Charlize Theron: Snapshot

Name
Charlize Theron
Date of Birth
August 07, 1975
Birth Place
Benoni, South Africa
The glamorous South African actress Charlize Theron was typecast as the beautiful love interest for years before transforming herself into an unattractive sociopath in Monster. The beyond ugly role earned Theron a Best Actress Oscar.

Prior to her portrayal of real-life serial-killer Aileen Wuornos, Theron mainly appeared in supporting roles in mediocre Hollywood fare, such as The Devil's Advocate and The Legend of Bagger Vance. She turned in her second Oscar-nominated performance in 2005 for North Country.

Theron, who dated Irish actor Stuart Townsend for nearly nine years, adopted a baby boy named Jackson in 2012. The actress began dating Sean Penn at the beginning of 2014.

Charlize Theron: Video

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Watch the statuesque star transform from former model to red carpet superstar (02:21)

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Charlize Theron: Five Fun Facts

  1. A Nine-year-old Charlize Theron rented the mermaid comedy Splash and quickly developed a crush on Tom Hanks. "I was in love with Tom Hanks instantly," she told PEOPLE. "I hated Daryl Hannah. I was sitting there saying, 'I could have done that part so much better. That should be me!'" Eleven years later, she appeared in Hanks' directorial debut, That Thing You Do!
  2. Growing up an only child on her family's farm in South Africa, Charlize Theron told PEOPLE her pet goat Bok "was like my best friend."
  3. Charlize Theron, whose first language is Afrikaans, lost her South African accent by watching hours of TV and singing along with American songs on the radio.
  4. Charlize Theron was discovered by talent manager John Crosby in 1994, when he spotted her throwing a "little tantrum" in an L.A. bank over the teller's refusal to cash her check.
  5. Charlize Theron almost beat out Elizabeth Berkley for the lead in the box office bomb Showgirls. "It was like I had some guardian angel," she tells PEOPLE of being passed up for the role.

Charlize Theron: Biography

1991

Charlize Theron

August

Ciao!

After her mother enters her in a modeling contest, Theron receives an offer from an Italian scout and heads to Milan. "I just ran," she tells PEOPLE. One year later, tired of being seen as "somebody beautiful who should not say a word," she moves to Manhattan and enrolls at the Joffrey Ballet School. A knee injury quickly ends her dancing days, so she decides to move to L.A. to pursue acting in 1994.

1997

Charlize Theron

October 17

Devil of a Time

Theron appears in a breakthrough role as Keanu Reeves' wife in The Devil's Advocate. "She was just too good looking for the role," director Taylor Hackford tells EW. "She read and knocked me out but was blonde and tall and sexy, so I wasn't sure she was right." Theron takes up the gauntlet: "When he told me that, I went back in with no makeup and dirty hair; I read for it three times. I f------ won this part fair and square."

Charlize Theron

December

Semi-Charmed Life

On vacation with her family in Hawaii over Christmas, Theron meets Third Eye Blind singer Stephan Jenkins after a show and the two begin dating. "She's very funny," he tells PEOPLE. "And she learned to play the drums faster than anyone I've ever seen." The pair won't play in harmony forever; the relationship comes to an end in 2001 after three years of dating.

Read More on Charlize Theron's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Firooz Zahedi/JBGPhoto

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Phillip Wong/CAMERA PRESS DIGITAL/RETNA; Warner Bros./Everett; Peter Kramer/Star Max

Edited by Julia Wang

Charlize Theron

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