Charlize Theron (IPA: ʃɑ:rˈliːz θəˈrɒn; born August 7, 1975), is an Academy Award-winning South African-born American actress, film producer and former fashion model. She is best known for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the film Monster, for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress.
Unable to dance, Theron flew to Los Angeles on a one-way ticket her mother bought her. During her early months there, she went to a bank to cash a check her mother had sent her to help with the rent. When the teller refused to cash it, Theron immediately started into a shouting match with her. Afterwards, a talent agent in line behind her handed her his business card and subsequently introduced her to some casting agents and also an acting school. She later fired him as her manager after he kept sending her scripts for films similar to Showgirls and Species, which would have traded solely on her appearance.
After eight months in the city, she was cast in her first film part, a non-speaking role in the direct-to-video film Children of the Corn III (1995). Larger roles in widely released Hollywood films followed, and her career skyrocketed in the late 1990s with box office successes like The Devil's Advocate (1997), Mighty Joe Young (1998), and The Cider House Rules (1999).
After appearing in a few notable films, Theron starred as the serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003). Film critic Roger Ebert called it "one of the greatest performances in the history of the cinema". For this role, Theron won the Academy Award for Best Actress 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. The Oscar win pushed her to The Hollywood Reporter's 2006 list of highest-paid actresses in Hollywood; earning $10,000,000 for both her subsequent films, North Country and Æon Flux, she ranked seventh, behind Halle Berry, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Renée Zellweger, Reese Witherspoon, and Nicole Kidman.
On September 30, 2005, Theron received her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In the same year, she starred in the financially unsuccessful science fiction thriller Æon Flux,. Additionally, Theron received Best Actress Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for her lead performance in the drama North Country. Ms. magazine also honored her for this performance with a feature article in its Fall 2005 issue.
In 2005, Theron portrayed Rita, Michael Bluth's (Jason Bateman) love interest, on the third season of FOX's critically-acclaimed television series Arrested Development. She also received Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for her role of Britt Ekland in the 2004 HBO movie The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.
|Golden Globe Award|
|Berlin Film Festival|
|GLAAD Media Awards|
|Hasty Pudding Theatricals|
|1995||Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest||Young Woman||Uncredited|
|1996||2 Days in the Valley||Helga Svelgen|
|That Thing You Do!||Tina Powers|
|1997||Trial and Error||Billie Tyler|
|The Devil's Advocate||Mary Ann Lomax|
|Mighty Joe Young||Jill Young|
|1999||The Astronaut's Wife||Jillian Armacost|
|The Cider House Rules||Candy Kendall||Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture|
|2000||Reindeer Games||Ashley Mercer|
|The Yards||Erica Stoltz|
|The Legend of Bagger Vance||Adele Invergordon|
|Men of Honor||Gwen Sunday|
|2001||Sweet November||Sara Deever|
|The Curse of the Jade Scorpion||Laura Kensington|
|15 Minutes||Rose Heam|
|Waking Up in Reno||Candy Kirkendall|
|2003||The Italian Job||Stella Bridger|
|Monster||Aileen Wuornos|| Academy Award for Best Actress|
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role - Motion Picture
|2004||The Life and Death of Peter Sellers||Britt Ekland|| Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television|
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
|Head in the Clouds||Gilda Bessé|
|2005||North Country||Josey Aimes|| Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actress|
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role - Motion Picture
|Æon Flux||Æon Flux|
|2007||In the Valley of Elah||Det. Emily Sanders|
|Battle in Seattle||Ella||Stuart Townsend directing|
|2009||The Brazilian Job||Stella Bridger||Announced|
Theron grew up on her parents' farm near Johannesburg (Benoni). She attended Putfontein Primary School (Laerskool Putfontein). At the age of 13, Theron was sent to boarding school and began her studies at the National School Of The Arts in Johannesburg. At 15, Theron witnessed the death of her father, an abusive alcoholic; Gerda shot him in self-defense when he attacked her. The police pressed no charges against her.
Theron resides in Los Angeles, in the home of late 1930s actress Helen Twelvetrees, with her long-time boyfriend Stuart Townsend, with whom she starred in the 2004 film Head in the Clouds, as well as in the 2002 film Trapped and uncredited 2005 Æon Flux. She, like Sarah Silverman, and Brad Pitt, has said that she will not marry until same-sex couples are able to have their marriages recognized. Townsend recently stated he considers himself and Theron to be husband and wife. "We didn't have a ceremony," he said. "I don't need a certificate or the state or the church to say otherwise. So no there's no big official story on a wedding, but we are married... I consider her my wife and she considers me her husband".
While filming Æon Flux in Berlin, Germany, Theron had suffered a herniated disc in her neck, which occurred as a result of her suffering a fall while filming a series of back handsprings. This required her to wear a neck collar for a month.
Theron became a naturalized citizen of the United States in May 2007.