At 7, Mila Kunis emigrates with her family (parents Mark and Elvira and older brother Michael) from their native Ukraine to Los Angeles. Though it's a rough start for the non-English-speaking Kunis, she eventually becomes fluent – and her parents enroll her in a children's acting program. "We thought it would be a great way for Mila to meet some new friends," her mom later tells PEOPLE.
While studying at the Beverly Hills Studio, Kunis, 9, meets Susan Curtis, the woman who manages her career to this day. "My parents told her, 'Listen, we can't afford headshots; we can't afford anything. We can't take her to auditions because we work full-time,'" she says of her early career. "[Curtis] said, 'Don’t worry. I’ll fix everything,' and she did." Soon the photogenic newcomer appears in ads and TV commercials for Barbie, Lisa Frank products and Payless shoes.
At 14, Kunis stars as snobby Jackie Burkhart in That '70s Show, with Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, Danny Masterson and Laura Prepon. The series, which becomes the second longest-running sitcom on FOX, makes Kunis, for better or worse, a household name. "Kids come up with magazines and ask me to sign them," she says of her classmates at Fairfax High. "When I'm trying to fit in, that doesn't help."
Relying on just a squeaky voice and comedic timing, Kunis steps in for Lacey Chabert to voice Meg Griffin in the satirical cartoon Family Guy. Creator Seth Macfarlane slightly rewrites the character for Kunis, whom he says lends a natural, authentic vibe to Meg.
Kunis quietly begins dating Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin. "We grew up together. You find a steady rock in your life and that's all you need," Kunis says of her actor boyfriend in a rare 2009 interview. "We have our ups and downs, but work through them." In early 2011, Kunis's rep confirms that the couple called it quits after eight years together.
Kunis steals the show opposite funnymen Jason Segel and Russell Brand in the comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, where she glows as sexy hotel concierge Rachel, prompting EW to ask, "When did Mila Kunis grow up so good?" The big screen hit (it opens No. 2 at the box office) allows the actress to challenge herself with roles in Extract and the Denzel Washington vehicle Book of Eli.
Kunis presents the perfect foil for uptight ballerina Natalie Portman in Darren Aronofsky's macabre thriller Black Swan, earning Kunis her first supporting actress Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. "Aesthetically, I had to look like a ballerina and hold myself like a ballerina. By the end, I was 95 lbs.," the actress says of her transformation, which required her to train seven days a week for seven months.
Kunis, 28, is spotted spending time with former That '70s Show costar Ashton Kutcher, dining in Los Angeles and escaping on a three-day getaway to the coastal town of Carpinteria, Calif. While a rep for the actress dismisses rumors of a romance, the pair go public with their relationship, attending a wrap party for Kutcher's upcoming biopic Jobs. "They stayed within five feet of each other practically the entire evening," an onlooker tells PEOPLE. "It looked like young love."
Reuniting with Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, Kunis stars alongside Mark Wahlberg in Ted, a crude comedy about a man's relationship with his magical and foul-mouthed teddy bear. The film takes the top spot at the box office, earning $54.1 million during its opening weekend.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Courtesy FOX; John M. Heller/Getty; Chris Polk/FilmMagic; Courtesy Universal Studios; Niko Tavernise; Jose Perez/Splash News Online; X17online; Universal Studios