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Friday, February 03, 2006

Charlise Theron

Charlise Theron (born August 7, 1975 in Benoni, South Africa) is an Academy Award winning South African actress.

Early life

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 "Thrown".

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 Playboy magazine.

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 Arrested Development.

Having signed a deal with John Galliano on 2004, Charlize replaced model Carmen Kass in the J'ADORE by Christian Dior ads.

Personal life

Charlise 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.


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