrey Ballet, where she trained as a ballet dancer and performed
in productions of both Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. A knee injury ended this
career path at the age of 18. Unable to dance, she bought a ticket to Los
Angeles. After eight months in the city she got her first film part, a
non-speaking role in the direct-to-video film Children of the Corn III. She
followed this with larger roles in widely released films, and her career
skyrocketed with box office successes like The Devil's Advocate, The Cider House
Rules, and Mighty Joe Young.
In 1999, she posed nude for the May issue of
After appearing in a few notable films, Theron
starred as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the film Monster (2003). Receiving
praise for her performance (film critic Roger Ebert called it "one of the
greatest performances in the history of the cinema"), Theron won the Best
Actress Oscar at the 76th Academy Awards in February 2004, as well as the SAG
Award and the Golden Globe Award. She is the first South African to win an Oscar
for Best Actress.
On September 30, 2005 she received her own bronze
star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In the same year, she starred in the film
Æon Flux and was given positive reviews, as well as a Best Actress Golden Globe
nomination, for her lead performance in North Country.
Theron also portrayed Rita, Michael Bluth's (Jason
Bateman) love interest on the third season of FOX's critically acclaimed sitcom
Having signed a deal with John Galliano on 2004,
Charlize replaced model Carmen Kass in the J'ADORE by Christian Dior ads.
Theron is the current spokeswoman for Dior perfume.
She resides in Los Angeles with her long-term boyfriend, Stuart Townsend, with
whom she starred in the 2004 film, "Head in the Clouds"; she has said that she
will not marry him until same-sex couples are able to have their marriages
recognized. Theron is also involved in women's rights organizations.
Dated lead singer of Third Eye Blind, Stephan
Jenkins from January 1998 to July 2001. Jenkins broke up with her after failing
to take her requests of marriage seriously.
While filming Æon Flux in Berlin, Germany, she had
surgery on a herniated cervical disc in her neck, the result of an injury
incurred on the set during a stunt.
Her mother, Gerda, recently married in California,
but the media thought Charlize was the one getting married (to Irish boyfriend
Stuart Townsend) and the paparazzi got as close as they could for the photos.
Year Title Role Other notes
2005 Aeon Flux Aeon Flux
2005 North Country Josey Aimes Academy Award
nomination - "Best Actress"
2004 Head in the Clouds Gilda Bessé
2003 Monster Aileen Wuornos Academy Award Winner -
2003 The Italian Job Stella Bridger
2002 Waking Up in Reno Candy Kirkendall
2002 Trapped Karen Jennings
2001 15 Minutes Rose Hearn
2001 Sweet November Sara Deever
2000 The Legend of Bagger Vance Adele Invergordon
2000 The Yards Erica Stoltz
2000 Reindeer Games Ashley Mercer
1999 The Cider House Rules Candy Kendall
1999 The Astronaut's Wife Jillian Armacost
1998 Mighty Joe Young Jill Young
1998 Celebrity Supermodel
1997 The Devil's Advocate Mary Ann Lomax
1997 Trial and Error Billie Tyler
1996 2 Days in the Valley Helga Svelgen
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